Bennie J. Hargrove was a courageous 8th grader who stood up to another 8th grader that had been beating up small and defenseless classmates. After Bennie protected his classmates, the Bully was upset and decided to bring a gun to school to kill Bennie. Bennie was shot and killed at Washington Middle School on August 13, 2021 during recess by the Bully in front of other students, police officers, and his principal. Bennie's death has rocked Albuquerque's community with the death of a middle schooler from a bully and the fact that gun violence has invaded Albuquerque's middle school. Further, Bennie's family and the Albuquerque Community were surprised to learn that the parents of Bennie's murder, whose gun was used in Bennie's murder, would receive no criminal charges. Bennie's family questions the lack of action by the Albuquerque Public Schools during the deadliest year in Albuquerque's history and the dangerous condition that was created by the school allowing the situation to develop into Bennie's murder. Bennie's family is represented by the Gauthier & Maier Law Firm along with our co-counsels the Law Office of Adam Oakey and Harrison, Hart, & Davis, LLC in their lawsuit against Albuquerque Public Schools and the parents of Bennie Hargrove's murderer.
Following Bennie's death, Gauthier & Maier Law Firm has been working with the Bennie Hargrove Family in memorializing Bennie's sacrifice including helping the family with the Bennie Hargrove Gun Safety Act. The Bennie Hargrove Gun Safety Act was passed in New Mexico's Legislative Session and is currently in effect. Bennie's family has worked with State Representative Pamelya Herndon and Mayor Keller in memorializing Bennie Hargrove and supporting the Bennie Hargrove Gun Safety Act that is part of the City of Albuquerque's Crime Initiative. Additionally, State Representative Herdon and the City of Albuquerque have renamed the park next to Washington Middle School after Bennie J. Hargrove.