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Monday, 30 May 2011

Suspect Charged With Murder In Drive-By Shooting That Killed Newark Cop

A man accused in the shooting death of a Newark police officer is facing additional charges.
Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carol A. Murray said Saturday that 19-year-old Rasul McNeill-Thomas, is now charged with first-degree murder in the death of Officer William Johnson.
Johnson, a 16 year veteran, was killed in a drive-by shooting while he was buying a slice of pizza at a fast food restaurant Thursday night.
McNeil-Thomas was arrested at his home in Newark on Friday and is also accused of carjacking the vehicle used in the attack.  His bail was raised to $1.5 million, up from $300,000 Friday. It wasn’t clear whether he had an attorney.
A second suspect who is believed to be the shooter, remains at large.
The vehicle from which the shots came sped off immediately, authorities said. Acting Police Director Samuel DeMaio said there were multiple shots fired; he didn’t provide an exact number but said it was fewer than 10. Details on a possible weapon used were not immediately released.
Surveillance video showed Johnson was standing at the counter, waiting for his food when the shooting occurred, according to DeMaio.
Police say there were more people in the fast-food place than the three who were shot, and one of them may have been the intended target.


8 Hurt In Drive-By Shootings

Police said that they were investigating drive-by shootings that wounded eight people on Saturday night.
All the shootings occurred at about 7:20 p.m. at homes located along South Warren Avenue and Palmetto Street on the Far West side, police said.

According to investigators, bullets struck homes and narrowly missed people who were standing on the porches in the area.

Eight people were injured.  Police identified them as:

Tracy Smith, 46
Jacquelea Chaffin, 27
Aaren Kackley, 21
Shannon Speakman, 33
Ashley Parsons, 25
Marc Kumer, 32
Corey Murray, 18
Tina Murray, 40


19-year-old man is lucky to be alive after 14 rounds were shot in his direction

19-year-old man is lucky to be alive after 14 rounds were shot in his direction as he was sitting outside a Tulsa home Sunday morning.

Police responded to a shots fired call in the 1500 block of East 67th Court just after 6:00 a.m.

Police say the teen was sitting on the porch of his father's home when the suspects drove up in a Nissan Maxima and started shooting. The maroon colored car then took off.

All 14 bullets missed the teen but hit the house multiple times. No one was injured inside the home.

violent holiday weekend in Newark,

violent holiday weekend in Newark, where authorities said one person was killed and four wounded in four shootings today, after three people were shot dead and four others wounded on Saturday.
City streets were crisscrossed by yellow and black police tape as detectives and police officers investigated the shootings while mourning the death of a fellow officer. William Johnson was killed Thursday night in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting as he waited — off duty and unarmed— for a slice of pizza.
A Newark teenager was arrested in Johnson’s shooting, but no arrests have been made in any of the weekend incidents.
With temperatures expected to reach into the 90s Monday, this Memorial Day weekend seemed to usher in not only the beginning of the summer holiday season, but also the annual spike in violence that accompanies warm weather in the city.
The most recent death occurred at around 4 p.m. today, when police said a man was shot and killed on Norfolk Street in Newark’s North Ward. Officers responded to a report of shots fired, and found the victim with several gunshot wounds. The unidentified victim was taken to University Hospital in the city, but died soon after arriving. Police said they do not have a suspect or motive.
Earlier in the day, two men were wounded in a noon shooting near a Quick Pick Food Mart at 7th Avenue and Broadway, said Detective Josephine Santaniello, a Newark police spokeswoman. A white sedan parked there had two shattered windows and was pockmarked with bullet holes. A small splatter of blood stained the pavement outside the car.
"It sounded like firecrackers," said a 35-year-old Newark man who declined to give his name for fear of retribution. He said he heard the gunshots while working at a nearby auto shop.
And at 2:40 p.m., Santaniello said, a man was shot several times outside an Avon Street apartment complex. Witnesses said the unidentified man was struck in the arm, chest and mouth after a group of young men opened fire with an automatic weapon, also frightening several children who were playing nearby.
"The rounds just kept going. A mini-machine gun, that’s what it sounded like," said Patricia Casper, 49, who lives at the Pilgrim Baptist Village complex, where she said there was another shooting last year. "I’ve got five grand kids, and I can’t keep going through this."
Casper was one of few witnesses willing to be quoted by name. Several residents at her complex and at other shootings said they feared retaliation if they were seen talking to a reporter.
About 10 p.m. tonight, a man was shot in the leg on Walnut Street in the city’s Ironbound section, police said. He was taken to University Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Newark’s siege of violence over the past four days comes during a year that has seen a dramatic increase in crime following the layoff of more than 160 police officers. This year, violent crime — including homicides, shootings and assaults — was 21 percent higher during the first quarter than during the same period last year, and the murder rate was 71 percent higher, according to Newark Police figures.
The recent slayings make for a total of at least 35 homicides in Newark in 2011, according to the police and figures compiled by The Star-Ledger. Last summer — the city’s most violent since 1990 — there were 35 slayings. In 2010, a total of 85 people were killed in the city.
This year’s increase in violence follows the November layoff of more than 160 police officers. Arrests have also fallen steeply since the layoffs occurred.
The police, too, have been victims of the violence.
On Thursday, Johnson was killed by an errant bullet in a drive-by shooting at a fried chicken and pizza eatery on Lyons Avenue. Rasul McNeill-Thomas, 19, was charged with Johnson’s slaying Saturday, after authorities said he was targeting a woman who had punched his mother during her bridal shower Thursday.
Saturday was a particularly bloody day in the city, where three people were killed in three shootings in the North, Central and South wards, which also wounded three people.
Those shootings began at around 2 a.m., when a 24-year-old man was found with a gunshot wound to his chest on Highland Avenue. He was taken to Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, but pronounced dead shortly afterward, Santaniello said.
Just after 7 p.m., police responded to a report of shots fired on Irvine Turner Boulevard, where they found three men and a woman wounded. One of the men bled to death after being hit in the femur, according to Santaniello.
Saturday’s final fatality occurred at 11 p.m., when a man died after authorities said he was shot several times in the head and body along 14th Avenue.
Another man was also shot, though his wound was not life threatening, Santaniello said.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Arthur Lee Perkins was shot and killed during a drive-by shooting on April 5th.

