Friends and family have revealed that the 18-year-old shooter responsible for the tragic incident in Farmington, N.M., where three people were killed and several others injured, had been grappling with mental health challenges.
These struggles were reportedly intensified by his parents’ separation and his decision to leave his high school wrestling team. The shooting took place in Brookside Park, located in Farmington, a city situated approximately 50 miles away from the borders of Colorado, Arizona, and Utah.
The victims who lost their lives in the mass shooting were identified as Shirley Voita (79), Gwendolyn Schofield (97), and Melody Ivie (73), the daughter of Schofield.
While the motive behind the shooting has not been publicly disclosed by authorities, friends and family of the shooter informed NBC News that he had been experiencing a difficult period in recent months.
He was struggling academically and finding it challenging to cope with his parents’ ongoing divorce. In February, he made the decision to quit the wrestling team due to strained relations with the head coach, as stated by Daxton Allison, one of his former teammates, and Brent Stover, a wrestling coach at Farmington High School who recently resigned from his position.
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Wilson’s mother, Lorry Rodriguez, said he relied on the sport as an outlet, adding that it kept him grounded and provided him with a sense of community and purpose as other areas of his life fell apart. “His life was going to practice, and when he didn’t have that, he had nothing,” she said.
Rodriguez went on to blame herself for the massacre and missing any warning signs that may have prevented the violence.
“How did I not know? I ask myself that,” she said.
Wilson was fatally shot during a brief gunfight with law enforcement. Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe said he believes Wilson had “made a decision that he [was] going to stand and fight it out until he [was] killed.”