Clovis News

Domestic violence targeted in Clovis

Clovis residents received a grim reminder of the city's most violent year when a man holed himself up in his home Monday and threatened his estranged wife with a shotgun.

Police shot and then arrested suspect Kevin Hill, 37, before his wife was harmed.

"This was a deadly situation and could have ended up in a homicide," Clovis Police Chief Janet Davis said.

Hill is being held on $480,000 bail, according to Fresno County Jail records.

Clovis has been seeking solutions to reduce domestic violence since 2003, when the city had seven homicides -- all domestic violence cases. The city has had only one domestic violence killing since then.

Following 2003's record year, the city started a domestic violence team and began working with the Marjaree Mason Center to build a domestic violence shelter in Clovis.

Clovis police offer counseling for domestic violence victims, said Davis, who also is a member of the Marjaree Mason Center's board of directors.

As of April, domestic violence cases in Clovis are down from last year by about 6%.

Even so, the city and Marjaree Mason Center officials are close to reaching an agreement to open a domestic violence shelter near downtown Clovis.

"I don't think anyone would debate the need and I don't think anyone would debate the willingness of both sides to make this work," said Tina Sumner, the city's Community and Economic Development director. "We are closer than we have ever been."

An agreement may be ready for the City Council to consider as early as September, she said.

The shelter will have 24-hour camera surveillance, said Pam Kallsen, executive director for the Marjaree Mason Center, which runs two domestic violence shelters in Fresno and one in Reedley.

The new shelter is going to serve Clovis, northeast Fresno and other outlying parts of Fresno County, areas that provide about 15% of the agency's clients, she said.

"We feel like we are missing a lot of people because there are some who will not come to downtown Fresno," she said. "The Clovis location will take pressure off our other three facilities."