Cops Say New Mexico Mass Shooter Had a Note

Shooter identified as teen who would have graduated high school the next day
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2023 4:20 PM CDT
New Mexico Mass Shooter Was High School Senior
This photo provided by the Farmington Police department shows what authorities say is a handwritten note found on an 18-year-old high school student who killed three women with an indiscriminate spray of gunfire before he was fatally shot by police officers in a gunfight on Monday, May 15, 2023.   (Farmington Police Dept. Via AP)

The man who was killed in a shootout with police after he fatally shot three people in Farmington, New Mexico Monday has been identified as Beau Wilson, an 18-year-old high school senior who was due to graduate the next day. Police say the gunman fired on cars and homes apparently at random. The Albuquerque Journal reports that all three people he killed were women over 70 who were shot in cars. Gwendolyn Schofield, 97, and her 73-year-old daughter Melody Ivie, a well-known preschool educator, died at the scene. Shirley Voita, 79, died in the hospital. Six people were injured, including two police officers.

Police say that after firing shots from his father's home, Wilson walked out wearing a bulletproof vest. He had a note in his pocket that said "If your (sic) reading this I’m the end of the chapter" and "lay eyes or (dare) put a finger on my little sister I promise there will be regrets." Police said Wednesday that they're not aware of any issues with the shooter's sister and they found no other notes, the Journal reports. Police said Wilson bought the AR-15-style rifle used in the shooting legally in November, the month after he turned 18, and he bought three magazine for it two days before the shooting. The two other weapons he used belonged to a family member, police said.

Police said family members told them Wilson was "struggling with mental health issues," but there was no "significant indication" something would happen that day. Wilson was a student at Farmington High School, which went ahead with its commencement ceremony Tuesday night, NBC reports. Farmington Municipal Schools spokesperson Roberto Taboada said it was "the best way to honor our students for their accomplishments, dedication, and unwavering commitment to our community." Speakers at the ceremony talked of resilience and hope, the AP reports. (More mass shootings stories.)

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