Police are looking for leads in a murder that happened more than a month ago.

Arthur Lee Perkins was shot and killed during a drive-by shooting on April 5th. Investigators say Perkins was sitting on his front porch in the 400 block of Gulf Street, when some people in a car drove by and fired several shots at him.

22-year-old man was killed in a St. Albans street last Thursday night and neighbors say the stranger to their community was targeted in a drive-by shooting.

Police discovered Anthony Hilton’s body at the corner of Lucas Street and 120th Road around 9:30 p.m. after they received a 911 phone call about gunshots fired, the authorities said.

A man who lived on the block for 20 years and only wished to be identified as Stephen said he was in his backyard when the incident took place.

“I heard three shots,” he said. “At first I thought it was firecrackers, and then I heard the screaming and came out.”

Hilton, who lived 16 blocks away from the spot on 205th Street, was shot in the torso and neck and was rushed to Queens Hospital Center, but was pronounced dead at the medical center, police said.

No suspects were named as of press time and no arrests had been made.

DeChaun Brabhan, 18, Stephen’s neighbor, returned home after the shooting and saw that the victim was wearing a shirt that identified him as a staff member at the Baisley Houses public housing project.

“He definitely did not live around here,” Brabhan said.

Stephen agreed and added that he thinks Hilton was targeted. He said the police told him this was part of a drive-by shooting and the shooters got away immediately in their car.

The homeowner has high-end security cameras that look directly at the corner where the shooting took place, but he said since he did not have them on night vision mode, he could not get a good image to help the authorities.

Man shot six times in Woodlawn drive-by shooting

A man was shot six times Thursday during a drive-by shooting in the Woodlawn neighborhood on the South Side.

At 7:44 p.m., a man in his early twenties was shot six times during a drive-by shooting in the 1500 block of East 62nd Street, which is located near Hyde Park Academy High School, police said.

The victim was taken in critical condition to University of Chicago Medical Center.

No one is in custody and Calumet Area detectives are investigating.


2 Killed in Drive-by Shooting on Detroit's East Side

Early morning gunfire rang out Thursday on Park Grove Street near Reno on Detroit's east side. Two men in their early twenties were fatally shot in a drive-by shooting.

"It was kind of sad because there was no one around. Once they got shot, no one came to check them out. There (were) no friends. There's no one around to see how they were, if they were still living or anything. They just sped off and that was it," Charleszetta Sturkey told FOX 2's Bill Gallagher.

Neighbors said at least one of the victims grew up in the neighborhood and moved away, but frequently returned to visit a vacant home.

"I think it had been maybe raided a couple of times or so, and it was boarded up for a while," Sturkey said.

Gallagher asked her if that was because of drug activity.

"I think so," she replied.

