Police ID teen shooter and 3 elderly victims in ‘random’ attack on Farmington neighborhood

By: - May 17, 2023 4:30 am

Bullet holes with evidence markers at the house where a gunman was standing shooting at random people on N Dustin Avenue on May 16, 2023 in Farmington, New Mexico. The 18-year-old gunman killed three and injured two police officers and was ultimately shot and killed by responding officers on May 15th. (Photo by Roberto E. Rosales / Getty Images)

Farmington police Tuesday identified the teen shooter who killed three and injured at least six while walking through a neighborhood Monday as Farmington High School student Beau Wilson. Police have not yet identified a motive.

Two of the three people killed died at the scene and were mother and daughter, 98-year-old Gwendolyn Schofield and 73-year-old Melody Ivie. Police said a third victim, 79-year-old Shirley Voita, died after being transported to an area hospital. Farmington Police Deputy Chief Baric Crum said four other civilians were injured in the shooting.

“All parties were actually driving through this area when he opened fire upon them while they were in their vehicles,” Crum said.

Two responding officers — Farmington Policy Sgt. Rachel Discenza and State Police officer Andreas Stamatiads — were treated for gunshot wounds and have since been released.

U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez held a moment of silence for the victims on the House floor Tuesday. She said she imagines a world where people can be at peace in their neighborhood.

“Sadly, that peace is shattered by gun violence somewhere in America every single day,” she said.

She said she’s committed to banning assault-style guns, “especially for an 18-year-old.”

Police said Wilson used three firearms in the shooting, including one long gun that he legally acquired in November 2022, the month after he turned 18. They said the other two guns were owned by a family member. Deputy Chief Kyle Dowdy said it’s unclear if that gun owner will be charged.

“This incident appears to be purely random and had no specific targets or motives that we can identify at this time,” he said.

Dowdy said, however, that Wilson did live in the neighborhood, which was around East Ute Street and North Dustin Avenue.

Police said the shooting lasted just 10 minutes. A doorbell camera caught Wilson’s first shots on passing cars and homes at 10:56 a.m. Monday. Responding officers shot and killed him at 11:06 a.m. Police said hundreds of area residents called 911 to report the shots.

Farmington Mayor Nate Duckett said some of those neighbors came out of their homes to point responding officers in the direction of the shooter.

“There were many acts of bravery that I’m sure we’ll hear stories about for months to come,” he said. “I extend my thanks to those citizens who provided that support.”

Farmington police continue to investigate the shooting and said they’ll provide daily 2 p.m. updates to the public. Meanwhile, the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the use of force by the Farmington officers who shot and killed the suspect.

The City of Farmington is hosting a vigil for the victims at the Farmington Museum Wednesday at 6 p.m.

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Nash Jones, KUNM News
Nash Jones, KUNM News

Nash Jones (they/them) grew up in Albuquerque and returned home in 2017 after 11 years away living in Portland, OR, and Oakland, CA. Storytelling and community education have consistently been at the core of Nash’s varied career and are, in part, what brought them to KUNM, first as a volunteer host with Spoken Word Hour and NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday, then as a staff member in the KUNM newsroom, hosting Morning Edition (2018-2021) and reporting. Nash currently hosts NPR's All Things Considered and continues to report for KUNM.