The New Mexico teen, who killed three senior citizens in a “purely random” onslaught, was supposed to graduate from high school Tuesday, a little more than 24 hours after the horrific attack, officials said.
Beau Wilson, 18, was killed by Farmington police, who confronted him shortly after 11 a.m. Monday, Deputy Police Chief Kyle Dowdy told reporters.
Wilson was a student at Farmington High School, which held the commencement ceremonies Tuesday evening for his 12th-grade classmates, officials said.
"I can confirm he would’ve graduated last night," Farmington Municipal Schools spokesperson Roberto Taboada said in a statement Wednesday.
Police identified the three slain women as Shirley Voita, 79, Melody Ivie, 73, and Gwendolyn Schofield, 97. Schofield was Ivie's mother.
"Shirley, Melody and Gwendolyn were valued members of our community and their untimely deaths have left a void that will never be filled," Deputy Police Chief Baric Crum said.
All of the victims appeared to be well-known and -liked in the tight-knit community in the Four Corners region of New Mexico.
"I knew Shirley Voita; just a saint," former state Rep. James Strickler said Tuesday. "We go to the same Catholic church. She went to Mass that morning with my wife, and she was caught up in this. "
Ivie was a well-respected preschool teacher, Strickler said.
"So it’s a very small town. Everybody knows everybody," he said.
Dowdy said a doorbell camera captured what police believe were Wilson's first shots, fired at 10:56 a.m., a minute before Farmington police officers were dispatched to the neighborhood near Ute Street and Dustin Avenue.
The officers arrived at 11:02 a.m. to find Wilson opening fire; he was brought down at 11:06 a.m., police said.
"The suspect was shot, and almost simultaneously as well, an officer was shot," Dowdy said.
The gunman appeared to fire at random, as at least six houses and three cars were hit by gunfire in the quarter-mile-long crime scene, police said.
The gunman and officers fired more than 150 rounds, Dowdy said.
"I can't say who fired what yet, because I'm not sure," he said. "So on the scene so far, and we're still counting [because] that's legitimately going to go up, at this point we found approximately 150 [rounds] exchanged."
Police said they have not immediately been able to make any connection between Wilson and his victims, who were in cars when they were fatally wounded.
“It appears to be purely random and had no specific targets or motives that we can identify at this time," Dowdy said.
Two members of law enforcement — Farmington Police Sgt. Rachel Discenza and New Mexico State Police Officer Andreas Stamatiadas — were injured but have been released from the hospital, Mayor Nate Duckett said.
Discenza has been with the Farmington department for 10 years. Stamatiadas, a four-year veteran, was wounded driving to the scene, officials said.
San Juan County Sheriff Shane Ferrari said his agency has been tasked with investigating the response of the police officer who fired 16 shots.
The teenager used at least three weapons, including what Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe called an AR-style rifle.
School officials said they believed moving forward with the high school's commencement, despite Monday's tragedy, was in the community's best interest.
"Farmington High School’s graduation last night was the best way to honor our students for their accomplishments, dedication, and unwavering commitment to our community," Taboada said.