FARMINGTON, N.M. -- At least three people were killed and several others were wounded Monday, including two police officers, in a northwestern New Mexico community before law enforcement fatally shot the 18-year-old suspect, authorities said.
The shootings occurred at around 11 a.m. in Farmington, a city of about 50,000 people that serves as a modern-day trading post to the adjacent Navajo Nation reservation and is a supply line and bedroom community to the region's oil and natural gas industry.
Officers responding to several calls about a shooting found "a chaotic scene" where a man was firing at people on a residential street, Farmington Police Deputy Chief Baric Crum said during a news conference.
Police confronted the suspected shooter before fatally shooting him. They found three people dead.
Crum did not identify the suspect and said he didn't know the ages of any of the victims.
"Besides the suspect himself, who is deceased, there were nine other people injured," Crum said, adding that police were trying to determine why he was in the neighborhood.
It was not immediately clear if the number of injured included the officers who were wounded. The two, who work for Farmington police and the State Police, were reported to be in stable condition at the San Juan Regional Medical Center.
"There are no other known threats at this time," police said, adding that city, San Juan County and State Police were involved.
Investigators will now have to look at a crime scene that spans several blocks, according to Crum. Police are asking for anyone with information to come forward.
"What we now need from our community is anybody that has any additional information, whether that be eyewitness information or video information or whatever it may be, if you feel it's pertinent," Crum said.
After the shootings were reported, the city's schools were placed on what officials called "preventative lockdown."
Middle school teacher Nick Akins, whose home is on a street that police locked down, described the neighborhood as a mostly great place to live, with a mix of homes, short-term rental apartments and churches.
"It's not like the roughest area in town, but it can be," he said. "We have great neighbors and rentals, people who come and go. We don't always know everyone."
Seeing Farmington in the national spotlight for yet another mass shooting, particularly one that occurred on his street, was surreal for him.
"You never think it's going to happen here and all of a sudden, in a tiny little town it comes here," Akins said.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a statement that she was praying for the families of the victims and that the incident "serves at yet another reminder of how gun violence destroys lives in our state and our country every single day." The governor, a Democrat, did not describe any other circumstances of the deadly confrontation.
"Today, gun violence took the lives of our elders, wounded two police officers, and paralyzed Farmington's small community in fear," U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez, a Democrat, whose district includes the area, said on Facebook. "I praise the heroes who drove to danger to stop the violence. I pray for the quick recovery of the wounded and for the families of those we lost."
"Our beautiful Nuevo Mexico is not immune to the mass shootings that occur across the country - Every. Single. Day," the message said.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives tweeted that agents from Phoenix were headed to Farmington to assist in the investigation.
Farmington is not far from where New Mexico borders Colorado, Utah and Arizona. In recent years, cafes and breweries have cropped up downtown alongside decades-old businesses that trade in Native American crafts from silver jewelry to wool weavings. Traveling Broadway shows make regular stops at the expansive community center auditorium, while rural lots on the outskirts are littered with disassembled oilfield equipment.
Last month Farmington police shot and killed a man at his front door after they went to the wrong address while responding to a domestic violence call.