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Gun violence in the US

Two dead, four wounded in shooting at New Mexico library

Young man alleged to be the shooter is led away by police after the killings

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 August, 2017, 11:52am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 August, 2017, 11:52am

Two people were killed and four wounded on Monday after a shooting at a library in the small city of Clovis, New Mexico, the city’s fire chief said.

One person was arrested in the incident, Fire Chief Michael Nolen said. Interim City Manager Tom Phelps said the incident occurred around 4pm.

The names and ages of the victims were not released, but a spokesman for University Medical Centre in Lubbock, Texas, said three people were being treated there Monday evening and a fourth was en route. Spokesman Eric Finley said that two of the patients already at the facility about 160km southeast of Clovis were in critical condition.

Library patron Vanessa Aguirre said she was in the Clovis-Carter Public Library with her son when a man came in and “started to shoot” into the air, The Eastern New Mexico News reported. “It all happened so fast,” she told the newspaper. “We took off fast. My purse is still in there.”

The newspaper’s website showed images of armed police approaching the library, a young man being led away by a police officer and a woman, who appeared to be injured, being carried into an ambulance.

Phelps later told the Eastern New Mexico News that the person arrested was the shooter.

Some victims were received at Plains Regional Medical Centre in Clovis, said Kerri Dufault, spokeswoman for Albuquerque based Presbyterian Healthcare Centre, which operates the Clovis hospital. She declined to release the names or conditions of the victims, or describe their injuries.

The newspaper reported that police surrounded the library building for more than an hour.

Officials at the library could not be reached to comment.

Clovis, a largely agricultural community with a population of about 40,000, is around 306km east of Albuquerque near the Texas border. It is home to Cannon Air Force Base.

The base, about 13km west of the town, is the location of the 27th Special Operations Wing of the Air Force. Officials at the base did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

City officials said they planned a news conference to release more details.