It just isn’t fair

As Michelle Martinez, 26, set out to run some errands Thursday evening, a vehicle pulled up beside her and multiple shots were fired. Michelle Martinez was hit twice, once in the face and once in the shoulder.

In this day and age, this type of shooting is not unknown. A driveby shooting is fairly common to gang and drug activity. However, this one was different. This time the victim recognized her shooter. Neighbors called for assistance and when police arrived Michelle Martinez was able to give them information on her assailant. You see she was very familiar with him.

Though critically wounded she was able to tell police his name and to describe the vehicle he was driving. Police have not released his identity. But they say he does have a criminal history. Just last year he was in jail for forgery and assault. And he had a protective order against him.

According to reports, Michelle Martinez had filed for a protective order against him in Jan. when she said he had committed aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The shooter was allegedly her 41 year old ex-boyfriend. And according to police they believe the weapon used may have been the same weapon used in the earlier assault on her.

The alleged shooter is not in custody and police say they are looking for him and for the revolver used in the shooting.

Michelle Martinez was taken to the hospital in critical condition, but her current condition has not been released.

The articles do not specify if she had filed charges in the Jan. incident or whether the shooter had been arrested. It would not suprise me if she had. Until a case actually goes to trial, the facts are merely allegations and the suspect is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. As such, they are often entitled to bond out of jail until the trial. If she had filed charges, then that is most likely what had happened. But it seems that someone forgot that the weapon allegedly used in the previous incident was still unaccounted for. Still she filed for the protection order. And according to federal law, it is illegal for a person who is subject to a protective order to possess a firearm. In some areas, police will actually seize any known weapons.

There is no mention if the person accused of shooting Michelle Martinez was on any probation or parole restrictions from his earlier incarceration. Nor is there any mention if the ‘incident’ in Jan. would have violated any terms of his release.

In some communities a person accused of domestic violence who bonds out, can be ordered to wear a monitoring bracelet. In some communities a victim may have to request it. And in some communities it may not be available at all. If there has been threats to kill or maim, if there are indications that another violent assault may occur, or if a weapn has been used in the past this is something a victim should ask about. This is one of the areas where a domestic violence agency can be very helpful as they can help explain the area laws, rules, availability, and provide advocacy as well as access to a shelter if indicated.

It isn’t fair.   It.  Just.  Isn’t.  Fair.

A person who has been the victim of a violent assault, who followed through by seeking a restraining order, and who may have sought criminal charges (this point is not clear in this case.) They should feel safe and comfortable, right? They did what they could do to protect themselves.

A protection order that a victim is willing to enforce will stop some from harrassing. But a suspect who is willing to violate a protection order gives a clearer indication for the potential for harm. For those, the protection order will not protect. It will only work as a tool to provide police with a means to arrest.

Even though she has done nothing wrong, it is then up to the victim to take the steps to save their own life. It isn’t fair, but the victim may have to change their own life in order to protect themselves. They may have to give up their own life for a period of time, until the justice system has time to work.

Entering a shelter or moving away from the area.  Changing jobs, altering their routines and the routines of their family. Often they must stay out of public areas because of the danger that a public area can present to them. It isn’t fair. But it ceased to be fair at the time of the violent assault. It became a matter of survival.

A big thanks to Trench for the lead on this one.



  1. KatK said,

    April 27, 2007 at 11:21 pm

    Well, life isn’t fair. Sometimes it is Just though. Do what you must, to survive in cases like this. In general, life today isn’t the tooth and nail struggle for survival it once was in Man’s primitive days. Still, there are times when we must be canny, and use all our cunning in order to continue on. I savor every day I have now, knowing my instincts, and obsfucation have bought me the time to do so.

  2. KatK said,

    April 27, 2007 at 11:37 pm

    Adding, that isn’t to say at *all* that I don’t feel that perhaps the system may have failed in this case. (Or the people, the “executors” of the system didn’t do their duty.) I am just saying, that it doesn’t do any good to sigh and feel bad, when you need to be up and doing and guarding your safety. It’s not fair, but it is what must be done. So, dry your tears, gird yourself and get doing. There are people who have been through similar who can offer consolation, for all that. As harsh as I may sound, I’m one of ’em. *smile*

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