By Kevin Wilson
Residents of Causey may have felt a little safer with the increased presence of law enforcement in their community, but simultaneously less safe due to the reason law enforcement is there — the shooting death of Jimmy “Bo” Chunn.
Chunn, 71, was discovered July 8 shot in his home in the town located about 32 miles southeast of Portales in Roosevelt County.
Portales Police Capt. Lonnie Berry said investigators have identified what he called two persons of interest based on interviews and evidence. Berry declined to elaborate further on the persons of interest. But he said no charges have been filed in connection with the shooting.
The death shocked the town that remembered Chunn for how he would tuck his pants into his boots and attract attention with his noisy pickup.
“Everybody knew the sound of Bo’s pickup,” said Marcel Merrick, who estimated she knew Chunn for about 45 years. “There’s no way of describing (its sound).”
Merrick has lived in Causey all of her life. She couldn’t recall anything similar happening to the “close-knit community” she’s been part of for 65 years.
“It’s a little scary now, but after (law enforcement officials) catch someone, I think we’ll all feel more comfortable,” Merrick said. “I’m sure they’re doing their job. We’re just very appreciative in what they’ve all done.”
Still, residents admit that it’s been unnerving in the wake of the shooting.
“We were surprised that something like that would happen in Causey,” said Kris King, who has lived in Causey for five years. “We’re still kind of upset. We don’t understand why it happened. We’re hoping that they’ll be able to catch the person or persons involved.
“Our kids are scared. We live in a community where you didn’t think about locking your door, but now everybody’s thinking of locking their door.”
Before, King was concerned with fixing doors, not locking them. It’s one of several odd jobs he gladly did for Chunn over the years. King said he had on occasion trimmed a dairy cow hoof for Chunn and he’d cut a door for Chunn because it was dragging on the carpet.
“I told him I didn’t need any money, and he paid me (anyway),” said King.
King said the community has no idea what happened to result in the death of Chunn, a 1952 Portales High graduate who moved to Causey in 1959.
“Nobody’s really saying any names (of suspects) that I know of. They don’t know,” King said. “You would hate to say it’s somebody in Causey, but you never know. The police aren’t saying too much, but they can’t.”