Teen gunman kills three before US police shoot him dead

·2-min read

An 18-year-old gunman shot three people to death and wounded several others, including two police officers, in a New Mexico town before police shot him dead outside a church a short time later.

The shooting unfolded in a residential area of Farmington, New Mexico, about 290km northwest of Albuquerque, but few additional details from authorities were immediately available.

Two officers were wounded in an exchange of gunfire with the suspect, and there were multiple civilian victims, at least three of whom died, the Farmington Police Department said in a statement.

Farmington Deputy Police Chief Baric Crum said later in a news briefing that a total of nine people, not counting the suspect, were injured in Monday's shooting, but it was not clear whether that tally included the three who died.

The gunman, who was identified only as an 18-year-old, was believed to have acted alone, police said. There was no information provided about the three people killed, and no motive was readily apparent.

"We are still trying to determine why he was in this neighbourhood," Crum told reporters.

Some of the incident was captured in video footage posted to the social media platform TikTok and confirmed as authentic by Farmington police spokesperson Shanice Gonzales.

It shows a man dressed in black pacing around a driveway outside the First Church of Christ Scientist, carrying what appears to be a handgun, before he is later seen being shot dead by police in front of the building.

The man who apparently was recording the video is heard describing the scene to someone else and referring to the suspect walking in circles beside the church. He then says, "There's a person laying the middle of the street."

The two injured officers, one from the Farmington Police Department and one from New Mexico State Police, were listed in stable condition at San Juan Regional Medical Center, according to police.

The gun violence prompted security lockdowns at several public schools in Farmington, a city of about 46,000 residents. Police said after the suspect was killed that there was no longer a threat to the public, and the lockdowns were lifted.