Saturday, August 30, 2014

Deadly hike.....

Pamela Devitt, 63, went for her usual morning walk in the desert on May 9 2013..........  she did not return alive.

Benjamin Devitt, 67 and his wife of 43 years, Pamela, moved to Littlerock California in 2005 and enjoyed walking in the desert to stay in good health.  They have two grown children and one grandchild and they had planned to enjoy many years being grandparents.  That all ended that morning in May when a police officer asked him to identify his wife's Ipod.

Pamela had been walking on her usual route when the pack of dogs attacked her at around 9:30 am.  A passing motorist noticed something in the road near the intersection of 116th Street East and Avenue S.  What had appeared at first to be a pack of dogs tearing up trash, turned out to be dogs attacking an adult.  The motorist called 911 after the dogs tried to attack their truck and then most of the dogs ran off.  One officer stated that they had to fire shots at the remaining dog in order to try and save Pamela.

Pamela was rushed to the hospital but died enroute from blood loss and trauma.  She suffered between 150 and 200 puncture wounds from the bites as well as deep cuts and abrasions.  Her ears were torn, patches of skin were missing, bone could been seen through some of the cuts and most of her scalp had been torn off.  Pamela had been dragged about 50 feet across the road by the four pit bulls and had lost almost all of her blood from the hideous attack.

A day long search for the dogs involved in the attack finally led police to the home that Alex Jackson shared with his mother.  When police searched the property, they found eight dogs, 6 pit bulls and 2 mixed breed dogs.  All of the dogs were seized and the four that were found to have blood on their fur and muzzles were tested.  The four dogs that had blood on them were found to have been involved in the attack through positive DNA tests.  Police reported that Jackson had hidden the four dogs involved in the attack in his garage.

There were five female dogs and three male dogs ranging from 40 ponds to 70 pounds.  The two mixed breed dogs were said to be a Lab mix and Australian Shepard mix and only some of them were altered.  The four dogs that had been identified as the attackers were all pit bulls.

It was reported that Jackson's dogs had been involved in seven other altercations in the 18 months before the attack on Pamela.  Residents had stated that the dogs would repeatedly jump the fence surrounding the property and chase after passersby.  The letter carrier stated that one had jumped the fence and ended up chasing his truck for about a half mile when he attempted to deliver the mail.  Other incidents involved riders on horseback who had stated that the dogs either bite them or their horses.

Throughout his trial, Jackson reported that his dogs were friendly and had not been involved in any attacks.  Oddly though, in 2006, he had to euthanize four other pit bulls that he owned after they had terrorized a flock of emus that lived in the area.  Residents of the area state that they had complained about the dogs running freely through the neighborhood on a daily basis.

Alex Jackson, 31, was charged with second degree murder, cultivating marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, possession of a controlled substance and assault with a deadly weapon.  The marijuana charges stem from the marijuana grow that police discovered when they searched the residence and the assault charge is related to his throwing a rock at a rider that was being attacked by his dogs.

On August 29 2014, Jackson was found guilty of second degree murder as well as the three drug charges.  He was found not guilty of the assault charge and he is facing the possibility of 25 years in jail when he is sentenced.

Pamela's husband Ben has moved from the area and now lives with his son.  Sadly, only he will be able to watch his grandchild grow up.

Related story in this blog:

Update Oct 4 2014:

After spending about an hour deliberating, Alex Jackson was found guilty back in August of second degree murder.  Today, Jackson found out that he will spending a bit of time in jail.  He was sentenced to 15 years to life for the murder of Pamela Devitt.  A murder conviction for a dog attack is rare and a sentence like his is rare as well.  Maybe this will help pave the way for owners to be more responsible when they own dogs that have a history of attacks.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

It should be fun!

"The tragedy illustrates how you never know what could happen and we really do need to use common sense when thinking about when a child can have access to a weapon like that," stated Michael McLively of the California based Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

On Aug 25 2014, what was supposed to be fun trip to a gun range in Arizona for a New Jersey couple and their daughter, became something very tragic.  Charles Vacca, 39, a gun instructor at the Bullets and Burgers gun range in White Hills AZ died after his 9 year old student lost control of an Uzi and shot him in the head. The gun range is located at the Last Stop camping and restaurant outpost near the Nevada line and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Las Vegas area.

They offer a variety of packages that include your choice of guns to fire as well as zip-lines, a monster truck, a sniper experience as well as several 50 caliber guns and machine guns on full automatic. Their shooting packages start at $199 and range up to $1,000 as well as offering to pick-up and drop off customers at Las Vegas hotels.

