Things That Matter

A Sergeant Missing From The Same Base That Fort Hood Soldier Vanessa Guillen Went Missing From Has Been Found Hanging From A Tree

Something is amiss at Fort Hood, the United States Army post located in Killeen, Texas. A string of disappearances and deaths have been tied to the base leading to a series of investigations and inquiries. On Tuesday, police found the body of Fort Hood resident Sgt. Elder Fernandes near a railroad. Fernandes had been missing for almost two weeks before his body was discovered.

It is believed that the missing Fort Hood soldier reported an instance of sexual abuse just before his disappearance.

Temple police received a call on Tuesday evening requesting medical assistance at the site of a railroad where a man was found dead. When officials arrived at the scene they determined that the man, now identified as Fernandes, had been dead for some time.

According to Natalie Khawam, a spokesperson for Fernandes’ family, the Army alerted them of the police’s discovery. Khawam confirmed that his body had been found hanging from a tree. At the scene, police were able to recover Fernandes’ backpack and were able to identify him by using his driver’s license. “Temple police have requested an autopsy and now await forensic identification,” Khawam explained according to People. Police have stated there is currently no foul play suspected in his death.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Fernandes family during this challenging time,” Temple Police Chief Shawn Reynolds said in a statement.

Fernandes was a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear specialist who was last seen on Aug. 17.  

Two days later, after the Fernandes family struggled to get ahold of him, they reported him missing to the police. According to CNN, Lt. Col. Chris Brautigam, a 1st Cavalry Division public affairs officer stated that there is an “open investigation of abusive sexual contact” concerning Fernandes and he has been listed as a victim in the inquiry.

Fernandes’s death is only the latest in other disappearances and deaths connected to the base this year.

Earlier this year in May, Pfc. Brandon Scott Rosecrans was found fatally shot on the side of a road. He was 27-years-old. Twenty-eight-year old Brandon Michael Olivares has been accused of killing him in August. Police say Olivares and Rosecrans, a National Defense Service Medal recipient, were driving together in Rosecrans’ Jeep Renegade before he had been shot. His Jeep was found on fire soon after police discovered his body about four miles away from the site of Rosecrans’ body. According to a criminal affidavit, Olivares killed Rosencrans in a dispute over a gun sale.

Olivares is currently being held on a $1 million bond.

Over the summer, parts of Fort Hood soldier Pfc. Vanessa Guillen‘s body was discovered in a river.

Guillen’s body was discovered in a shallow grave by a River in Bell County in June. Soon after, Spc. Aaron David Robinson (who had been suspected in her killing) 20, died by suicide.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at

Latina L.A. County Deputy Was Shot In The Face But Saved Her Partner’s Life After A Gunman Ambushed Them

Things That Matter

Latina L.A. County Deputy Was Shot In The Face But Saved Her Partner’s Life After A Gunman Ambushed Them

David McNew / Getty

A shooting that occurred over the weekend in Compton, California has sparked shock, alarm, and outrage.

The shooting occurred sometime around 7 p.m. on Saturday at MLK Transit Center in Compton. According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the gunman made his way toward the passenger’s side of the deputies’ car and shot two deputies with a pistol without precedent.

One of the victims is a 31-year-old mother.

On Saturday, the sheriff’s department tweeted surveillance footage of the shooting which also captured the gunman fleeing the scene.

According to reports, the gunman fired into the deputies’ car without pretext.

“This is just a somber reminder that this is a dangerous job, and actions and words have consequences. Our job does not get any easier because people do not like law enforcement,” Alex Villanueva, the 33rd Sheriff of Los Angeles County, said in a statement. “It pisses me off. It dismays me at the same time.”

According to Villanueva, both of the deputies (Claudia Apolinar a 31-year-old mother and a 24-year-old man) were sworn in just 14 months ago and are in critical condition at the hospital. According to the sheriff’s department both are “fighting for their lives” but “it looks like they’re going to be able to recover.”

Apolinar and her partner were both shot at close range. Apolinar was shot in the face and torso and her partner sustained multiple gunshot wounds Seeing that he was in need of immediate medical treatment, Apolinar managed to make a tourniquet for him before medics arrived.

According to the New York Post, Apolinar is a former librarian who graduated from the academy last year.

“We’ll see what the long-term impact is. We don’t know that yet, but they survived the worst,” Villanueva explained.

Local officials have announced a $100,000 reward for information on the gunman and his whereabouts.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden spoke out against the attack and condemned it in a statement calling “Acts of lawlessness and violence directed against police officers are unacceptable, outrageous, and entirely counterproductive to the pursuit of greater peace and justice in America — as are the actions of those who cheer such attacks on.”

Speaking about the incident, Democratic US Rep. Adam Schiff called the attack “cowardly.”

“Every day, law enforcement officers put themselves at risk to protect our community,” Schiff stated in a post shared to Twitter. “I hope the perpetrator of this cowardly attack can be quickly brought to justice.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at

Jussie Smollett Speaks Out For The First Time In Months About His Alleged 2019 Attack— ‘They Won’t Let This Go’


Jussie Smollett Speaks Out For The First Time In Months About His Alleged 2019 Attack— ‘They Won’t Let This Go’

Nuccio DiNuzzo / Getty

In early 2019, “Empire “actor Jussie Smollett found himself thrust into the public spotlight of scrutiny after it was reported that he had been the victim of a hate crime. His original claim initially prompted public outrage and a flood of support from fans. Then, nearly three weeks later, the public was shocked to learn that Smollett had been charged with disorderly conduct and the false filing of a police report after it was determined that the attack had been staged. Worse? Officials suspected that Smollett himself had choreographed the entire attack from start to finish. In March of 2019, the actor was charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report that claimed two men attacked him while yelling racist and homophobic slurs at him.

Since then, the charges against Smollett have been dropped but his reputation remains tarnished. The court of public opinion has determined that he is a liar and fabricator. Ultimately he was dropped from his role on his show and he has remained relatively silent about the issue.

Now, a year after the alleged attack Smollett is speaking out about the controversy in a rare interview.

On Wednesday, the actor made an appearance in an Instagram Live conversation with author and activist Marc Lamont Hill. During the interview, Smollett addressed his ongoing trial calling the situation “frustrating, to say the least.”

“It’s been beyond frustrating, and I certainly am not going rogue,” Smollett explained. “I’m still taking the advice of my attorneys and everything like that, but I don’t really see, honestly, what staying quiet has really done, like, where it has gotten me. … It’s so much bigger than me.”

Smollett went onto share what the past year has done to him and shared that his legal team recently filed a motion against his indictment. The motion is set to be reviewed in court on Thursday. “I believe I have to give it up to God,” Smollett explained before adding that he thinks the legal motion will fall in his favor.

“They won’t let this go,” he explained. “It doesn’t matter — there is an example being made. And the sad part is that there’s an example being made of someone who did not do what they are being accused of.”

Addressing accusations that his original claims were all a hoax, Smollett said that “From the very, very beginning, it was set up to seem like I was lying about something or everything.”

Smollett claimed “there would be no reason for me to do this” and called the accusations “bulls—,” before adding that the “last thing” hew would ever want to do is “be portrayed as a victim.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at