Beau Wilson was named as the 18-year-old shooting suspect who police say roamed through a Farmington, New Mexico, neighborhood, randomly shooting and killing three senior citizens and injuring six others, including two police officers, on May 15, 2023. Police shot and killed Wilson, Farmington police said.
Farmington police Deputy Chief Kyle Dowdy released Wilson’s name during a May 16, 2023, news conference. Dowdy said that Wilson, who was armed with three firearms, including an AR-style rifle, had only minor infractions as a juvenile and that they are still searching for a motive for the shooting.
A video emerged that appeared to show Wilson pacing near a building with a gun before he was shot by the police. You can watch it later in this article, but be forewarned that it is graphic and disturbing.
The victims were identified by Farmington police Deputy Chief Baric Crum as Shirley Voita, 79; Melody Ivie, 73; and Gwendolyn Schofield, 97, according to The Albuquerque Journal.
Each of the women was traveling in a car, police said. Two of the victims were a mother and daughter, Dowdy said. Four civilians were injured, Dowdy said. Farmington police Sergeant Rachel Discenza and New Mexico State Police officer Andreas Stamatiadis were the two officers who were injured, according to KQRE. They were expected to survive, police Chief Steve Hebbe said. KQRE reported that Stamatiadis was treated and released and Discenza was recovering from a pelvic wound.
Hebbe said in an earlier video news release that the suspect engaged in a series of shootings throughout about a quarter of a mile of the city, toting three weapons, including an AR-style rifle, during what he dubbed a “rampage.”
“It appears to be completely random,” he said.
“Three women were senselessly shot today,” a person wrote on the Farmington police Facebook page. “One was my sister’s dear friend. A retired school nurse coming from church ⛪️ going to her car.”
Farmington is a city of about 45,000 in the northwestern corner of the state, about 19 miles south of the Colorado-New Mexico state line.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Farmington Police Said Beau Wilson Was a Student at Farmington High School Who Purchased 1 of the Firearms Legally in November 2022
Speaking in the news conference, Dowdy said Wilson was a student at Farmington High School. He was armed with multiple firearms, including an AR-style rifle, Dowdy said.
“We are still investigating how he came into possession of those firearms. But we do know that he did purchase one legally in November 2022,” said Dowdy, who added that Wilson turned 18 in October 2022. He said a family member was the legal owner of the other two firearms but did not identify that person.
Police said there is no evidence Wilson knew any of the victims. Dowdy said the shooting was “arbitrary” and random. “He was shooting indiscriminately,” Dowdy said. Most of the victims were driving through the area in their vehicles, police said.
“At this point, we haven’t determined any link between the victims and the suspect. … We have discovered nothing that leads us to believe that the suspect knew any of the people. There’s no indication that that’s going to change,” Dowdy said. “This was completely random. The shooting was arbitrary and up and down the street. Approximately a quarter of a mile crime scene. So pretty large and vast, and he was just shooting indiscriminately.”
A video that appears to show the Farmington shooter went viral.
Be forewarned that the language in it is graphic. “He’s shooting at the f****** cops,” a man says in the video, as a figure in black with what appears to be a gun paces around by the side of a building.
The man says, “Holy f***, dog. There’s this guy. I’m watching a guy shoot at the f****** cops with an extended clip right now, dog. Holy f***.”
Continues the narrator: “He shot at me too, dog,” and says, “There’s a person laying in the middle of the street. He’s just walking in f****** circles with the f****** Glock with an extended clip.”
The man with the gun falls to the ground. “Oh, wow, f****** idiot. I just watched him die,” says the video’s narrator.
Farmington Mayor Nate Duckett said in the news conference, “Yesterday our community was shaken to the core.” He said he was addressing citizens in a continued spirit of hope and healing. He said the community needs to come together to show its “true character.” Duckett said countless lives were saved by the “heroic” actions by law enforcement officers.
