By Steve Hansen
The Staff of The News 

911 call leads to suspect's arrest

 

Last updated 9/19/2023 at 12:20pm

Courtesy photo

Jimmy Guillen

The man accused of starting the Sept. 3 Walmart fire was arrested Wednesday in Lub- bock based on a 9-1-1 call from a person who recognized him on a Lubbock street, according to Lubbock police.

Public Information Officer Amber Ed- wards said Jimmy Guillen, 59, was taken into custody at 1:25 p.m. (CDT) Wednesday at 34th Street and Quaker Avenue in Lubbock after a 9-1-1 caller said he thought he recog- nized Guillen walking on a Lubbock street.

"We sent officers out, and they found out it was him and arrested him," Edwards said.

Guillen was arrested "because of the war- rant out on him from Clovis," she said.

She said on Thursday it was "too early to tell" when Guillen might be extradited to Clovis or whether he might resist the extradition.

Other details about Guillen's arrest, such as whether he resisted, were not available Thursday.

Ninth Judicial District Attorney Quentin Ray said he intends to extradite Guillen to Clovis as early as possible, a process that can take 10 to 30 days to complete, he said.

Police said Tuesday that Walmart arson suspect Jimmy Guillen was treated for burns some time on Sept. 9 at a Lubbock hospital.

Clovis Deputy Police Chief Trevor Thron said video obtained by authorities confirmed Guillen was treated, though officials are still trying to gather details.

Clovis Police Capt. Robert Telles said Monday that authorities had received infor- mation that Guillen was in Lubbock.


The warrant for Guillen's arrest charges him with arson, aggravated burglary, tamper- ing with evidence, and felon in possession of a destructive device. Lubbock County Jail records show those charges in the warrant were the only ones filed against Guillen. No new charges were added.

The warrant notes Guillen pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed weapon without a permit on Jan. 11, 2021. Thron said that incident occurred in Reno, Nev.

Police have released little additional in- formation about the suspect's history or his whereabouts prior to the Sept. 3 fire.

Records show he was found near a small grass fire outside Clovis' Walmart on Sept. 2 and denied starting that fire. Clovis police also spoke with Guillen about 6:45 a.m. on Sept. 3, picking him up near the store as a "person of interest" after the large fire on the south side of the store caused an estimated $42 million in damages.


Earlier this week, Joe Pen- nington, a Walmart spokesperson, confirmed the store had been turned back to Walmart from fire investigators.

Photos taken this week show work crews conducting cleanup operations inside and outside the store.

 
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