CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Curry County Undersheriff Wesley Waller views a 10th Street apartment where a body was found Tuesday morning. Police have classified the death as suspicious.
By Liliana Castillo and Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writers
A 37-year-old Clovis man was arrested Tuesday and charged in the shooting death of Gary Gill, 48, at an apartment on West 10th Street.
Police said Gill was shot once in the head.
Lonzell Wiggins Jr. is charged with an open count of murder, tampering with evidence and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Just before 9 a.m. Tuesday, a woman discovered Gill’s body on the floor when she entered her apartment at 1408 W. 10th St.
For most of the day, police blocked 10th Street between Cameo and West and were processing the scene.
Police Capt. Patrick Whitney said Gill had been temporarily staying with the woman and Wiggins was a frequent visitor to the residence.
“They all knew each other,” Whitney said, explaining interviews quickly led police to Wiggins.
Whitney said a motive for the shooting is still under investigation.
Police are familiar with the parties involved in the case and have dealt with them in the past, he said, adding, “they have all had our attention.”
The investigation, he said, will likely lead to other charges, though he would not comment further.
“We know there’s other things going on here. There’s obviously a motive and there’s obviously some other peripheral criminal activity going on there,” Whitney said.
“Just because we’ve arrested the suspect and charged him doesn’t mean the investigation’s over.”
Records show police were called to the apartment complex where Gill was found just after midnight Tuesday when a neighbor reported hearing two shots fired and several vehicles leaving the area.
Whitney said officers checked the area but found no evidence of a shooting.
Gill had been dead several hours when his body was discovered, Whitney said.
Gill’s body was sent to the Office of the Medical Investigator in Albuquerque for an autopsy.
Neighbors said the apartment was an active one, often attracting attention and a source for disturbances in the neighborhood about four blocks south of the Clovis Freshman Academy.
Neighbor Reynaldo Jaime said the apartment was often the site of parties.
Jaime said he called police on three occasions because of noise and the number of cars lining both sides of 10th Street.
Tuesday morning the Major Crimes Unit — a consortium of local law enforcement agencies — was activated, along with the criminal division of the New Mexico State Police.
Gill’s death marks the second homicide in Clovis this year.
Wiggins was sentenced in 2003 to three years in prison for the non-fatal shooting of Carl Haskins of Clovis. In August, Wiggins was discharged from probation in that case, court records show.