An 18-year-old gunman has killed at least three people and wounded six others, including two police officers, in America’s latest mass shooting. The incident in northwestern New Mexico ended when the lone suspect was shot dead by responding officers, police said.
The killings occurred on Monday in the city of Farmington, home to about 46,000, in the Four Corners region where the state borders of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado meet. Police gave no details on the shooter other than his age and gender.
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Schools in the area were locked down at 11:15 a.m. as police responded to the gunfire, on a street lined with homes and churches. Minutes after the first officer arrived at the scene the gunnman was shot, Farmington police chief Steve Hebbe said. The lockdown order was lifted nearly two hours later, after local authorities concluded that there were no other suspects involved.
Hebbe said the gunman appeared to be shooting at whatever “entered his head” without targeting any specific individuals, homes or churches. The suspect shot at least six houses and three cars, using at least three weapons, including an AR-15-style rifle.
The two injured officers – one from the Farmington Police Department and the other from the New Mexico State Police – are in a stable condition at the San Juan Regional Medical Center.
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The Farmington incident comes two days after a shooting in Yuma, Arizona, which left two people dead and five wounded. Earlier this month eight were killed, not counting the gunman, and at least seven injured in a shooting at a shopping mall in Allen, Texas.
There have been more than 550 mass killings – incidents in which four or more victims died – in the US since 2006, according to a database maintained by the Associated Press and USA Today. Gun violence accounts for more than 80% of the 2,880 people killed in those incidents.
“I am deeply upset by the tragic violence that unfolded today in Farmington,” New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a statement on Monday. “I am praying for the families of the victims, the wounded and the entire community of Farmington following this horrific tragedy.” She added that her administration “will not stop fighting the epidemic of gun violence from every angle possible.”