CLOVIS, N.M. (AP) — The suspected teen gunman who opened fire inside an eastern New Mexico public library, killing two people and wounding four, appeared to be turning his life around, volunteering at church and never missing a service, the youth’s pastor said Tuesday as the small rural city of Clovis struggled to understand the violence.
Living Word Church of God Pastor David Stevens said the teen had been troubled but started attending his church more than three months ago and gave no indication that anything was wrong. He said the teen, who was dating his daughter, had been searching for “inner peace” and making strides in his life.
Stevens found out that the teen was the suspect when his daughter rushed to the Clovis-Culver Public Library after receiving a text from a friend with a video of a person who looked like her boyfriend being led away in handcuffs by police.
After the girl arrived at the scene with her mother, they were led to authorities and interviewed by a detective who identified the boy as the suspected shooter and took her cellphone, looking for any messages between the teens that might help in the investigation, said the mother, Paula Stevens. The pastor said police found nothing.
Police had not identified the teen as of Tuesday because he is under age 18 and had not been charged, authorities said. But Clovis Police Chief Douglas Ford confirmed that the teen was the only suspect taken into custody.
David Stevens said the boy was on a two-day high school suspension because of a fight when the shooting happened. The shooting suspect 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.
The boy about two weeks ago helped Stevens’ congregation sell popcorn at the Curry County Fair in Clovis to raise money for a youth camp. The pastor’s daughter and the teen spent the evening talking and playing video games after Sunday evening church service, and Stevens said they also…