Tag Archives: Suspect’s

Suspects still on the run 1 day after grandmother shot and killed outside SE Houston gym

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Police are still searching for two suspects that shot and killed a grandmother walking into her southeast Houston gym Thursday.

The 62-year-old woman was arriving for a 5 a.m. exercise class when she was ambushed in the parking lot.

A makeshift memorial has been created right next to the spot where she died outside Life Fit Personal Fitness Studio, located in the 10500 block of Fuqua Street near Beamer Road.

Late Thursday, Houston police released surveillance video of the suspects’ vehicle.

The suspects’ white Chevrolet SUV parked near the victim just before 5 a.m. Thursday, and two people got out.

Officers say the suspects confronted the woman and she took off running toward the gym before they opened fire, killing her.

The suspects took off, and are still on the run Friday morning.

They’re described only as Hispanic males in their early 20s.

Police identified the woman killed as 62-year-old Elsa Mikeska.

ABC13 spoke to her family Thursday. They’re heartbroken and wondering who would do this.

ORIGINAL STORY: Woman shot and killed while trying to flee carjackers outside SE Houston gym, police say

Mikeska was a member of Life Fit Personal Fitness Studio. Fellow gym members described her as a regular.

“It’s kind of scary. It’s kind of scary just the fact that it happened to a 50-to-60-year-old lady,” gym member Frank Delgado said. “They have no compassion towards age. Crime has no compassion towards age.”

“It’s very troubling,” HPD Commander Belinda Null said. “On a daily basis, it’s troubling that our city, and cities across the nation are experiencing the violence that we are.”

The gym shooting wasn’t the only incident police believe the suspects are connected to.

An hour before, officers say the suspects attempted to carjack a vehicle from a woman at 10100 Freehill Street, about two miles from the gym.

The car was broken down, so they weren’t able to steal it. The victim ran, and no shots were fired.

Officers said they aren’t sure why the suspects opened fire when the victim ran toward the gym.

If you have any information, or recognize the vehicle, you can call CrimeStoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

Follow Nick Natario on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Author: KTRK

This post originally appeared on ABC13 RSS Feed

Austin attorney gives insight on possible charges for 6th Street mass shooting suspects

Austin attorney gives insight on possible charges

AUSTIN (KXAN) — There are still a lot of questions surrounding the charges that the two suspects of the deadly mass shooting on Sixth Street shooting may face.

Police and the district attorney’s office have not yet released any information.

But KXAN got new insight from Brandon Grunewald, a long-time Austin attorney, who has experience in the Travis County District Attorney’s office.

As we’ve reported, both of these suspects — teenagers — are in custody. Police arrested 17-year-old Jeremiah Roshaun Leland James Tabb on Monday.

The other was arrested on Sunday, but a name hasn’t been released. That suspect is a juvenile in the eyes of the law.

Both being young will certainly play a role in charges, but to what extent?

Grunewald said there could be more than one outcome.

“They can be charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, or they can be charged all the way up to murder,” Grunewald said.

According to Grunewald, just because aggravated assault is the arresting charge listed now doesn’t mean that’s the final choice for prosecution.

“I think the most important thing to remember is that final decision is really up to the District Attorney through the grand jury,” Grunewald said. “Law enforcement makes an arrest decision.”

So now, Grunewald says the DA is likely shifting through all evidence, trying to figure out what he has and what charges will stick.

“In the case involving numerous victims, you could see charges coming slowly as evidence comes to life, also as the medical condition of the individuals involved…that also changes what the district attorney might seek to charge the individuals,” Grunewald said.

Whether the young suspects have prior run-ins with the law will also be a factor in what punishment to seek.

“With the individuals involved in these cases have had no prior involvement with law enforcement, it will make it more difficult to justify a decision to seek the most strenuous sentence as possible,” Grunewald said.

As families grieve their losses and lives are forever changed, Grunewald said it’s important to make sure the process isn’t rushed.

“You want to give law enforcement and the attorney’s office time to make decisions based on all the evidence,” he said.

It’s important to note that the DA decides how to present the case to a grand jury. However, the grand jury ultimately decides the indictment that will go to trial.