The young girl's parents were filming her shooting with her instructor, Vacca, so there is little doubt as to what had happened.  The edited clip of the shooting has been released to the media and begins by showing Vacca instructing the girl to always hold the gun with two hands.  He is standing directly to the left of the girl and he has her adjust her stance.

He then instructs her to fire one shot at the target, which she does.  After she successfully fires the one shot, Vacca is heard telling the girl that it is ok to go fully auto and fire.  It is at that point that the viewer can see that she loses her grip on the gun with her left hand and is still holding it with her right.  The Uzi swings to her left and Vacca is hit by a bullet to the head.

Vacca was flown to the University Medical Center suffering from several gunshots to the head but died later that evening.  He was a veteran of the army and a devoted father who lived in Lake Havasu City Arizona.  He had worked at Bullets and Burgers for a little over a year and was still serving the US while in the reserves.  It has been reported that he had experience in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

The operator of Bullets and Burgers, Sam Scarnardo, also has operated Sam's Shooter's Emporium in Lake Havasu City AZ for over 14 years and states that they have never had an incident like this before.  He added that they will be reviewing their policies and procedures while the federal investigation continues.  Scarnardo stated that his ranges operate and abide by the standards set by the National Association of Shooting Ranges.  The 9 year old will not be charged in connection with the shooting as it is being handled as an industrial accident.

There are those who have viewed the tape of the instruction and have concluded at this early point that Vacca was more at fault.  Scarnardo stated that their instructors are trained to basically hover over people when they are shooting and if the shooter is right-handed, the instructor has their right hand behind them, ready to push the weapon away if control is lost.  He added that they do the same for a left-handed shooter but with their left hand.

Vacca can be seen in the video with his right hand on the girl's back while his left hand is under her right arm when he was shot.  He also is standing to her left, which many question.  It would seem that he was standing directly in the path of the gun if it were to recoil and end up being wildly shot.  I question how familiar this girl was with firing any guns since I had the impression from the video that she did not have much, if any experience at all.  She also seemed tentative to me, as if she was doing this more on a "dare" than because she was an avid shooter who wanted to experience an Uzi.

While it is allowed by law for a child as young as 8 to be allowed on a shooting range with adult supervision, the debate being raised again is whether children that young should be allowed to fire guns such as that.  I mention again because the topics had been raised in 2008 when Christopher Bizilj, 8, died after accidentally shooting himself with a micro Uzi in Massachusetts.  Christopher, his father Charles and brother Colin, 11, attended a machine gun and firearms expo that was held at the Westfield Sportsman's Club in Westfield MA

Edward Fleury, Chief of Police in Pelham MA had created a small business in firearms instruction and had been sponsoring the show since 2001.  It was advertised as having no age restriction and attendees would have the chance to fire automatic weapons without having a license to do so.  Fleury was licensed as an instructor for automatic weapons but he did not have the guns,  Instead he asked two men from Connecticut to bring the guns and ammunition to the expo and they were in charge of handling them.

When it was Colin and Christopher's turn to shoot, the line instructor was a son of one of the men who had brought the guns.  He was familiar with the guns but was not certified as an instructor.  The Uzi that Charles had fired developed a problem when Colin had it and it would only fire as a single shot.

Michael Spano, states that he told Charles that since the Uzi was malfunctioning, the only other choice was a micro Uzi but he did not feel that it was a gun that the boys should be firing.  He described it as shooting fast and kicking hard.

Charles replied that he wanted both of his sons to experience firing a machine gun on full auto and he wanted them to fire it.  Colin did fire the micro Uzi, which is a very small Uzi used for shooting in tight quarters and uses the same 9 mm ammunition as the larger one.

It was then Christopher's turn to fire the machine gun and Spano reloaded it and showed him how to use it.  The gun jammed after the first burst when Christopher used it and Spano cleared it and handed it back to him.  When he fired again, the recoil forced the barrel upwards and the butt slipped off of his chest.

The gun was still firing as it spun on his trigger finger and pointed towards his head.  Christopher was hit by a bullet to the head and died almost instantly.  Charles had been filming both of his sons when they fired the machine guns and the fatal shot was caught on film.  He died just six weeks before his 9th birthday.

