Things That Matter

Twin Sister of Mass Shooting Victim Wishes They Had “Grown Old Together”

After a white man with an AK-47 failed to signal a left turn, he was pulled over by state troopers. For motives unknown, that triggered a shooting spree in West Texas, killing 7 people along a 20 mile stretch of highway between Midland and Odessa, Texas. The victims include a 15-year-old teen who just celebrated her quince in May, a father of two, and a U.S. Postal Service worker, Mary Granados, who was on the phone with her twin sister when she was carjacked and killed.

Mary’s sister, Rosie, has spoken out, recounting the gruesome final moments of Mary’s life, as heard on the other end of the phone with her.

The gunman fired at state troopers just moments before he murdered Mary and hijacked her mail truck.

CNN

“I was talking to her on the phone and she mentions something about hearing gunshots,” Rosie recalls. “She didn’t know where it was coming from, if it was near her or anything. She was just doing her job,” Rosie said.
“I heard her screaming, and I wasn’t sure what she was going through,” Rosie says through tears. “I was just hearing her cry and scream for help. I didn’t know what was happening to her.”

“I thought it was just a dog attacking her,” Rosie recalls.

@KristenClarkeJD / Twitter

“My first response was to get in the car and go where she was to go help her.” Mary and Rosie were roommates. They constantly kept in touch with each other, and Rosie knew Mary’s route like the back of her hand. By the time Rosie found her sister, the police were on the scene. “She was laying on the floor when I got there. She was already gone,” Rosie said. “I just wanted to run to her and hug her … kiss her.”

Security footage shows Mary Granados delivering mail with a smile just hours before her murder.

Mckayla Salcido / CNN

Mary Granados was 29 years old, and just three minutes younger than her Rosie. They had planned to celebrate their 30th birthday together. Friends say that Mary enjoyed traveling with her boyfriend, loving her cats, and spending time with family.

“We came to the world together, and, unfortunately, she left before I did,” Rosie told reporters.

CNN

“I still can’t believe it’s real,” Rosie told CNN. “She was so special. I don’t know what I’m going to do without her.” Since Mary’s death, Rosie has just been “trying to stay strong for the family” and wrap her head around the sudden loss. “She meant the whole world to me because we came to the world together and unfortunately she left before I did. I wish she would have waited for me. We would have grown old together, but she left before.”

The sisters moved to Texas from Juarez, México when they were 14 years old.

@KristenClarkeJD / Twitter

Rosie said that Mary wasn’t feeling well that day, but was so dedicated to her job that she went to work anyway. She was just finishing up her shift. Rosie said that Mary’s cats have been yowling for her in the days that have passed without her.

The more people have heard Rosie and Mary’s story, the more they’re calling for gun reform.

@emmapatriciaa / Twitter

“My biggest fear…” tweets Emma. “Guns should not be a right, they shouldn’t even be a privilege unless absolutely needed for your job.” Hours after Mary was killed, along with six other victims, new gun laws went into effect in Texas, to loosen restrictions. Guns are now legally allowed on school property, in times of declared disasters, and in places of worship.

You can donate to her GoFundMe to help with funeral expenses.

@thetweetofjohn / Twitter

One of Mary’s coworkers, Leslie Aide, set up a GoFundMe to help support the family. “I had the privilege to work with Mary in the past,” she writes. “She was beautiful inside and out, with a great heart and always ready to be a friend, always had a smile on her face!”

Over $40,000 have been raised to support the Granados family.

Leslie Aide / GoFundMe

The campaign has officially named Rosie the beneficiary. Rosie said that the two of them “were like one. And now a part of me is missing,” she said. “And I wish I could have it back, but I just can’t.”

Rest in Power, Mary.

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More Information Has Come Out About the Man Who Senselessly Shot a Young Woman While She Was Walking Her Dog

Things That Matter

More Information Has Come Out About the Man Who Senselessly Shot a Young Woman While She Was Walking Her Dog

Photo via bella_joy_gardens/Instagram

On June 10th, 2020, a senseless crime was committed. 21-year-old Isabella Thallas was shot and killed while she was out walking her dog with her boyfriend, 26-year-old Darian Simon. Simon, who was shot as well, survived.

Almost immediately after Thallas lost her life, the police were informed of the murderer: 36-year-old Michael Close, who lived in the same building as the couple.

Michael Close had shot the couple from his window with an AK-47. Thallas died almost instantly.

Close was quickly arrested and charged with first-degree murder, first-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault, and possession of a high-capacity magazine during a crime.