Visitors to the home have been known to have conflicts.

"They just couldn't seem to get along. Last weekend (there) was a lot of (arguing) going on back and forth," Sturkey explained. "I … never (thought) it would escalate to the point that it did last night."

Another neighbor, who did not want to be identified, agonized over the violent deaths of the young victims.

"This is … very, very heartbreaking. They can find so much else to do with their lives," she said.

"Just pray for the families … and the people in this neighborhood that we could recover from this and still feel safe being around here because we have children who live on the street," said Sturkey.


A man, shot six times, was taken to Cook County's Stroger Hospital Thursday night following a drive-by shooting in the Woodlawn neighborhood

A man, shot six times, was taken to Cook County's Stroger Hospital Thursday night following a drive-by shooting in the Woodlawn neighborhood, police said.

The man was walking on the 1500 block of East 62nd Street at about 7:45 p.m. when a silver vehicle approached and someone in the car opened fire.

The victim suffered bullet wounds to the chest, the right forearm and right side of the body, police said. He was taken to in critical condition to the hospital.

Calumet Area detectives are investigating. Police reported that no one was in custody.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Accused killer of Dallas gang officer scheduled for trial this week

At least one member of the Dallas police gang unit will always be on hand this week during the trial of a man accused of fatally shooting Sr. Cpl. Norm Smith in 2009, The Dallas Morning News reports. 

Smith, 42, was killed while trying to serve a warrant at a drug house in Oak Cliff. His wife, Lt. Regina Smith worked for then-Police Chief David Kunkle at the time, which drew additional attention to the killing.

Charles Patrick Payne faces the death penalty in the trial, which is scheduled to begin Wednesday in Dallas.

weapons' supplier, providing firearms to alleged members of Ravi Pujari gang for over three years, has been arrested

weapons' supplier, providing firearms to alleged members of Ravi Pujari gang for over three years, has been arrested from suburban Khar and four sophisticated firearms and 207 live rounds were seized, police said today.

Acting on a tip-off, a trap was laid and the accused Vijay Kalyani, 22,, a resident of Santacruz, was caught while he was moving suspiciously near Khar railway station last evening.

"A pistol, two magazines and seven live rounds were found in a plastic bag Singh was carrying. His interrogation resulted in seizure one more pistol, two revolvers and 200 live rounds from the city suburb's residence of Neel Masqueta, another member of Pujari gang who is currently lodged in jail," joint police commissioner (crime) Himanshu Roy said.

With the operation, police have prevented a number of crimes in the city, Roy said adding, "Had we not arrested this man, he would have used these weapons for different crimes in future. Kalyani was directly in contact with Pujari."

Police did not reveal as to from where Kalyani procured the weapons from.

In the past two years, Pujari gang was actively involved in several crimes across the metropolis following which police had decided to crack down on the gang and trace the people, who provide these gangs logistics' support, Roy said.

The Portland community is dealing with the reality of gang violence.

A memorial service is scheduled Wednesday at Mallory Avenue Christian Church in honor of 18-year-old Shalamar Edmond, who was shot to death in the city's New Columbia neighborhood last week.
Meanwhile, police are investigating two separate gang-related shootings over the weekend.
Investigators said a 16-year-old boy was shot Saturday night in Raymond Park in Southeast Portland.
Neighbors said they saw two teens riding their bikes when the gunfire rang out.
Police have not tracked down the shooter, while the victim is expected to recover.
“He was in a lot of pain, but looks like apparently he’s going to be OK,” said Tommy Matthews, who found the shooting victim. “He’s going to be limping for a while.”
Investigators said gang violence led to another shooting Saturday that happened two hours later inside the Interstate Bar and Grill in North Portland.
Police said two men were shot and they’re both out of the hospital.
Frustration is growing in the community as people believe more teenagers are getting involved with gangs.
“I think they might not be in the gang, but trying to fit in with that group so they can eventually get into that gang,” said a woman, who wanted to remain anonymous. “I definitely think they need more help.”
This weekend’s violence brings Portland’s gang-related shootings to 34 this year.
There were a total of 93 in the city last year.
A police representative said Portland is on pace to have more than 100 this year.
Police recently increased patrols following the spike in gang violence over the last month.
“Hopefully they’ll be able to resolve the situation and it won’t be a violence responding to violence situation,” said Matthews.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

16-year-old youth has been charged with murdering two British tourists who were shot dead in Florida last month.

Shawn Tyson will be tried as an adult for first-degree murder after the deaths of James Kouzaris, 24, and 25-year-old James Cooper, Sarasota Police said.

