Library shooting suspect ‘was mad’
Clovis, N.M. (AP) — The teenager accused of gunning down two employees inside a New Mexico public library this week and seriously wounding four others had planned to shoot up his high school but ended up going to the library instead, according to court documents filed Wednesday.
Nathaniel Jouett, 16, told police he did not know why he picked the Clovis-Carver Public Library and that he did not know anyone who was there, said the documents filed in connection with the shooting rampage on Monday in the small community of Clovis.
But he told investigators he had wanted to target his high school for a long time because he was “mad at everyone since he got kicked out of school last year,” the documents said. He also told them he felt like no one liked him.
Jouett was on a two-day suspension from Clovis High School on Monday, the day of the shooting. The teen’s pastor, David Stevens, has said that Jouett said he had fought back after another boy hit him.
Jouett took two handguns from his father’s safe and walked to the library Monday afternoon, the court documents said.
Witnesses have said it appeared the gunman fired randomly as parents, children and others hid under tables and behind closed doors.
Jouett, a sophomore, faces nearly a dozen charges — including first-degree murder, child abuse, assault with intent to commit a violent felony and aggravated battery.
The Associated Press generally does not identify juveniles accused of crimes. But it is identifying Jouett because of the seriousness of the crime and because authorities said they plan to file a motion requesting the case’s transfer from the juvenile system to adult court.
Jouett remained in custody Wednesday at a juvenile detention center pending a hearing this afternoon.
Jouett’s father called police Monday to report that the guns had been taken from the safe and that his son was not home but the shooting had already happened, the court documents said.
The teen told investigators that he had been thinking “bad things” but did not want to tell his family, his girlfriend or friends at the Living Word Church of God church he had been attending for the past three months, the documents said.
Stevens, the youth’s pastor, said Jouett had been troubled but appeared to be turning his life around, never missed a service and recently helped the congregation raise money for a youth camp. Jouett and Stevens’ daughter were dating.
The two workers killed were circulation assistant Wanda Walters, 61, and youth services librarian Kristina Carter, 48.
Another circulation assistant, Jessica Thron, 30, was injured and authorities identified the wounded library patrons as 10-year-old Noah Molina, his 20-year-old sister Alexis Molina and 53-year-old Howard Jones.
They were being treated at University Medical Center in Texas, across the state line from Clovis.
Hundreds of people gathered Tuesday night to remember the victims as residents on Wednesday continued adding to makeshift memorials around the rural community. More vigils were planned for Wednesday and today.
Police take a man into custody after a shooting at a public library in the eastern New Mexico community of Clovis on Monday.