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At least 3 killed in shooting in Farmington, New Mexico; suspect dead

At least 3 killed in New Mexico shooting
At least 3 killed in New Mexico shooting 02:00

At least three people were killed and six others, including two police officers, were hurt Monday morning in a shooting in Farmington, New Mexico, police said. An 18-year-old man suspected of carrying out the attack was "confronted and killed on scene," police said.

Two officers, one from the Farmington Police Department and one from New Mexico State Police, were shot and listed in stable condition at a hospital, Farmington police said in a statement Monday afternoon. The state police officer was able to drive himself to the hospital, authorities said Monday night. He was still in the hospital as of Monday night and was "doing well," Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe said. The Farmington officer had been released from the hospital by Monday night, Hebbe said. 

Officers responding to the shooting found a "chaotic scene" with the suspect "actively firing upon individuals" at around 11 a.m., Deputy Chief Baric Crum told reporters Monday afternoon.

Hebbe said Monday night that the first officers arrived at 11:02 a.m. and that the suspect had been shot by officers by 11:05. 

The shooter fired at least three different weapons, including an "AR-style rifle," Hebbe said. 

Authorities did not identify the suspect and Crum said he didn't know if the 18-year-old had any previous contact with police. Hebbe said that, while police were still trying to piece together a motive, the shooting "appears to be purely random."

"There were no schools, no churches, no individuals targeted," he said.

During the shooting, the suspect "roamed the neighborhood, up to a quarter of a mile" and "randomly fired at whatever entered his head to shoot at," Hebbe said. At least three cars and six houses were also shot at, he said. 

A video posted to social media appeared to show the suspect pacing with what looks like a gun near a building. An officer was heard saying on police radio that the suspect was outside a church. Investigators were trying to determine the validity of the video, Crum told reporters.  

Hebbe said that it was initially believed there may have been more than one shooter, "but at the end of it, it does not appear there ever was a second shooter."

New Mexico Shooting
Investigators work along a residential street following a deadly shooting Monday, May 15, 2023, in Farmington, N.M. Authorities said an 18-year-old opened fire in the northwestern New Mexico community, killing multiple people and injuring others, before law enforcement fatally shot the suspect. Susan Montoya Bryan / AP

Schools throughout the city were placed in lockdown at the request of police, the Farmington school district said in an 11:15 a.m. message on its website. Hebbe noted that police had requested the lockdowns when they thought there may have still been more than one shooter. The lockdowns were all lifted by early afternoon.

"All students and staff are safe," the school district said in a 12:40 p.m. update.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham called the shooting a "horrific tragedy" and said she was praying for the victims' families and was grateful for the "quick response" from law enforcement.

"This serves as yet another reminder of how gun violence destroys lives in our state and our country every single day," Lujan Grisham said in a statement. "This administration will not stop fighting the epidemic of gun violence from every angle possible."

Farmington Mayor Nate Duckett said in a statement that the shooting had left the community "reeling in anguish and disbelief."

"We are a resilient community, a community that cares for each other. In the face of adversity, we must stand together, comfort one another, and make a determined effort to heal these wounds so we can emerge stronger and not allow this act of violence to define us," Duckett added.  

Monday's mass shooting was the latest in a string of deadly attacks in the U.S in recent weeks. In Texas, eight people were killed in a shooting at a mall in Allen just over a week ago. An officer shot and killed the shooter there.

In Cleveland, Texas, a man was arrested and charged in the killing of five people earlier this month, over complaints that he was firing a gun late at night. The suspect was taken into custody after an extensive manhunt.

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