Three boys injured in shooting at Farmington's Brookside Park

Incident took place near conclusion of Piedra Vista football game

Mike Easterling and Matt Hollinshead
Farmington Daily Times
A San Juan County sheriff's vehicle helps escort drivers out of the Farmington High School parking lot at East 20th Street and Sunset Avenue following Friday's Piedra Vista-Highland football game amid a search for a shooting suspect.

FARMINGTON — Several shots were fired and three boys were injured during an incident at Brookside Park tonight, leading the Farmington Police Department to search for the suspect and implement a lockdown at nearby Farmington High School.

A pair of victims, both teenagers, were transported to the San Juan Regional Medical Center with nonlife-threatening injuries, Farmington police said in a press release. A third victim, another teenage boy, sustained minor injuries and was released at the scene, police said.

The suspect remained at large tonight.

The incident took place near the intersection of East 20th Street and North Dustin Avenue in northwest Farmington, a short distance from Hutchison Stadium, where the Piedra Vista High School football team was playing Highland High School. As the game was ending, an announcement was made directing members of the crowd to remain in the stadium as the search for the shooter unfolded.

A supervisor at the San Juan County dispatch center said the first report of the shooting came at 8:23 p.m. He said approximately seven shots had been fired, and injuries had been reported.

The Farmington Police Department quickly set up a command post at the scene and began searching for the suspect. The supervisor at the dispatch center said the shooter was described as wearing black clothing.

A post on the Farmington Municipal School District Facebook page said players and fans were being escorted out of the stadium's north side section by section. Traffic departing the game was being directed north on to Sunset Avenue by police and away from the apparent search for the suspect.

Members of the PV cheer, dance and football teams who did not have their own transportation to the game were advised by the PA system to meet in the old Scorpion basketball gym, where the plan was to have them join their parents.

Reaction to the shooting at the stadium among crowd members was mostly calm, though many fans appeared anxious. The incident cast a pall over the crowd despite the Panthers' 41-7 victory.

“That’s definitely stressful. But it’s all in God’s hands. We’ll be all right,” Piedra Vista quarterback Cameron Swarts said. “That’s pretty crazy that it happened.”

Swarts said people initially seemed confused because it was hard to hear the announcement over the public-address system.

Swarts said the fact that the shooting reportedly happened during the game made it a “good time to be distracted.”

“It’s scary because you don’t know if that person’s still out there,” Piedra Vista student Mia Morgan said, adding she also saw a female officer holding a machine gun near the scene. “It’s definitely not cool that this is happening and that this goes on in Farmington.”

Morgan said people exiting the stadium were trying to stay calm and get home safely.

Hayden Evans, a Farmington High student who attended the game, described the mood inside Hutchison Stadium as “on edge.”

“What we’re looking at is a bunch of cop cars going up both sides. You could be pretty freaked out here leaving here tonight,” Evans said.

Piedra Vista football coach Jared Howell said he was confident Farmington police had the situation in hand.

“I didn’t feel like we were in danger or anything,” Howell said. “There (were) police all over the place. They were on top of it. I wasn’t worried.”

Police reopened Dustin Avenue at 11:15 and Brookside Drive a little before midnight. The case remained under investigation.

Anyone with information about the shooting is urged to call dispatch at 505-334-6622.