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A high school student has been identified as the gunman who opened fire at multiple homes in New Mexico, killing there people and injuring six others.
Authorities say Beau Wilson, 18, a student at Farmington High School, had multiple firearms including an assault-style rifle when he began firing Monday morning.
He was able to kill Shirley Voita, Melanie Ivie and Gwendolyn Schofield before four officers fired back a total of 16 shots back at him, authorities announced on Tuesday.
At least one of these bullets struck and killed the suspect in a moment caught on camera. He could be seen, in all black, roaming around a church yard before he fell to the ground.
A motive is still unclear, but police say the suspect had a history of mental health issues.
Law enforcement investigate the scene of a shooting on North Dustin Avenue in Farmington Monday
One witness told a local outlet he saw the gunman fire upwards of 100 rounds within the first 20 minutes of the attack.
In a video message on Monday, Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe said the suspect had ‘roamed’ the neighborhood before randomly spraying bullets at cars in houses during the attack.
Two officers were shot, one from the Farmington Police Department and one from the New Mexico State Police. Both were taken to San Juan Regional Medical Center and treated for their injuries but are said to be in stable condition.
Several civilians were injured and multiple vehicles and houses were reportedly struck by bullets.
One victim was reportedly a 35-year-old male who had been shot in the arm.
Four nearby schools were placed under lockdown at the request of the Farmington Police Department within 15 minutes of the attack’s start, according to Farmington Municipal Schools.
Farmington is a mid-size town about 150 miles northwest of Albuquerque and about 10 miles south of New Mexico’s border with Colorado.
A person claiming to work at the San Juan Regional Medical Center described on Facebook the moment an injured officer arrived at the facility.
‘I know, we saw the first police cars come in and one pulled an officer out of the back seat and dragged them inside,’ they wrote.
‘The ambulance entrance is right by my window. Many ambulances came in and out. Several EMS personnel hugging and crying. Whole hospital on lockdown. Made me very sad,’ they added.
Community members hold candles during a prayer vigil at Hills Church on May 15, 2023, in Farmington
Farmington City Council members Jeanine Bingham-Kelly , second from left, Linda Rodgers, center, and Sean Sharer, right, participate in a vigil at Hills Church Farmington Monday
Investigators work along a residential street following a deadly shooting Monday
Hank Shirley, who lives a block away from the scene of the shooting said he was home watching TV when he heard a series of gunshots that he described as a prolonged gun battle.
‘When I heard that, I told my daughter to get down in the basement and get the baby down in the basement,’ Shirley told the Daily Times.
Several minutes after the gunfire ceased, he said he heard sirens and saw emergency vehicles approaching.
Chief Hebbe said that ‘during the course of the event, the suspect roamed throughout the neighborhood up to a quarter of a mile.’
Law enforcement officials continue to investigate a motive.
Kyle Watchman told The Journal he was inside his house on Dustin Avenue – where the police were first called – when he heard gunshots begin to ring out.
‘I came out of my house wondering what was happening and I see the guy casually walking down the street, shooting at cars, holding a handgun with an extended clip.’ he said. ‘I don’t know he was just hunting.’
Kandi Brammell, who lives next door to the church where the shooter’s body was found, said she too heard gunshots just before 11am.
‘At first, we just heard one and thought it might be fireworks, but as they got closer, we know they weren’t fireworks,’ she said.
Brammell added that she and a friend left her house and saw a man in all black walking around the church yard, shouting. She then saw him ‘coming down the street shooting an automatic long gun randomly across the street.’
On Monday evening, Farmington Mayor Nate Duckett released a statement expressing his grief about the ‘horrific tragedy that claimed the lives of three innocent citizens and injured several others.’
The ‘act of violence has left us reeling in anguish and disbelief,’ he said.
Source: DailyMail UK