Tag Archives: Violence

All Violent Crime Is Terrorism

.jpg photo of Child killed at school
Jonathan Martinez, 8

Family Mourns 8-Year-Old Shot in Murder-
Suicide in His Special Needs Classroom

‘Our Family Angel’

That’s how relatives are remembering 8-year-old Jonathan Martinez, a student who was shot and killed on Monday at an elementary school in San Bernardino, California.

Police say Jonathan was one of two students hit in the gunfire at North Park Elementary — though their teacher, 53-year-old Karen Elaine Smith, was the target.

Smith’s “estranged” husband, Cedric Anderson, came to her special education classroom just before 10:30 a.m. and opened fire on her without saying a word, according to police.  He then shot and killed himself.

Jonathan and another boy, 9, were behind Smith at the time and were also hit, police said.

Jonathan died.  The 9-year-old survived and was in stable condition, San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan told reporters on Tuesday.

Burguan said the wounded boy “is doing better and the last report we have, all things considered, [is that] he is in relatively good spirits.”

PEOPLE was not immediately able to reach relatives of Jonathan, who authorities said had Williams syndrome — a genetic condition characterized by medical problems including cardiovascular disease, developmental delays and learning disabilities.

San Bernardino City Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Dale Marsden said at a Tuesday news conference that he had met with the Martinez family following the shooting.

“By all accounts Jonathan Martinez was a happy child,” he said.

Marsden added, “The family wants, in memory of Jonathan, for our nation to be aware and conscious of what is Williams Syndrome. … Parents often say the joy and perspective that the child with this syndrome brings into their lives had been unimaginable.”

Some family members also appeared to take to social media and the Internet to mourn.

In a GoFundMe created by a cousin, Jonathan was described as the “family angel.”

3 Years For Nearly Killing Boy With Fists????

.jpg photo of Child Abuse victim
Nikko Bellazetin, 8, was nearly beaten to death by a grown man.

Utah mom calls for stricter Child Abuse laws
after man convicted in brutal beating gets
‘light sentence’

PROVO, Utah  –  A Utah county prosecutor calls it one of the worst child abuse cases he’s ever seen: an 8-year-old boy nearly beaten to death at the hands of his mother’s ex-boyfriend.

The man was sentenced to 3 years in prison, and now the boy’s mother is pushing for stricter child abuse laws.

Ashley Bellazetin leans on her sister as she recounts the nightmare that played out in her Provo home on July 25, 2016.  Her boyfriend at the time, Metua Ngarupe, was babysitting her four children.

When she got home from work, she found her 8-year-old son Nikko laying on the couch, covered in a blanket and vomiting.

“Every inch of him was just covered in bruises, there were hand marks,” Bellazetin said.

Ngarupe admitted to spanking the boy for falling outside and chipping his tooth on a sprinkler, but Bellazetin’s 7-year-old daughter confirmed the horrific details.

“He kicked, punched Nikko, that he was stomping on him.  Just yelling horrible names at him,” Bellazetin said.  “He hit his head into the faucet, and that’s how his front teeth were chipped.”

Nikko was Life-Flighted to Primary Children’s Hospital and suffered a concussion and numerous internal injuries.  Bellazetin says the man who her children looked up to, showed no remorse.

“He even made the comment that Nikko is going to be so much stronger because of going through this,” Bellazetin said.  “He’s a little kid. He shouldn’t be made stronger.  If anything, it broke him.

Last week, Ngarupe pleaded guilty to three lesser charges of second-degree felony child abuse.  The judge sentenced him to three years in prison with credit for time served, due to mitigating factors such as a lack of a criminal history.

Right now, Utah does not have a first-degree felony child abuse law on the books.

“Even in court, they said had he done that to an adult it would have been attempted murder,” Bellazetin said.

Bellazetin’s family is fighting to change the laws.  She has reached out to lawmakers to ensure other children don’t have to suffer.

“This was an 8-year-old boy, maybe 45 pounds,” Bellazetin said. “Small, little boy that he almost killed. And he could be out in as little as 3 years.  It’s ridiculous.”

