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

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By David Stevens
The Staff of The News 

Man accused of shooting at Clovis school custodian


Last updated 3/5/2022 at 10:26am

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Marcus Phillips

CLOVIS - A 38-year-old Clovis man is accused of shooting at a school janitor on Wednesday outside the Freshman Academy.

No one was physically injured, but the janitor was "visibly shaken" after the bullet hit "approximately two feet above his head as he entered the building," court records show.

The incident happened in the evening after school was out, District Attorney Brian Stover said. "As far as we know, no children were at risk."

Marcus Phillips was in the Curry County Adult Detention Center on Friday facing multiple felony charges including assault with intent to commit a violent felony. He was being held without bond.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Curry County Magistrate Court:

Police were dispatched to the school and found a man later identified as Phillips "pacing in the middle of the parking lot just north of the freshman center." One of the arresting officers wrote that "I could see Marcus was irritated and was only yelling."

After a brief standoff with officers, Phillips "knelt and threw" a gun to his right, allowing officers to apprehend him without further incident.

After Phillips was in custody, police met with the school custodian who was inside the building.

"I observed him visibly shaken," the report reads. "The male told me he was going to throw trash from the cafeteria when he encountered Marcus. He told me Marcus startled him as there is usually no one outside and if they are they are friendly."

The custodian told police Phillips "began yelling at him then displayed the silver in color handgun as we walked to go inside. As he approached the door Marcus shot in his direction hitting approximately two feet above his head as he entered the building."

Police have since determined the gun had been reported stolen out of Oklahoma.

Stover said prosecutors have filed a motion to detain Phillips until a trial is scheduled in connection with the case. A preliminary hearing on the issue is expected sometime this week, Stover said.

Phillips has a long criminal history. Curry County jail records show he's been booked into the facility at least 19 times since 2012. Charges against him have included assault, battery, kidnapping, unlawful carrying of a deadly weapon and multiple drug-related issues.

Jail Administrator Mark Gallegos expressed frustration Friday that Phillips was back in custody at the Clovis jail for at least the fourth time since August 2020.

"This is a guy who should be in the (state) Department of Corrections due to his progressive criminal conduct and criminal behavior within our community," Gallegos said.

Phillips' history of criminal-case dispositions was not immediately available on Friday.

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