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Who was Beau Wilson?

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Farmington Police release more information about shooter

Farmington Police released more information about Beau Wilson, the 18-year-old who shot and killed three women, along with injuring a multitude of other people, in Farmington, N.M., May 15.

During a May 17 press conference, Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe said the shooter had access to more than 1,400 rounds of ammo. The shooter used an AR-15 and two pistols and had access to 10 other weapons at his father’s house, where he was staying.

When Wilson began his rampage by shooting from within his home, he used an AR-15. These initial shots injured multiple people.

Wilson left his residence, reportedly leaving the AR-15 in the bushes. He then took the two pistols, a .9mm and a .22mm, with him as he began walking down the street and firing at homes and cars in the neighborhood.

Hebbe also said that Wilson was wearing a bullet-proof vest at the beginning of the incident. The vest was believed to have been homemade, with steel plates inside it. However, by the time police confronted him in front of the First Church of Christ Scientist, 713 N. Dustin Ave., he had removed the vest.

Officers found a note in Wilson’s pocket.

“The note refers to this being, sort of, his final event, and that if anyone messes with his sister, there will be problems,” Hebbe said.

Hebbe also said they were looking to have a conversation with Wilson’s family to see if there was an issue with his sister.

“So far, we have not been able to find anyone that could go into details on that, that knows anything about it,” Hebbe said. “It does not appear that there was any sort of significant event with his sister right before this event.”

While the Farmington Police have not directly mentioned a motive, Beau’s sister released a statement on social media in which she states that her brother was battling mental health problems:

“We would like to start by sending our condolences to all of the victims and their loved ones. We know that the community and families involved are dealing with a lot of pain. My brother was fighting a battle of mental illness that he lost. He was set to graduate on Tuesday. This is all very shocking to us as we only knew him as a kind-hearted young man that loved his family and friends dearly. We understand that a lot of people are experiencing many emotions. We are also grieving the loss of our brother, son, grandson, uncle and friend. We once again just want to send our condolences and deepest sympathy to everyone involved. We will continue to pray and search for answers.”

During a May 16 press conference, Farmington Deputy Police Chief Baric Crum said the crime scene was “nearly a quarter-mile” long, along North Dustin Avenue between Apache and Ute streets.

From the first shot to the moment Wilson was killed, the incident lasted eight minutes, ending when he was shot by police outside the church.

Police identified the victims as: Shirley Voita, 79, Gwendolyn Schofield, 97, and Melody Ivie, 73. Schofield and Ivie, mother and daughter, were traveling in a car when they were shot.

Six people, including two police officers — Farmington Police Sgt. Rachel Discenza and New Mexico State Police Officer Andreas Stamatiadis — were injured, and transported to the San Juan Regional Medical Center. Stamatiadis, who was shot while driving to the scene, and the four civilians were treated and released from the hospital. Discenza is reportedly recovering from a wound to her pelvis.

Seven more people were reportedly treated at the scene for injuries such as cuts from flying glass.

Hebbe expressed remorse during the May 17 press conference. At the time of the shooting, he was in Wisconsin visiting his father. He said that as soon as he heard the news from one of his officers he and his wife began the trip back to New Mexico.

“It is a difficult thing to have such a strong connection with the community and with the department and know that we’re in the middle of something like this and know that I’m not there,” Hebbe said. “It was very difficult.”

Staff Reports