If Tyson is convicted, he will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Mr Kouzaris, of Northampton, and Mr Cooper, from Hampton Lucy near Warwick, were gunned down in a rundown Sarasota neighbourhood on April 16.

The friends had been on holiday with Mr Cooper's parents in Longboat Key, about 12 miles from the murder scene.

CCTV images show the pair in bars in downtown Sarasota just 90 minutes before they were murdered.

It is still not known how or why they travelled to the area where they were killed, which was 20 blocks away.

Tyson had reportedly been released from police custody hours before their deaths, despite a judge raising concerns that he posed a danger to the community.

Earlier in the month the teenager had appeared in court on charges that he fired gun shots into an occupied car in an unrelated crime.

The evidence against Tyson in the murder case has not been released, after a judge sealed the court document in which it is detailed.

Authorities say witnesses could be in danger and the investigation damaged if the information is made public.

Two Virginia man who were part of the conspiracy to sell guns to Trenton gangsters

Two Virginia man who were part of the conspiracy to sell guns to Trenton gangsters, including the one used to kill innocent 13-year-old Tamrah Leonard, were sentenced to probation in Mercer Court today.

Bobby Lee Henderson, 24, of Townsend, and Larry Nottingham, 28, of Eastville, both pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a weapon, Peter Aseltine, spokesman for Attorney General Paula T. Dow, said last month.

The two men admitted they conspired with Trayle Beasley, 30, of Trenton, to buy guns from sources in Virginia and sell them to the hungry gangster market in Trenton.

“Seventy-five percent to the crime guns in New Jersey come from out of state and Virginia is the second biggest source state,” said Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor.

In addition to the Leonard shooting on June 7, 2009 during a block party, Beasley’s conspiracy brought into the city the gun used to kill Tracey Crews, 23, inside his city home on Sept. 12, 2008, Aseltine said.

Mercer County Superior Court Judge Mitchel Ostrer sentenced Townsend to four years probation and Henderson to three years probation, in addition to the time served in prison awaiting trial.

Beasley pleaded guilty last month to bringing in 12 guns, including eight handguns, two shotguns, and two rifles.

He faces between 12 and 14 years in prison when sentenced on May 31 in Judge Pedro J. Jiminez Jr.’s court, Aseltine said.

Joliet man already serving 45 years in prison for the murder of an innocent bystander received an additional six years today for abiding by his gang’s code of silence and refusing to testify against an associate gang member.

Joliet man already serving 45 years in prison for the murder of an innocent bystander received an additional six years today for abiding by his gang’s code of silence and refusing to testify against an associate gang member.
Robert Meza, 23, was sentenced for “serious direct criminal contempt” by DuPage Judge Kathryn Creswell. Meza refused to testify in the recent trail of Antonio Aguilar, 21, of Addison, for the 2007 murder in Addison of Lorenzo Salazar-Cortez, 22, of Berkeley.
Salazar-Cortez was fatally shot as he sat in a friend’s apartment. Prosecutors claimed it was Aguilar who actually fired the fatal shots.

Assistant State’s Attorney Steven Knight said that Meza was obeying his street gang’s code of silence by refusing to testify against Aguilar, who was acquitted of the crime last year by Judge George Bakalis.

The judge said prosecutors lacked sufficient evidence for a conviction and he specifically mentioned Meza’s refusal to testify as a factor in the trial’s outcome.

“You have followed the rules of the gang over that of society,” said Creswell. “Your objective was to further the goals of a street gang. This is particularly senseless because the victim was not a gang member.”

Meza told Creswell that “I am afraid of my safety at Menard” Correctional Center.

He admitted that when he was questioned by Addison police about the shooting he claimed Aguilar and he meant to shoot a rival gang member, but shot into the wrong apartment. But today he claimed that he was innocent of that crime and lied to police to protect a different gang member.

Creswell said previously that state law does not specify any maximum sentence for the contempt “other than reasonable.” But she said she would abide by the plea agreement of no more than 10 years in prison that Meza struck with prosecutors when he pleaded guilty to the contempt charge earlier this year.

When Aguilar’s bench trial before Bakalis began last summer, Meza, convicted of murder in 2008 by a jury, was ordered to testify and was given full immunity from further prosecution by Bakalis, but Meza continually declined.

State law requires Meza to serve 100 percent of the 45-year murder sentence, but only 50 percent of any contempt sentence. Creswell said he should be released when he is 68 years old.

