Hazing News

Shooting during hazing

From The Roundup: “A New Mexico State University student who pledged the Kappa Sigma fraternity chapter suffered a gunshot wound to the leg on Nov. 9, 2019 during a fraternity camping event according to police records.”

“JJ Sillas…said he was pulled aside at Kappa Sigma’s fraternity initiation where a gun was pointed at him — a gun he was told wasn’t loaded.

“He put the gun to my leg or whatever and then he pulled the trigger and he didn’t think it was loaded at all, like the gun wasn’t loaded,” the police report read. “[I] moved once he pulled it and it just went like clean through my leg.”

The report identified Miguel (JR) Altamirano, an active member of Kappa Sigma, as the alleged shooter. Altamirano told police that he just pulled the gun on Sillas to “mess with him.”

“I really do like JJ so my intention was not to ever physically harm him,” the report stated. “He was one of the ones that stuck out to me and so I never intended to, it was never my intention to.. .my intention was to never physically harm him.”

According to the police report, Altamirano admitted that the incident was hazing.”

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. In April of 2024, the Alaska Press Club awarded him first place in the Best Columnist division and Best Humorist, second place.

He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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