Doctors call victims of New Mexico library shooting heroes
Alexis Molina took a bullet to the chest, just above her heart, and was shot once in each leg as a gunman opened fire inside a public library in New Mexico. But trauma surgeons at the Texas hospital where she is recovering said Thursday that all she could think about was making sure her little brother was safe.
The doctors told reporters that Molina, 20, is expected to make a full recovery, and they described her and fellow library patron Howard Jones as heroes.
Jones, who was at the library with his granddaughter, was shot in the arm. The bullet traveled from his forearm along his radial nerve before lodging in the back of his arm, the doctors said.
Dr. Sharmila Dissanaike, assistant medical director of the trauma center at Lubbock’s University Medical Center, said she was able to talk with both Molina and Jones after they were stabilized. They were not worried about their own futures but more about their loved ones making it to safety, she said.
“They really are heroes. They both saved the lives of other young people who were in that library,” Dissanaike said, without going into detail.
Gunfire erupted inside the Clovis-Carver Public Library on Monday. Two library workers were killed as parents, children and others hid under tables or behind closed doors.
In addition to Molina and Jones, another library worker was shot in the arm and Molina’s 10-year-old brother was injured. The doctors said all four were expected to recover.
Alexis Molina still has a bullet lodged in her leg and the trajectory of the bullet that nearly missed her heart caused other injuries, the doctors said.
“It’s a miracle that she’s alive,” Dissanaike said.
The suspect, 16-year-old Nathaniel Jouett, was ordered to remain in custody during a detention hearing Thursday. Prosecutors argued that he posed a threat to himself and others.
Jouett’s lawyer, Jennifer Birmingham, did not oppose the request.
Jouett has been charged with first-degree murder, assault, aggravated battery and child abuse stemming from the shooting at the library in Clovis, a rural community near the Texas state line.
Prosecutors said suicide notes were found at the teen’s home, and the youth’s pastor also has said Jouett contemplated suicide several months earlier.
Prosecutors say they will seek to have Jouett, a school sophomore, tried as an adult. They planned to file paperwork formalizing the request Friday.
Jouett told investigators he had been thinking “bad things” for some time and initially planned to target his school because he was angry, court documents said.
He was on a two-day suspension from Clovis High School and the pastor, David Stevens, has said that Jouett said he had fought back after another boy hit him.
The teen said he didn’t know why he went to the library and that he didn’t know the victims, records say.
Jouett’s father called Clovis police when he discovered two handguns missing and reported his son missing, but the shooting had already happened.
Asked by investigators what Nathaniel Jouett was thinking during the shooting, he said, “I was mad.”
According to court documents, Jouett saw a woman lying on the ground as he was escorted away and later asked an investigator why no one had helped her. The investigator asked him to think about it for a moment.
Jouett answered, “I feel awful. I don’t like hurting people.”
The teen also said during the interview that no one liked him and he had thought he would kill himself or “kill a bunch of people,” the court records said.
Jouett told investigators he did not want to tell his family, his girlfriend or his friends at the Living Word Church of God about what he had been thinking of doing because he “knew it was wrong,” the records stated.
The Associated Press generally does not identify juveniles accused of crimes. It is identifying Jouett because of the seriousness of the crime and because authorities plan to prosecute him as an adult.