In the aftermath of Christopher's death, a grand jury handed down charges.  Fleury faced four charges of furnishing a machine gun to a person under 18 and one count of involuntary manslaughter.  The two men who furnished to machine guns for the expo both faced involuntary manslaughter charges and the Westfield Sportsman's Club faced a charge of involuntary manslaughter and furnishing machine guns.  Charles was not charged in the death of his son, the grand jury felt that he had suffered enough after watching the video of his son's death.

In March 2010, the Sportsman's Club told the court they would not contest the charges and paid the maximum fine of $1,000 for the manslaughter charge and donated $10,000 to two children's charities in Christopher's name for the furnishing charges.  They also announced that they were banning automatic weapons from their grounds.  The two men who had furnished the guns for the expo had the charges against them dropped while they were still awaiting trial.

On Jan 4 2011, 53 year old Fleury was put to trial and faced 50 years if convicted of the charges.  His defense stated that he did not know that the event he had sponsored was not legal because he had done so for many years and had notified the local police of it beforehand each year.

Off duty police attended the event and as for the furnishing charges, participants signed waivers, instructors were there and the guns were not lying around for children to just pick up.  His lawyer cited a temporary holding law that allows people who are not licensed to fire a gun with an instructor there.  In the end, he was also found not guilty of all the charges and the prosecution decided that since they had essentially the same case against the other two charged, they would not pursue a losing case.

The debate has been revived as to many factors involving this case.  I personally am not against the proper use of guns in the US.  We grew up in our family using guns after we had properly learned how to use them.  The question that many have is why a parent would want their young child to fire a weapon with that much power.  There are some who have stated that a child that young is generally not strong enough to handle a machine gun such as that on full automatic.  In my opinion, from what I saw on the video clip, I don't think that she was capable of handling it on full auto, before she even pulled the trigger.

Several have stated that there are many children who could handle the power of it but only on a single shot mode.  I am pretty sure that is why we used smaller caliber rifles and handguns when we were young and that is definitely why manufacturers sell kids sized guns and hunting bows as well as products that are aimed towards women.  It is not that we are incapable of doing everything, it just is that most need to be able to become competent at handling something not as powerful before they can make the step up to a more powerful weapon.  Heck, they even make smaller sized motorbikes and ATV's for children just because they are smaller........ not because they are incapable of using them.

I am not sure went through the minds these parents when they thought that shooting a fully automatic machine gun at such a young age was a great idea.  It is not as though they didn't have several more years to grow up in and would be better able to handle the gun.  There are definitely times in a parent's life when they have to be the parent and make the adult decisions.......... even if these children had begged to have the chance to fire a machine gun on full auto, a parent can always say no.  Just because someone has offered the chance to do something legally, that does not mean that you as a parent are obligated to say yes.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


"Here in a quiet, peaceful neighborhood of a small town in South Texas, in an instant can turn into tragedy, as it did," stated Bexar County Sheriff Susan Pamerleau.

During the past few weeks the national news has slogged it's way through coverage of peaceful demonstrations that end with looting, endless analysis of scenarios, demands for immediate answers and justice and endless hours of film coverage of a funeral.  What has been clearly missing from all the media coverage of one young man's death is the reporting of two officers shot in the line of duty.......... one is fighting for his life and the other is dead.  Trayvon has been pathetically thrust into the days of media debates but these two officers and their stories have been almost completely absent.

Elmendorf Police Chief Michael Pimental began his long career in law enforcement in the Austin Police Department and later went on to become the police chief of the San Antonio Independent School District.  In May of 2013, he became the police chief in Elmendorf Texas, a small town of about 1,500 residents which lies about 25 miles southeast of San Antonio TX.  The police department there is made up of just two officers and ten reserve officers and he was well liked in the community.

On Aug 19 2014, Pimental received a call around 9 am from the city's water administrator, notifying him that a marked city truck had been vandalized.  He was told that someone had tagged the truck with spray paint while it was parked at the city cemetery.  Pimental began his investigation, which turned out to be fairly easy because Jeanette Moreno, 26, had witnessed the incident from her front porch.

She described to him seeing a small silver car with front end damage drive by and she recognized the driver as a former friend of her brother's.  The car drove by again slowly and the driver appeared to throw something into the back of the truck this time.  The driver returned a third time and seemed to checking for the city worker before he rolled down the window and started doing something.  She saw the paint after he drove away from the truck.  She then went over and told the city worker what she had seen.

Pimental identified the suspect as Joshua Manuel Lopez, 24, as the driver of the car.  He had an arrest warrant made out for the misdemeanor graffiti charge and listed the value of the damage to the city truck as $185.  On Aug 23 2014, Pimental stopped Lopez while driving his car and attempted to serve the misdemeanor warrant.  A witness states that she saw the two get into an altercation and there were three shots fired.

