Things That Matter

Another Texas Shooting Kills 7, Including Teen Who Just Celebrated Her Quince

It started as a minor traffic violation stop in Midland, Texas, when the driver took aim at the citing officer and engaged in a 20 mile-long shooting spree that ended in Odessa, Texas. Today, families are mourning the 7 people killed, and praying for the recovery of 19 people who were injured in Odessa, Texas. Among the dead is Leila Hernandez. She was 15 years old, and had just celebrated her quinceañera. Her brother, Nathan, remains hospitalized, recovering from a surgery to treat his injuries.

Authorities have not released the name of the shooter, but say he was a white man in his 30’s.

Police have not yet confirmed a motive, or the identity of the shooter.

@JamesMelville / Twitter

The shooter was pulled over by a Texas Department of Public Safety officer on Saturday at 3 p.m. for a minor traffic violation, when he opened fire on the officer. As the gunman fled the scene along I-20 toward Odessa, he embarked on a shooting spree, killing and injuring people along the way. At one point, he abandoned his car to hijack a mail truck, which he drove to nearby movie theater, where he would later die during a shoot-out with police. The rampage has left reports of 19 to 21 people injured, including three police officers.

Of the victims is Mary Granados, a postal service worker who was killed as the suspect hijacked her truck.

Leslie Aide / GoFundMe

Mary was on the phone with her twin sister, Rosie, when the shooter attacked her. “It was very painful. I just wanted to help her and I couldn’t. I thought she had got bite by a dog or something. I tried calling her name and she wouldn’t answer,” Rosie told a reporter.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help with funeral expenses. “She was beautiful inside and out, with a great heart and always ready to be a friend, always had a smile on her face!” writes the GoFundMe organizer, Leslie Aide. Granados is survived by her twin sister, Rosie Granados.

Leila Hernandez would have started school tomorrow.

Hernandez played for the Odessa High School basketball team. The superintendent of the school has promised to provide grief counseling services to students, staff and families. “Please help out our family as we had a tragedy today,” pleas the GoFundMe for both Leila and her brother’s medical and funeral expenses. Friends and family are expressing their grief and condolences via social media, on man commenting, “So tragic. Not long ago she was celebrating her (rite) of passage to becoming a beautiful young woman. Rest easy. Prayers for the family.”

Leila had just celebrated her quinceañera in May.

Makeup by Jeremy / Facebook

Leila’s quinceañera make up artist shared that they were “in total shock and disbelief.” In a Facebook post, they said, “I had just did Leila’s makeup and her family’s back in May for her quinceañera. Unfortunately this beautiful sweet soul was victim to the shootings that took place in Odessa today. Prayers to you Joanna Leyva and may God be there for you and your family through this difficult time. ???? RIP ????????”

A 17-month-old baby has sustained injuries from bullet shrapnel that have left holes in her lip and tongue.

Haylee Wilkerson / GoFundMe

Her front teeth were knocked out. “Anderson is 17 months old, has shrapnel in her right chest, which thank God is superficial,” writes the medical expense GoFundMe organizer. “She has a hole through her bottom lip and tongue and her front teeth were knocked out. She is alive. When others today are not alive.” Nearly $125,000 have been raised for baby Anderson in just 16 hours.

“This is f—ed up,” Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke told reporters. “Profanity is not the f-bomb. What is profane is a 17 month-old baby being shot in the face.”

@amjoyshow / Twitter

“The rhetoric that we’ve used — the thoughts and prayers that you just referred to — it has done nothing to stop the epidemic of gun violence. To protect our kids, our families, our fellow Americans in public places. As a Walmart in El Paso Texas, where 22 were killed. In Sutherland Springs, in a church,” O’Rourke told a reporter. “One or two a day all over this country, 100 killed daily in the United States of America. We’re averaging about 300 mass shooting a year. No other country comes close. So yes, this is f—ed up,” he said. “If we don’t call it out for what it is, if we’re not able to speak clearly. If we’re not able to act decisively, then we will continue to have this kind of bloodshed in America, and I cannot accept that.”

Meanwhile, Texas Representative Matt Schaefer responded to the shooting to defend the “God-given” Second Amendment right.

Representative Matt Schaefer / Facebook

Gun reform activist group Newtown Action is imploring Texas voters to “say NO to Rep. Matt Schaefer at the polls,” after he ‘spewed’ NRA rhetoric in response to the shootings. In a Facebook post, Rep. Schaefer listed all the ways he won’t “do something” about the mass shootings, and instead blamed single mother households and a need for prayer as the solution.

Schaefer minimized U.S. mass shootings as “the evil acts of a handful of people.”

@ajeffery24 / Twitter

In a follow up post, Schaefer claimed to understand both the problem and solution to mass shootings. “Godless, depraved hearts,” he posted. “That IS the root of the problem. Every person needs a heart transformed by faith in God through Jesus. May God be near to those suffering in Odessa and Midland, and everywhere that evil has struck a blow.

Hours later, new gun laws went into effect in Texas to loosen existing restrictions.

@GregAbbott_TX. Twitter. 28 October 2015.

A series of bills were passed in June, which will now allow licensed gun owners to leave weapons in cars parked in school parking lots, allow guns in some foster homes, and in places of worship. It also bans landlords from prohibiting firearms from their property, and allows residents to carry handguns while evacuating from a disaster area. Trump maintains that background checks wouldn’t have stopped the shooting.

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Here’s Why The Attack On Atlanta’s Asian-American Community Is A Crime Against Us All

Things That Matter

Here’s Why The Attack On Atlanta’s Asian-American Community Is A Crime Against Us All

Although the United States is seeing a growing movement for racial equality and justice, thanks in part to a growing national Black Lives Matter movement, racial minorities in this country continue to face violence.