Ashley’s next step is to ask the Utah Parole Board to extend Ngarupe’s sentence.  She has created a Facebook community to connect with others who are willing to join her fight.

Action For Child Abuse Victims: Protecting Our Families
https://www.facebook.com/actionforourchildren/

AMBER ALERT – KIDNAPPED

.jpg photo of missing child poster
PLEASE Find Chastinea Takyra Reeves

#FindChastinea:  Gary, Indiana girl missing
after her Mother was found murdered

Chastinea Takyra Reeves was discovered missing on February 13, 2017 at approximately 2:00 a.m. from the area of 2027 Maine Street in Gary, Indiana.

.jpg photo of missing child
Chastinea Takyra Reeves

She is described as 5′-2″ tall, weighs 130 lbs, has black hair and brown eyes.  Chastinea may be wearing a gray shirt and light-colored or black jeans.

If seen, please call 911 immediately or 1-888-58AMBER  – 1-888-582-6237, or contact the Gary Police Department Central Dispatch at 219-660-0000.

Suspect Arrested In Senseless Attack On Officer

.jpg photo of police suspect in slaying
Suspect that entered San Antonio Police Headquarters sunday.

San Antonio Police announce arrest in
Officer’s killing

San Antonio Police announced Monday the arrest of a man suspected of targeting and killing a 50-year-old police officer.

Otis Tyrone McKane, 31, was arrested around 4:30 p.m. while riding with a woman and a 2-year-old child in a car on Interstate 10, Chief William McManus said.

“This is the person’s whose image we saw on surveillance,” McManus said at a press conference.  “This is also the person we believe is responsible for the cold and calculated murder of Detective Marconi.”

Detective Benjamin Marconi, a 20-year veteran of the department, was shot to death while writing a traffic ticket outside of police headquarters Sunday.

Police have identified Otis Tyrone McKane as the suspect in the fatal shooting of SAPD detective Benjamin Marconi.  https://t.co/9zo0AO3kZD pic.twitter.com/EKDKHyeQw8
— KPRC 2 Houston (@KPRC2) November 21, 2016

The department released footage of a man seen inside police headquarters four hours before the shooting and video of a car leaving the scene, CNN-affiliate KPRC reported.  McManus, who said he believed Marconi was targeted because he was a police officer, told reporters that he doesn’t believe McKane has any relationship to the driver pulled over before the shooting, CNN-affiliate KRIS reported.

McKane was kept under surveillance for several hours before a SWAT team made the arrest without injuries, McManus said.  The woman he was with was driving at the time of the arrest, he said.

Police have located the black Mitsubishi Galant seen leaving the shooting scene and are processing it for evidence, McManus said. Texas Rangers, U.S. Marshal deputies and FBI agents assisted in the investigation, the chief said.

“The motive for the capital murder is still unknown,” McManus told reporters. “This is very much an ongoing investigation.”

The killing happened a few minutes before noon on Sunday.  Officer Marconi pulled over a driver on the south side of the police station. He returned to his patrol car to write a ticket.

That’s when a man pulled up behind him.

The man walked up to the patrol car driver’s side window and shot the officer in the head, McManus said.  The man then reached through the open window and shot him a second time, McManus said.

After the shooting, the man returned to his vehicle and drove away.

Chief:  Attack resembles ambushes in Dallas,
Baton Rouge

McManus likened the shooting to the fatal ambushes of police officers in Dallas, Texas, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, earlier this year.

In July, sniper Micah Xavier Johnson killed five officers who attempted to protect activists that were marching in Dallas following the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, two black men killed by police this summer.  It was the deadliest single incident for US law enforcement since September 11, 2001.

Later that month, Iraq veteran Gavin Long fatally shot three officers in Baton Rouge in an ambush attack.

Police are investigating motive in this case, including a possible connection to a shooting Sunday morning in Dallas involving an officer, McManus said.

“Unfortunately, like Dallas, like Baton Rouge, it’s happened here,” he said.

