Home surveillance video records New Mexico gunman saying 'come kill me' during deadly rampage
FARMINGTON, N.M. ― Videos released Thursday of the deadly rampage in northwest New Mexico show the chaos and terror moments after an 18-year-old gunman opened fire this week, with a recorded voice said to be the shooter urging the neighborhood to "come kill me."
Authorities released two home surveillance camera clips and two clips from body cameras worn by officers. The home surveillance camera clips reveal how Beau Wilson, 18, a Farmington High School student, shot and killed Shirley Voita, 79; Melody Ivie, 73; and Gwendolyn Schofield, 98 as they passed in vehicles through the Farmington, New Mexico, neighborhood shortly before 11 a.m. on May 15.
At least six other people were wounded in the shootings, which sent waves of grief rippling through the community of 50,000 people. They included two police officers, who have been released from medical care as they recover.
Near the end of the second home surveillance clip, after Wilson has fired dozens of rounds, the teen shooter can be heard calling out a haunting message to the neighborhood: "Come kill me!" he shouts before unleashing another round of fire from his assault rifle.
"He’s making a stand, he has opportunities to run off, he does not use those opportunities,” Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe said of Wilson. "So yes it’s my belief that ultimately in his head, he has made the decision that he is going to stand and fight it out until he is killed."
The third clip is body camera footage from an unidentified officer carrying a long rifle. Much of the field of vision is obscured as he carries his weapon in front of his body, but the video does capture the officer’s verbal and radio communication with citizens in the area and his fellow officers as he pursues Wilson on foot.
The officer begins by walking, but he accelerates to a sprint after spotting Wilson and issuing a description of him to other officers via his police radio. The officer orders Wilson to show his hands, but the shooter runs to a nearby church and resumes firing.
The officer gets back on his radio and calls for additional backup, continuing to pursue Wilson as additional police vehicles stream into the area. As officers emerge from those vehicles, the officer takes charge, telling his associates, "Right here, follow me!" He directs them toward a white house, previously identified by police as the First Church of Christ. That's where Wilson apparently decided to stop running.
The confrontation ends when Wilson is taken down in a volley of gunfire.
"Subject is down! Subject is down! Cease fire! Cease fire!” the officer behind the body camera can be heard saying. Officers later approach Wilson’s prone body, ordering him not to move, then handcuff him.
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Officer shot during the attack
The fourth clip is from the body camera worn by Sgt. Rachel Discenza, a 10-year veteran of the department and one of two officers wounded in the incident. After arriving at the scene in a squad car, Discenza runs toward the shooter and takes cover behind a row of shrubs on one side of a parking lot. She extends her arms in front of her body while gripping her service weapon with both hands.
Discenza follows two officers out from behind the protection of the shrubbery to the sidewalk and advances toward the shooter. Another burst of gunfire erupts, then Discenza staggers and falls into a prone position while exclaiming to officers, "I’m shot." Discenza tries to regain her footing, staggers, and falls again. The camera captures her right arm extended, still holding her gun.
When another officer asks Discenza where she has been hit, she responds, "My legs, I think." As an officer begins to administer aid to Discenza, he calls out for help.
“We got one hit. Give me a medic here for Sarge,” he says before turning back to Discenza.
“Just breathe. Just breathe,” he says over the sound of her huffing and puffing and approaching sirens.
Hebbe fielded questions at a briefing at the Farmington Civic Center after the video was shown to reporters. He acknowledged that the footage packed an emotional wallop.
"There’s a lot to be proud of if you’re a Farmington resident of the department," he said, adding it also is the source of considerable grief. When asked if he believed Wilson intentionally had placed himself in a position to be shot by police at the end of the confrontation, Hebbe said it is difficult to guess at the mindset of someone else.
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'It sounds like you’re watching Afghanistan or Iraq'
Hebbe was out of town at the time of the incident and monitored the situation over the phone with his staff. He returned to Farmington on Tuesday. He said there was nothing in the video that substantially altered his understanding of how the incident unfolded.
But he said he was taken aback by the number of shots that were fired and the ferocity of the exchange between his officers and the shooter.
"It sounds like you’re watching Afghanistan or Iraq," he said, comparing the situation to being in combat. "I was not prepared to see that and hear the volume of the shots."
Hebbe later said that while there are obvious limitations to the body camera footage, he was pleased to see that the video showed his officers employing many of the techniques they had learned during their active-shooter training exercises.
“What I liked best is you see a lot of the training we’ve done,” he said, adding that other footage that has not been released shows officers administering CPR to Wilson after he was shot.
Contributing: The Associated Press