The New Mexico teenager who fatally gunned down three elderly women this week before begging police to kill him was struggling with various personal problems in the leadup to his massacre, according to a report.
Family and friends of 18-year-old Beau Wilson told NBC that the Farmington High School senior was constantly falling behind in classes and was grappling with his parents’ ongoing divorce.
Wilson typically turned to the school’s wrestling team as a form of support, but reportedly quit in late February in large part because of a strained relationship with the head coach.
“His life was going to practice, and when he didn’t have that, he had nothing,” Wilson’s mother, Lorry Rodriguez, told the outlet.
“He didn’t have nothing to work for. That’s all he knew.”
Rodriguez said she is kicking herself for not foreseeing the violence her son would unleash on his hometown Monday, just one day before he was set to graduate.
Farmington police said Wilson walked out of his father’s home just before 11 a.m. and began spraying bullets indiscriminately from three firearms, one of which he purchased shortly after his 18th birthday in October.
He fatally struck mother-and-daughter pair 97-year-old Gwendolyn Schofield and 73-year-old Melody Ivie after they stopped to help Wilson’s first victim Shirley Voita, 79, and injured six others in the 10-minute shootout.
“Come kill me!” Wilson can be heard screaming in police footage moments before city officers returned a fatal shot in front of a church.
Just before he was killed, the gunman had ripped off a bulletproof vest. A note was later found in the pocket that said: “If your (sic) reading this I’m the end of the chapter.”
“Yes, it’s my belief that ultimately in his head, he has made the decision that he is going to stand and fight it out until he is killed,” Chief Steve Hebbe said Thursday.
Police believe Wilson — who had a history of minor infractions — was suffering from mental health problems that his former wrestling teammates said were visible.
Wilson had previously spoken about harming himself, but never mentioned wanting to hurt anyone else, former teammate Daxton Allison and former coach Brent Stover said.
Rodriguez said Wilson was never diagnosed with a mental illness, but was “shy,” “secluded” and suffered from social anxiety among peers.
Wilson’s mental capacity seemingly deteriorated after quitting the team, which Allison and Stover said was on his own accord because he could no longer stand the pressure that the head coach had placed on him
The coach — whose name was not disclosed — said Wilson was kicked off the team for “disciplinary” reasons” that he would not disclose.
“What happened between Beau and I stays between Beau and I,” he said.
Six weeks after leaving the team, Wilson stopped coming to school.
“Wrestling is always what kept him going and steady-minded,” said Allison, 18, who has known Wilson for more than a dozen years.
“It was an outlet for him. When that got taken from him, he kind of just fell off the Earth.”
Another friend, who asked to remain anonymous said: “It was his identity. It was his happy place, where he didn’t have to worry about things and felt included. And then that’s gone instantly, while he’s having this other hard time. I’m sure this exacerbated this tremendously.”
Shortly before the shooting, Wilson reportedly reached out to two other teammates and was “talking crazy,” according to Stover.
Police have not yet uncovered a motive for the Monday massacre, but said the note left in Wilson’s pocket was “about the best we’ve got.”
The department is reportedly serving subpoenas for school records.
A Farmington Municipal School District spokesperson told NBC that the district could not discuss if Wilson had possible disciplinary actions or absences.
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