A sunny Easter Sunday turned violent when two men were shot in a car on Grand Avenue near Potter Park just after 5:30 p.m. The car continued across town before crashing into a column outside the entrance to Retirement Ranch near the hospital.
Clovis Police Detective Sgt. Roger Grah said Lashawn Bethea and Keddrick Harvey, believed to be in their 20s, were the gunshot victims. But Grah said late Sunday night that investigators were still trying to piece together what happened and had not yet established a motive for the shooting.
“We’re fairly certain that two cars were involved, but we don’t know yet who was doing the shooting,” Grah said.
No one was injured at Retirement Ranch or Potter Park, which was across the street from where the shooting occurred at 5:33 p.m. Sunday. But police said the park was full of children and families celebrating Easter and enjoying the good weather.
“All the kids who were playing in the park ran the other direction when they heard the gunshots,” Clovis Police Services Capt. Dan Blair said.
Police had not made any arrests or filed any charges against anyone at press time.
Chauncey Johnson, 23, one of the witnesses interviewed by police, said he was driving a white, four-door Acura Legend V-6 sedan near Potter Park when shots were fired from another vehicle.
However, Johnson said he was not injured and refused medical treatment when an ambulance was sent to his house, where he had parked the Acura in the driveway.
Johnson declined additional comment Sunday night as he was leaving the police station.
Clovis Police Detective Keith Bessette said there was a hole in the headrest inside the Acura that “could be consistent with being shot by a bullet,” but that investigators had not determined yet whether the hole was made Sunday.
Bethea, who Grah said was shot once, was flown by Aero-Care medical helicopter to Covenant Medical Center in Lubbock. Harvey, whose arm bone was shattered, was taken by ambulance to the hospital in Lubbock, police said.
The nursing supervisor at Covenant Medical Center in Lubbock said late Sunday night she could not release any information on the condition of the two men.
Certified Nursing Assistant Eunice Armijo, who works at Retirement Ranch, said Bethea was covered in blood and lying on the sidewalk outside the car when she went outside to help assist emergency room nurses, who rushed over from the nearby hospital.
Armijo said she could see what looked like an entrance wound in Bethea’s back and an exit wound in the upper left side of his chest.
“His clothes were soaked with blood,” Armjio said. “He just said he was shot and told me his name and then he didn’t say anything else. He was coherent, but he was very scared. He had dragged himself out on the sidewalk and up to the entrance to the building, but he didn’t come inside.”
Police investigators had placed yellow crime scene tape near the Retirement Ranch’s main entrance, where a large pool of blood had dried on the sidewalk outside the burgundy Honda Accord LX four-door sedan Bethea was driving, and another pool of blood lay just outside the entrance to Retirement Ranch, with blood stains on the building as well.
There were three bullet holes on the driver’s side of the car, which had blood smeared on the rear windshield, the driver’s side doors and the left rear tire. One of the bullet holes pierced the driver’s door near the window and two others went through the passenger door on the driver’s side.
Detective Keith Farkas said police found a spent bullet round on the driver’s seat of Bethea’s car, which went across the parking lot, ran over a telephone box and hit a parked car before slamming into the column outside the Retirement Ranch.
Farkas said investigators were trying to establish whether additional shots had been fired through the rear passenger window on the driver’s side, which was completely shattered.
Several people who live in the neighborhood near Potter Park said they heard the gunshots, but that they did not see the incident.