The Irate Ex

A 911 came in on Tues. AM and reported that Elena Anderson’s “irate ex-boyfriend” was in her apartment.

Elena Anderson, 27, had a previous relationship with Deandre Crawford, 28. They shared an 18month old son. But the relationship ended and both moved on to new relationships.

Elena Anderson had a boyfriend, and they too had a child, this time a little girl just born Dec. 24. In addition Elena Anderson had two other children from a previous relationship and those children live with their father. Elena Anderson’s current boyfriend moved in with her just 3 months ago. Elena Anderson grew up in the 4 unit apartment building she lived in, and three of the four units were occupied by her relatives.

Reports indicate that Crawford and Anderson had recently had problems over the custody of their little boy. News reports indicate that on Tues. Crawford got a ride to Anderson’s apartment. Police believe that Elena Anderson let Crawford into the apartment as there was no forced entry.

A second call came in reporting a shooting at the apartment. Police have said that Elena Anderson and her current boyfriend both made calls.

It is believed that Elena Anderson and Crawford were arguing when the current boyfriend walked in on it. Crawford chased the current boyfriend into a bedroom firing 5 shots. The current boyfriend was struck in the face and chest. It is believed that Crawford then went back to the living room and fired at Elena Anderson striking her in the chest. Reportedly Crawford then fled the home.

When police arrived they found Elena Anderson and her current boyfriend shot. Elena Anderson was able to tell them that

“My oldest baby’s daddy, Deandre Crawford, shot me in the chest,”

According to the prosecutor, Crawford walked about a block from the apartment and was allegedly picked up by his current girlfriend.

Elena Anderson and the current boyfriend were both taken to the hospital where Elena Anderson later was pronounced dead. The current boyfriend has been reported in critical condition and is reported to be paralyzed from the waist down. The children were in the apartment in a bedroom at the time of the shooting, but were reported to be unharmed.

Police were able to locate Crawford and take him into custody, He has been charged with one count each of murder in the first degree and attempted murder. Bail was denied at his arraignment hearing.

“Custody Issues.” Somehow I always find that term ironic in domestic deaths. If convicted he won’t get custody of his son now, he won’t even get additional time with him. As a matter of fact, if the child is in need of his assistance- he won’t be available for him. Many times the term “custody issues” is used to describe disputes over child support. And the shooting may settle that. He won’t have to pay child support to Elena Anderson now, he won’t be paying anyone support. His child will be growing up motherless, and essentially fatherless. Dependent on other family and/or possibly the state for his support.

Two children in the home, reported as being ages 18 months and just over one month old. Most likely they heard the raised voices, most likely the sounds of shooting scared them. They are too young to know that their lives have changed. Too young to know that they will never see the woman they knew as Mom again, to young to even remember what it felt like to have a mother. Two other children will remember. Most likely they will both remember the last time they saw her, talked to her. But now she is forever gone for them also.

Crawford reportedly worked in a hospital escorting patients and he was also attending college. He was majoring in Criminal Justice.


She was scared

Sonia Long was soon to be a single mother. During the marriage to her husband Anthony D. Long, 32, he reportedly disappeared from the home for periods of time and the marriage was allegedly “strained.” Mrs. Long had filed for divorce. Two months ago she had a child with another man. Her birthday was on Wed., she was 32 years old and she was living in a domestic violence shelter.

Last week she had filed for a restraining order against her estranged husband. According to the restraining order, the problems with Long had intensified since she had become pregnant and included abuse and threats. According to her information in the restraining order Long had told her he 

“would make life hell.”

She feared for her life, as well as the lives of her children and her friend the father of her new baby. She had reason to be afraid. According to the information she included in the application for a restraining order, Long had told her 6 year old child something that scared her. Later the child reportedly told her mother

“Mommy I think Daddy is gonna kill (us)”

Mrs. Long did what she should do under those circumstances. She filed for the restraining order, and she moved into the shelter.

She did not have her children’s birth certificates with her so on Thurs. she went back to her home to get them and she took the baby’s father with her.

 Police say that Anthony Long killed her in that home, and also stabbed the baby’s father. He is expected to recover.

Anthony Long was arrested and charged with murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and rape. He is being held with no bond. 