We’re also working to get arrest documents, so that we can have a clearer picture of what actually happened that night. “Intent” plays a role in criminal charges, as well.

Author: Jala Washington
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

OVERNIGHT: Pflugerville homicide suspects found in south Austin

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Posted: Updated:

Travis County sheriff deputies investigate a homicide in Pflugerville. (KXAN: Frank Martinez)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Travis County deputies found a man’s body late Tuesday night in Pflugerville. Austin Police later took two suspects in the homicide into custody in south Austin.

TCSO says a 911 caller told dispatch around 11:30 p.m. that someone had been shot on Halite Bend. That is near Wells Branch Parkway in the Boulder Ridge South neighborhood.

According to TCSO, the 911 caller had information about a vehicle involved in the shooting. Also, TCSO was able to lead APD to an area near Westgate Boulevard and Alford Drive.

When TCSO deputies arrived at the scene in south Austin, APD had just taken the two suspects into custody. TCSO says one suspect and the man who died knew each other.

This the third homicide that TCSO is investigating in 2021.

Author:
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

EXPLAINER: Is It Legal to Shoot Suspects in the Back?

Author: AP News
This post originally appeared on Snopes.com

Seconds after Anthony Alvarez was shot from behind by a Chicago police officer, the fatally wounded 22-year-old looked over at the officer and asked: “Why you shooting me?” The officer answered, “You had a gun.”

The dramatic exchange captured on video released Wednesday encapsulated a broader issue about whether the shooting of suspects in the back as they are running away is ever justified.

State laws and Supreme Court precedent permits it under certain circumstances, though the fact a fleeing suspect has a gun doesn’t automatically make such a shooting legal.

Here’s a look at the laws and how they might be relevant to the March 31 killing of Alvarez.

ARE THERE DISPUTED FACTS?

From the multiple videos released by Chicago’s independent police review board, there’s no disputing Alvarez had a gun. It’s clearly visible.

The officer and a partner had just chased Alvarez down an alley when, after they emerged onto a residential sidewalk, the officer yelled at Alvarez: “Drop the gun!” The officer then shot at Alvarez, who crumpled to the ground.

A police report identified the officer as Evan Solano, 29. The officer had recognized Alvarez from another incident the day before during which Alvarez fled, and he started chasing Alvarez on foot on March 31, the head of Chicago’s police union, John Catanzara, has said.

From the videos, it seemed clear Alvarez had his back turned to the officer at the moment the six-year veteran of the force fired. As Alvarez’s knees buckle after he was shot, his gun flies out of his hand and lands several feet away.

What’s not clear is whether Alvarez might have been starting to turn as he was shot. Catanzara claimed Alvarez was turning in the direction of the officer.

WHAT ARE THE RELAVANT LAWS?

For decades, officers were authorized to shoot suspects in the back to keep them from evading arrest. The killing of 15-year-old Edward Garner in 1974 changed that.

The case involved Memphis police officer Elton Hymon responding to a report of a prowler when he saw Garner running from a burglarized home. Hymon later told investigators he didn’t think Garner was armed but shot him in the back of the head anyway to stop him from getting away. The shooting was deemed justified.

Garner’s case led to a landmark Supreme Court decision in 1985, in which the high court said shooting fleeing suspects who are not an imminent threat is unconstitutional. The court said officers can use lethal force to stop a fleeing suspect only if they have reasonable grounds to think the suspect poses a danger to police or bystanders.

CAN AN OFFICER SHOOT ANY FLEEING SUSPECT WITH A GUN?

No, explained Chicago-based civil rights attorney Andrew M. Stroth, who has represented many families whose relatives were shot by police.

“An officer has to be presented with an imminent threat of bodily harm or injury to himself or a third party,” Stroth said. “The presence of a weapon alone is not justification for an officer to shoot a suspect in the back or anywhere else.”

Other Supreme Court rulings since the Garner case have established that the presence of a gun does not necessarily give an officer the right to open fire.

“You cannot use your bullets from a service revolver to catch an alleged suspect who is not posing a danger,” Stroth said.

