N.M. Police Chief: Community ‘Still Suffering’ after Mass Shooting

Aug. 31, 2023
As the investigation wraps up, Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe reflects on the May attack by an 18-year-old gunman that left three women dead and several people injured, including two officers.

A New Mexico police chief has tried to stay connected with his community months after a mass shooting that left three women and the gunman dead and and several others injured, including two officers.

“They were still suffering and traumatized," Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe told KRQE-TV. "Every time, they’re driving down the street, they are remembering what had happened, and they live on that street, so within the department, we are looking at how we can come in faster with critical stress debrief sessions for the community"

The shooting happened May 15 when 18-year-old Beau Wilson began firing an AR-15 from his home and ambushing people driving by. He eventually dropped the rifle and began walking down the street, firing two handguns, before he was shot and killed by police

Wilson is believed to have fired over 175 shots in the incident.

“I think it’s still the shock of it, right?" Hebbe said about how the nature of the attack has affected residents. "And how fast it happened and then the violent nature of it was traumatic and tough to come to grips with."

By the end of Wilson's rampage, three women were killed, and four others were injured. A New Mexico State police officer and Farmington Police Sgt. Rachel Discenza also were wounded.

Watching body camera video of Discenza getting shot moments before the gunman was killed, Hebbe knows the shooting could've been worse.

“When you watch that video, you know, it sure could have gone differently,” he said.

“As far as the officer response, they did everything they could, and risked a lot to try and do it,” Hebbe added.

According to Hebbe, Discenza has returned to duty and is continuing to make good progess.

The investigation into the shooting is almost finished, but investigators are still trying to determine what ultimately pushed Wilson to go on his killing spree.

“We didn’t find a match that you can say, ‘OK, from this moment forward, you can see something’s going to blow,’" Hebbe said. "We really didn’t find that so what led to that day, that time, and that manner will probably never know."

“I think the divorce of his parents was a stressor on him," he added. "He had had some issues at school and with the wrestling team, but it’s really hard to say what was the trigger for this cause those issues had existed."

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