If you are in an abusive relationship and fear that at some point you might have to leave the home unexpectedly it is recommended that you obtain an extra set of birth certificate documents and social security cards (or leave the ones you have) and leave them with a trusted friend or relative. If you have to leave you may have to apply for public assistance, enroll children in school, or have other uses for the documents. If you or the children are on daily medications you may also wish to leave a day’s worth of meds with the trusted person. That way if you do have to leave in a hurry you have the essentials to get you through until you can obtain more meds. Other items you may want to consider consider copying is your drivers license and auto insurance papers, any other important papers and a copy of your car and house keys. You can also add a set of clothes for each person in the household.

Once you leave the home it is important not to return to the home until the situation is more settled. It may be a time that you think he will be at work or some other routine or scheduled activity, but during this time you cannot count on the spouse sticking to their routines. Even if they do not live at the home, they may be watching the home or the street the home is on, waiting for an opportunity.

Sometimes there is a feeling of safety in numbers, and a person may feel that they could return if they took someone with them. If a person is angry enough to harm you, they likely will harm the other person also. So try not to return to the home. If it is absolutely necessary to return, make contact with police and see if you can get an escort to the home. Some areas will do that, some will not. Check to see what your area’s policy is.

A Brave Man

Sometime between 3 and 4 am on Sunday there was the sound of a couple fighting. A nearby neighbor yelled for the man to stop. Allegedly Raymundo Marquez-Vella, 20, then came at the neighbor. A man stepped forward and reportedly  confronted Marquez-Vella. Police say that confrontation led to Merle Graham being stabbed to death. The neighbor who had yelled at Marquez-Vella to stop says that she did not know Norman, but he stepped up to help her just the same.

After the stabbing Marquez-Vella fled the scene. Police have described him as

Hispanic male, 5’11”, 180 pounds with black hair and brown eyes

They also say he is considered armed and dangerous. A warrant has been issued for his arrest on the charge of murder.    (picture at link)

On of Merle Graham’s nieces spoke up about the kind of man he is and how much the family will miss him. And she also said something that really stands out for me:

“But it speaks so much about how domestic violence is a serious and real issue and that it affects everyone, each and everyone of us”

It is true. DV does affect the community. Sometimes it is direct like this, sometimes it is in the pain and grief it leaves behind. But it is indeed more than a couple’s problem, it is a community problem.

Another thing that struck me was the difference in the two men. One allegedly was beating on a woman, all police have said about it is that it was a “domestic problem” so I am presuming it was a girlfriend or relative- someone close to him. He also allegedly threatened the neighbor woman simply because she spoke out to try to stop him.

The other man stepped forward to aid a woman, a woman who was a stranger to him. Guess which one I consider to be a man?

Beating a wife or a girlfriend to make them comply with the husband or boyfriend’s wishes does not show manliness. Accosting strangers because they attempt to stop a wrong does not show manliness. All it shows is that the man is a bully. It actually shows more cowardice than a man who runs from battle. Choosing to physically assault someone just because they are weaker, is merely an attempt to make themselves appear stronger. Any bully can do it, it doesn’t take a man.

The neighbor who yelled about the abuse and the man who stepped forward to defend her shows the kind of bravery that a bully wishes they had. They risked harm to themselves to try to prevent injury to another, and did so at risk to themselves. Merle Graham died attempting to protect a woman. Now that is a brave man.

For more info about Merle Graham

A big thanks to D.P. for sending me the link on this one


Police have released information that Raymundo Marquez-Vella may be associated with two vehicles. One a green Pontiac Van with the Oregon license plate number VUD-718. The other is a green 1995 Mitsubishi Montero with the license plate number UJQ-231. Police are not saying how he might be related to those vehicles, but they say they do believe he is traveling in them. A reward is being offered for information about Marquez-Vella’s whereabouts.  

Wanted: “Pearls and all”

Martin Fitzgerald is badly wanted. Police say Fitzgerald has been a busy guy lately. There is a warrant out for him on a Savings and Loan robbery on June 12. And he is believed to have dressed as a woman in the robbery of a Walgreen’s on July 29.

But those are not the only reason’s he is wanted.

On Saturday about 1:10 am, a woman jumped out of a window of an apartment. I have seen her age listed variously as 19 and 24. She was on fire. Inside the burned apartment, firefighters found the body of Deshon Tucker, 40. Ms. Tucker had been the girlfriend of Martin Fitzgerald.

