(FARMINGTON, N.M.) — Three people were killed and six others injured, including two officers, after a suspect opened fire in Farmington, New Mexico, before officers shot and killed the alleged gunman, police said Monday.
The suspect, who police said was 18, fired at least three different weapons, including an AR-style rifle, Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe said in a video message Monday night. The motive is under investigation, but the shooting appears to be random, according to the police chief. The suspect wasn’t targeting a school, church or individuals, Hebbe said.
The Farmington Police Department said that at 10:57 a.m., the unidentified 18-year-old suspect opened fire near Dustin Avenue and Ute Street.
When officers arrived, they found a “chaotic scene,” with the suspect firing into the neighborhood, the Farmington Police Department deputy chief, Baric Crum, told reporters earlier Monday.
The suspect “roamed” through the neighborhood up to a quarter of a mile, randomly firing “at whatever entered his head to shoot at,” Hebbe said, shooting at least six houses and three cars.
Four officers engaged the suspect in a firefight, and the suspect was killed, according to Crum.
The two officers who were wounded, one from the Farmington Police Department and one from New Mexico State Police, were taken to San Juan Regional Medical Center and listed in stable condition, police said.
The Farmington officer was treated and released; the state police officer remains in the hospital and is doing well, Hebbe said.
The investigation is ongoing, Crum said.
“We are actively looking at several blocks of this crime scene to determine what exactly happened,” the deputy chief said.
The Farmington Police Department, New Mexico State Police and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives responded to the scene and are still investigating.
The Farmington Municipal School District issued an alert on its Facebook page stating that Apache and McKinley elementary schools, Central Kitchen and the CATE Center were under lockdown until further notice. Officials said all of the children and staff were safe.
At 1:05 p.m. local time, the lockdown was lifted and the students were planned to be released, according to the school district.
Farmington is located in northern New Mexico, about 15 miles south of the Colorado border.
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham tweeted that she was monitoring the situation and expressed condolences for the victims.
“My administration will not stop fighting the epidemic of gun violence from every angle possible,” she wrote.
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