Teen Charged With Murder in Clovis Shooting Planned To Shoot Up School, Suspect's Family Saddened

Aug 30, 2017

Teen Had Planned To Shoot Up SchoolThe Associated Press

Court documents say the teenager accused of opening fire in a New Mexico public library initially planned to shoot up his high school because he was angry but ended up going to the library instead.

The documents filed Wednesday in district court say 16-year-old Nathaniel Jouett had taken two handguns from his father's safe and walked into the Clovis-Carver Public Library on Monday.

Jouett told police he didn't know why he picked the library and that he didn't know anyone there. Two employees were killed and four other people were seriously wounded.

The documents say the teen's father had called police to say the guns had been taken and that his son wasn't home. By that time, the shooting had taken place.

Jouett has been charged with murder and other counts.

Family Of Suspect Saddened By Library Shooting - The Associated Press

Family members of the teenager accused of a deadly shooting at a public library in New Mexico say they are deeply saddened by the tragedy.

The family of 16-year-old Nathaniel Jouett released a statement Wednesday, offering their thoughts and prayers to all those affected by Monday's shooting at the Clovis-Carver Public Library.

In the statement, Jouett's parents described the teen as a loving son, wonderful brother and a caring member of the family. As parents, they said this was something they never expected.

Court documents say investigators found a bag containing suicide notes in a desk drawer at Jouett's home.

Inside the library, police found a handgun on a shelf near Jouett as he had his hands above his head. They also found a bag containing a second handgun and ammunition.

Teen Charged With Murder In Library ShootingThe Associated Press

Prosecutors have charged a 16-year-old high school student with murder over a shooting inside a public library in New Mexico that killed two employees and seriously wounded four others.

The filing Wednesday lists nearly a dozen counts against Nathaniel Jouett, including first-degree murder, child abuse, assault with intent to commit a violent felony and aggravated battery.

The Clovis High School student is in custody at a juvenile detention center. Prosecutors plan to charge Jouett as an adult and will take the case to a grand jury next week.

Hundreds of people gathered Tuesday night to remember the victims of Monday's rampage as residents add to makeshift memorials around the rural community.

More candlelight vigils were planned for Wednesday and Thursday.

New Mexico Report Questions Handling Of Charter School FundsThe Associated Press & The Santa Fe New Mexican

The New Mexico State Auditor says the Public Education Department can't explain how it spent $20 million for administrative support for charter schools.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reported on Tuesday that State Auditor Tim Keller's review of funds for charter schools raises questions on how the funds are tracked and if those funds are going to the intended purpose. The $20 million the review identifies was spent over a five-year period.

The Public Education Department and school districts with charter schools are allowed to withhold 2 percent of each charter school's program costs to provide administrative assistance.

Keller says the review shows a "lack of transparency and accountability", and he called on the department to make changes.

Public Education Department officials say Keller's review is misinformed.

High School Attendance Plummeted After City Library Shooting – The Associated Press & The Eastern New Mexico News

Attendance at Clovis High School plummeted the day after two people were killed and four others wounded in a shooting at a city library in Clovis.

School district Superintendent Jody Balch estimates that only half of the school's 1,600 students were in class Tuesday morning and that only a few hundred remained by day's end.

The Eastern New Mexico News reports that the attendance drop may have resulted because of social media posts about the possibility of additional violence, but no incidents were reported Tuesday at Clovis schools.

A 16-year-old student from the school was arrested in the shooting Monday and awaits charges.

Balch says the social media posts were found to not be credible.

Hundreds Mourn Victims In Clovis Shooting – KOB-TV, Albuquerque Journal, Associated Press

Authorities say the two women who were killed when a gunman opened fire inside a public library in eastern New Mexico were both library workers.

Clovis Police Chief Douglas Ford identified them Tuesday as 61-year-old Wanda Walters and 48-year-old Kristina Carter.

Walters was a circulation assistant at the Clovis-Carver Public Library and Carter was a youth services librarian.

Another circulation assistant, Jessica Thron, 30, was injured and authorities identified the wounded library patrons as 10-year Noah Molina, his 20-year-old sister Alexis Molina and 53-year-old Howard Jones.

The three adults were in serious condition, and the boy was in stable condition Tuesday at University Medical Center in Texas, across the state line from Clovis, chief medical officer Mike Ragain said.

Witnesses have said the shooter seemed to fire randomly as parents, children and others hid under tables or behind closed doors.