A man has been sentenced to 67 years 4 months, plus 40 years to life, plus life without the possibility of parole for a series of shootings

A man has been sentenced to 67 years 4 months, plus 40 years to life, plus life without the possibility of parole for a series of shootings which occurred between February and March 2005, according to Jan Scully, Sacramento County district attorney.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Helena R. Gweon sentenced Roy Houston on Friday.

Houston was convicted by jury earlier this month for the February 2005 murder of Donald McCall and the attempted murders of Randall Hudson and Joseph McCoy. The jury also found the special circumstance of shooting from a vehicle, personal use of a firearm and gang enhancement to be true, Scully said.

The jury also convicted Houston for attempted voluntary manslaughter with the use of a firearm and the negligent discharge of a firearm in an incident that occurred in March 2005 at the Robertson Center.

In a separate March 2005 incident that occurred at Glenwood Elementary School, Houston was convicted for the attempted murder of Kenneth Bell with the use of a firearm enhancement and shooting at an occupied vehicle that occurred.

The crimes were found be for the benefit of the Del Paso Heights Bloods gang, Scully said.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Wal-Mart to Expand Firearm Sales

Several hundred Walmart stores will be expanding their merchandise to include firearms, and one Tallahassee store is on that list.


Mexican drug cartels are being armed with weapons supplied by the U.S., leaked documents show.

The WikiLeaks files, written by U.S. military chiefs, reveal that grenades and light anti-tank weapons seized from drug traffickers in Mexico and Colombia were from the U.S.

A cable entitled ‘Honduras: Military weapons fuel black market in arms’ states that the serial numbers of arms taken from drug gangs coincide with those supplied by the U.S. to the Honduran Armed Forces.

U.S. arms: WikiLeaks file claims weapons seized from Mexican drug gangs were made in America

According to the Defense Intelligence Agency file, the brands and serial numbers seized equipment are the same as a shipment sent to the Second Infantry Battallion in Honduras.

‘The [U.S. Government] has become aware that light anti-tank weapons (LAWs) and grenades supplied to Honduras under the Foreign Military Sales program were recovered in Mexico and Colombia,’ the cable said.


‘According to the [Defense Intelligence Agency] report, three light anti-tank weapons (LAWs) were recovered in Mexico City in January 2008, and one was recovered in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico in April 2008.’

‘Over 50 per cent of the military-type weapons that are flowing throughout the region have a large source between Central American stockpiles, if you will, left over from wars and conflicts in the past,’ said General Douglas Fraser, the head of the U.S. Southern Command in the memo.

According to the report, in April 2008, an investigation by the Honduran Armed Forces showed that the battalion did not know the whereabouts of 26 pieces of military equipment supplied by the U.S. for training.

The weapons had been sent in 1992 as a part of U.S. military sales to foreign armies.
The leaked cable comes as Mexico explores lawsuits against U.S. gun makers to stem flow of illegal arms.

Gun stores on the border between the U.S. have Mexico have been criticised for their firearms ending up in the hands of drug cartels.

Spreading drug gang violence has claimed more than 34,600 lives in Mexico over the past four years with more than 15,000 deaths last year.

The drug wars have prompted foreign governments, including the U.S., to issue a number of travel warnings for parts of Mexico.

The mother of a 16-year-old Outlook girl who was killed when she answered a knock on the door Thursday night says her daughter was not involved in gangs.

She tells the Yakima Herald-Republic that Diana Lopez was an aspiring veterinarian who liked school, though one of her brothers had served time in jail. The teen was also a mother herself of a 2-year-old girl.

Authorities say the mobile home where Lopez lived was rife with gang activity. Dispatchers have fielded 21 calls involving the residence since 1998, five of them weapons offenses.

Investigators say four people dressed in blue with bandanas over their faces pulled up at the home Thursday night. Lopez was shot once in the side and died on her way to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

21-year-old man was rushed to hospital with a lower body gunshot wound after a shooting on Belisle Street off McArthur Avenue near St. Laurent Boulevard on Saturday afternoon

21-year-old man was rushed to hospital with a lower body gunshot wound after a shooting on Belisle Street off McArthur Avenue near St. Laurent Boulevard on Saturday afternoon, police said. Sgt.

Seth Curtis of the guns and gangs unit said the shooting happened at about 3: 30 p.m. outside of a home on the small dead-end street, and that a warrant was being sought to enter that now-empty home to search for possible evidence. Curtis said the home could have links to the victim, the suspects, or both. No suspects had yet been identified, and the victim, who is known to police, was not co-operating, Curtis said. The victim was in stable condition in hospital on Saturday.


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