Teen Library Shooting Suspect Had Turned Life Around: Pastor

Authorities have identified the suspect as Nathaniel Jouett, 16
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 30, 2017 2:04 AM CDT
Teen Library Shooting Suspect Was Looking for 'Inner Peace'
In this Monday, Aug. 28, 2017 photo, police take a man into custody after a shooting at a public library in the eastern New Mexico community of Clovis.    (Tony Bullocks)

The New Mexico teenager suspected of killing two people and injuring four others in a public library had been searching for "inner peace" shortly before the shooting, the youth's pastor said. 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, Pastor David Stevens said. Jouett is now awaiting charges for Monday's deadly rampage, which left library workers Wanda Walters, 61, and Kristina Carter, 48, dead. 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, the AP reports. Police on Tuesday confirmed that the young suspect who was seen being led in handcuffs from the Clovis-Carver Public Library after Monday's shooting was Jouett, a student at Clovis High School.

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, Police Chief Douglas Ford said. There's no indication Jouett knew the victims, and authorities have yet to determine a motive. 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. The other shooting victims were library worker Jessica Thron, 30, and library patrons Noah Molina, 10; his 20-year-old sister Alexis Molina; and 53-year-old Howard Jones. The adults were in serious condition Tuesday, and the boy in stable condition. (Read more shooting stories.)

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