By David Stevens, The Eastern New Mexico News
“Run!,” he yelled.
“Why aren’t you running? I’m shooting at you! Run!”
Lisa Baird said she was maybe 20 feet from the young man shouting the words as he opened fire in the Clovis-Carver Public Library on Monday afternoon, killing two people and leaving four more injured.
(Community members are in shock after police say a man opened fire at the Clovis-Carver Public Library Monday afternoon. Two library employees were killed, and four other victims remain hospitalized. Courtesy of KOAT and YouTube)
Police declined to name the suspect, but said there was only one and he was handcuffed as police led him away from the scene soon after they arrived.
Friends identified the teenager photographed in police custody as Nathaniel Jouett, a sophomore at Clovis High School.
Family and friends said Krissie Carter and Wanda Walters, both library employees, were killed.
Two men and two women were injured. Three of the injured were flown to hospitals out of town, officials said.
The extent of their injuries was not released.
(Police give update on Clovis library shooting. Courtesy of KRQE and YouTube)
Baird, in a lengthy exchange with The News through Facebook Messenger, said she was talking with a library patron from her seat at the library’s reference desk when she heard a “very loud bang.”
“My initial thought was why would someone throw a cherry bomb or M80 firecracker into the library?”
“Then I saw a young man aim his hand, which had a handgun in it, to the ground/carpet about 6 feet in front of him and he fired like four or five shots into the carpet.”
Baird said she dove under a nearby desk “and tried to squish up as small as possible.”
From there, Baird said she could hear the man moving around the library and firing multiple shots.
“Then I heard his pants ‘shooshing’ as he approached the end of the reference desk.”
“I heard a sound like a phone or something being put on the reference counter at the end of the desk, about 4 feet from my head.”
Seconds later, Baird said police entered the library and began shouting for the man with the gun to “lay on the ground” repeatedly.
Police Chief Doug Ford said the suspect offered no resistance after police arrived.
Vanessa Aguirre said she was in the library with her son when a man came in and “started to shoot” into the air.
“It all happened so fast,” she said, minutes after it happened. “We took off fast. My purse is still in there.”
Aguirre said she did not see anyone shot, but the shooter was still in the library when she left.
She said he fired into the ceiling. She said she thought he had a handgun.
Kim Tipton, who was in the American Classified building across the street from the library, said she saw multiple police officers arrive at the library a few minutes after 4 p.m.
“Their guns were drawn, AK-whatever they were, they were drawn,” she said.
Police Chief Ford said police entered the library immediately on arrival, minutes after they were called.
More than a dozen law enforcement and emergency vehicles surrounded the library as paramedics and law officers rushed in to begin treating the wounded.
Clovis Mayor David Lansford called the incident “a tragic and senseless act.”
“This is a big blow to our community,” he said. “We’re all hurting right now.”
Ford said authorities had no motive for the shootings. Police were still on the scene late Monday night as television news crews conducted interviews with a backdrop of police cars flashing their lights
Curry County Adult Detention Center Administrator Mark Gallegos said the suspect remained in police custody at 9 p.m. and had not been processed into the jail.
Baird said she remained shaken hours after the shootings, in part because of the suspect’s demeanor.
“When he was answering the cops’ questions, he was calm. His voice held no negativity or shakiness … no quavering at all,” she said.
She also expressed anger.
“That (expletive) better go away for the rest of his life, or disappear somewhere,” she said.