We don’t yet know the exact motives behind the recent attack on the Asian-American community in Atlanta that has left eight dead, but it comes amid a recent wave of attacks against Asian Americans that coincided with the spread of the coronavirus across the United States.

Atlanta is mourning the loss of eight locals after gunman attacks Asian-American community.

A series of shootings over nearly an hour at three Atlanta-area massage parlors left eight people dead and raised fears that the attack was yet another hate crime against Asian-Americans.

The attacks began Tuesday when five people were shot at Youngs Asian Massage Parlor about 30 miles north of Atlanta. Two people died at the scene, and three were taken to a hospital where two died. About an hour later, police responding to a call about a robbery found three women dead from apparent gunshot wounds at another spa, near Atlanta’s Buckhead area. While there, the officers learned of a call reporting shots fired at another spa across the street, Aromatherapy Spa, and found another woman apparently shot dead.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden has been briefed on the “horrific shootings” and administration officials have been in contact with the mayor’s office and the FBI.

“Our hearts are breaking for the victims and their families, and we’re certainly keeping them in our prayers,” said Gov. Brian Kemp. “We’ll let the investigation continue, but it was a tragic night in our state.”

The gunman was apprehended by authorities and taken into custody.

Robert Aaron Long, a white man, 21, was apprehended in South Georgia Tuesday night and has been charged with eight counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault.

“A motive is still not clear, but a crime against any community is a crime against us all,” said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “I have remained in close contact with the White House and APD as they work with federal, state and local partners to investigate the suspect who is responsible for this senseless violence in our city.”

Long told investigators he frequented the types of businesses targeted in the Tuesday shootings, calling them a “temptation he wanted to eliminate.”

The attack highlights the growing threats that the Asian & Pacific Islander community faces in the U.S.

The killings came amid a recent wave of attacks against Asian Americans that coincided with the spread of the coronavirus across the United States.

We don’t yet know exactly what motivated the alleged killer, but we do know that hate crimes against Asian Americans have been on the rise since the start of the Covid pandemic in the US.Asian Americans have reported being targeted at least 500 times in the first two months of this year, according to the organization Stop AAPI Hate with a total of 3,795 complaints received over the past year. The majority of these — 68% — were verbal harassment, while 11% involved physical assaults.

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Two Teen Girls Died in a Suspicious House Fire During a Sleepover After a Quinceañera; Police Suspect Foul Play

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Two Teen Girls Died in a Suspicious House Fire During a Sleepover After a Quinceañera; Police Suspect Foul Play

CREDIT: CITY OF FREDERICKSBURG POLICE DEPARTMENT

On November 22nd, Lisa Treviño received news that is every mother’s worst nightmare. Police officers came to Treviño’s house and informed her that two teenage girls had died in a fire at a nearby apartment.

One of the girls was her daughter, 15-year-old Azalyia “YaYa” Hernandez. The other victim was her friend, 16-year-old Eliza “Ellie” Maurer.

Pictured: Azalyia Hernandez. Credit: Britny Cranford via GoFundMe

The girls were sophomores at Fredericksburg High School. The night started out like a typical weekend for any teenager: Hernandez told her mother that she was going to go to a sleepover with Maurer after they had both attended a quinceañera with her family earlier that day.

“I’m the type that when my kids aren’t at home, I’m the type that calls them. And I can’t go to sleep until I hear from them that they’re okay,” Treviño told Spectrum News 1. “I told her, ‘Okay, Azalyia, make good choices, think good choices and I love you.’ And the last text I got, ‘I will mom. I love you too.'” That was the last communication Treviño had with her daughter.

The Maurer family is also coping with their grief. They released a statement, saying: “We are shocked and devastated at the news of our daughter’s death. Ellie (Eliza) was a beautiful child. She loved playing basketball and volleyball. She had a spunky personality and was a social butterfly. Ellie was loved by her friends and family. We still cannot believe this happened. We have been so blessed by the outpouring of support by friends, family and the community and we are incredibly thankful for that.”

Pictured: Eliza Maurer; Credit: @1.ellie.m/Instagram

According to the Sorola-Treviño family, police suspect foul play was involved.

“As with all deaths, they are treated as a homicide until proven otherwise,” said Fredericksburg Chief of Police Steven Wetz to Spectrum News 1.

According to Treviño, police told her that the girls’ bodies were found in a bedroom. The Fredericksburg Police Department says that the primary causes of both deaths was smoke inhalation. Evidence points to the fire having been started on a couch.

“The very first thing that they told us was that they found them nude and that there was foul play, and there was some suspects who had run from the apartment,” said Gary Sorola, Hernandez’s stepfather, to Fox 7 Austin.

It is still unknown why the girls were at the apartment building, but the Sorola-Treviño family say that the girls knew the son of the woman who rents the apartment.

The Fredericksburg community is shaken by the death of the two girls. Both of the girls’ families are devastated. The victims’ families and friends said the two girls had big plans for the future. Ellie wanted to become a lawyer, while YaYa wanted to join the Air Force and work with K-9s before becoming a nurse.

December 14th would have been Azalyia’s 16th birthday. But now, her mother will have to endure what should have been a happy day without her daughter.

“Now she’s gone and I’m not gonna have a chance to ever see her grow or accomplish what she wanted to accomplish. She’s gone. They took her from me too young,” Treviño said.

Police are asking anyone with information about the night in question (November 21st) to come forward. Contact them at 830-997-7585 or call Crime Stoppers at 997-8477 (TIPS).

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