“The identity of the suspect is unknown and there are no other known threats at this time,” police said, adding that the city, San Juan County and state police were involved.
Police have not released the names of the casualties or the circumstances leading up to the shooting.
After reports of the shootings, schools in the city were put under what authorities called “precautionary lockdowns.”
Nick Akins, a middle school teacher whose home is on the street near the site of the incident that was cordoned off by police, said the area is a near-great place to live, with a mix of houses, short-term apartments and a church.
“It’s not the wildest part of town, but it could be,” he says. “We have great neighbors and rental homes and people coming and going. We don’t know everyone all the time.”
It was surreal for him to see Farmington once again gaining national attention for mass shootings, especially those on the streets of his home.
“You never thought it would happen here, and suddenly it’s here in a small little town,” Eakins said.
In a statement, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said he was praying for the families of the victims, saying the incident was “a reminder of how gun violence is destroying lives in our state and our country every day. It has become something to do,” he said. The governor, a Democrat, gave no explanation for other circumstances of the deadly clash.
Megan Mitchell, who works for the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, said there was an open investigation into the shooting and no further information was available.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives tweeted that Phoenix officials were heading to Farmington to assist with the investigation.
Farmington is not far from where New Mexico meets Colorado, Utah and Arizona. In recent years, cafes and breweries have sprung up downtown, alongside decades-old businesses with Native American crafts ranging from silver jewelry to woolen fabrics. Broadway tours regularly stop at the sprawling community center auditorium, while the suburban countryside is littered with dismantled oilfield equipment.
Last month, Farmington police shot dead a man on his doorstep after he went to the wrong address when responding to a domestic violence call.