Police have said that Fitzgerald allegedly walked into the apartment on Sat. and poured gasoline on Ms. Tucker and lit it. The neice caught on fire and jumped from a window. He allegedly bolted the door as he left. Ms. Tucker died, her niece was burned over 70% of her body.

Martin Fitzgerald is at large. Police have described him as a black male, age 43, 5’5″ and 160 lbs. Police say he has been known to disguise himself as a woman

“Pearls and all”

He is reported as driving a 1996 dark blue Chevy Corsica 4 door with license plate 650-LUC. And of course he is considered dangerous.

I haven’t found a picture of Fitzgerald. But you could see his vehicle driving on the street or parked nearby. He could be the man (or woman) standing next to you in line at the gas station. Keep an eye out for him will you?


Fitzgerald is still on the loose. Police have found the car he had been driving, but have not located him. They do have a trail however. Fitzgerald is believed to have robbed a bank on Sun. He was dressed as a man this time, but was believed to have been driven by a man (or a woman in long braids.) They fled the robbery in an older model blue car.

The niece’s condition has been upgraded to serious condition, but she is considered stable. (picture of Fitzgerald at link)


Thanks to D.P. we have an update. Martin Fitzgerald is now in custody and has been arrested in the homicide of Deshon Tucker and several robberies. According to one article, Fitzgerald called Ms. Tucker’s daughter on Sun. and said he did not kill her mother. Police arrested him on Monday. They had been working on several leads, but declined to say what led to finding his location. 

No Other Choice

Robert and Kimberly Wolfe reportedly filed for divorce in July 2006. And according to police, the year since has been contentious. Kimberly Wolfe, 33, filed for three protection orders (July and Dec. 2006), one of which was dismissed. Robert Wolfe reportedly filed for protection orders against Kimberly Wolfe in July 2006 and April of 2007. Reportedly both of those were dismissed. According to at least one article, there were also two misdemeanor domestic violence charges against Wolfe (at least one of which may have been for breaking the protection order.) The divorce became final May 16.

Last Friday Kimberly Wolfe was at home with her boyfriend and her teen daughter. After the household had gone to bed, Kimberly Wolfe and the boyfriend Timothy Sizemore were allegedly awakened with a bat around 1-1:30 am.

According to reports, they were hit repeatedly. Kimberly Wolfe was able to get to her gun and fired a shot. But the bat continued to hit. So she fired another shot. When the bat strikes continued, she shot for the third time- this time the intruder dropped.

Police say it appears that Robert Wolfe entered the home through a broken window. In the home they found a bag of knives. Police theorize that Wolfe may have planned to torture his wife before killing her. Two of Kimberly Wolfe’s shots had apparently missed and struck a bedroom wall.

Robert Sizemore reportedly suffered a broken elbow and hand. He also appeared to have been struck on the face and ribs. Kimberly Wolfe is reported to have bruising but no broken bones. Police believe that Robert Sizemore may have received more injuries because he may have been on the side of the bed closest to the door. Robert Wolfe was reported to have no pulse at the scene.

Police have investigated the scene. They report their findings as the home appeared to have been broken into, and the assault. They have said it had the appearance of self-defense. The police will present the case to the district attorney and the DA will make the final decision as to whether to file charges. Kimberly Wolfe has not been charged with any crime.

The police chief has said

“I don’t know if it was the right thing,” Edwards said. “It’s probably why she’s still alive. I don’t think she had any other options.”

“No other options.” Basically that can be the difference between a finding of self-defense and murder. If there is an option of leaving the presence of the abuser, then that is an option.

Recently I spoke about two women who were being released from prison after years of incarceration, after they were convicted of killing their husbands- both of whom were allegedly abusive. My plea was for people who were in abusive relationships to leave before it came to that. Someone chided me for that.

Leaving is an option. A scary, difficult option but it is an option. So if there is an opportunity to escape (for example after the abuser goes to sleep) take the option of leaving.

If there is a fear of the abuser attempting to take revenge for leaving- find a domestic violence shelter. File charges for any abuse and obtain a protection/restraining order. Then if the order is broken and contact is made, make a report and follow through on the restraining order. You may need to take other actions like finding somewhere unknown to the abuser to live. You may need or want to protect your address by keeping it a secret. Keep in contact with your local domestic violence agency. They will have other information to help you protect yourself and your family and may have some resources to help you in establishing a new life.

