At least three people have been killed and multiple people injured after a shooting in Farmington, New Mexico, where police killed the suspected 18-year-old gunman, authorities said on Monday.
The incident occurred around 11am in Farmington, a city of about 50,000 people in the north-west of the state adjacent to the Navajo Nation. Officers responding to several calls about a shooting found “a chaotic scene” where a man was firing at people on a residential street, said Baric Crum, the Farmington police deputy chief, during a news conference.
Police confronted the suspect before fatally shooting him. They found three people dead. Crum did not identify the suspect and said he didn’t know the ages of any of the victims.
“Besides the suspect himself, who is deceased, there were nine other people injured,” Crum said, adding that police were trying to determine why he was in the neighborhood.
Two officers, including a state police officer, were wounded and were in stable condition at the San Juan regional medical center, according to the department.
Some of the incident was captured in footage posted on TikTok, which a police department spokesperson confirmed was authentic.
The video shows a man dressed in black pacing around a driveway outside the First Church of Christ, Scientist, carrying what appears to be a handgun, before he is later seen being shot by police in front of the building.
Joseph Robledo, a 32-year-old who lives in the area, said he rushed home after learning that his wife and one-year-old daughter had sought shelter in the laundry room during the shooting. A bullet went through his daughter’s window and room, without hitting anyone.
In front of his house he found an older woman in the street who had been wounded while driving by. She appeared to have fallen out of her car, which kept rolling without her, he said.
“I went out to see because the lady was just lying in the road, and to figure just what the heck was going on,” Robledo said. He and others began to administer first aid.
Neighbors directed an arriving police officer toward the suspect.
“We were telling (the officer), ‘He’s down there.’ … The cop just went straight into action,” Robledo said.
The crime scene spans several blocks, according to Crum. Police are asking for anyone with information to come forward.
“What we now need from our community is anybody that has any additional information, whether that be eyewitness information or video information or whatever it may be, if you feel it’s pertinent,” Crum said.
Nick Akins, a middle school teacher whose home is on a street 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.
Seeing Farmington in the national spotlight for yet another mass shooting gun violence, 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.
Michelle Lujan Grisham, the state’s governor, said in a statement that she was praying for the families of the victims and that the incident “serves at yet another reminder of how gun violence destroys lives in our state and our country every single day”.
“Today, gun violence took the lives of our elders, wounded two police officers and paralyzed Farmington’s small community in fear,” Democratic congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernandez, whose district includes the area, said on Facebook. “I praise the heroes who drove to danger to stop the violence. I pray for the quick recovery of the wounded and for the families of those we lost.”
“Our beautiful Nuevo Mexico is not immune to the mass shootings that occur across the country – Every. Single. Day,” she said.
Federal agents responded to the mass shooting, the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco (ATF) office in Phoenix, Arizona, said on Twitter, along with state and local police.
The shooting comes amid growing frustration over gun violence in the US. Eight people were killed and several more injured in a shooting at a Texas mall earlier this month.
This year is on track to be America’s worst in recent history for mass killings, defined as incidents in which four or more people are killed.
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