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

'When you hear bullets whiz by ...'

Police theorize nearby gun range may have been source of JV baseball drama

 

April 17, 2018



SANTA FE — Bullets or bees, something sounded enough like gunfire whizzing past the heads of baseball spectators and players to cancel the Clovis-Santa Fe junior varsity game early Saturday afternoon and bring police to the scene.

“It was kind of bizarre, just surreal, honestly,” said Clovis’ Gayla Brumfield, who was among some 50 or 75 spectators at Capitol High School’s field for the doubleheader. “I understand that things can happen, I get it. But in today’s times you can’t be too careful, and when you hear bullets whiz by you, then there’s an issue. I know for a fact my granddaughter and her friend both heard it.”

They weren’t the only ones, either.

Brumfield was seated by her 14-year old granddaughter, who described the first sound she heard as a sort of buzz. Then another one a minute or so later.

“We kind of teased them, that it was a bug or a bee,” she said. “Then about that time the third base coach, the Wildcats coach, said it’s a gunshot.”

Clovis junior varsity coach Andrew Duran told The News on Saturday that he heard two gunshots that seemed to pass “pretty close” over his head. Their first response was to get all the kids off the field.

Santa Fe Athletic Director Larry Chavez told the Santa New Mexican that officials then canceled the game out of safety concerns. As to the origin, he speculated that some people use the area south of the softball and baseball fields for target practice during the weekends.

Santa Fe Police Department’s public information officer confirmed officers responded to the scene but made no arrests, did not see anybody with a gun and had no reports of anyone being shot. Still, there is a police shooting range nearby, he said, as well as other target practice known to take place in the relatively open space near the fields on the southwest side of Santa Fe.

“If (police) didn’t see anybody with a gun they probably just let it go,” said Greg Gurule. “People are kind of used to hearing guns going off, and a lot of gunfire. That’s where the officers shoot. ... We know we have gunfire out in the area just from our own range out there.”

Gurule suggested the strong winds in the area that day might have contributed to the gunfire sounds.

Santa Fe Public Schools’ Director of Safety and Security “has been in communication” with police regarding the incident, according to an email Monday from SFPS Chief Community Engagement Officer Jeff Gephart.

Brumfield applauded the fast response of both teams’ coaches, but said she hoped to see more of a response from other officials.

“I just think it needs to be investigated, between the city and the school districts. At least they can get some answers,” she said. “I know you can’t keep everything from happening, but at least there can be some awareness.”

 

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