By Darrell Todd Maurina
A Portales man killed himself in a Clovis pawn shop Friday afternoon after he bought a shotgun and ammunition in the store, police said.
William H. Windley Jr., 32, went into Beaulieu Brothers Pawn City, where he purchased a shotgun and ammunition of unknown gauge, put the weapon to his head, and killed himself in front of about 10 customers and employees, Clovis Police Capt. Dan Blair said.
“We’re still looking into things,” Blair said. “(The medical investigator) will do an autopsy but we are still investigating and will have to determine the cause of death, but (suicide) is what it looks like at this time.”
Blair said Windley was not originally from New Mexico but investigators weren’t yet sure of his background or employment.
“We thought he was from the Carolinas at first but I don’t know if we’ve been able to confim that,” he said.
Blair said police had not completed a report on the shooting by Saturday evening and he wasn’t sure if investigators found a note or other indicators of Windley’s attitudes prior to his death.
While the Beaulieu Brothers store has a sign outside warning that loaded guns may not be brought into the store, 9th Judicial District Attorney Brett Carter said that isn’t required by state law or city ordinance.
“There is no procedure that prevents a person from buying a rifle and ammunition at the same time,” Carter said. “Usually if someone goes into a store and plans to rob it, they will not buy the gun there because it provides a paper trail. By the time they fill out that paperwork and spend so much time talking to the clerk it makes it easy to identify them.”
While waiting periods and background checks are required for handgun purchases, Carter said those who want to buy shotguns, rifles, or other long guns don’t have those restrictions.