Monday – Gun Day

Starting today at gun #21 in my quest to find out all the guns that killed on Jan 1, 2017

It occurred to me earlier this morning that writing this post is why currently I don’t like Mondays. At the thought, I started singing the eponymous-ly titled The Boomtown Rats song in my head. And then the vague memory pushed its way in, that the song is about something…

Just to clarify why Geldof (or Sir Bob, if you will,) wrote the song, I brushed up on my history. It is about shooting spree in San Diego committed by Brenda Ann Spencer, in 1979, at an elementary school, which resulted in the death of two adults (the principal and a custodian both trying to protect the kids) and injured eight children and a police officer. Spencer gave her reason to a reporter: “I don’t like Mondays. This livens up the day.” (That second link, a Snopes article, is the source for the identities of the dead, and is an interesting read.)

With that sprinkling of feet-dragging now behind me, it’s time to get to the issue at hand.

Juan Manuel Belmarez (35) was killed in Edcouch, Tx at around 5pm. He was killed whilst in a white SUV, which was pictured afterward peppered with multiple bullet holes in the windscreen. As his father recounts it in an article appealing for witnesses four months after the event, he must have faced an ambush to have been shot from two directions, with the vehicle hit 39 times. The Texas Rangers are investigating, but there is no information about the assailants, or the guns used in the crime. With that many shorts fired hand guns seem a less likely culprit, but with nothing else to go on that’s what I’ll use.

Gun crime #21 is a rarity, and gets both default pistols.

Ruger SR1911 – Default Pistol 1
Default Pistol 2 – S&W M&P

Another drug deal gone bad. According to the Tampa Bay Times, teenager Jayquon Johnson (17) was killed by the hand gun of 16 year old Cody Quinn, in Quinn’s mother’s garage, in Valrico, Florida.  It is alleged that Johnson pulled a gun on Quinn in an attempt to steal the drugs he was buying from Quinn, after which Quinn pulled a weapon from his waistband and fired on Johnson, who later died in hospital. On hearing the shots in her garage, Heidi Quinn ran outside and took both guns away from the boys, and started to bury them, before changing her mind and replacing them and calling the cops.

In April it was revealed that Cody would not face murder charges as his self-defense argument could not be refuted by investigators, but as he was selling marijuana, and a safe containing same as well as oxycodone pills was found inside the house, both mother and son are facing other charges, hers relating to evidence tampering and his to unlawful gun possession and other drug charges. As Heidi Quinn’s first trial resulted in a deadlocked jury, a mistrial was called. She was due to be tried again in December. No news on her sons trial.

Default Pistol 1, again.

Ruger SR1911 – Default Pistol 1

Romoan J. Mitchell, a 40-year-old Henrico County man, was reported missing in late 2016 before he was found fatally shot New Year’s Day 2017 in Richmond.

(quote taken from the Richmond Times – Dispatch, and their article about the 67 Richmond homicides in 2017)

He was found around 10:30am on the 1st by an officer around the 3400 block on Belt Boulevard. The Medical Examiner determined the death was by gunshot wound. He was found in a wooded area and the type of bullet and speculation on the gun that fired it were not mentioned. DP2, again.

Default Pistol 2 – S&W M&P

Deandre Berry (27) was found shot around 9:40pm on Jan 1st. He was taken to hospital where he died. There is no suspect and no gun known, though “a man was seen fleeing the scene wearing a light colored hooded sweatshirt” according to WLWT5 news website. When searching for more details I found a crowdfunding page set up by family to pay for his funeral. DP1

Ruger SR1911 – Default Pistol 1

I just learned that there is a publicly accessible page (Wiki) documenting homicides in New Orleans in 2017, made by the NolaMessenger.com. What a great piece of community reporting/tech. This was in my search for details on Tarik Smith, alleged killer of forty year old Joseph Smith, in Mid-Town, New Orleans around 2:20pm on New Years Day. The shooter was identified when he turned himself into police, accompanied by his attorney, on January 12 of the same year. It was not known if they were related at the time of reporting. He was charged with second degree murder. It was reported that 8 or 9 shots were fired, and Joseph Smith died at the scene. No gun details. DP2

Default Pistol 2 – S&W M&P

Five more gun killings recorded, with 6 more unknown guns. And we have reached gun crime 25, and the end of page 1 on the Gun Violence Archive site.