There Once Was a Family

A father and a mother with a little girl named Jasimine. Then little twin sons were born. But all was not well. An in-law says that he once saw the mother with a black eye.

“She said (Analco) was the one who punched her I told her to go to the police. She didn’t say nothing. He told her he was going to kill her”

At some point the couple split up, and the mother moved in with her sister and a male friend of her sister’s. Neighbors say it was a rental home and they did not know the residents well. Police say they had had little contact with the household.

It was a quiet night in a quiet neighborhood Saturday night. About 10:30 pm there were noises, but many neighbors thought it was firecrackers. Someone did call police.

Police got a call at 10:36 pm. Police aren’t saying much about what they found when they arrived. They have announced they found 6 bodies in the home, 3 female adults and one male adult and two babies. In a car near the home they found a two year old little girl, with a gunshot wound to her chest.  

Police haven’t announced the identity of any of the dead or wounded. But a couple of family members have talked about what they know.

Vanessa Iverson’s mother said she didn’t live at the house, but she was visiting there Saturday night. Vanessa was 19. Her mother described her as a mediator, the type of person who when there was an argument would always try to get the persons to stop arguing. She didn’t live in the home, she had just gone there to visit a friend who lived there. Her brother said he had talked with her about 9 pm and everything seemed fine.

A cousin of the father of the children says one of the persons in the house was Ambrocio Analco. He had been to the cousin’s home on Saturday and had the children with him. He left about 9 pm to take the children home. The cousin has said of Analco:

“He loves his kids, he wouldn’t do anything to hurt them,” he said. “He wasn’t drinking. He didn’t do anything. He was just there to see his kids. I’m upset, but I’m angry, too. What kind of person would do that?”

It is believed the mother of the children was Nicole McAffee, she and the children lived in the home with her sister and her sister’s friend.

The sister is believed to be one of the victims, friends have identified her as Ashley Huerta.

The twin babies, at this time it is not known for sure how old they were, but are thought to have been about 2-3 months old.

Little Jasimine was 2 years old. Police found her in the car with a gunshot wound to her chest. She was left wounded, in pain and alone. She was taken to a hospital then transferred to at least one more hospital (some reports say two hospitals) where she was admitted in critical condition. Police have announced today that her condition has been upgraded to serious.

The sister’s male friend who lived in the household was not injured. His brother named him as Gaspar Huerta (I have also seen it spelled Caspar Huerta.) He is thought to have heard the gunfire and escaped through a window of the second story of the home.

Police aren’t saying much about what they believe happened in the home. But they say it was a complex scene and they are still investigating. They are attempting to determine what happened and how the victims were connected. A district attorney has announced that it was a “domestic situation.” But neither the police or the district attorney are saying whether they believed it was a murder suicide or whether anyone was under arrest,

“nor are they seeking anyone, but nothing can be ruled out. There are still unanswered questions.”

Some family members have said the bodies were found scattered throughout the home.

One Saturday there were 5 adults, a 2 year old and two little babies gathered at one home. By night’s end there were only one adult and one little girl still alive. The little girl lost her mother, her father, and her two baby brothers. Some family lost their two daughters (the sisters.) Another family lost a son (cousin) and another family lost their young daughter/sister.

Police are being careful. They don’t want to accuse anyone of murder, if it isn’t justified. But families are out there knowing the worst thing they could imagine has happened to their family, and they don’t understand what happened.

Eventually they will get some details, some idea of what happened. But some things cannot be determined by a police investigation. One question they will never be able to answer is why, why their child/children.

One of the neighbors said something that really stood out to me:

“It’s tragic. It’s getting worse all the time,” he said. “If we want to, we can put a stop to this.”

I don’t know how, but I do know we must put a stop to this.

Additional info including what is believed to be one of the victims My Space accounts can be found at CrimeBlog.US


The 911 tapes have been released and some of the conversation has been transcribed in the media articles below. Gaspar Huerta was the one to make the 911 call and told the dispatcher that someone was in the home killing everyone and that he saw it.

The dead have been identified as

— Amborosio Analco, 23, of Delavan.

— Nicole Marie McAffee, 19, of 309 S. Second St., Delavan.

— Ashley Lynn Huerta, 21, of 309 S. Second St., Delavan. — Vanessa L. Iverson, 19, of W7772 Wisconsin Parkway, No. 21, Delavan.

