The small community of Farmington, New Mexico, was left reeling on Monday after a shooting that left three people dead and several others injured. Among the injured were two police officers, who were responding to the multiple reports of shots fired.
According to Farmington Police Deputy Chief Baric Crum, the shootings occurred on a residential street in the city’s northwest corner, near the Utah state line. Police found “a chaotic scene” when they arrived, with an 18-year-old man firing at people indiscriminately.
Police confronted the suspect and fatally shot him. Three people were found dead at the scene, and several others were injured. The two police officers were taken to San Juan Regional Medical Center, where they were reported to be in stable condition.
The motive for the shooting is currently unknown, and police are urging anyone with information to come forward. The city’s schools were placed on lockdown as a precaution, and residents were advised to stay indoors while the police investigation was underway.
The incident has left the small community of Farmington in shock. Joseph Robledo, a tree trimmer who lives in the area, rushed home to find that his wife and daughter had taken shelter in their laundry room as the shooting unfolded. His daughter’s room was hit by a stray bullet, but no one was injured.
Robledo also found an older woman lying wounded in the street, having been hit by a bullet while driving by. He and others administered first aid while directing police to the suspect’s location.
“I just thank God that nobody was outside in front,” Robledo said. “Obviously, elderly people — he didn’t have no sympathy for them. Who’s to say he would have sympathy for a little kid.”
The incident has once again brought the issue of gun violence to the forefront of national attention. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham released a statement saying that she was praying for the families of the victims and that the incident was “yet another reminder of how gun violence destroys lives in our state and our country every single day.”
Farmington is a small city of about 50,000 people located near the borders of Colorado, Utah, and Arizona. In recent years, it has become a supply line and bedroom community to the region’s oil and natural gas industry, but still retains its small-town charm with cafes, breweries, and Native American craft stores. The motive for the shooting remains unknown, and police continue to investigate the scene.