Clovis, New Mexico: Suspect Charged in $42 Million Walmart Fire

In a shocking incident, a Walmart store in Clovis, New Mexico, was set ablaze, causing an estimated $42 million in damages. The alleged perpetrator, Jimmy Guillen, a 59-year-old man, now faces a slew of serious charges, including arson, tampering with evidence, aggravated burglary, and possession of a destructive device by a felon.

On September 3, around 3:30 a.m., emergency responders were summoned to the Walmart located at 3728 Prince Street in Clovis. Upon arrival, they were met with a devastating sight: the entire building was engulfed in flames. The authorities quickly started looking into the matter.

Jimmy Guillen came under immediate scrutiny as he was spotted at a nearby Allsup’s convenience store shortly after the fire started. Observers noted that he had ash and soot on his clothing, further raising suspicions. However, despite initial concerns, Guillen was released from custody due to a lack of concrete evidence linking him to the fire.

Shortly after Guillen’s release, authorities received reports of an attempted arson at a nearby Lowe’s Home Improvement store. Security footage revealed Guillen trying to break into Lowe’s with a cinderblock and, in another video, holding a torch in his hand. Thankfully, this attempt was thwarted.

Upon closer examination of the charred Walmart, investigators uncovered several intact propane canisters in a lounge area. Perhaps the most disturbing discovery was a propane tank rigged as a makeshift pipe bomb. This device was found outside the store and was taped with a box, filled with beads, glass, rocks, and various sharp objects.

Security footage from Walmart showed Guillen grabbing propane tanks from the sporting goods section, damaging some with a hammer, and placing others near a torch with an open flame. The video evidence indicated that the fire ignited near one of these makeshift explosives. As the footage played on, the fire grew larger and more intense.

In the wake of this destructive incident, the cost of damages was estimated to be a staggering $42 million. The impact of this fire on the local community cannot be overstated, as it not only caused immense financial losses but also disrupted the lives of numerous individuals.

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