— Argenis Analco and Isaiah Christian Analco, who would have been 7 months old Tuesday. They were the twin sons of Nicole McAffee and Amborosio Analco.

There are some indications from police that this may have been a murder/suicide, but still nothing conclusive.

Little Jasimine has been upgraded to good condition.

According to Huerta relatives, Analco was jealous and threatened to kill her if she cheated on him. And also according to them, he had found a letter to her from one of her old boyfriends who is now in prison.

According to reports, the murder weapon was found at the scene.                         

Corrections: The twins  Argenis Analco and Isiah Christian Analco were only 6 months old, they would have been 7 months old on Tues.

Jasimine Analco is being reported as only being 20 months.


According to the Huerta, the only living witness, Analco shot Ashley Huerta twice in the back. And that he was shooting everyone in the house, leaving Nicole McAffee for last. Allegedly after he had shot the others, Nicole McAffee had picked Jasimine up and begged him not to shoot her too. But according to media Analco reloaded and shot her too. It is unknown how she ended up outside in a car.

Nicole McAffee’s father has said he didn’t know things were so bad between Analco and his daugther. Like many, his daughter did not tell him. According to what friends have told him, Analco was stealing her mail and he found the letter from the ex-boyfriend on Sat.

Police say all of the evidence is not in, but they have confirmed they believe that Analco was the shooter.

There are different theories and pattterns for different types of family murders with multiple victims. One of those is called ‘family annihilation.’ Experts have said this fits the pattern for family annihilation.

1. Usually male

2. Depression is usually involved and a sense of ownership of the partner.

3. Social isolation

4. A desire for revenge for the one who hurt them.

5. The last act is usually suicide.

The Family

Tameka Rodriguez, 35,  and her boyfriend Mark Q. “Mustafa” Galloway, 39,  had reportedly had problems in Philadelphia. When they split up, Tameka Rodriguez moved to a different city to stay with her mother.

Police say

“He arrived in Lancaster (Saturday),” “She wasn’t hiding from him. They were interacting, but things went bad at some point.”

Galloway has a history of criminal charges against him that seems familiar to me. Such charges are often seen in domestic violence situations (though I don’t know if that is what the situation was.) Charges of

assault, terroristic threats, unlawful restraint, false imprisonment and carrying a gun without a license, stretching back to 1986.

There is no indication of who the victim or victims were in those charges.

Saturday night, Galloway went to Rodriguez’s home and the two went out to dinner. A cab driver who picked the pair up on Sunday morning says that Rodriguez was sobbing when he picked them up. He dropped them off at her mother’s home and says that as he was driving away, he heard yelling.

Two hours later shots were fired. Police say they found two people down outside the home. Three more were found nearby.

Police say Tameka Rodriguez was struck multiple times. So was her mother Betty Hogue, 54. Police say that her daughter Juanita Rodriguez-Rose, 19, was holding her 2 year old son when she was hit. The same bullet that struck the mother also hit the child in the leg. Neighbors have said she was also pregnant. The daughter’s boyfriend Luis Martinez-Lopez, 29, was also hit with a gunshot. Police have said it was unclear how many shots were fired as some shots hit more than one person.

According to the police chief

“When you shoot somebody more than once, obviously you mean business,” Lancaster city police Chief Sam Gatchell said Sunday night. “And this guy wasn’t aiming at their legs.”

Tameka Rodriguez and her mother Betty Hogue are reported to be in critical condition. Juanita Rodriguez-Rose and her boyfriend Luis Martinez-Lopez and the child are reported in stable condition.

Mark Galloway fled the scene. Police say one of the first calls they received was from Mark Galloway himself. He later turned himself in to police about 7 am. He was charged with 4 counts of attempted homicide, 5 counts of aggravated assault and weapons charges. Police say he admitted to the shootings and he did ask how Tamika was doing.

There is nothing definite about any abuse history in this relationship. But in others where there is a history, often that first call will come. There will often be a sort of pathetic tone in the voice, an apology that seems sincere. Often promises are made- they will change, it will never happen again. There may even be a promise that they will get help.

Then the excuses. Blaming the fact they were drunk, tired, upset about another situation- or worse that you made them angry. Asking, sometimes even begging. They may talk about how badly they are doing without you.

