The New Mexico teenager who gunned down three elderly women last week had mental health issues as he tried to cope with his parents’ pending divorce and recent departure from the high school wrestling team , according to a new report.
Beau Wilson, 18, unleashed a volley of gunfire on a residential street in Farmington, New Mexico last Monday, hours before he graduated from high school. The violent episode ended with his death after being shot by the police.
Authorities said an interview with his family and a note found in his pocket indicate Wilson had mental health issues.
BNC News reported that Wilson also struggled academically, particularly after leaving the wrestling team.
Wilson left the team in late February mainly due to a strained relationship with the head coach, according to one of his former teammates.
Beau Wilson, 18, a student at Farmington High School, was identified as the shooter who opened fire on several homes in New Mexico, killing people and injuring six others.
Lorry Rodriguez, Wilson’s mother, said her late son relied on the wrestling team to keep him grounded as his home and college life were in jeopardy.
“His life was going to be training, and when he didn’t have that, he had nothing,” she said. “He had nothing to work for. That’s all he knew.
Rodriguez blamed herself for being blind to the violence her son perpetrated against innocent victims. She said she knew he had bought a gun, but she wasn’t particularly worried about it.
“How did I not know?” I wonder that, she said.
She added that although her son was never formally diagnosed with a mental illness, he was “shy”, “isolated” and socially anxious.
At the time of the shooting, Wilson was living with his father in a home that contained an arsenal of weapons and ammunition, apparently legally owned, according to law enforcement. He bought an assault rifle last year after turning 18.
For six weeks after leaving the wrestling team, Beau reportedly did not attend school.
An anonymous individual close to Wilson told NBC that leaving the team “completely crushed him.”
“It was his identity. It was his happy place, where he didn’t have to worry about things and felt included. And then it’s gone instantly, while he has that other rough time. I’m sure it exacerbated that tremendously,” the person said.
Law enforcement at the scene of a shooting on North Dustin Avenue in Farmington on Monday
Former teammates said Wilson’s mental health issues were evident, but the teenager was reluctant to share details about his personal life or open up about his feelings.
“I tried to talk to him about it, but he wouldn’t talk about it,” said 18-year-old former team captain Ivan Smith Jr., who just graduated.
Authorities said on Monday a doorbell camera caught Wilson yelling, “Come and kill me,” during his rampage. He was wearing a bulletproof vest which he took off before officers shot him in the courtyard of a church.
Despite new information, law enforcement has yet to publicly discuss or reveal the motive behind the shocking and tragic shooting that left Shirley Voita, 79, Melody Ivie, 73, and Gwendolyn Schofield dead. 97 years old.
Each of the victims was driving through the usually quiet street when they were hit by bullets.
After shooting the women, Wilson then walked down the street for about a quarter of a mile, spraying bullets indiscriminately from two pistols.
He unloaded a .22 caliber pistol and then ran out of rounds from a 9mm weapon in the final shootout with police, in which he fired at least 18 rounds.
He was wearing what appeared to be a modified protective vest with steel plates, but authorities say he threw away the vest before the shootout with police.
Police body camera video showed the perspective of an officer walking and running down the middle of the residential street, readying an assault rifle in one hand while barking commands into a radio with the other. On the run, he is inspired by a neighborhood resident and a dog runs beside them.
This video is then partially obscured, but a shadow on the ground shows the officer getting ready in firing position for the final confrontation.
“I have eyes on the suspect. He walks south. He’s wearing all black,’ an officer told dispatchers in another video segment.
He then shouts, “Farmington Police!” Let’s see your hands!
A police car speeds past with flashing lights and sirens.
Body camera video of Sgt. Rachel Discenza showed her pointing her handgun at where the suspect was standing. In the middle of an exchange of gunfire, she falls to the ground and says, “I’m shot.
She struggles unsuccessfully to get up and a fellow officer uses her belt as a tourniquet.
‘We had a hit. Call me a doctor here for the sergeant, he shouts.
In the grass outside the church, officers rush to the suspect after the gunfire subsides, telling him not to move. One officer handcuffs him, while another says, “Subject is down. He is safe.
Wilson legally purchased one of three firearms used in the shooting in November, but police believe the other two belonged to a relative.
He hit at least six different homes in the neighborhood he grew up in, through what police described as a “nearly quarter-mile crime scene.”
Community members hold candles during a prayer vigil at Hills Church on May 15 in Farmington
Farmington City Council members Jeanine Bingham-Kelly, second from left, Linda Rodgers, center, and Sean Sharer, right, attend a vigil at Hills Church Farmington on Monday
A witness told local media he saw the gunman fire more than 100 rounds in the first 20 minutes of the attack.
In a video message on Monday, Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe said the suspect “roamed” the neighborhood before randomly firing bullets at cars in homes during the attack.
Six people were also injured in the shooting, including Farmington Police Sgt. Rachel Discenza and New Mexico State Police Officer Andreas Stamatiadis, both of whom were taken to San Juan Regional Medical Center.
Stamatiadis was treated and released from hospital, while Discenza would recover from a pelvic injury.