ALBUQUERQUE, NM — Hundreds of frantic calls were made to dispatchers about a barrage of gunfire and bloodied victims along a busy street during this month’s deadly Farmington shooting, prompting authorities to rush to the chaotic scene not knowing what was in store .
Out of breath and guns drawn, the officers ran towards the shooter. More shots were fired and a policeman shouted, “Subject down! Cease fire, cease fire!” Another officer shot in the leg was placed in a squad car and taken to a nearby hospital.
The next few minutes were a shambles as authorities combed the neighborhood for a possible second shooter, while other officers gathered to find out how far the crime scene extended and which vehicles had been hit by gunfire.
Hours of police body and dash cam footage released Friday, along with hundreds of dispatch footage, paint a vivid picture of the May 15 shooting that rocked the northwestern New Mexico community. Three women were killed and six others injured – all at the hands of an 18-year-old lone gunman who was killed by police officers.
Calls to 911 convey the mounting chaos as residents called in the location of bullet-scarred vehicles, including an abandoned car with an open door and a shattered windshield. Others helped a woman hit by shards of glass inside her car.
“A lady is in the car. And it looks like a bullet went through the windshield and she’s bleeding profusely,” one person told the emergency dispatcher.
As officers gathered around a corner, they tried to understand what they were hearing from dispatchers and witnesses and take stock of their colleagues and the victims who had been taken to the hospital. One asked if it was a traffic stop gone wrong.
“No, just shots fired,” Detective Christopher Stanton replied. “People started calling, ‘Hey, we’re getting a bunch of shots here — 30, 40 rounds, and then they started showing up.”
He spoke about a woman believed to be the first victim. A bullet went through his windshield as she drove down a street lined with houses and churches. Shards flew and there were more shots, and she pulled into a side street not knowing where they were coming from.
Meanwhile, dispatchers juggled calls to 911 in quick succession, extracting details from agitated callers with shaky voices.
“There’s a lady here, she’s bleeding right now,” said one person who called a dispatcher, who provided first aid instructions.
Another call came from inside a house: “We heard screaming and crying,” the woman said.
In another 911 audio recording, labeled “Suspects Mother,” a woman said her son was suffering from depression and feared he might have been involved in the shooting. The woman’s identity could not be immediately confirmed.
“I’m just worried. I have a son who is very, very depressed and I’m driving by and wondering if you could give me some information. You know, he might be fine. He is really depressed and I was really worried.
Authorities said the gunman, Beau Wilson, 18, fired more than 190 shots during the stampede, most of them from the home he shared with his father.
Video released on Friday showed officers entering the suspect’s home to clean it up, guns drawn, shouting, “Farington Police!”
Family photos covered one wall near the front door, with a framed cross in the middle. Used wrappers were strewn across the front porch, where authorities said the gunman stepped out that morning and began firing indiscriminately at passing vehicles.
Left dead were Farmington residents Gwendolyn Dean Schofield, 97, her 73-year-old daughter Melody Ivie and 79-year-old Shirley Voita, police said.
The audio recordings included a distressed call from a daughter of Ivie’s after news reached her in Salt Lake City that her mother and grandmother had been killed.
“They were shot and killed this morning, possibly on their way to pick up my nephew from school, and I don’t know if there’s anything you can tell me,” said Julianne Hamblin.
Audio conversations also indicated the large scale of the police response, including coordinating an aircraft to possibly bring in more officers. Some off-duty police officers were called and others cut short calls across town to rush to the scene.
“There’s a guy walking around in black pants and a black shirt and a gun, and he’s shooting randomly. … He’s been walking down Dustin (Avenue),” a woman said on another 911 call.
“Can you see what kind of weapon it is?” asked the dispatcher.
The shooter had a rifle and two handguns, authorities later confirmed.
Videos showed officers combing the neighborhood, talking to residents and asking if they were okay. Others placed tape at the crime scene and marked the location of evidence.
Two police officers were posted near the shooter’s body to ensure the scene was not disturbed. One seemed surprised at how young the suspect was, saying he looked about the same age as his son.
“Crazy,” he said. “Crazy.”
Associated Press journalists Scott Sonner in Reno, Nevada, and Rio Yamat and Ty O’Neil in Las Vegas, Nevada contributed to this report.