The mother of a suspect who went on killing rampage, passed away a few hours as she had the life support apparatus removed, bringing the number of victims killed by her own son to five, authorities said.
District Attorney Marco Serna and Rio Arriba County Sheriff James Lujan pronounced 49-year-old Maria “Brenda” Gallegos dead on Friday.
At first, Serna reported her death after her life support was taken off, spreading the news of her death at the moment of removing the life support. However, he later revealed that she remained in a grave condition for some time before passing away.
Damian Herrera, 21, is charged with shooting his stepfather and brother to death before shooting his mother on Thursday.
He travelled 200 miles (322 kilometres) across New Mexico following the incident and shot two more people to death before he was detained, authorities said.
His sister and the victims were at the family home in La Madera when the incident took place.
Witnesses reported that the first victim to be shot was the stepfather as the suspect fatally shot him while they were outside. Then, the mother and the brother hurled outside after hearing the stepfather’s shouts and calls for help. However, Herrera shot his brother in the neck and cold-heartedly killed his mother despite her begs for mercy, according to a criminal complaint.
After the shooting, he carjacked and killed a driver before shooting another man to death a few hours later at a general store in a tiny town, police said.
Herrera was arrested after sheriff’s deputies detected the stolen pickup and chased it till the car finally crashed into a tree, police said.
He ran toward deputies as he tried to knock one of their guns over, authorities said. A second deputy used a stun gun on Herrera.
Herrera had earlier made controversial statements to his family implying his tendencies to kill and torture people for jest.