"These are women whose whole entire life was devoted to their family, to their church and to their community," State Rep. Mark Duncan said.
Trigger Warning: The following content contains mentions of gun violence, which may be distressing to some readers.
A shooting in New Mexico on Monday, May 15, has resulted in the tragic passing of three elderly women, according to authorities. Shirley Volta, 79, Gwendolyn Schofield, 97, and Melody Ivie, 73, died while being driven through a Farmington, New Mexico, neighborhood, police confirmed during a press conference on Tuesday. Ivie was Schofield's daughter, according to the police, and the two were shot and killed while traveling in the same vehicle, per PEOPLE.
Melody Ivie, Gwendolyn Schofield, and Shirley Voita all passed away too soon, and many people, including state representative Mark Duncan (R-San Juan), who is related to two of them, are still mourning their loss. “Aunt Melody and Grandma Gwen were just exceptional women,” he said in an interview with KRQE. “I know the son and some of the family members of the other lady as well, Mrs. Voita, and they are exceptional citizens, so I assume that she is exactly like that as well.”
BREAKING: Another mass shooting.— Ed Krassenstein (@EdKrassen) May 15, 2023
According to authorities, a tragic incident unfolded in Farmington, New Mexico, where an alleged gunman opened fire, resulting in the loss of three civilian lives and the hospitalization of two officers.
Responding to the situation were the… pic.twitter.com/5l45rw8T2g
The state representative Duncan said that his own daughters and even a few of his grandchildren attended Melody Ivie's preschool, which she commanded for 40 years. "These are women whose whole entire life was devoted to their family, to their church, and to their community," he said. According to reports, these women were on their way to pick up a grandchild from school when they were fatally shot.
Ivie had a hugely positive impact on the community's lives. Letters posted in a temporary monument at their Farmington home attest to that. She and Gwendolyn both had a very generous and forgiving nature. “She’d probably be the first one to put her arms around that young man,” said Duncan.
Yesterday there was a mass shooting in Farmington, New Mexico.— Newtown Action Alliance (@NewtownAction) May 16, 2023
The 18 year old gunman used an AR-15-style rifle and two other guns to kill three people.
Gwendolyn and Melody were mother and daughter.
We remember Gwendolyn, Melody, and Shirley.
Call your Members of Congress… pic.twitter.com/btPbQotkur
“I tell my kids ‘I love you’ almost every time I talk to them, and this is a great reminder,” Duncan continued. “Just kiss your loved ones goodbye because you never know what’s going to happen that day.”
After receiving more than 100 calls reporting the shooting, police said in a statement on Monday that they "confronted and killed" the shooter, identified as 18-year-old Farmington High School student Beau Wilson. The shooter and police exchanged more than 100 shots. Two responding cops who sustained gunshot wounds are recuperating, the police shared, per Albuquerque Journal.
The three victims lost in yesterday's #FarmingtonShooting.— Tessa Mentus (@TessaMentus) May 16, 2023
Spoke to people who couldn't find appropriate words to describe their impact on the community - truly beloved.
Two of them women were mother and daughter... killed in the same car while just driving down the street. pic.twitter.com/VxxSsRG0s9
"This is such a tragic event, it's overwhelming to the senses," Deputy Chief Kyle Dowdy told reporters. "I don't care what age you are. I don't care what else is going on in your life. To kill three innocent, elderly women that were just absolutely in no position to defend themselves is always going to be a tragedy."
Police Chief Steve Hebbe claimed in a video statement that the shooting was "purely random," and according to authorities, there is no known connection between the attacker and the victims.
Cover Image Source: Farmington Police Department