Things That Matter

Immigrant And Father Douglas Rodríguez Is One Of The Victims Of The Tragic Jersey City Shooting

Douglas (Miguel) Rodríguez had spent the last three years in the United States building a community when he was gunned down by a reported act of domestic terrorism at a Jersey City Jewish deli. Rodríguez was one of three victims of what is believed to have been an anti-Semitic and anti-police shooting by suspects David Anderson and Francine Graham. At one point, David Anderson was a follower of the Black Hebrew Israelite movement, a group that the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled a Black supremacist group. Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal said that Anderson and Graham started their spree in a cemetery just a mile away from the deli, where they encountered and killed Jersey City Police Detective Joseph Seals. Then, they drove a U-Haul van down to JC Kosher Supermarket, parked across the street, and Anderson was reportedly seen stepping outside the driver’s side with a long gun. Anderson began firing as he entered the market with Graham trailing in his footsteps. For hours, Anderson and police engaged in a shootout that finally ended when police used an armored vehicle to drive into the entrance of the store. Police found several firearms and even a pipe bomb within the suspects’ possession. Both suspects were found dead inside the store

Rodríguez was caught in the crossfires. He had been working at the JC Supermarket for about a year when Anderson and Graham allegedly opened fire. 

The family has organized a GoFundMe to raise money for Rodríguez’s funeral and for the family and maintain financial normalcy for young Amy.

CREDIT: VANESSA REYES / GOFUNDME

The Rodríguez family arrived in the United States from Ecuador just three years ago in search of a better life. Rodríguez’s niece, Vanessa Reyes, says that Rodríguez’s “first goal was to allow his daughter to have a chance of a future through education. He exemplified hard work by continuously working and providing for his family. Regardless of the hours he worked, Miguel seemed to find the time to come together with family. His desire to create a better sense of family for his daughter, Amy, remained his number one objective.” Reyes has organized a GoFundMe to help his wife, Martha, and daughter, Amy, bury Rodríguez in his hometown of Guayaquil, Ecuador, and to help keep them on their feet while they mourn and search for another source of income.

At the time of publication, the family has raised $146,550 in less than a week.

The family was already calling Rodríguez a hero before witnesses came forward to affirm that Rodríguez was a hero to them, too.

CREDIT: @XAVIER_RUIZ21 / TWITTER

How are you going to go like this uncle?” Rodríguez’s nephew tweeted on the day of his death in Spanish. “You are an icon and un referente in the family … a role model … you do not know the pain and emptiness I feel at the moment … but I will remember you like this with a GREAT SMILE !! As you always were! ; An inseparable kiss and hug over there to heaven. I love you Miguel!”

Several days later, the Rodríguez family met with members of the Jewish community to learn about Miguel’s final moments. “Miguel died after heroically putting the lives of others before his,” Reyes said in a fundraiser update. “For some reason, this does not come as a shock to the family. Miguel has always been the man in the family to selflessly put others before him. Miguel’s life has followed a pattern of selflessness.”

“We will miss Miguel’s laughter and his compassion,” Reyes said, adding that, “Most importantly, we will miss the sense of security he provided for those he loved.”

CREDIT: @XAVIER_RUIZ21 / TWITTER

“Our family has been maintaining a sense of normalcy and comfort through these tough times by being together,” Reyes wrote. “He was a God-loving, honest and hard-working person who was always available to help others,” she added. Alongside Rodríguez, both Mindy Ferencz, 31, and Moshe Deutsch, 24, were killed in the attack. Ferencz and her husband managed the JC Kosher Supermarket. The two other victims were members of the Hasidic Jewish community. City footage shows the shooters driving slowly down the street from the cemetery shooting to the supermarket, passing several pedestrians, offering more evidence that the Kosher market was a target for the attack. Media outlets are reporting anti-police and anti-Jewish sentiments on his social media pages. 

We are mitú has not seen the alleged anti-police posts and cannot attest to whether they were violent or simply Black Lives Matter posts. You can donate to Douglas Miguel Rodriguez’s GoFundMe here.

READ: Horrific Footage Shows Police Officers Shooting Teen In The Back Of The Head And His Partner’s Response Is Shocking

El Paso Shooter Charged With Hate Crime For Deadly Walmart Attack

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El Paso Shooter Charged With Hate Crime For Deadly Walmart Attack

adriana.candelaria / garbrielndresden / Instagram

El Paso shooter, Patrick Crusius, has been indicted on 90 federal charges related to the deadly attack, including hate crimes. The shooter admitted to having a specific community in mind when he carried out the attack at the Texas Walmart.

The El Paso shooter is facing federal hate crime charges in connection with the deadly shooting.

Credit: p_craig / Instagram

On Aug. 3, 2019, shooter Patrick Crusius walked into an El Paso Walmart and killed 22 people, injuring 23. Some of the victims were Mexican nationals who were shopping.

Crusius has now been charged with 90 federal charges because of the attack including hate crimes resulting in death and an attempt to kill. The shooter admitted to wanting to target Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in the attack.

The grand jury that indicted the shooter referenced “substantial premeditation” before the attack.

Credit: @JakeBGibson / Twitter

Before the attack, Crusius spent six weeks buying an AK-47 and ammunition. Shortly before a 911 alert of the shooting, the shooter’s manifesto appeared online. The manifesto spoke of a “Hispanic invasion of Texas.” The manifesto also stated that “if we can get rid of enough people, then our way of life can be more sustainable.”

Crusius drove 10 hours overnight from Dallas to El Paso to carry out the shooting. After the shooting, Crusius gave himself up to police stating, “I am the shooter.” The federal indictment comes on the six-month anniversary of the tragic shooting.

Some claim that the language in the manifesto parroted some lines and sentiments from President Trump.