But questions piled up as to why Close committed this crime in the first place. Why did he target the couple? Was the murder pre-meditated? How did this unstable man get his hands on an AK-47?

As the police put the pieces together, the motive was shocking. According to Close, he shot and killed Thallas because her dog defecated in the alley behind his unit.

The story he gave police lined up with Darian Simon’s version of events as well. Simon says that he and Thallas were walking their dog together behind their building. Simon commanded the dog to “poop” when he heard Close yelling at him from the window above them.

“Are you going to train that f—ing dog or just yell at it?” Close allegedly yelled out the window at them. When Simon bent down to pick up the dog’s feces, that’s when Close open-fired out the window. Simon was able to run away with wounds to his lower body. Thallas lost her life.

According to Close’s girlfriend, the man had been mentally unwell for a long time.

He had been diagnosed with depression as well as a personality disorder but refused to seek help. He frequently abused drugs and alcohol after being sober for three years.

The murder of Thallas was a culmination of a tumultuous night where he had been drinking and arguing with his girlfriend for hours. Thallas just happened to be the person who was at the receiving-end of his outburst. She was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

And recently, some more disturbing information has come to light about Thallas’s murder.

According to Denver Police, the gun that Close used to murder Thallas was taken from his friend, police officer Sgt. Dan Politica.

The close friendship between a police officer and an unhinged murder is, understandably, drawing questions from the Denver community.

The Denver Police Department confirmed that Close and Politica were “close friends”. Thalla’s mother, Anna Thallas, appears to have even more information on the friendship.

“They’re best friends. Life-long best friends for over 20 years. They grew up together,” she told 9News Denver.

Anna Thallas is angry and frustrated that the Denver police aren’t conducting an internal investigation.

The DPD argues that Sgt. Politica did nothing wrong. Thallas points to his failure to report the rifle missing until after her daughter was missing as a massive red flag. It is also worth noting that Politica has a history of violence and disciplinary actions by the DPD.

According to phone records, Close texted Sgt. Politica before the murder complaining about a dog in his neighborhood. After he murdered Thallas, he left Politica a voicemail saying he “really f—-d up bad.”

“That man should be stripped of his uniform,” Anna Thallas said. “Had that officer acted in his capacity and the oath that he took to serve and protect and was a responsible gun owner, Isabella might still be alive. My daughter might still be here.”

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Former Texas State Senate Candidate Says She Was ‘Tortured’ in a Hotel Room After a Violent Ambush

Things That Matter

Former Texas State Senate Candidate Says She Was ‘Tortured’ in a Hotel Room After a Violent Ambush

Photo: Vanessa Tijerina/Facebook

Texas police are currently trying to get to the bottom of a disturbing incident that happened in Raymondville on Monday.

Former Republican candidate for Texas state Senate, Vanessa Tijerina, posted a shocking 10-minute Facebook Live video detailing the brutal assault she experienced in a nearby hotel on Monday.

Tijerina appeared in the video with her face looking unrecognizable. She had two black eyes–both of which were swollen almost completely shut.

Her face was covered in bruises. Her speech was impaired from how much swelling she was experiencing. It looked–to be blunt–like she had been beaten to a pulp.

Through tears, Tijerina explained to her followers that she was lured to a hotel room by some unnamed assailants who led her to believe they had “something really really really important” to tell her that they couldn’t tell her over the phone.

But once she was alone in the hotel room, the assailants “gagged, bound [and] tortured” her.

“I was beaten. I was terrorized, bound, gagged, tortured,” she said in the Facebook Live video.

“I never fought back because I knew that if I fought back, it would’ve been worse and I probably wasn’t going to survive. And I needed to survive for my daughters.”

Although a motive for the assault hasn’t yet been established, Tijerina is a relatively high-profile figure in Texas’s Raymondville community. She is active on social media and regularly goes on Facebook live to engage with her followers and supporters. And with her high profile comes a litany of critics and haters who have created troll accounts with the express purpose of smearing her.

Despite all this, Tijerina refutes the rumors that she “did something” to motivate the beating.

“There was nothing that I did that made this okay for this to happen to me,” she said. Tijerina began to get increasingly more emotional as she talked about her children and the fact that she was not able to give her children the toys she bought them for Christmas.

So far, Raymondville police have arrested three suspects in connection to the assault: Amanda Salinas, Ariel Jamie Vela and Ramon Donato Santana Jr. As for who was on the phone giving orders at the time of the assault, police are still looking for answers.

As of this writing, the police have not yet publicly revealed a motive. But since her attack, Tijerina has again taken to her Facebook page to assert that the assault was “100% motivated by hate.”

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