Ten minutes of chaos: Authorities identify gunman, provide details in Farmington shooting - Albuquerque Journal

Ten minutes of chaos: Authorities identify gunman, provide details in Farmington shooting

Evidence markers remain after a shooting on the First Church of Christ, Scientist property in Farmington, N.M. on Tuesday, May 16, 2023. (Jon Austria/Albuquerque Journal)

FARMINGTON — Police say an 18-year-old Farmington High School student walked out of his home on Dustin Avenue and roamed up and down the street late Monday morning shooting indiscriminately at passing cars. Minutes later, Beau Wilson was killed in an exchange of gunfire with several officers

In all, officials said at least 150 rounds were fired along a quarter-mile stretch of road.

Three women, all over the age of 70, were killed. Six others, including two police officers, were injured.

At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Farmington Police Deputy Chief Baric Crum identified the women killed as 79-year-old Shirley Voita, 97-year-old Gwendolyn Schofield and Schofield’s daughter, 73-year-old Melody Ivie.

Schofield and Ivie died at the scene. Voita was taken to San Juan Regional Medical Center, where she died.

Several others, ranging in age from 30s to 70s, were injured by gunfire or shattering glass as their windows were shot out.

Rachel Discenza (Farmington Police)

At least six houses along the busy street lined with churches and homes abutting a quiet middle class neighborhood were struck by bullets, although all those who were injured in the explosion of gunfire were in vehicles.

Farmington Police Department sergeant Rachel Discenza was shot in the pelvic region during the shootout with Wilson. New Mexico State Police officer Andreas Stamatiadas was injured by gunfire while driving to the scene. Both have been treated and released.

Farmington Mayor Nate Duckett, center, speaks during a press conference, flanked by San Juan County Sheriff Shane Ferrari, left, Farmington Fire Chief Robert Sterrett, FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ruben Marchand Morales, New Mexico State Police Chief Tim Johnson and Farmington Deputy Chief Baric Crum at the Farmington Civic Center on Tuesday, May 16, 2023. (Jon Austria/Albuquerque Journal)

‘Appears to be purely random’

At the news conference, Farmington Police Deputy Chief Kyle Dowdy said Wilson used three different weapons, including an “AR-style rifle” he bought legally in November and two other guns that belonged to family members. Dowdy wasn’t sure if the family members knew Wilson had those guns.

Neither of Wilson’s parents could be reached for comment. Dowdy said the department is still investigating.

“It’s important to note that this incident appears to be purely random and had no specific targets or motives that we can identify at this time,” Dowdy said.

He said Wilson had some “minor infractions as a juvenile but nothing that would rise to the level of any serious crime.”

“We have come across some indication that potentially he had some mental health issues and that’s through interviews with involved parties in his life…,” Dowdy said. “In subsequent interviews there has been some concern about his mental health.”

Flowers lay on the ground near the entrance of the Farmington home of the 18-year-old shooter who killed three women during a mass shooting Monday. (Jon Austria/Albuquerque Journal)

Shooting timeline

It was 10 minutes between when police say a Ring video captured the first shots fired outside Wilson’s father’s house at 10:56 a.m. and when he was killed in an exchange of gunfire in front of the First Church of Christ, Scientist a couple of blocks away.

Dowdy, Farmington deputy police chief, provided this timeline of Monday’s shooing:

  • 10:56 a.m.: A Ring doorbell in the neighborhood captures Wilson firing shots in the vicinity.
  • 10:57 a.m. (approximately): Officers from the Farmington Police Department are dispatched to the area of Ute and North Dustin following reports of shots fired.
  • 11:02 a.m.: Shots are continuously being fired by Wilson as officers arrive on scene.
  • 11:06 a.m. Wilson and responding Farmington Police officers fire shots at one another in the 700 block of North Dustin. Wilson was shot and an officer was shot almost simultaneously. Wilson is later pronounced deceased on the scene.

One neighbor, who lives next to the church, said she watched Wilson walk down the street and “he looked like he had a mission.”

She said he went around behind the church and then “came back out yelling at the cops and ended up getting shot.”

Four Farmington Police Department officers shot Wilson and that part of the incident is now being investigated by the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies, which is standard for police-involved shootings.

San Juan County Sheriff’s deputies also responded to the scene while it was active, along with State Police officers. The FBI is assisting with the investigation into the incident.

“There is no doubt yesterday that countless lives were saved by the heroic actions of our law enforcement agents from multiple departments who addressed this threat head-on,” said Farmington Mayor Nate Duckett. “I was made aware last night that three of our responding Farmington police officers were at lunch when the call came in and responded to this call without body armor.”

Journal staff writers Esteban Candelaria and Elizabeth Tucker contributed to this report.

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