He blamed the city of Chicago for not implementing a clear foot-pursuit policy for so many shooting deaths of fleeing suspects. He said in both the Alvarez shooting and in a police shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo on March 29, pursuing officers needlessly put themselves in positions with no cover.

“If they are chasing someone with a gun, they are creating a danger… where they think they have to use lethal force,” he said. “That’s bad for the officers and bad for everyone involved.”

COULD OFFICER SOLANO BE CHARGED CRIMINALLY?

From the surprise on Alvarez’s face after he was shot and in asking Officer Solano about why he fired, it seems clear Alvarez did not see himself as a threat.

But for the purposes of assessing criminal liability, Alvarez’s intentions aren’t relevant. The decisive question is whether Solano perceived he was in danger.

The Supreme Court made an officer’s perception of danger central to the legality of a shooting in its Graham v. Connor ruling in the 1989. The ruling said an officer’s fear in the heat of the moment, not just the actual threat, was key. The court said that the reasonableness of an officer’s use of force should be judged “from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight.”

That ruling meant that officers who shoot a fleeing suspect in the back can’t be charged if they credibly perceived the suspect was about to turn and shoot them, even if it became clear later that their perception was mistaken.

Charges against officers have been rare historically, no matter the circumstances. That’s one reason the conviction of Derek Chauvin last week for killing George Floyd was considered a civil rights milestone.

But charges against officers who kill fleeing suspects who had guns or other weapons on them at the time are virtually unheard of, said Stroth.

He said it was highly unlikely Solano would face charges. By current legal standards, he said, it would be hard to argue that Solano was unjustified in opening fire.

The Associated Press

Before Austin shooting, suspect’s family pleaded for more protection: “I’m afraid he might hurt me”

Author: Reis Thebault and Brittany Shammas, The Washington Post
This post originally appeared on The Texas Tribune: Main Feed

Police search for 3 suspects linked to deadly shooting at north Austin shopping center

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Police Department is looking for three suspects involved in a deadly shooting in a north Austin shopping center last week.

Police say 18-year-old Kedarius Griffin was killed during an April 14 shooting near the H-E-B/McDonald’s parking lot on West Rundberg Lane and North Lamar Boulevard. The incident happened around 7:24 p.m.

This is Austin’s 23rd homicide of 2021, according to APD. Police have released photos and descriptions of the suspects.

Suspect No. 1

  • Black male/dark complexion
  • Approximately 5’8″-5’9″
  • Thin
  • Short “twisty” dreadlocks to top of ears
  • Possibly a tattoo under right eye
  • Possibly goes by the nickname “money”
  • Last seen wearing light colored jeans with holes in the knee area, black tennis shoes, dark hoodie or pullover
  • May be driving a maroon/red Hyundai 4 door sedan bearing Texas license plate: NYY6685, with a dent on the passenger side:
Surveillance footage of suspect No. 1 (Austin Police Department)

Suspect No. 2

  • Black male, lighter complexion, medium build
  • Possibly has a tattoo under his eye or on his forehead
  • Light brown eyes
  • Approximately 5’8”-5’9”
  • Low fade haircut/black hair
  • Last seen wearing white tennis shoes, light colored pants/shorts, black underwear, light t-shirt with a design on the front
Surveillance photo of suspect No. 2 (Austin Police Department)

Suspect No. 3

  • Black male, dark complexion
  • Thin
  • Low fade haircut
  • Last seen wearing a tight fitting purple shirt, black tennis shoes, wooden beaded necklace
Surveillance photo of suspect No. 3 (Austin Police Department)

Detectives are asking anyone with information or video of the incident to call APD Homicide at 512-974-TIPS, email [email protected], utilize the Crime Stoppers tip line at 512-472-8477 (TIPS), or the Crime Stoppers app.

A $ 1,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of the suspect.

KXAN Staff

This article originally appeared on KXAN Austin

Boulder Shooting Suspect’s Lawyer Cites ‘Mental Illness’ in First Court Appearance

BOULDER, Colo. — A lawyer for the man charged with 10 counts of murder after a mass shooting at a grocery store in Boulder, Colo.[1], said in court on Thursday that the suspect has an unspecified mental illness.