It is hard to say no. They are someone you love, they seem to be hurting- just as badly as you hurt. They seem sincere.

So you might decide to try. Maybe just to see them sometimes, maybe only phone calls- for a while. There will be added pressure to continue the relationship. They will be extra sweet. You may even feel a bit powerful, as if you have the power in the relationship. So if you go back, you have the control through threats to leave again.

Any power you feel is an illusion. Put yourself in the place of the aggressor. You hit someone. Yes, you may have to say some words to get them back. But you know that if they hit you, you would never take them back. So if you return, they feel powerful. They hit, you returned.

And they learned. They learned that if the words were right, you would forgive. They will find a way to shift the blame, at least in their minds- to the fact that the whole problem was yours. After all, you came back.

Some will decide to return anyway. But if you decide to return at least consider one thing. While you have that power and before you return you have the best chance. Insist they enroll in an abuse treatment program, complete it and practice it before you begin seeing them again. After the program, ask to see their completion certificate. Then give it some time before you return so you can see if they are really using the techniques they learn. If they are sincere in wanting to reconcile, if they really care about you- they will do it.

But you also have to be aware that any treatment program will only be as successful as the participants willingness to participate and practice it. And no treatment program is perfect. There are no guarantees.

The Good Samaritan

Michael Rutkowski, 44,  and his wife were driving down the road when they saw a dispute in progress between a man and a pregnant woman. Being the type of man he was, he stopped to help.

From what is now known, Christopher Branch, 23, is alleged to have beaten up his pregnant girlfriend and she tried to flee him. Branch reportedly got into a vehicle and chased after her. When he found her he allegedly ran over her with the vehicle he was driving.  Passers by, including two truck drivers and Michael Rutkowski stopped to help the girl.

The girl reportedly fled away from the vehicle and Branch allegedly tried to hit her with the vehicle again- but instead struck Michael Rutkowski.

Michael Rutkowski was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

According to reports the girlfriend was taken to the hospital, but she and the baby will recover.

Christopher Branch has been charged with murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, 2 counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault on a family member. Reportedly he told officers that he had been drinking all day.

According to reports Branch does have a criminal history of robbery, driving while intoxicated and yes of assault against a household member.

It happens. You are driving down the road and you see a violent domestic incident in progress along the side of the road or in a neighboring car. Or you are in an apartment and you hear it happening or hear it from your neighbor’s home. Your first priority is to make sure that police are called. Even police officers are trained to make it their first priority to call for backup.

For some, you can distract them by making them aware that others are present and by engaging them in a conversation- hopefully delaying any more violence until police arrive to handle the situation. Do not attempt to corner an enraged person, give them the opportunity to flee.

For some they will not be distracted, and will turn their attack against anyone who will attempt to come between them and the target of their rage. I suspect that was the case here. If you feel you must intervene, remember to try to protect yourself. It is not true that in a domestic incident that they will only attack their spouse or girlfriend or that they will not attack a man.


A marriage license signed by both Christopher Branch and Contessa Salazer has been submitted to the Clerk’s office.

However, the judge has said that is not going to happen. There is a court order that Branch not have contact with witnesses to the crime or with his victim’s.

Family has theorized that the attempt to marry may have been an attempt to prevent Salazar from having to testify against Branch.                  

In the bar

Christopher aka ‘Caper’ Jerome Thomas, 29, was reportedly at a bar on Wednesday when a dispute with his girlfriend began. Allegedly Thomas threw a drink on his girlfriend.

Allegedly he then drew a gun and began firing. His girlfriend was not hit. But La’ Don T. Williams, 27,  was. She was an off duty bar employee who just happened to be there.  Agnes Harding, 23, was also shot in the arm. She also, just happened to be there. There were 25 to 30 other people who also just happened to be in the bar at the time.

Passing law enforcement officers actually saw him firing shots as he was backing out of the bar. When Thomas saw the officers, he took off with the officers giving chase.

Law enforcement officers were able to get Thomas under control and gain control of his weapon. When they opened the gun, they found the weapon was jammed. The fact that the weapon jammed and the  quick arrest is believed to have saved other lives.

Thomas was arrested and charged with murder and a number of weapons charges. He does have a criminal history.

Police say he has confessed and that he made some statements regarding the crime.

