Man Accused Of Killing Librarian Reportedly Had History Of Threatening Library Staff Around Country

Ronald Seay was thrown out of at least two other libraries before he allegedly shot and killed library supervisor Amber Clark in Sacramento, California last week — nearly two months after causing a disturbance at the institution she worked.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt

A man charged in connection to the shooting death of a librarian in Sacramento reportedly had a history of causing trouble at libraries and routinely exhibited aggression toward staffers.

Ronald Seay, 56, is suspected of shooting and killing 41-year-old Amber Clark, a library supervisor at the North Natomas Public Library, on Dec. 11, the Sacramento Bee reports. Seay is alleged to have shot Clark in the head and face at around 6 p.m. while she was seated in her car in the building’s parking lot.

Clark was pronounced dead at the scene, and police arrested Seay in connection with the killing the following day, the Sacramento police department said in news releases.

Prior to Clark’s murder, Seay lived in the St. Louis, Mo. area, where he had been thrown out of at least two local libraries due to aggressive and unruly behavior.

He was banned from the Ferguson Public Library in Ferguson, Mo. after threatening the workers and causing a disturbance on Aug. 23, according to the Bee.

Scott Bonner, director of the Ferguson Public Library, told the outlet that Seay accused library employees of stealing his wallet and repeatedly demanded that it be returned to him.

“I tried to deescalate him and move him out the door. It took a long time to calm him down,” Bonner told the Bee.

He added that he was able to draw on the skills he’d acquired from a past job at a mental health facility to calm Seay down, but even after Seay left, he continued to threaten the workers via phone calls, according to the outlet.

It wasn’t until library management notified police, and a police officer answered the phone during one of Seay’s calls, that he let up. His actions resulted in him being banned from returning to the library.

“He was in Ferguson recently, making threats. This could have been any of us,” Bonner said on Twitter in response to news of Clark’s death.

Seay’s pattern of abuse continued when he caused a commotion at the Brentwood Library in Brentwood, Missouri the following month on September 6, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

He was “loud” and got into a “confrontation” with female employees, Brentwood Police Chief Joe Spiess told the paper. It was enough to prompt management to call the police, but Seay refused to leave the premises when officers suggested, leaving them with no choice but to arrest him for trespassing.

Seay is alleged to have threatened the officers during his arrest, and promised that he’d be returning to the library, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

When police searched his car — a vehicle he told officers that he was currently living in — they reportedly found a pistol case, bullets and two holsters.

Still, he was released after spending a few days in jail when mental health professionals were unable to find cause to have him voluntarily committed, the outlet reports.

Seay was “exhibiting the same crazy stuff, different cities,” Spiess said, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Seay relocated to the Sacramento area in the fall, sometime before he caused another disturbance at the North Natomas branch on Oct. 13, resulting in police issuing him a stay-away order, according to the Bee.

Clark was present during the incident, and is said to have interacted with Seay that day. Seay allegedly murdered her close to two months later.

Seay was charged Friday with lying in wait to murder Clark with a 9 mm pistol, the Bee reports. He remains in the Sacramento County Main Jail, where he is being held without bail until his December 27 bail review, the outlet states.

After moving to the area from Oklahoma, Clark worked in the Sacramento Public Library system for three years before her death, according to a statement issued by Sacramento Public Libraries.

Clark, who was as an educator at an Oklahoma library before relocating to California, was a “champion for accessibility and inclusion, teaching all of us that we are all people and not defined by our disabilities or differences,” their statement read.

[Photo Credits: Sacramento Public Library/Sacramento Police Department]

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