Archive for February, 2009

Richmond teen died from shooting after party

Posted on February 28, 2009. Filed under: California, dispute - acquaintance |

As the birthday party broke up, a hooded man casually strolled up Ohio Avenue, approaching a knot of the dispersing friends of relations standing in the driveway. He reached in a pocket the way someone might retrieve a lighter. Only it wasn’t a lighter.

“He reached into his jacket, really casually, and pulled a gun,” Richmond police Detective Eric Haupt said. “He pointed it and started firing indiscriminately at people. He wasn’t shooting at anyone in particular.”

But he hit 16-year-old Gompers High School student Salvador Cortez Jr., who fell in the driveway and died a short time later.

The man then ran off, either jumping into a waiting vehicle or not, depending on the witness.

The killing happened about 12:30 a.m. Feb. 28 on the 3100 block of Ohio, where Cortez’s family held a small party to celebrate a relative’s 18th birthday. Friends, romantic partners and other hangers-on attended.

Depending on the witness, hard looks might have been exchanged between some at the party, and someone might have been ejected before the shooting, Haupt said. But without more cooperation, he said, his theory of the crime will remain just that — a theory.The department released a sketch of the gunman this week in hope that a witness will step forward and identify him.

Cortez became the third of four West Contra Costa Unified School District students killed by gunfire this year. Most recently, 16-year-old Ajaia Ruffen died in an April 3 drive-by shooting on 19th Street. Police do not believe she was the intended target. More on Mercury news

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University student Shot Dead a homeless man

Posted on February 7, 2009. Filed under: murder, Texas |

HOUSTON, Texas — Authorities say a University of Houston student fatally shot a homeless man on the school campus because he believes homeless people are a blight on society.

Jeremy Lee Pierce remains in jail after being charged with murder in the shooting death of Joe Tall.

Police say Pierce has admitted killing the 47-year-old Tall at a campus bus stop Feb. 7.

Pierce, 32, made an initial court appearance Friday and is being held on a $75,000 bond. Court records did not list an attorney for Pierce.

Several students on campus described Pierce as an aggressive person who often talked or ranted to himself.

University police initially arrested Pierce for threatening two students at residential complex with a gun. More on

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13-year-old killed 11-year-old in Virginia

Posted on February 3, 2009. Filed under: dispute - acquaintance, Virginia |

RUSTBURG, Virginia — A 13-year-old Brookneal boy has been found guilty in the Feb. 3 shooting death of an 11-year-old neighbor.

Brandon Lee Walker was charged with murder after he shot Andrew Bryant Lambert in what was initially described as horseplay.

However, Campbell County Sheriff’s Office investigators have said Walker pointed a gun at Lambert three times. The third time, he cocked the rifle and pulled the trigger, officials said.

Judge A. Ellen White ruled Walker a delinquent, defense attorney Joseph Sanzone said after Friday’s trial in Campbell Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.

Sanzone said the judge ruled that there was not evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to show that the boy acted with malice or premeditation, meaning that he would have been convicted of involuntary manslaughter if he were older.

A sentencing hearing has not been scheduled.

“At 13, he is still a child, and he understands a lot of what has happened, but there’s a lot he doesn’t understand,” Sanzone said.

Outside the courthouse, Samuel Lambert, the victim’s older brother, told a television reporter that he was disappointed and had hoped for a first-degree murder conviction. He also said he was glad the trial was over.

“My brother can rest in peace,” Lambert said. More from Richmond Times

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