“This guy made some statements to the homicide investigators that I didn’t really care who I shot, I don’t have a whole lot to live for, I’m 29 years old and I’m not going to live with my mom when I’m 30, I’d just as soon be in the penitentiary it’s no big deal to me… Which tells me possibly if that gun hadn’t gone into a double feed malfunction we probably would have had a whole lot of problem engaging in gunfire with the officers.”

Police say Thomas also claimed to belong to the “Crips” gang.

La’Don Williams was flown to a hospital where she was pronounced dead. Agnes Harding was taken to a hospital where she was treated and released.

Remember the other day when I said that spree killings could be triggered by a domestic incident, but that was rare? I still think so.

He reportedly threw the drink in her face. She was right in front of him. But he thankfully didn’t shoot her. Instead he began shooting randomly in the bar.  And remember what the police officer said that he told them about the crime? To me that seems more reminescent of a spree killer than a domestic.

After a major murder spree it always seems there is an increase in threats of a spree or bombings. And there seems to also be an increase in the incidents of sprees or attempts at sprees. Did the shooter at the Virginia Tech tragedy spawn this? Most likely this one was just waiting in the wings.

Something Terrible

It seems that 20 year old Jimmie Dawkins had some problems. Police say  last year after they were called about an argument with his mother Sonia Taylor, 44, they took him to a psychiatric hospital for an evaluation. And they were at the home twice on Mon. once at 3am and again at 3pm. Monday’s call was allegedly also in regards to an argument with his mother. Police say there was no signs of violence, so there was no arrest Monday.

There were other problems in the home. Mom’s boyfriend had recently had a stroke and was confined to a wheelchair and required the services of a home health aide. The boyfriend’s nephew had also come from Jamaica to help care for his uncle.

Police received another call from the home on Wednesday morning. His mother told the police to hurry or

“something terrible was going to happen,”

By the time they arrived a few minutes later it was too late. They found the mother Sonia Taylor, the boyfriend Arnold Lawson, 47, and the home health aide Syndia Boye (some reports say her name was Brye,) 28, dead from gunshot wounds to the face. Dawkins had also shot himself in the head.

The nephew was the only person left alive. He told police that he was in the room with his uncle when the Dawkins burst in with a gun. After shooting Arnold Lawson, Dawkins then allegedly shot the nephew. The bullet struck him in the leg and he fell over into a closet. He played dead and the shooter left the room he then left the home through a window.

The weapon was found near Dawkins body.

Police say the mother was increasingly frustrated with her son being unemployed and spending his days smoking marijuana and that he acted irrationally. Family has said that the mother was concerned that he might hurt someone in the family and that police did not arrest him when they were called.

But police say that the mother did not express that fear to them, and they did not have cause to arrest him. Police also say the mother had never gone to court to seek a protection order or an eviction order.               

It is often assumed that when someone starts acting irrationally that you can put them into the hospital and they take medication and get all better. However, it is not that simple.

If the person is an adult, in order to be admitted to the hospital they must either be exhibiting clear signs that they are a threat to themselves or others, or they must sign themselves in voluntarily. If they are admitted for exhibiting signs they might harm themselves or others, they will only be admitted for long enough for an evaluation to be completed (usually two or three days.) In order to force a longer admission, the doctor must obtain a court order.

It can be hard for a parent. If they feel their child is mentally ill, they want to get help for them. They don’t want their ill child to be in jail or homeless. They might be reluctant to force a mentally ill child out of the home, to exist on their own. At the same time they may fear the adult child.

I don’t have the answers to this one. It is a pretty common scenario. Taking them to the hospital might work- but they must be willing to go and to agree to treatment.

Calling the police sometimes works- but they must exhibit signs of violent behavior in front of the officer or you must have evidence their behavior had been violent. You risk their being arrested, but if they are you can speak to the court and try to get the judge to request the mental evaluation.

In order to take them to court for an order declaring them incompetent you must have a doctor’s who has evaluated them. Again you are back to the fact that in order to see a doctor, they must be willing to agree to the treatment.

If all else fails, a family may be forced to make going to a doctor and taking their medication  a condition of remaining in the home. And if they fail to do so, the family may have to follow through with ordering them out of the home. 

No solution is easy with a mentally ill adult child.  If a child shows signs of being ill while they are under 18 it is important to get them the necessary treatment. Because once they turn 18 it becomes much more difficult.

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