The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Shooting at softball tourney under investigation


November 9, 2017

CLOVIS — City police are investigating an Oct. 22 shooting during the pre-dawn hours of a marathon softball tournament at Hillcrest Park that resulted in no injuries but drew questions from concerned citizens.

Officers responded to the parking lot area of the Guy Leeder softball complex on the 1800 block of East 14th Street, following a report of two gunshots fired around 4:45 a.m. during the last morning of the 24th Annual “Halloween Howwwl” tournament, Clovis Police Department Capt. Roman Romero said on Wednesday.

“Officers located casings, interviewed subjects and it appears they are doing a summons,” he said, consulting a police report yet to be filed. “No one was hit, no one was injured.”

The court summons on a charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon will be issued soon, but Romero said that release as well as the investigation’s completion are still pending. He did not name the suspect or speak to the cause of the shooting, citing the investigation in progress.

Romero told The News on Oct. 27 that he wasn’t aware of the shooting the weekend prior, but noted two softball-related injuries requiring medical attention during the tournament.

On Wednesday, he responded to a follow-up inquiry from The News and confirmed the shooting along with a few of its details.

City Commissioner Chris Bryant said Wednesday he had been “getting a lot of pressure from some people out in the community about what was going on.”

“Of course, I’m always concerned when we have guns being fired in the city limits and why it’s happening. I think that’s a concern of all the citizens,” he said. “We had maybe a little communication gap there. Normally that doesn’t happen. Normally we’re advised of anything like that so I was more surprised that we didn’t get information on that when it happened more than anything else.”

Clovis Softball Association Tournament Coordinator Roger Jackson said Wednesday that organizers contracted with city police to have officers on scene between the hours of 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. during the event, which started the evening of Oct. 20 and ran continuously for two days.

Jackson said police presence at the event the past several years has helped a great deal in forestalling most of the common issues that come from hosting over 150 teams during the days-long sporting bracket.

“It’s a Halloween event and you get people that get crazy or get goofy,” he said, noting the main concern organizers had was over littering in the park. Any kind of weapon play or fighting was almost unheard of in more than two decades of the tournament.

“We’ve never had, to my knowledge, any kind of firearm go off before this incident. So it’s all new to us to,” he said. “I don’t even know as long as I’ve been playing (about 40 years) that I’ve heard about it at any complexes ... It sounds to me like a stupid mistake by someone that wasn’t thinking.”

Jackson said he hadn’t heard anything from police on the incident but trusted it was being addressed appropriately.

“We have no reason to keep it hush-hush. It’s in the police’s hands, exactly where it should be,” he said. “Apart from that incident, I think we had a pretty mellow and successful event.”


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