Pimental had been shot in the shoulder and the abdomen and fell to the ground.  He had called for another officer to assist as back-up on the stop but he had already been shot by the time the other officer had arrived.  He was flown to University Hospital by helicopter but he was pronounced dead on arrival.

 Lopez did not have a criminal history before the shooting and he was taken into custody at the scene of the shooting.  He has been charged with capital murder of a police officer and is being held on $1 million dollars bond.  He has been described as quiet and had some sort of history with the police as well as possibly having some mental health issues.  Either way, a misdemeanor ticket has left a long time police officer dead.

On August 22 2014, Officer Gabriel Garcia, 31 and his rookie partner stopped six people who were walking along Garner Ave in San Bernadino CA.  The group had left a nearby bar and seemed suspicious while they stood in the cul-de-sac area at 2 am.  The officers stopped to question the group of six people and when they did, one ran off.  Another, Alex Alvarado, 38, opened fire on the officers with a sawed-off AK-47 style rifle.

Garcia was shot once in the head and twice in the upper body and is in extremely critical condition at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton.  He is in a medically induced coma after going through surgery and is said to be fighting for his life.  Garcia is a highly decorated six year veteran of the police force and his father Ron Garcia is a captain with the same department.  He has spent much of his career on patrol.

The department has not released the name of the rookie that had only been out of the police academy for a couple of months yet.  It is that officer that carried on the gun battle that ensued, with more than 30 rounds being fired.  Alvarado was hit and later died at the hospital.  Officers have stated that the trainee had done exceptionally well under the circumstances and five people were eventually taken into custody.

Orlando Cruz, 24, was arrested for outstanding traffic warrants and Jonathon Contreras, 20, was held for suspicion of attempted murder, possession of a gun with a sawed-off barrel and possession of an assault rifle.  He is believed to be the owner of the rifle that Alvarado had used in the shooting.

Alvarado had convictions for DUI, grand theft and assault with a deadly weapon.  In 2009, he was sentenced for a second DUI convictions, fined $130 and ordered to complete an alcohol program for repeat offenders.  He did not do either and in 2011, his probation was revoked.  He had not shown up for that hearing and was then declared a fugitive.

This was the second time that he had had his probation revoked.  He had pleaded guilty to the assault with a deadly weapon charge in 2004 and failed to meet 7 of the 17 conditions imposed for his probation.  Alvarado knew that he would be arrested and sent back to jail for the outstanding warrant when the officers stopped to talk and it is believed that it may be the reason for the shoot out.

It seems that during the past two weeks, with all the protests and complaints of how police have used excessive force on "unarmed" victims............ two officers faced deadly force during what should have been fairly routine stops.  It certainly is sad that there has been very little said about these two officers.  I have watched the concerned citizens on Ferguson complain about a young man who "was shot down in the street like a dog" but what about these officers, doing their job in a non threatening manner.  They were shot down in the street like dogs.

When they debate the use of deadly force by police officers, they should include the other side of the debate.......... police officers shot down while they are doing their job.  Not busting into a drug den, not facing a peaceful protest that has become a looting riot.  Police officers calmly trying to do what they were hired to do and either paying with their lives or fighting for them.

What is the scale for "justified" use of firepower by civilians when they are stopped by the police?

Related blog on this site:

Update Aug 27 2014:

Police have now charged Jonathon Contreras, 20, Orlando Cruz, 24 and Gonzalo Medina, 22, each with two counts of attempted murder of a peace officer and one count of possession of an assault weapon.  Medina had fled the scene before the shooting began but police believe that all the men knew about the AK-47 before the officers stopped to talk to the group.  Police also recovered a 38 caliber handgun and that is the gun they believe was used to shoot officer Garcia.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Too busy for manners?

Have we really become a society that no longer feels that we should have manners or etiquette?

I found an interesting and scary story the other day that brought back memories of receiving a thank you card similar to this.  As the story was explained on another blog......... the person had not been able tp attend a baby shower, so they mailed their gift late.  That would prevent it's early arrival and the possibility of the surprise being ruined.  It probably was a good thing that she had not attended because of the report she heard afterwards.

It seems that another relative was able to attend the party and the story she told was appalling.  When she arrived at the shower, the girl's sister-in-law checked the woman's name off the list and she was handed a pre-printed card exactly like this one.  The card was signed with the expectant couple's names but the handwriting looked to someone else's handwriting.  The expectant mom also refused to open the gifts during the party even though that was the family tradition.  The woman thought that there would probably be a more personal thank you card sent out after the gifts had been opened privately.