The first shots-fired report was called in to police around 10:57 a.m., Hebbe said in the earlier news conference. Five minutes later, an officer arrived and, three minutes after that, shots were fired by officers and the suspect was down, Hebbe said. Three officers at lunch and responded to the call without body armor, the mayor said. Duckett said there were many “acts of bravery” in the neighborhood.
2. Beau Wilson Spoke to People Who Weren’t There at a Halloween Sleepover & Was ‘Different,’ a Friend Says
A 16-year-old boy who knew Wilson told The Albuquerque Journal that he saw on TikTok a video of Wilson being shot by police and that he could tell it was Wilson because of the way he was walking.
The teen, who was not named, told the newspaper: “I knew he was going to do something bad, but I didn’t think it was going to be something like that,” adding that Wilson was “different.”
He told the newspaper that at a Halloween sleepover Wilson had started talking to people who weren’t there.
“I was really confused,” the teenager told the newspaper. “I was, like, ‘Are you OK?’ He was, like, ‘Yeah.’ He said, ‘These voices just keep getting to me.’” He described Wilson as having a hard time meeting new people and recently selling his Xbox.
3. Police, Who Called the Shooting Rampage ‘Purely Random,’ Say They Are Speaking With Beau Wilson’s Family to Determine a Motive
Hebbe said in the video news release that it was “one of the most horrific and difficult days that Farmington has ever had as a community.”
He also said that police have not yet determined a motive. He said that police were talking with Wilson’s family members as they look for a motive for the shooting.
Dowdy said in the news conference that there were concerns raised about past mental health issues involving Wilson, but he did not elaborate. There were at least 150 rounds found at the crime scene, but it’s not clear how many were fired by the suspect, Dowdy said.
According to Hebbe, it was “difficult to understand how something like this happens. … It appears to be purely random. There were no schools, no churches and no individuals targeted,” Hebbe said.
A woman wrote on Facebook, “Please pray for my hometown of Farmington, New Mexico, for those grieving today’s deaths and who are left with trauma and fear.” She wrote that the shooter “was supposed to graduate from Farmington High School this week” and asked for people to pray for “his classmates who have to walk across the stage for their diploma on Tuesday.”
4. The Chief Says Beau Wilson ‘Roamed Throughout the Neighborhood,’ Randomly Firing ‘at Whatever Entered His Head to Shoot at’
Dowdy said the suspect “roamed through the neighborhood and indiscriminately fired at at least six houses and three vehicles.”
“At 10:56 a.m. a Ring doorbell in the neighborhood observed the suspect firing his first shots in the vicinity. At approximately 10:57 a.m., officers from the Farmington Police Department were dispatched to the area of Ute and North Dustin following reports of shots fired,” Dowdy said.
“At 11:02 as shots were still continuously being fired by the suspect, officers arrived on scene. At 11:06 a.m. shots were fired by multiple officers and the suspect. The suspect was shot and almost simultaneously an officer was shot. … The suspect was shot and was pronounced deceased on the scene.”
The police chief described how mobile the suspect was, saying he “roamed throughout the neighborhood up to a quarter of a mile.”
According to the chief, the suspect shot at at least six houses and three cars and “randomly fired at whatever entered his head to shoot at.”
He said the active shooter “engaged numerous citizens” and then was “engaged by the police before the rampage stopped.”
5. Beau Wilson Was Shot at Least 1 Time by Farmington Police
Hebbe said police shot the suspect at least one time, and he was killed at the scene by responding officers.
“I don’t even know what to say,” the chief said. “My deepest condolences to the family of the deceased.”
The chief said the scene was “chaotic” as dispatchers received nine different calls, and responding officers tried to pin down the suspect’s exact location.
Officers pinned down the suspect’s location, and there was an “exchange” of gunfire, said the chief.
A state police officer was also shot and drove himself to the hospital, Hebbe said.
The chief said that, initially, it was believed there could be a second shooter, but it’s now believed that the suspect acted alone.
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