By Andrew Hay
(Reuters) -An 18-year-old gunman shot three people to death and wounded several others, including two police officers, in a northwest New Mexico town on Monday before police shot him dead outside a church a short time later, police said.
The shooting unfolded in a residential area of Farmington, New Mexico, about 180 miles (290 km) northwest of Albuquerque, but few additional details from authorities were immediately available.
Two officers were wounded in an exchange of gunfire with the suspect, and there were multiple civilian victims, at least three of whom died, the Farmington Police Department said in a statement posted online.
Farmington Deputy Police Chief Baric Crum said later in a news briefing that a total of nine people, not counting the suspect, were injured in the shooting, but it was not clear whether that tally included the three who died.
The gunman, who was identified only as an 18-year-old, was believed to have acted alone, police said. There was no information provided about the three people killed, and no motive was readily apparent.
“We are still trying to determine why he was in this neighborhood,” Crum told reporters.
Some of the incident was captured in video footage posted to the social media platform TikTok and confirmed as authentic by Farmington police spokesperson Shanice Gonzales.
It shows a man dressed in black pacing around a driveway outside the First Church of Christ Scientist, carrying what appears to be a handgun, before he is later seen being shot dead by police in front of the building.
The man who apparently was recording the video is heard describing the scene to someone else and referring to the suspect walking in circles beside the church. He then says, “There’s a person laying the middle of the street.”
The two injured officers, one from the Farmington Police Department and one from New Mexico State Police, were listed in stable condition at San Juan Regional Medical Center, according to police.
The gun violence prompted security lockdowns at several public schools in Farmington, a city of about 46,000 residents. Police said after the suspect was killed that there was no longer a threat to the public, and the lockdowns were lifted.
Farmington, a commercial hub for oil and gas drilling and a shopping destination for the nearby Navajo Nation and smaller towns in the so-called four-corners area where the states of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah meet, has experienced at least two other high-profile incidents of deadly gun violence in recent years.
“This serves as yet another reminder of how gun violence destroys lives in our state and our country every single day,” New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a statement.
Police in Farmington last month killed an armed homeowner at his own house, then exchanged gunfire with his wife, after officers showed up at the wrong address in response to a domestic violence call.
Farmington also was the scene of a deadly high school shooting in December 2017 in which a gunman killed two students before taking his own life.
Monday’s carnage is among the latest in at least 225 mass shootings recorded in the United States this year, according to the nonprofit group Gun Violence Archive. The group defines a mass shooting as any in which four or more people are wounded or killed, not including the shooter.
This story originally appeared on Investing