Farmington, New Mexico shooting leaves 4 dead, 100 rounds fired within 20 minutes. Killed was the gunman and three civilians and at least 6 injured, including two cops. No known motive.
And yet again. At least four people were killed, including an 18 year old gunman and several others, including two police officers, were wounded Monday in a mass shooting in northwestern New Mexico community before law enforcement shot and killed the suspect, authorities said.
The shootings occurred at around 11 a.m. in Farmington, a city of about 50,000 people that serves as a modern-day trading post to the adjacent Navajo Nation reservation and is a supply line and bedroom community to the region’s oil and natural gas industry, The Journal reported.
Witnesses in the area describe over 100 rounds being fired in the span of about 20 minutes, in front of a church. An 18-year-old man armed with at least three guns roamed through the Farmington community firing randomly at cars and houses Monday, killing three people and injuring six others including two police officers before he was killed, authorities said.
No known motive
Officers responding to reports of shots being fired encountered the attacker within minutes and killed him with at least one shot, Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe said in a video released Monday night.
He said the gunman fired at least three weapons, including an AR-style rifle.
The shooting was ‘honestly one of the most horrific and difficult days that Farmington has ever had as a community,’ he said.
‘The suspect’s identity is unknown and there are no other known threats at this time,’ police said, adding that city, San Juan County and State Police were involved.
Police did not release the names of those who were killed or wounded or give details about what led to the shootings.
At least 6 civilians were injured during Monday’s gun violence. Multiple vehicles and houses were reported to have been struck by bullets.
🚨#BREAKING: Mass shooting with multiple people dead in front of a church
Currently numerous law enforcements are on the scene to a Mass shooting in Farmington, New Mexico According to authorities four people have been killed outside of a church… pic.twitter.com/uy2qNAZY1D
— R A W S A L E R T S (@rawsalerts) May 15, 2023
‘You never think it’s going to happen here’
Investigators were still struggling to determine a motive for the attack, including talking to the shooter’s family.
‘But at this point it appears to be purely random, that there was no schools, no churches and no individuals targeted,’ Hebbe said. ‘During the course of the event, the suspect roamed throughout the neighborhood up to a quarter of a mile. At least six houses and three cars were shot in the course of the event, as the suspect randomly fired at whatever entered his head to shoot at.’
After the shootings were reported, the city’s schools were placed on what officials called ‘preventative lockdown.’
Middle school teacher Nick Akins, whose home is on a street near the crime scene that police locked down, described the neighborhood as a mostly great place to live, with a mix of homes, short-term rental apartments and churches.
‘It’s not like the roughest area in town, but it can be,’ he said. ‘We have great neighbors and rentals, people who come and go. We don’t always know everyone.’
Seeing Farmington in the national spotlight for yet another mass shooting, particularly one that occurred on his street, was surreal for him.
‘You never think it’s going to happen here and all of a sudden, in a tiny little town it comes here,’ Akins said.
Farmington is not far from where New Mexico borders Colorado, Utah and Arizona. In recent years, cafes and breweries have cropped up downtown alongside decades-old businesses that trade in Native American crafts from silver jewelry to wool weavings. Traveling Broadway shows make regular stops at the expansive community center auditorium, while rural lots on the outskirts are littered with disassembled oilfield equipment.
Last month Farmington police shot and killed a man at his front door after they went to the wrong address while responding to a domestic violence call.