The Albuquerque Journal reported hundreds of mourners attended services at for the victims at two churches Tuesday evening. KOB-TV reports a city-wide vigil is scheduled for Wednesday morning, and the county chamber will hold a vigil Thursday.

Authorities have said they do not know if suspected gunman, Nathaniel Jouett, knew any of the victims. Jouett is 16 and authorities say he will be charged as an adult.

Energy Petition Targets Power Plant Pollution In New MexicoThe Associated Press

The New Mexico Attorney General's Office and consumer advocates are petitioning regulators to consider a new energy standard aimed at reducing pollution from electric utilities in the state over the next two decades.

The proposal calls for carbon dioxide emissions from power plants to be cut by 4 percent a year through 2040. Supporters say that could amount to a reduction of several million tons of carbon dioxide, which is considered a prime contributor to global warming.

Steve Michel with Western Resources Advocates presented the proposal to the state Public Regulation Commission on Wednesday. It'll be up to commissioners to begin the rulemaking process.

Michel said the state's largest investor-owned utility already is in a position to comply with the proposed standard given plans to shutter part of a coal-fired power plant in northwestern New Mexico.

Jury Clears New Mexico Deputy Of Wrongdoing In Deadly CrashThe Associated Press & The ABQ Journal

A jury found that a Bernalillo County deputy who briefly chased a drunken driver was not to blame for a deadly crash that took place moments after she ended pursuit.

The Albuquerque Journal reported  Wednesday that Deputy Judy Galloway initiated a pursuit after Steven Trujillo, who was driving a truck that had been involved in an earlier wreck, rolled through a stop sign.

When Galloway and her supervisor learned that the truck was only involved in misdemeanor incidents, she stopped the chase. But seconds later, Trujillo slammed into a vehicle carrying nine people — killing two and injuring others.

Trujillo was sentenced to 30 years in prison after pleading no contest in November to two counts of vehicular homicide and lesser charges connected to the wreck.

Teen Mass Shooting Suspect Was Searching For 'Inner Peace'Associated Press

A pastor says the teenager suspected of killing two people and injuring four others in a public library had been searching for "inner peace" shortly before the shooting.

Pastor David Stevens says Nathaniel Jouett, 16, started attending Living Word Church of God three months ago and appeared to be turning his life around after having contemplated suicide several months earlier.

Jouett is now awaiting charges for Monday's deadly rampage. Authorities say their work has only begun as they talk to his family and friends and comb through social media posts looking for clues as to what may have prompted the violence.

Police Chief Douglas Ford says authorities plan to charge Jouett with two counts of first-degree murder, four counts of assault with intent to commit a violent felony, four counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and one count of child abuse.

Sect Leader In Abuse Case Refusing To Eat, Officials SayAssociated Press

Officials say a leader of a New Mexico paramilitary religious sect facing child sexual abuse charges is refusing to eat.

Court documents filed this week say Deborah Green of the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps has not eaten any food or drank water for at least three days.

A motion filed in the 13th Judicial District Court in Cibola County sought to send Green to a hospital for emergency services. The motion was granted, but Green's medical condition is not known.

Green recently was indicted on various charges including kidnapping and criminal sexual penetration of a child.

Her indictment came after authorities raided her group's secluded compound in western New Mexico in connection with a child abuse and child sexual abuse investigation.

The sect was founded in Sacramento, California.

Santa Fe Archdiocese Collecting Donations For Harvey ReliefAssociated Press

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe and Catholic Charities of New Mexico are organizing donation efforts for those affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana.

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe announced Tuesday that the two entities are collecting donations online to be given to Catholic Charities in southeast Texas and Louisiana.

In addition, all Archdiocese of Santa Fe parishes have been invited to participate in a second collection during the weekend of Sept. 17 to aid those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Native American Students Can Skip Conquistador PageantryAssociated Press

Schools in New Mexico's capital city are giving students permission to skip an annual reenactment of Spanish colonial royal court festivities led by a conquistador, out of deference to Native Americans that may find it disrespectful.

Santa Fe Public Schools Superintendent Veronica Garcia on Tuesday directed schools to allow students to opt-out of watching a performance linked to the Santa Fe Fiesta that honors Spanish conquistador Don Diego de Vargas.

