The New Mexico shooting suspect has been identified as an 18-year-old high school student Beau Wilson, who opened fire in a Farmington neighborhood on Monday morning killing three and injuring six others. Wilson, a varsity wrestler who was set to graduate from Farmington High School on Monday fired shots from three weapons, including an assault-style rifle.
According to Deputy Police Chief Baric Crum, all of the victims were just driving by on the peaceful residential street in Farmington. Wilson started shooting indiscriminatingly, killing three elderly women. The three victims have been identified as Gwendolyn Schofield, her 73-year-old daughter, Melody Ivie, and 79-year-old Shirley Voita, cops said.
Six other people were injured in the incident, including two police officers, before Wilson was shot dead by police. Police believe Wilson did not know any of his victims and that the violence was "purely random."
According to Crum, the shooter also struck a number of homes while opening fire randomly.
"The amount of violence and brutality that these people faced is unconscionable to me," Farmington Deputy Police Chief Kyle Dowdy said at a press conference.
"I don't care what age you are, I don't care what else is going on in your life, to kill three innocent elderly women that were just absolutely in no position to defend themselves is always going to be a tragedy."
Police are still investigating the motive for Wilson's mass murder in his own neighborhood close to the Four Corners, where New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado meet.
Authorities claim that years ago, Wilson had confided in a friend that he was hearing voices and that they "just keep getting to me."
One of the three guns used in the shooting was one he lawfully bought in November, but authorities think the other two belonged to a family. It is still unclear how Wilson managed to purchase the gun.
Wilson struck at least six distinct homes in the neighborhood where he grew up in, across what the police called a "nearly quarter-mile crime scene."
One eyewitness claimed to have seen the shooter fire more than 100 shots in the first 20 minutes of the attack, according to a local media station.
Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe said in a video message on Monday that the attacker 'roamed' the neighborhood before randomly shooting at cars and houses.
"The event is difficult to understand,' Chief Hebbe said. 'We are doing the best that we can [to] piece through [evidence], talk with family members of the suspect, piece through what was going on, look through the evidence to figure out what the motivation was."
One friend described how he was sleeping at his family's home on North Dustin Road on Monday morning when he heard gunshots.
The 16-year-old claimed that while he believed Wilson was at school, he sent his friend, who was eventually identified as Wilson, a Snapchat message to let him know what was happening in their area.
However, he later saw a TikTok video of the same friend getting shot by cops in their neighborhood.
The teen added, "I knew he was going to do something bad, but I didn't think it was going to be something like that."
The friend recalled how at a Halloween sleepover, he woke up to hear Wilson talking to people who weren't present, and said, "Yet, I knew my older friend was 'different."
"I was really confused," the unnamed teen said. "I was like 'Are you OK?' He was like 'Yeah.' He said, 'These voices just keep getting to me.'"
The teen added that while he was aware that Wilson was protective of those he cared about, he found it difficult to make new friends.
"What he did was wrong," the teen said. "But everyone is going to see him as the mass shooter of Farmington, and I'm going to see him as Beau."
According to Dowdy, the attack began at 10:56 am, and Wilson was neutralized 10 minutes later.The shooting started near North Dustin Road and Ute Street around 10:56 am on Monday, where Wilson was reportedly staying.
At least 150 shots were fired by the Farmington High School student, although expect to find a significantly higher number of casings as they continue their investigation.
Before he was shot dead, Wilson could be seen in video footage walking about the church driveway with what seemed to be a revolver and an extended, high-capacity magazine.
Wilson was fatally shot by Farmington officer Rachel Discenza as they both traded shots.
Dowdy said that the teen had a history of transgressions, but nothing that "would rise on our radar."
Wilson was reportedly experiencing some sort of mental health problems, according to the police.
Police expect to share more details and body camera footage in the coming days as they continue their investigation into the shooting.