During the first court appearance for the suspect, Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, prosecutors also vowed to file more charges in the next two weeks and said the police were still processing the vast crime scene at the King Soopers grocery store. Mr. Alissa will continue to be held in jail without bond.

Kathryn Herold, a public defender who is among those assigned to represent Mr. Alissa, raised the possibility that he had a mental illness when she asked the judge to postpone the next court date.

“We cannot do anything until we are able to fully assess Mr. Alissa’s mental illness,” Ms. Herold said at the hearing.

Judge Thomas Mulvahill said that the parties would next meet in court in the next 60 to 90 days to discuss the case.

Mr. Alissa, who was shot in the leg by the police during the attack, was brought in and out of the courtroom in a wheelchair and wore a white surgical mask. He spoke only once during the hearing, saying “yes” when the judge asked if he understood his rights.

One of the other lawyers representing Mr. Alissa on Thursday was Daniel King, a longtime public defender who represented the gunman who killed 12 people in 2012 in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater during a trial that hinged on the gunman’s mental state[2].

Law enforcement officials have said that Mr. Alissa, 21, was armed with what appeared to be a semiautomatic rifle and a handgun during the shooting on Monday, and was wearing an armored vest. Investigators said he began the rampage in the parking lot of the grocery store and then made his way inside.

Boulder Police said Mr. Alissa bought a Ruger AR-556 pistol, a short-barreled variant of an AR-15 carbine, just six days before the shooting. They have not said whether that was one of the two weapons he was found with and have declined to provide more details on the weapons used in the attack.

Mr. Alissa is charged with 10 counts of murder in the first degree, including in the death of a police officer who was the first to respond to the scene. If convicted, he faces a penalty of life imprisonment without parole. Prosecutors have charged Mr. Alissa with attempted murder in the first degree, saying he tried to kill another police officer during the attack.

Jack Healy reported from Boulder and Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs from New York. Will Wright contributed reporting from New York.

References

  1. ^ grocery store in Boulder, Colo. (www.nytimes.com)
  2. ^ hinged on the gunman’s mental state (www.nytimes.com)

Jack Healy and Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs

Atlanta Suspect’s Fixation on Sex Is Familiar Thorn for Evangelicals

“Sex addiction” is not an established psychiatric diagnosis[1], and there is a debate in the mental health community about how to define and treat compulsive sexual behavior.

“There’s no evidence-based treatment for sex addiction,” said Joshua Grubbs, an assistant professor of psychology at Bowling Green State University and a clinical psychologist. Evangelical sex addiction treatment tends to emphasize total abstinence from any sexual behavior outside heterosexual marriage. “They don’t take into account that humans are creatures with a drive for sex,” Dr. Grubbs said.

Mr. Long and his family were active members at Crabapple First Baptist Church in Milton, Ga., which is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. In the church’s youth group for high school students, Mr. Long was “one of those core young men involved in everything we did,” said Brett Cottrell, a former youth and missions pastor at the church.

In November, an associate pastor at the church, Luke Folsom, preached a sermon on the “battle” against sin. He quoted a verse from the Gospel of Matthew, in which Jesus tells his followers that it may be worth gouging out an eye if it causes them to sin.

He continued, addressing the use of pornography directly. “Cut it out by getting rid of your smartphone, getting rid of internet connection, anything and everything that would allow you to do it,” he said. “Your soul is at stake.”

Lust, he added, is “a heart problem, not just an eye problem.”

The church, which declined a request for an interview with its leaders, issued a statement on Friday that condemned the violence at the Atlanta-area spas, as well as the suspect’s “stated reasons for carrying out this wicked plan.”

The church also emphasized that the gunman alone was to blame for his actions. “The women that he solicited for sexual acts are not responsible for his perverse sexual desires nor do they bear any blame in these murders,” the church stated. “These actions are the result of a sinful heart and depraved mind.”

References

  1. ^ not an established psychiatric diagnosis (www.washingtonpost.com)

Ruth Graham