It wasn’t the only ambush attack on Sunday:  A police officer in St. Louis, Missouri, was wounded in an ambush shooting but is expected to survive.

“It’s always difficult, especially in this day and age where police are being targeted across the county,” McManus added.

Ambushed While Protecting Us

.jpg photo of man that ambushed Police Officers
John Felix, 26

Murder, Attempted Murder Charges Filed in
Ambush Shootings of Palm Springs Officers

Palm Springs, CA  –  Murder and attempted murder charges were filed Wednesday morning against a man who was armed with an assault rifle when he allegedly opened fire on Palm Springs police officers as they responded to a domestic disturbance call.

Prosecutors announced the charges Wednesday against John Felix, 26.  He was arrested following a standoff after the shooting deaths Saturday of longtime officer Jose “Gil” Gilbert Vega, 63, and a rookie member of the force, 27-year-old Lesley Zerebny.  Other felony charges also were filed, including three attempted murder charges stemming from allegations that the suspect tried to gun down other officers.

One of those three officers suffered a gunshot wound and was released from the hospital earlier this week.

Felix also faces charges of unlawfully possessing an assault weapon, being a felon in possession of an assault weapon, unlawfully possessing ammunition and possessing stolen property — the weapon used in the shooting.

Felix used an assault rifle with armor-piercing rounds to kill the two officers who were responding to a domestic disturbance call at the California home of the suspect’s family, authorities said Tuesday. The officers were wearing ballistic vests as required when they are in uniform and on duty.

“This individual wanted to kill police officers,” said Riverside County District Attorney Michael Hestrin.  “He armed himself with a weapon to kill police officers.  He put on a vest, so that he would be protected so that he could kill police officers.  That’s the motive, he wanted to gun down police officers because they wore the uniform.

Felix was prohibited from legally possessing firearms because of a prior felony conviction, the Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.  Felix served 18 months of a four-year sentence for assault with a gun in connection with a 2009 gang shooting.  He was paroled in 2011, according to state records.

“There’s an element in our society that’s bent on killing police officers because they represent law and order,” Hestrin said.  “I think it’s time that everybody in law enforcement and the public spoke up against that.  It’s time we acknowledge that our police officers are the only thing, only people keeping us safe on the streets.  The kind of sacrifice and commitment they give day in and day out, we ought to be thanking those people patrolling our streets to keep us safe.”

Police officers arriving at the Palm Springs home on Saturday were told by a relative that Felix had a weapon, later determined to be the assault rifle.  Officers spoke with Felix through a metal screen door before he opened fire without warning, the statement said.

Authorities declined to release a 911 recording alerting police about a problem or say who made the call.

The standoff lasted about 12 hours before Feliz was taken into custody outside the home.

The charges could land Felix on death row, but the district attorney said no decision has been reached on what penalty prosecutors plan to seek.

“We go about gathering evidence that’s used in that determination, and that includes everything.  We want to know everything there is to know about this individual — his background, where he grew up, everything,” said Hestrin.  “And so, it’s an exhaustive investigation. So we’re not ready to make that decision, however, I will be making that decision within three weeks.”

In an interview with NBC4 earlier this week, Zerebny’s parents said they would like to seek prosecutors pursue the death penalty.
Arraignment is scheduled for Thursday.

Vega was a 35-year veteran of the force who was preparing to retire soon.  Zerebny had been with the department about 18 months and her husband is a sheriff’s deputy.  The couple has a 4-month old daughter.

Zerebny’s father also was a law enforcement veteran who served for 30 years with the California Highway Patrol.  He pinned his daughter’s badge on her uniform at a ceremony when she joined the Palm Springs Police Department.

A public memorial is scheduled for Oct. 18 in the desert resort town of 45,000 people about 100 miles east of Los Angeles.

Palm Springs had not lost an officer in the line of duty since 1962, when Officer Lyle Wayne Larrabee died during a vehicle pursuit. Officer Gale Gene Eldridge was fatally shot Jan. 18, 1961, while investigating an armed robbery.