New Mexico police have arrested a 16-year-old and charged him with today’s deadly New Mexico library shooting, which killed two and injured four more, as reported by The Denver Post.
Nathaniel Jouett is being charged with first degree murder in the gruesome incident, which happened in the town of Clovis. The teen is alleged to have entered the library at around 4:15 p.m. and killed two library employees: Wanda Walters, 61, and Kristina Carter, 48.
He also injured four others during the massacre. Officers have identified these victims as Howard Jones, 53, Jessica Thrown, 30, Alexis Molina, 20, and Noah Molina, 10.
Witnesses say that the scene was chaotic, with Jouett entering the library and immediately shooting whoever he came in contact with.
“He just started unloading, pretty much the whole clip,” witness Sam Nathavong told KRQE. “I just kept my head down. I threw the table against the door to barricade myself in there. I thought he was coming my way but by then the cops got there.”
Another witness told reporters that Jouett accompanied his rampage with shouts of “Run! Why aren’t you running? I’m shooting at you! Run!”
Clovis Police Chief Douglas Ford has not disclosed a possible motive for the teen’s alleged actions but did note that Jouett turned himself in as soon as authorities arrived at the scene.
According to a local pastor, the teen had been dealing with mental health issues, as reported by The Eastern New Mexico News. Pastor David Stevens told the paper that his daughter was talking to Jouett on the phone when it became clear that the 16-year-old was “laying with a gun at his side and a suicide note in his pocket.”
City Commissioner Juan Garza urged the community to rally behind prayer when he spoke with reporters.
“What we’ve been telling people is to keep on praying for the families affected by this tragedy,” CrimeOnline reported.
Jouett is being held in a juvenile detention center. Prosecutors intend to try him as an adult. In addition to the two murder charges, the 16-year-old faces four counts of assault with intent to commit violent felonies, four counts of aggravated battery with deadly weapon, and one count of child abuse, officials have stated.
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