The woman who had sent her gift for the baby shower did not receive a thank you card until after the baby had been born four months later.  Surprise, surprise....... it was the same pre-printed thank you card the guests had received at the party.  This one was also signed by someone else and the return address was not the parent's address but was the person who had signed the cards address.

This story brought back a memory I had of a wedding I attended quite some time ago.  A month or so afterwards, I received the thank you card in the mail for the gift i had given the newlyweds.  Instead of a personal note..... I received a card made from a folded photocopy of a picture of the happy couple taken at the wedding.  The inside was made up of a copy of their thank you message.  This was long before the types of media we have available today but even then, I felt it was tacky and a lazy way out.

I have nothing against emails or texts but I expect that if that is the thank you message, it had better something personal and not a group message.  Somehow I think many have lost their way with the help of technology.  The very idea that someone could think that sending a group invitation to an event as personal as a wedding or baby shower is lazy.  Sending out or worse as in this case.... handing out a pre-printed thank you card makes me want to just take back the gift.

Actually, I wouldn't take back the gift.  I would do my best to show them the error of their way.

Taking the time to send a card through the snail mail always brings a smile to a person's face.  It means that you took a few extra minutes from your day to do something special.

Thank you to :

for sharing the story and the memories.......

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Did you think...........?

"There is no policy on what inmates can or can not wear for booking photos," stated Sean Maguire, the jail's compliance manager.

Robert "Bobby" Burt showed to serve a 48 hour sentence for drunk driving in Maine wearing what he must have thought was his lucky shirt.  He had his booking shot from his June arrest printed on an orange shirt along with the slogan "Sponsored by Bud Lite and the Somerset County Sheriff."  He also is reportedly using that picture for his Facebook profile picture but he has not been returning calls made by the media about his actions.  I suppose that he can show up for his next booking, if there is one, wearing a shirt with the new picture printed on it.

In other news.......... 18 year old Michael Johnson showed up for a meeting with his probation officer in New Mexico sporting his new ride.  The officer asked Johnson how he had gotten to the office which is about 11 miles from his home and Johnson replied that he had driven.  Not the family car though, I hope.  He had stolen an electric cart from the Walmart on the way and driven that to the office.

THe officer called the local Walmart and they stated that they had indeed lost on of their electric carts worth $1845 and guess what........ they wanted to press charges.  Johnson was arrested on the spot and charged with larceny and receiving stolen property.  He can now add that to his short list of criminal offenses and I am sure that he will have a lot to brag about during lunchtime at the jail.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Where is the outrage?

"She has been on the honor roll since she has been in high school every semester," stated Katrina Goodwin.

Last weekend, 7 people died from gunfire and 29 were wounded............. not in Gaza, Israel, Iraq or in the Ukraine.........  in Chicago IL.  During the Fourth of July weekend, 82 people were shot and 14 of them died from their wounds.

It began with someone shooting a couple, followed by two more people firing shots at the shooter....... then there was a chase that included a shot wounding a man who was sitting on his porch.  The police brought in a helicopter, SUVs loaded with rifles and SWAT teams to patrol the streets with officers.  There were five people shot by the police including  two young men, 14 years old and 16 years old that were killed after refusing to put down their guns.  The victims ranged in age from 14 to a 66 year old woman who was grazed by a shot to her head as she was walking up her front stairs.

Police state that at least a dozen people were shot each night of the holiday weekend and added that most of the victims were in their late teens and twenties.  During one 13 hour stretch between Sunday and Monday, four people were killed and 26 were wounded, many of them critically during what appeared to be a running gun battle.  The gunfire, injuries and deaths have not stopped since that weekend.

Shortly after midnight on Aug 16 2014, 16 year old Shaquis Buckner was shot and killed by a drive-by shooter in West Englewood IL, near Chicago.  The honor student was not the intended target according to police.  The 20 year old male that was with her was wounded during the shooting and he is suspected to be the target.

Shaquise has been described as a very popular student at Perspectives Charter School where she was a sophomore.  She had made the honor roll every semester as a straight A student and was planning to take AP classes when the new school year began.  Her mother, Katrina Goodman stated that Shaquise had planned to have a career in forensic science because she loved watching the program CSI.

