At least three people were killed, and six were injured, including two police officers, in Farmington, New Mexico, on Monday, shortly before law enforcement fatally shot the 18-year-old suspect, authorities said.
The suspect was “confronted and killed on the scene” and had at least three guns – including an AR-15-style rifle. Law enforcement says the suspect appeared to target victims at random as he roamed the Farmington neighborhood firing at homes, cars, and other targets before police shot him dead.
Officers responded to 911 calls at 10:57 a.m. as the shooter was still firing at people 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, AP news reports.
The shooting was “honestly one of the most horrific and difficult days that Farmington has ever had as a community,” Police Chief Steve Hebbe said in a video released Monday night.
Investigators are still looking into the “wide and complex scene” that spans over a quarter mile. Authorities are speaking with the gunman’s family and examining what motive he may have had, Hebbe said.
Initially, police believed there was possibly a second shooter, and schools were placed on lockdown. However, Hebbe said Monday night, it appeared the suspect acted alone, so the lockdown was lifted.
Police have not released the names of the gunman or victims. Among the injured was a New Mexico State Police officer who drove himself to a medical facility and was hospitalized Monday night. Another Farmington officer was wounded and released from the hospital.
Farmington’s San Juan Regional Medical Center received seven patients total; Laura Werbner told CNN. She declined to comment on their conditions.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham thanked the police for their quick response.
“I am deeply upset by the tragic violence that unfolded today in Farmington,” she said in a statement. “I’m also grateful for the quick response by law enforcement. My administration will not stop fighting the epidemic of gun violence from every angle possible,” she said.