Murder victims: Wanda Walters, 61, & Kristina “Krissie” Carter, 48
Injured victims: Jessica Thron, 30, Noah Molina, 10, Alexis Molina, 20, & Howard Jones, 53
Age at time of murders: 16
Crime date: August 28, 2017
Crime location: Clovis-Carver Library, Clovis, New Mexico
Crimes: Double murder & attempted mass murder
Murder method: Gunshots
Conviction: Guilty plea to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery, assault with intent to commit a violent felony, child abuse, and first-degree murder
Sentence: Life with parole
Incarceration status: Incarcerated at the Lea County Correctional Facility (offender # 526675)
Jouett went on a shooting rampage at the Clovis-Carver Library in Clovis, New Mexico, murdering two people and injuring four. One of the injured victims was a 10-year-old boy. The killer was sentenced to life with parole. If SB 247 had not been defeated, he would be eligible for parole after serving 15 years.
Library shooting: Patrons tell of laughing gunman ordering them to run
CLOVIS, N.M. (AP) — Patrons of the public library where a young man opened fire Monday described the surreal scene in which the laughing attacker killed two people.
The suspect has been identified as 16-year-old Nathaniel Jouett.
“He was happy,” Lupe Aguirre told the Albuquerque Journal. “He was just laughing, smiling the whole time, until he came up real close to me, and then he put on that mean look.”
Aguirre had gone into the library to find his wife and son after hearing the shots — and there he was confronted by the gunman, who told him to get on the ground. As Aguirre kneeled, he attempted to distract the shooter by pointing out something behind the man’s back. The shooter then walked away in the direction Aguirre had pointed.
Aguirre’s family escaped safely after hiding in an office.
Lisa Baird said she was about 20 feet from the man when he opened fire. “Run!,” he yelled at her. “Why aren’t you running? I’m shooting at you! Run!”
Baird says she dove under a nearby desk “and tried to squish up as small as possible.” From there, Baird told the Eastern New Mexico News, she could hear the man moving around the library and firing multiple shots.
“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.”
It was then, she said, that police entered the library and began yelling for the gunman to “lay on the ground.”
Clovis Police Chief Doug Ford says the suspect did not resist after police arrived.
Police on Tuesday confirmed that the young suspect who was seen being led in handcuffs from the Clovis-Carver Public Library after the shooting was Jouett, a sophomore at Clovis High School.
It was unclear how many people were in the library when the shooting started. Witnesses have said the shooter seemed to fire randomly as patrons, including parents with children, tried to hide.
The two workers killed were circulation assistant Wanda Walters, 61, and youth services librarian Kristina Carter, 48.
Wounded were circulation assistant Jessica Thron, 30, and patrons Noah Molina, 10, his sister Alexis Molina, 20, and Howard Jones, 53.
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, Ford said.
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.
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.
There’s no indication Jouett knew the victims. Police also are investigating where he obtained the two handguns believed to have been used in the shooting.
Clovis is a town of about 40,000 on New Mexico’s eastern edge, 100 miles southwest of Amarillo, Texas.
The pastor of a church that Jouett had been attending for three months said the teenager had been searching for “inner peace.”
Jouett appeared to be turning his life around after having contemplated suicide several months earlier, said Pastor David Stevens of Living Word Church of God.
“It’s just more than we can comprehend. I don’t know what happened,” Stevens said. “His mind had to snap. I don’t know any other way to explain it. He was a good kid. He had straightened his life out.”
The pastor said Jouett, who was dating his daughter, was on a two-day suspension because of a fight at school when the shooting happened. Jouett had said he fought back after another boy hit him, but there was nothing to indicate the suspect was overly upset about it, Stevens said.
On Sunday, the day before the shooting, Jouett had an anxiety attack while at church so the pastor said his daughter took him home. He ended up returning for the evening service and spent time later talking and playing video games with the girl.
The teens talked twice on Monday, but the pastor said there were no warnings.
Court documents detail fatal library shooting in New Mexico
CLOVIS, N.M. — The father of a teenager accused of gunning down two employees inside a New Mexico public library sensed trouble when he discovered two handguns were missing from his home safe.
He called Clovis police to report that information and the fact that his troubled 16-year-old son — on suspension from his high school — was not at home.
But by then, the fatal shooting had already occurred.
Nathaniel Jouett had planned to shoot up his high school but went to the library in the rural community instead Monday afternoon, according to court documents filed Wednesday.
Jouett was on a two-day suspension from Clovis High School on Monday and the teen’s pastor, David Stevens, has said that Jouett said he had fought back after another boy hit him.
The teen told police he didn’t know why he picked the Clovis-Carver Public Library and he did not know anyone there.
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 told investigators he first used the library’s bathroom, exited and started shooting and yelling.
Witnesses have said it appeared the gunman fired randomly as parents, children and others hid under tables and behind closed doors. Four others also were seriously wounded, including a 10-year-old boy.
Jouett’s parents said in a statement Wednesday they were saddened by the shooting and offered their thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families.
“As parents, this is something you never expect. Nathaniel is a loving son to us, a wonderful brother to his siblings and a caring member of our family,” the statement said.
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 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 Thursday afternoon.
Clovis residents continued to place flowers and ribbons on makeshift memorials for the victims. Vigils were planned for Wednesday and Thursday.
Jouett told investigators he had “been thinking bad things for a while” but did not want to tell his family, his girlfriend or friends at the Living Word Church of God, where he had been attending services for about three months, the documents said.
Stevens 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.
Investigators found a bag with suicide notes inside a desk drawer at Jouett’s home, the documents said.