The shooting occurred just before 1 am and she was only a few blocks from her home, walking with her friend.  The police stated that she had been shot in the head and her 20 year old male friend was wounded by shots.  They believe that he was the intended target and whoever had done the shooting had not meant for her to get hit.

Another name I do not see or hear on the local news is Hadiya Pendleton.  Just one week after performing with fellow students of King College Prep School at President Obama's inauguration, she was gunned down and killed.  Hadiya was shot on Jan 29 2013 whole she and a group of classmates were taking shelter from the rain in Harsh Park, about a mile from Obama's Illinois home.

Hadiya, 15 was an honor student and drum majorette and had taken part in the inauguration ceremonies in Washington DC along with about 200 students from her school.  She and her friends had met up after school and were hanging out in the park.  Hadiya had nothing to do with gangs and had made a student film against gang violence.  The shooter walked up behind the group of classmates and opened fire, killing Hadiya and injuring others.  He then ran off to the getaway car.

Hadiya was also a volleyball player for the school and the high school sophomore was working on getting into a French exchange student program.  She was well liked and had aspirations of a career in journalism or pharmacist and had an interest in attending Northwestern University.  Hadiya was an avid reader and always on the honor roll in school.  Her parents and younger brother had been planning to move to a better neighborhood even though they lived within a mile of the Obama residence.

While Hadiya's family was attending her funeral, her killers were making plans to head out to a strip club for the night.  They never made it because police arrested them.  The suspects, 18 year old Michael Ward and 20 year old Kenneth Williams were arrested and held without bail.

Ward is reportedly the shooter and Williams drove his mother's Nissan as the getaway driver.  Both young men are said to be members of the SUWU gang and they were cruising the park to shoot members of the 4-6 terror gang.  They spotted the group of students at around 2 pm and Ward walked up them from behind.

He did not see who he opened fire on and fled the scene immediately.  The young men stated that they were retaliating against the gang for the shooting of Williams months before.  The police had arrested the people involved in that shooting but Williams refused to press charges, so the case was dropped.  Ward, who was reportedly going back to school to get his GED, had an extensive arrest record and had been sentenced to two years probation for unlawful use of a gun in 2012.  Williams is said to have no significant arrest record.

In the past few weeks of protests and unrest............ why do we not hear these two young women's names brought out in the chants.  It is difficult to get any child to excel in school and plan for a career.  Every child's life is precious but why are these two not on the lips of protesters and community leaders?  Why are there no massive protests, crowds yelling "hands up-don't shoot" in the Chicago area.  From the news reports, it has been the wild, wild west there since the Fourth of July weekend and many more than one young man have lost their lives there.  Is it really ok to turn a blind eye to gun violence if it does not involve the police shooting a young person?

Do we need spend time now to learn to respect ourselves and our neighbors before we can expect to be respected ourselves?

Update Aug 29 2914:

Shots rang out in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood and at around 4 pm, Antonio Smith, 9 was found shot.  Antonio had been shot four times and despite being rushed to the hospital, he was pronounced dead shortly after arriving.

Antonio had called his mother to ask if he could have a cupcake and when she told him that he could not, he reportedly got angry and ran out of the apartment.  He was found in a dead end alley behind a different apartment building, shortly after he had been shot.  It is doubtful that the soon to be third grader was shot randomly because he was hit four times in the chest.

The funeral for Antonio was this past weekend and while his death was news among religious leaders and the local community, it was not something worth making the national news it seems.  There has been a vigil, rally and campaign with flyers for Antonio as well as $13,500 being raised as part of the reward for the arrest of his killer.

In the end...... a young boy has lost his life for what seems to be, no reason and yet........ I do not see the outrage.  I don't see his story plastered on the national media. nor do I hear that Trayvon's mother has reached out to comfort this mother.  Could it be that Antonio was not "unjustly" killed?  At nine years old, this boy had his whole life in front of him..... a life that was cut short by someone with a gun.

Update Sept 2 2014:

This past Labor Day weekend brings news of 3 dead and 37 wounded.  Not overseas..... not in a terrorist operation........ in Chicago again.  It wasn't plastered all over the national news channels, nor was it even mentioned by all those people so dedicated to protesting the death of Michael Brown.

Is there a reason that his death is so very important that it seems that everyone there is hiring a lawyer and outraged about every little thing that has been done "wrong" in that town.  Why does it seem that it is alright or "just another ordinary day" in Chicago for young people to die from bullets there?

I certainly hope that it is not because they were not killed by a police officer...... so their lives aren't "worth" the media and support of their community nationwide........