SACRAMENTO — Nearly four month’s after his wife’s murder, a local man is making it his mission to try to prevent the same thing from happening to another family.
The pain of Kelly Clark’s loss has not gotten any easier.
“It is hard. It is hard because I feel that I perhaps didn’t do enough,” Clark told FOX40.
His wife, Amber, was shot to death in her car outside of the North Natomas Library in December. She worked there as a librarian and was heading home for the day.
“This is very hard but two weeks prior to her death she had expressed her fear that she might be shot or assaulted on her way through the parking lot because of the sort of interactions,” Clark said. “She feared that. I wanted her, I asked her to quit, but she wasn’t going to quit a job that she loved so easily.”
The man accused of killing her, Ronald Seay, has a history of threatening library staff and was previously banned from the North Natomas location.
“This situation, and so many other situations that are similar to my sister’s story, it could have been avoided,” said Amber Clark’s sister, Kiona Millirons.
“I think it’s important to talk about safety issues affecting library staff,” Clark said. “And there are a good number of library customers who suffer from mental illness. They can present challenges for library staff.”
Amber Clark’s family turned their pain into purpose and began calling on the Sacramento County library system to increase security.
“Better trained security. Security that’s armed. Security that’s trained to deal with mentally ill people,” Clark said.
“I think our libraries should remain open to anybody who wants to come,” Millirons said. “However, maybe that means libraries need staffing with social workers or people who can deal with the type of situations that come up daily.”
Sacramento Public Library Director Rivkah Sass said she’s listening.
“The idea of adding permanent staff and looking at how we staff for safety is that something we began looking into after Amber was murdered,” Sass said.
Sass said they plan to add more security guards and contract with a new company with further training.
Staff members also went through safety training in February, which had been planned before Amber Clark’s murder.
“There are certain things that are really beyond our control. I wish they weren’t,” Sass told FOX40.
Clark just prays their ideas will turn into real action to prevent another family from going through what he’s had to.
“Of course, it’s for Amber,” he said. “It’s very important for me to go on and do what I can to try and remedy those systemic failures because every life is important, right?”
Clark said he also plans to honor his wife by starting a scholarship fund in her name.