Credit: @eptxyds / Twitter

While the wording ming be similar to what President Trump has said in the past, it is not known if the president actually inspired the shooter. According to AP, the shooter claims that his anti-Mexican beliefs were set before the president and his campaign.

A memorial has been built at the Walmart to honor the 22 victims of the shooting.

Credit: tallyngrams / Instagram

“This hate crime may be considered an act of domestic terrorism, as have other hate crimes throughout our history, like the violence wrought by white supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan,” Eric Dreiband, assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, told reporters on Thursday.

The deadly shooting united a community in the face of hate and mobilized a gun reform message from Walmart.

The announcement to change open carry policies for the stores and limit the sale of guns and ammunition was widely celebrated. Gun reform activists saw the move as a way to limit the spread of gun violence in the country.

READ: The El Paso Walmart Where A White Nationalist Killed 22 People Reopens With #ElPasoStrong Banner

Young Mexican Boy, 11, Shoots And Kills Teacher And Injures 5 Classmates Before Killing Himself

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Young Mexican Boy, 11, Shoots And Kills Teacher And Injures 5 Classmates Before Killing Himself

Jay Heike / Unsplash

A school shooting in Mexico is shaking the country. An 11-year-old boy entered his private school in Torreón with two handguns and killed a teacher, injured 5 classmates, and killed himself. Authorities believe that a videogame is to blame for the violence.

Mexican authorities are blaming an online video game for the school shooting this morning in Torreón, Coahuila, Mexico.

Credit: @AnnaDay03449248 / Twitter

Authorities believe that the boy was influenced by the online game Natural Selection. According to reports, the boy went to school and told some of his pupils that “today is the day.” According to Daily Mail, the student asked to go to the bathroom to change his pants. When he didn’t return in 15 minutes, the teacher went looking for him. That is when she found him in the hallway hold two handguns. He shot and killed the teacher and injured 5 classmates and a male P.E. teacher before killing himself.

The conversation of gun control touched Mexico after the deadly shooting of 31 people in El Paso, Texas. The 21-year-old gunman of the El Paso shooting reportedly chose a powerful AK-style rifle to commit what is being called “the deadliest attack targeting Latinos in recent U.S. history.” However, these types of weapons have also made their way across the U.S.-Mexico border where many are being brought there illegally by mostly American citizens.

In 2018, the homicide rate in Mexico hit a record high of 35,964, which is up 12 percent from the year before, according to the country’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography. Of those killings, at least 20,005 were gun-related deaths.

Credit: @bejaminnorton / Twitter

As the number of homicides has risen in Mexico due to gun violence there is a growing sense of urgency from Mexican officials to see something get done. The AK-47 has been known to be the gun of choice for cartel groups and is being used to kill countless Mexican citizens, every week. 

As these powerful assault rifles make their way illegally from the U.S. into Mexico, they are being used in cartel-related violence and drug trafficking efforts. The overwhelming majority of guns used by drug cartels in the country’s deadly turf come illegally from the U.S., since the Mexican army is the only legal seller in the country.

According to the San Diego Union- Tribune, the illegal trafficking of these powerful weapons has fueled the already increasingly dangerous and deadly conditions in the country. The underground market for the weapons is worth hundreds of millions of dollars and will only keep rising. 

Jack Riley, a retired DEA agent, told the Union-Tribune that these cartel groups are choosing these U.S.-made weapons for two primary reasons: their efficiency and because the weapons are a status symbol. He also says that the majority of these funneled weapons are passing through Mexican ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border, which includes on the busiest, the San Ysidro-Tijuana port.

“It is really important to these criminal organizations, who stay in business by the threat of violence and through the use of violence; and the tools that they prefer to do that with are American-made guns,” Riley told the Union-Tribune. “There is a tremendous market for them and unfortunately there’s a ton of people in the United States willing to do business with some of the cartels.”

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is now urging the United States to “control the indiscriminate sale of weapons” after recent mass shootings.

Credit: @jennfranconews / Twitter

The shooting in El Paso, Texas has prompted President Lopez Obrador to put pressure on the U.S. to curb the gun proliferation that is now taking the lives of Mexican citizens. He has also mentioned that the Mexican government was looking into the possibility of accusing the El Paso shooter of “terrorism” and requesting his extradition to face charges in Mexico.

“We are very respectful of what other governments decide, but we think that these unfortunate events, which occurred in the U.S., should lead to reflection, analysis and the decision to control the indiscriminate sale of weapons,” Lopez Obrador said at a news conference in Mexico City last Monday.

Similar to the U.S., citizens in Mexico have the same right to bear arms but when it comes to the sale of weapons, the country has tighter restrictions. Most citizens are only able to purchase lighter handguns or nothing more powerful than a .38 caliber gun as assault weapons are banned. Also, the sale of weapons from one citizen to another is prohibited.

The numbers show that the gun problem in America had crossed over across the border as 70 percent of guns seized across all of Mexico have U.S. origins, According to a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Credit: @frankluntz / Twitter

Mexico is in the midst of turbulent times as the number of people murdered hit more than 33,000 people last year, a record high. This was especially the case for Tijuana, where the popular tourist city that saw more than 2,500 homicides just last year. This gave the city the unwanted distinction and title of “the most violent city in the world,” where almost every single gun that was seized by police since 2016 came from the U.S., according to the city’s chief of police.

There is an “importance of going after both of these things, not just immigration, narcotics, the flow of illegal money, but the tools with which these criminal organizations rely,” Riley told the Tribune. “And for far too long there hasn’t been enough emphasis both by the Mexicans and to a certain extent by us, for a variety of political reasons, to really go after the gun smugglers.”

Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune here.

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