Crime - Sacto 911

Natomas librarian’s alleged ambush killer appears in court

Watch the arraignment of man accused of shooting of Natomas librarian

Cory Thornhill, deputy public defender of Sacramento County, stands in front of Ronald Seay, the accused shooter of 41-year-old librarian Amber Clark, during an an arraignment at Sacramento County Main Jail on Friday, Dec. 14, 2018.
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Cory Thornhill, deputy public defender of Sacramento County, stands in front of Ronald Seay, the accused shooter of 41-year-old librarian Amber Clark, during an an arraignment at Sacramento County Main Jail on Friday, Dec. 14, 2018.

An agitated Ronald Seay was charged with murder Friday in the parking lot ambush killing of Natomas librarian Amber Clark.

Seay glared from his holding cell, folded his arms, then turned his back on Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Sweet to mutter “I don’t need to be sworn,” before Sweet read the murder charge and allegations of lying in wait and using a weapon — a 9 mm handgun — to kill Clark.

Clark, 41, was shot to death in her car in the parking lot of the North Natomas Public Library Tuesday evening after dark. She was shot multiple times in the face and head, according to police and scanner traffic obtained through online archieve Broadcastify.

Seay remains held without bail at Sacramento County Main Jail. He will return to court Dec. 27 for a bail review.

In the gallery were Clark’s family, employees donning black Sacramento Public Library T-shirts and Rivkah Sass, director of the Sacramento Public Library.

“We’re all still in shock. Today is really about the beginning of a very long process,” Sass later told reporters outside Sweet’s courtroom. “Right now, our minds, thoughts and hearts are with Amber, her husband and her family.”

Initial reports said the suspected gunman was wearing a mask and teal clothing and fled the scene in a gray sedan with out-of-state license plates.

After a short, slow-speed chase, Seay was arrested early Wednesday morning in Natomas on suspicion of the shooting death of Clark, said Sacramento Police Department spokesman Sgt. Vance Chandler.

Chandler said Seay has lived a few miles from the North Natomas Public Library for several months and previously lived out of state.

Seay had lived in St. Louis, Mo., where he did not have a criminal history, according to public and court records. In 2006, a protective restraining order was issued against him following a divorce, court records show.

He was issued a no trespass order for the library property after causing a disturbance there on Oct. 13. Clark was a supervisor at the library at the time. Police did not immediately say if Seay and Clark had interacted during the incident that led to his ban from the facility.

Seay declined an interview with The Bee Friday.

Clark had worked as an English teacher in Oklahoma before joining the Sacramento Public Library in 2015, where she worked in Florin, North Highlands and Natomas branches. Library employees since her killing have met with grief counselors, Sacramento police chaplains and have gathered together to remember their colleague.

Sacramento Public Library Director Rivkah Sass talks about slain employee Amber Clark after murder suspect Ronald Seay was arraigned at the Sacramento County Main Jail on Friday, Dec. 14, 2018.

“We have to get through this,” Sass said.

Sass did not speak about the events that led to the fatal shooting, telling reporters “we will do nothing to jeopardize the investigation. We want to make sure justice will be done.”

But she remembered Clark as a fierce, passionate advocate who cared about the work she did, calling her “an amazing librarian.”

“Today’s the day to think about Amber,” she said.

Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn leads a news conference about the arrest of a suspect in the killing of Amber Clark, a librarian at the North Natomas Public Library.

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