Man charged in triple homicide, claimed self-defense

Sep. 1—A man allegedly told police a group of people were planning to kill him so he acted first — fatally shooting an unarmed woman and two men early Thursday morning in Southeast Albuquerque.

Thomas Clark, 32, is charged with three open counts of murder and one count each of tampering with evidence and shooting at or from a motor vehicle in the deaths of Jonathan McGaughy, 31, Genea Oliver, 35 and Randy Lovett, 40.

Clark was booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center on Friday. It is unclear if he has an attorney.

Aside from Clark’s interview with detectives, police did not outline any corroborating evidence in the complaint that pointed to a plot to kill him by McGaughy, Oliver, Lovett or anyone else.

Prosecutors filed a motion to detain Clark until trial, calling him an “extremely dangerous” person who “freely went to their location and joined them” before the triple homicide.

“He shot (Oliver) knowing that she was unarmed. (Clark) told police that he shot (McGaughy and Lovett) as they were talking to each other,” according to the motion.

Clark had a warrant for his arrest at the time of the shooting, having not shown up to a June court hearing in an ongoing shoplifting and drug possession case, according to court records.

Officers investigating a crash near Zuni and Rhode Island heard a volley of gunfire around 4:30 a.m. Police followed the sound of gunshots to Rhode Island and Bell, a block away, and found McGaughy, Oliver and Bennett fatally shot outside a vehicle.

As officers investigated the scene — finding drugs in the vehicle and bullet casings and multiple guns in the surrounding area — they found Clark hiding on the rooftop of a residence, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court. He was arrested on warrants related to the shoplifting and drug case before being questioned in the homicide.

Police said Clark told them he had to defend himself against “the people that were trying to kill him.” Clark said he was riding around with McGaughy and hid a gun in his waistband to defend himself.

Clark told police people were “spreading rumors about him stealing things” and McGaughy was deciding where to kill him, according to the complaint. He said everyone except McGaughy got out of the vehicle but Oliver was standing outside and Lovett was talking to McGaughy — who was armed — through the window.

Police said Clark told them he shot McGaughy as he was talking to Lovett, also striking Lovett, then shot Oliver through the window. Clark said he dropped his gun, picked up McGaughy’s gun and ran onto an apartment balcony.

Clark told police someone was shooting at him from the ground level and he fired back before hiding on a rooftop, according to the complaint. Clark said he could see people looking for him as he was on the roof and “continued to say how scared he was” in talking to police later.

Police said Clark told them McGaughy, Oliver and Lovett never fired a gun at him, but McGaughy had pointed a gun at him a few times. He said he didn’t intend to shoot Lovett but may have when he shot McGaughy.

Clark told police “he deserved to go to jail because he shot at people but they were going to kill him first, he did not want to die and he did not know what else to do,” according to the complaint.

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