Updated: Tue, Jul 26, 2011, 8:22 am
Uploaded: Mon, Jul 25, 2011, 3:01 pm
East Palo Alto: Four homicides in 12 days
Suspects named in shootings, including slaying of Cate Fisher
East Palo Alto Police Chief Ron Davis looked determined as his department faced investigating the city's sixth homicide this year, and fourth since July 13.
"We are not going to tolerate this level of violence," he told reporters at a press briefing on Monday (July 25). "We need the community to show they won't, either."
The chief also named three suspects in recent shootings, including the slaying of Cate Fisher, 19, of Menlo Park.
Last year, he said, East Palo Alto had four murders. This year surpassed that in a matter of days, with four homicides since July 13 alone. Chief Davis said his goal now is to go without a murder for the next six months.
Police officers will sacrifice their days off and work overtime to help achieve that milestone. The chief said extended hours will increase police coverage by 25 percent, with 12 officers on the street during "the busy hours" of 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. for at least the next month. The department plans to tap grants to cover the overtime.
After that, it's up to the community. Outrage at the shooting of 3-month-old Izack Jesus Jimenez Garcia, killed as his family left a baby shower in East Palo Alto on June 5, led to the quick arrest of 17-year-old Fabian Zaragoza, who pleaded not guilty to murder charges in a shooting investigators believe was a retaliation gone wrong for an assault earlier this year by Sureno gang members in Redwood City.
Mayor Carlos Romero told the press he hopes that the arrest encourages residents to see cooperation as worthwhile. He's organizing a community march from east Menlo Park to Palo Alto on Aug. 6 "to say we're not going to allow this to happen."
Fisher not target
Catherine Fisher, 19, of Menlo Park was shot and killed while sitting in a car around 2 a.m. in East Palo Alto on July 13. At the press briefing Chief Davis said she was not the intended target, but that a young man riding in the same car may have been as two shooters opened fire. He described three men as primary suspects in both that murder and that of Hugo Chavez, 26, six days later.
Three East Palo Alto residents -- Christian Fuentes, 20, Jaime Cardenas, 19, and Fidel Silva, 24 -- are the focus of the investigation.
Mr. Fuentes was arrested last week for violating parole by not showing up for an interview with investigators, who were acting on a tip, according to Acting Captain Jeff Liu. Both Mr. Cardenas and Mr. Silva remain at-large; all three are also wanted for two robberies, a burglary, and a triple shooting and murder in Grand Junction, Colorado, police said. They declined to elaborate on how the suspects are connected to the other state.
"Our plea is that if people know where they are, call," Chief Davis said. "We have seen the damage that they can inflict."
Capt. Liu said police have not ruled out a connection between these three suspects and a third homicide that happened late Sunday night, July 24. A 19-year-old man was gunned down around 10:30 p.m. in a pizzeria parking lot on East Bayshore Road as he greeted friends. Another man, 18, was also shot, but survived.
Police ask anyone with information about these cases to call the anonymous tip line at 853-8477 or send an anonymous text-a-tip to 409-7692.
Posted by Hmmm,
a resident of another community
on Jul 27, 2011 at 4:14 pm
I love it when folks like amazed state their [word deleted; good discussion, but please try to avoid insults] opinions on issues that they *think* they know about, such as amazed's post. A good many of the crimes, incl violent crimes, in EPA happen w/no witnesses, or witnesses who see a little something off; a car speed by or a person in the dark or a hoodie run off. Some of them don't come forward because they're criminals, but some of them don't come forward because they are are terrified of likely reprisals.
It's too rich when the wealthy withhold their support because witnesses don't step forward, as if that simply is always the case or simply means that people in EPA don't deserve a good life. I don't care about the sympathy of anyone, incl wealthy people. I prefer those who are willing to become informed, because these few articles are just the bare bones, often inaccurately constructed, of what's going on.
But the bottom line is amazed clearly hasn't been reading accurately, because it's DUE TO COMMUNITY SUPPORT lately that so much info has come forward during this spate of frightening violence.
Thank you for the other thoughtful comments - even Batman's (Batman has always been my personal fave, along with Magical Witch Girl Bunny & El Muerto: The Aztec Zombie). I understand Batman's POV even though it's unrealistic. On PA Online, some of the opinions are just asinine & you gotta wonder where people get some of their opinions - again, they're truly uninformed but because they're bright, successful people, they think that automatically makes them informed.
Mr. Stogner, it can take work to stay safe, but in general, people involved in these headline-grabbing shootings aren't innocents, so it's par for the course with the lives they live. I know that's not the case for some of these tragedies, so I don't mean to sound insensitive about those.
For many of us, we have to be canny, vigilant, & streetwise. For example, before moving here, I got the crime stats from police brass for my area. We've done a lot of community work together & chat w/neighbors, keep an eye on each other, report suspicious activity to the police & work with code enforcement, too. I decided when I moved in I'd only lower my standards a certain amount; my neighborhood was going to have to meet me halfway by upping its standards & I helped it do so. Snotty? Yes. Successful? A good portion of the time, yes. Tolerance along w/cynicism is a big help. Attitude-wise, you also have to pay attention to the vibe in your area & prevent it from getting too low. What we save in housing costs we pay for in vigilance.
Most of us are not living in terror; it's not like an ongoing episode of Law and Order. We live our lives, work, laugh, garden, read, post on local message boards, raise our families, enjoy community activities (of which there are many, but they aren't sexy headlines) such as bbqs, church, clubs, sports, volunteer work, etc.
The way I personally avoid having someone walk up & shoot me? I don't hang out on the street at 2am, I'm not a gangster or wannabe, I keep my warrants & wants to an absolute minimum ;-) don't deal dope, fight my dog, hang out w/anyone whose into any of that stuff & I certainly don't confront the thugs about their lifestyles. We've managed to get rid of low level moronic dope dealing neighbors, some street hookers & one neighbor who was running numbers (I swear to dog) - w/out police help. We've gotten police assistance with many other issues - again, it's being vigilant.
Unless there are grants paying for outside agency help, it's all of us - taxpayers - paying for it.
We also have to be vigilant about the thugs in suits who're aiming more predatory equity schemes are way, but that's for another thread.
And finally, for those who want to learn more, this info might help:
Town Hall Meeting
Please join Mayor Carlos Romero and Police Chief Ronald Davis as they host a special "Town Hall" meeting to discuss the recent surge in violence in our community.
Mayor Romero will discuss the City's strategic priorities regarding public safety and the use of Measure C Funds. Chief Davis will outline the "Summer Violence-Reduction Plan" and discuss our advanced-community policing strategies.
The meeting will provide amble time for residents to ask questions and provide feedback on strategies to stop the violence and enhance public safety in our community.
The meeting will be held on:
Date: Thursday, August 4, 2011
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Location: East Palo Alto City Hall, 2415 University Avenue