De Vargas reclaimed Santa Fe a dozen years after the Spanish were driven out in the 1680 Pueblo Revolt. A "fiesta court" of Spanish colonial royalty visits schools this week to dance and promote various community events.

Garcia says it has become clear that some Native American and non-Christian students feel uncomfortable at the fiesta school performances.

New Mexico Firefighters, Red Cross Team Deployed To HoustonAssociated Press

New Mexico firefighters and American Red Cross volunteers and staff were deployed to Houston to assist in Harvey relief efforts.

Executive Director of the American Red Cross in New Mexico Kathy Segura-Salas says at least nine Red Cross workers from throughout the state are on their way, as well as two Emergency Response Vehicles containing food, water, blankets, cleanup kits, and other supplies.

Las Cruces Fire Department spokesman Dan Trujillo says a six-member Swift Water Rescue Team left Monday for Houston.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez activated Monday the state's Emergency Operations Center to help in the transfer of equipment and personnel that may be requested from Texas. Martinez also directed the state Transportation and Public Safety departments to waive overweight and oversize limits for vehicles transporting equipment to Texas.

New Mexico County Budget Shortfall Sparks Staff ReductionsGallup Independent, Associated Press

The Cibola County Board of Commissioners has voted to lay off a handful of county employees and take other belt-tightening steps to address a $440,000 budget shortfall.

The Gallup Independent reports County Manager Tony Boyd recommended the reduction in force along with biweekly furloughs for employees before submitting his resignation Thursday night.

County Finance Director Joseph Sanders says five layoffs and one retirement make up about half of the budget hole. He says the furloughs have to make up the difference.

Court: Lawsuit By Third-Party Candidates Properly DismissedAssociated Press

A federal appeals court says a lawsuit by two third-party candidates over their exclusion from presidential debates in 2012 was properly dismissed.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled Tuesday that a lower court correctly dismissed a lawsuit brought by Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Johnson is the former governor of New Mexico.

The candidates alleged they were improperly excluded from the televised debates between President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Johnson and Stein were excluded from the debates because polls showed them with less than 15 percent support.

A lower court dismissed the case, saying in part that an alleged harm the candidates claimed — a lack of media coverage that led to low popularity — preceded their exclusion from the debates.

Chair Of Santa Fe Democratic Party Dies In Car CrashAlbuquerque Journal, Santa Fe New Mexican

State Police confirmed Susan Popovich, chair of the Santa Fe Democratic Party, died in a car crash early Sunday morning near Eldorado.

The Albuquerque Journal reported Popovich’s car was hit by a semi-truck at the intersection of U.S. 285 and Avenida Vista Grande. She died at the scene.

Popovich, 69, was a “joy to work with,” said officials with the party in an email, who added her death leaves a “giant hole” in the party. Details on a memorial service are pending.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reported Popovich retired to Santa Fe 10 years ago after working as an educator in Pennsylvania. Police are investigating the crash and seek witnesses.

Jury Declines To Hold Deputy Liable For Fatal CrashAlbuquerque Journal

A Bernalillo County deputy was found not liable for a crash that killed two people and injured others and took place following a pursuit of a drunken driver.

The Albuquerque Journal reported a jury decided in Deputy Judy Galloway’s favor last week. Galloway chased Steven Trujillo after his truck rolled through a stop sign. After she stopped the chase, Trujillo hit an SUV at Rio Bravo and Del Rio SW, killing Mary Soto, 30, and Elijah Sandoval, 13.

Trujillo plead no contest to vehicular homicide and other charges and was sentenced to 30 years in prison last November. But in a wrongful death case, plaintiffs argued Galloway was also to blame in the crash because she was not properly trained and should not have pursued Trujillo in the first place.

Deputies: Man Uses AK-47 To Shoot Tires In Horse DisputeAssociated Press

A New Mexico man is facing aggravated assault charges after authorities say he used an AK-47 to shoot out the tires of a man he accused of stealing his horses.

Court records show that David Derringer was arrested Saturday shortly following a bizarre chain of events involving free-ranging horses in a rural area near Albuquerque.

According to a criminal complaint, Derringer spotted two horses he claimed to have owned on the property of Isidro Ruiz. Derringer told Bernalillo County deputies he cut Ruiz's fence line and freed his horses.

The complaint said Ruiz returned and tried to block Derringer from leaving. The complaint says that's when Derringer pulled out his assault rifle and shot out two of Ruiz's tires.

It was not known if Derringer had an attorney.