By Michelle Seeber
A Clovis man has been arrested and charged with an open count of murder in the shooting death of a 19-year-old Clovis resident, said Lt. Jimmy Glascock, public information officer for the New Mexico State Police.
Jacob Roberts, 18, was booked into the Curry County Detention Center in the shooting death of Justin Tyler Mitchell, 19, who died Saturday night of a gunshot wound to the head at his residence located at 1350 Curry Road 15, Glascock said.
Glascock said the New Mexico State Police and the Curry County Sheriff’s Department responded to a 911 call to the residence about 11:47 p.m. that night.
The victim was dead upon the officers’ arrival at the scene, he said.
“I’m not sure who made the call,” Glascock said. “There were several people at the residence. The suspect and the victim in this case were handling or manipulating the handgun and it discharged.
“The weapon was a .357 Magnum handgun,” Glascock said. “It’s an ongoing investigation. The victim is deceased. Alcohol involvement is under investigation.”
Glascock said Roberts was charged with an open count of murder because of the circumstances surrounding the cause and motive of the shooting.
The motive is under investigation, he said.
Mitchell’s father, Ricky, works for the Clovis Fire Department.
“Anytime anyone gets killed, it’s tragic,” said Lt. Mike Jouett of the Clovis Fire Department. “He was a teenager. Anytime children are involved, it’s just tragic.”
Lt. Patrick Whitney of the Clovis Police Department said there have been three deaths from gunshot wounds in Clovis city limits in 2004.
Whitney said the most recent one occurred March 3 at the Clovis Apartments in the 1000 block of North Martin Luther King Boulevard.
Curry County Sheriff Roger Hatcher said the death of Mitchell by a gunshot wound is the first this year in Curry County outside the city.