Vigil held for Farmington, New Mexico shooting victims
Three people were killed and two police officers were among at least seven people injured Monday when an 18-year-old opened fire in the northwestern New Mexico community of Farmington, before law enforcement fatally shot the suspect, authorities said. (May 15)
Police early Tuesday had not publicly identified the victims or a possible motive in a Monday shooting rampage through a northwestern New Mexico community left three people dead and six injured.
Just over 24 hours after the shooting, police haven’t released details about the suspect, other than he is an 18-year-old man who “was ultimately shot and killed by responding officers,” according to Steve Hebbe, police chief in Farmington, New Mexico, a city of more than 45,000 people about 200 miles north of Albuquerque..
Investigators are searching for a motive, including by talking to the family of the suspect, who is accused of using at least three firearms to shoot randomly at cars and houses, Hebbe said.
Dozens of community members gathered to pray Monday evening around a tall metal cross at Hill Church. As the sun set, some wrapped their arms around one another.
Matt Mizell, lead pastor at the church, talked about living in a “dark and broken world” but said there was still hope and asked God to provide the community strength.
Mayor Nate Duckett said in a statement that the shooting “has left us reeling in anguish and disbelief.”
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Police received reports of gunshots at 10:57 a.m. Monday.
Hebbe called the shooting “one of the most horrific and difficult days that Farmington has ever had as a community.” He said the gunman shot at least six homes and three vehicles with three weapons, including an “AR-style rifle.”
The gunman “fired at whatever entered his head to shoot at,” Hebbe said, adding that the targets of the shooting appeared to be “purely random.”
“During the course of the event, the suspect roamed throughout the neighborhood up to a quarter of a mile,” he said.
The shooting led to “preventative lockdowns” of the Farmington Municipal Schools and San Juan Regional Medical Center, where victims were taken for medical care.
The Farmington Police Department, San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, and the New Mexico State Police are investigating the shooting. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said agents from Phoenix were assisting.
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Police ask public for information in Farmington shooting
Authorities 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,” Farmington Police Deputy Chief Baric Crum said.
‘Gun violence destroys lives,’ New Mexico Gov. Grisham says
Monday’s incident in New Mexico is the 225th mass shooting in the U.S. so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which defines a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people are shot or killed, not including the shooter.
In a statement, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said the shooting “serves as yet another reminder of how gun violence destroys lives in our state and our country every single day.”
Contributing: The Associated Press; Terry Collins, Jessica Onsurez and Mike Easterling, USA TODAY Network