3 People Killed by New Mexico Gunman Who Shot and Wounded 2 Officers, Police Say

3 People Killed by New Mexico Gunman Who Shot and Wounded 2 Officers, Police Say
Investigators work along a residential street following a deadly shooting in Farmington, N.M., on May 15, 2023. (Susan Montoya Bryan/AP Photo)

FARMINGTON, N.M.—Three people were killed and two police officers were among at least seven people injured Monday when an 18-year-old opened fire in a northwestern New Mexico community before law enforcement fatally shot the suspect, authorities said.

The shootings occurred around 11 a.m. in Farmington, a city of about 50,000 people near the Utah state line that is a supply line and bedroom community to the region’s oil and natural gas industry.

Officers responding to several calls about a shooting found “a chaotic scene” where a man was firing at people on a residential street, Farmington Police Deputy Chief Baric Crum said 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. Police were trying to determine why he was in the neighborhood.

San Juan Regional Medical Center received seven injured people, including a Farmington police officer and a State Police officer. Roberta Rogers, a hospital spokesperson, would not comment on their status.

The two officers were in stable condition, according to Crum.

Mayor Nate Duckett said in a statement that both had been shot but their injuries were not life-threatening.

“Today, our community experienced a horrific tragedy that claimed the lives of three innocent citizens and injured several others,” Duckett said, adding that the shooting “has left us reeling in anguish and disbelief.”

Farmington police have not responded to repeated requests for further details about the injured.

“There are no other known threats at this time,” police said, adding that city, San Juan County and State Police officers were involved.

Joseph Robledo, a 32-year-old tree trimmer, said he rushed home after learning that his wife and 1-year-old daughter had sought shelter in the laundry room when gunshots rang out. A bullet went through his daughter’s window and room, without hitting anyone.

Robledo jumped a fence to get in through the back door. Out front 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.

Robledo’s own family car was perforated with bullets.

“We’ve been doing yard work all last week. I just thank God that nobody was outside in front,” he said. “Obviously, elderly people—he didn’t have no sympathy for them. Who’s to say he would have sympathy for a little kid.”

Investigators will now have to look at a crime scene that 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.

After the shootings were reported, the city’s schools were placed on what officials called “preventative lockdown.”

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives wrote on Twitter that agents from Phoenix were headed to Farmington to assist in the investigation.

Farmington is not far from where New Mexico borders Colorado, Utah, and Arizona. In recent years, cafes and breweries have cropped up downtown alongside decades-old businesses that trade in Native American crafts from silver jewelry to wool weavings.

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