After officers stormed the library and Jouett surrendered, police found a handgun on a nearby shelf as the teen held his hands above his head, the documents said. They also found a bag in the library with a second handgun and ammunition.
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. Authorities identified the wounded library patrons as 10-year 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.
Parents of shooting suspect: This is something you never expect
CLOVIS, N.M. —
KOAT is learning more about what officers said they encountered when they responded to the Clovis-Carver Public Library after Monday’s shooting.
According to the police report, officers received a shots fired call around 4:13 p.m. Dispatch reported an active shooter inside the library and said two people had been shot.
According to an affidavit, Nathaniel Jouett went to the restroom, and came out and started shooting.
When officers arrived on the scene, they said they encountered Jouett. Police said the 16-year-old suspect said, “Here I am,” when officers announced their presence.
Officers arrested Jouett without incident.
Soon thereafter, officers found multiple gunshot victims within the library, and two people who were killed: Wanda Walters and Kristina Carter.
When Jouett was being arrested, he saw a woman dead on the ground and asked one of the officers what happened to her. The officer told Jouett to think for a minute about what he thought happened, and the teen responded, “I feel awful. I don’t like hurting people,” according to the affidavit.
Around 15 minutes after police received the shots fired call, Nathaniel Jouett’s father, Chris Jouett, called the police department to report that his son had taken guns from the home and left, the report said.
According to the report, Nathaniel Jouett admitted to police that he was the shooter inside the library, and said he took the guns from his dad’s safe.
He went on to say that he “had planned the attack for a while and wanted to shoot the school up and then kill himself,” according to the report.
The report went on to say that he said he “ended up at the library because he was angry and was either going to kill himself, or a bunch of people.”
Nathaniel’s family released the follow statement Wednesday:
“As citizens of Clovis we are deeply saddened by this tragedy, these are our friends and neighbors and we are heartbroken right now for their loss. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected.
As parents this is something you never expect, Nathaniel is a loving son to us, a wonder brother to his siblings and a caring member of our family.
As a family we are trying to process what has happened, we are saddened and heartbroken for everyone affected. At this time we would like to ask for space for our family and our community to cope with this terrible tragedy.”
Teen pleads guilty to all 30 charges in Clovis library shooting
The teen who walked into a southeast New Mexico public library and started shooting — killing two women and injuring four others — officially pleaded guilty Wednesday afternoon.
Nathaniel Jouett, 17, pled guilty to all 30 charges as an adult, including capital murder.
“We feel like it was the right thing to do, not only for Nathaniel but for the many victims and people in this community that have been impacted by his actions,” said Stephen Taylor, Jouett’s attorney.
Jouett was 16 when he walked into the Clovis Carver Public Library in August 2017, killing librarians Wanda Walters and Kristina Carter. He also seriously wounded four others, including a 10-year-old boy.
Despite the plea as an adult, Taylor is now questioning if it’s constitutional for him to be automatically sentenced as an adult.
He’s fighting for the sentencing portion of the case to be moved to juvenile court and wants Jouett to at least have the opportunity for an amenability hearing to determine whether or not he’s responsive to treatment.
“If the judge ruled he receive an amenability hearing, then we still would have to go through the amenability hearing, show that he is amenable to treatment, and that he shouldn’t go to the Department of Corrections,” said Ninth Judicial District Attorney Andrea Reeb. “Instead he should go to a facility until he’s of the age of 21. We don’t anticipate that, but sure, that is a possibility.”
“My feeling is that if a child who was 14 is able to get an amenability hearing if they first-degree degree murder, then a child who is 15, 16, and 17 should have that equal opportunity to have a hearing,” said Taylor.
Taylor says Jouett decided to take the plea to lessen the pain and suffering of the victims and their families, so they wouldn’t have to travel all the way to Roswell and testify during a month-long trial.
Jouett’s next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 13. That’s when the judge will begin to consider an amenability hearing.
Judge sentences Nathaniel Jouett to two life sentences
CLOVIS, NM (KFDA) – Nathaniel Jouett, the teen who pleaded guilty to the mass shooting at the Clovis-Carver Public Library in 2017, has been sentenced.
On Friday afternoon, Jouett was sentenced to two life sentences in prison with the possibility, but not guaranteed, for parole. For the remaining felonies, there is a consecutive sentence totaling 40 years.
The judge believes it will hold Jouett accountable for his actions and gives him the opportunity for release.
Judge James Hudson ruled that Jouett must continue health treatment and cannot initiate contact with any of the victims or their families.
After a three-day sentencing hearing, Judge Hudson announced that the court would recess until today so he had time to deliberate.
During the hearing, the courtroom heard from witnesses brought in by the state and the defense.
Victims gave emotional statements on Monday, along with other library employees. The daughters of Krissy Carter and Wanda Walters also spoke on how this tragedy has impacted their lives.
Several videos were played for the courtroom, including videos found on Jouett’s phone where he reveals his plans to commit a shooting and a video that his family compiled for the court to express how heartbroken they were for what happened.
Defense Attorney Stephen Taylor called a psychiatrist and therapist to the stand to discuss the mental health and adolescent development of Jouett, saying he had a traumatic past that’s negatively impacted him.
On the third day of the hearing, both the state and the defense delivered their closing statements.
The state described Jouett’s actions as senseless, saying that he has a pattern of acting violent when he doesn’t get his way.
On the other hand, the defense pleaded the judge to give him a chance to rehabilitate and become a productive member of society.
Jouett then gave a statement himself, apologizing to the court for what he’d done.
He addressed the judge, saying he didn’t understand the magnitude of the situation and that he wanted to be a better person.
You can watch the full statement from Jouett below: