A deadly shooting erupted in Farmington, New Mexico, on Monday, leaving three people dead and injuring six others, among them two law enforcement officers. The alleged assailant, an 18-year-old, was shot and killed by the police, as reported by authorities on Monday.
In a video statement on Monday night, Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe disclosed that the suspect discharged at least three different firearms, including an AR-style rifle. The motive behind the attack is still under scrutiny, but it seems to be a random act of violence, Hebbe noted. He added that the suspect did not appear to have targeted a school, church, or specific individuals.
According to the Farmington Police Department, the 18-year-old, whose identity remains undisclosed, started firing shots near Dustin Avenue and Ute Street at approximately 10:57 a.m.
On arrival, the officers were met with a scene of chaos, with the suspect spraying bullets into the neighborhood, Baric Crum, the deputy chief of the Farmington Police Department, explained to journalists earlier on Monday.
Hebbe elaborated that the suspect moved through the neighborhood over a distance of up to a quarter of a mile, haphazardly shooting “at whatever entered his head to shoot at.” At least six houses and three cars were hit by gunfire.
Crum confirmed that four officers engaged with the suspect in a gunfight, resulting in the suspect’s death.
Both wounded officers, one from the Farmington Police Department and the other from the New Mexico State Police, were transported to the San Juan Regional Medical Center and are currently in stable condition. The Farmington officer has since been discharged, while the state police officer remains hospitalized but is doing well, according to Hebbe.
Crum stated that the investigation is in progress, with the authorities actively scrutinizing several blocks of the crime scene to ascertain the exact sequence of events.
The response to the incident involved the Farmington Police Department, New Mexico State Police, and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, who are all partaking in the ongoing investigation.
An alert was posted on Facebook by the Farmington Municipal School District, stating that Apache and McKinley elementary schools, the Central Kitchen, and the CATE Center were all on lockdown until further instructions were given. However, all students and staff were reported safe.
The lockdown was lifted at 1:05 p.m. local time, and arrangements were made to release the students, the school district reported.
Farmington is situated in the northern part of New Mexico, approximately 15 miles south of the Colorado border.
New Mexico’s Governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, tweeted her condolences for the victims and assured that she was closely monitoring the situation. She further pledged, “My administration will not stop fighting the epidemic of gun violence from every angle possible.”