Browsing: Shooting

balharbourGoogle Street View

Mention Bal Harbour to a random Miamian, and two things come to mind: an über-luxury shopping mall and one of the most notorious speed traps on A1A. Violent drug-related shootings would certainly not appear on that list.

Yet that’s exactly what Bal Harbour’s small police force — fresh off a house cleaning over a major international money-laundering scandal — has been grappling with for the past two weeks after a 49-year-old man was shot twice in the parking lot of a beachfront condo building.

img_0237To John Thornton, who was outside grabbing the morning paper, it at first sounded like a dumpster lid crashing down. To Julie Bolin, it sounded like a truck carrying tanks of oxygen may have crashed, the tanks perhaps popping.

“My husband and I just went to target practice yesterday,” Bolin said. “You’d think it would snap for me that it was gunfire.”

Like dozens of other neighbors, Thornton and Bolin encountered a scene that repeats itself across the nation on a seemingly daily basis, but one they could barely believe was unfolding in their own backyard: a mass shooting, one that left nine injured and the gunman dead.

Read on to see how the gunman, a local Houston lawyer, was described by police and colleagues.

Christy SheatsScreenshot/Facebook

Christy Sheats

After Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls sat down with Jason Sheats — whose wife, Christy Sheats, killed their two daughters before a police officer fatally shot her — Nehls made public what Jason believed may have led to the tragic event.

“We asked Mr. Sheats for a motive in his own words, and why would Christy kill their two daughters,” Nehls said at a news conference. “He stated that he felt Christy wanted him to suffer. During this incident, Christy had ample time and opportunity to shoot and kill Mr. Sheats in the home, but she chose not to. Mr. Sheats stated Christy knew how much he loved Taylor and Madison, and how much they loved him.”

Charges are expected to be filed today in the case of a young man allegedly murdered for insulting a woman at a late-night party in Glendale, a district attorney’s office spokeswoman says.

The victim was identified this week by Glendale police as 25-year-old Phillip Niles Jr., who had moved to Los Angeles recently from Daytona Beach, Florida, according to police.

He was fatally shot about 3:55 a.m. Saturday after walking two women to a car following a night of partying at a friend’s apartment in the 1700 block of North Verdugo Road, the Glendale Police Department reported in a statement.

feat_img_6_4Coty Beavers was in his northwest Houston apartment on November 12, 2012, when the bullets ripped through him from behind. Whoever pulled the trigger slipped out as easily as he had gotten in, leaving the 28-year-old to die on the floor.

Two days earlier, a dark-haired man with thick eyebrows perched above his glasses had been wandering around the Legacy Park Apartments, asking people if they knew which apartment was Beavers’s. He looked to be maybe in his forties, with an average build. A police sketch didn’t turn up any leads.

ucla-shootingTed Soqui/L.A. Weekly

A vehicle belonging to UCLA shooter Mainak Sarkar has been found parked in Culver City today, police said.

The 2003 gray Nissan Sentra was found by Los Angeles Police Department Pacific Division officers on patrol in the 11300 block of Washington Place in Culver City at 1:50 p.m., LAPD Officer Liliana Preciado said.

The Los Angeles city boundary with Culver City weaves in and out of the area, and LAPD officers frequently drive through.

houston-press-swift-featurePeople who knew Swift remain skeptical of the police account. They said he would never threaten anyone with a knife. They doubted he would really rob a house — Swift had a clean criminal record in Harris County, and although he had been in trouble before, it was never for anything as serious as an armed burglary. (Swift was accused of swiping an iPod in 2012, but the charge was dismissed.) Swift, they said, was not perfect, but he did not deserve to die that night. How could human fallibility alone serve as justification for a fatal shooting?

No one has been charged in Swift’s death, and the case will soon be heard by a Harris County grand jury. If the grand jury indicts the shooter, then details of what happened could emerge during a public trial. But if the grand jury declines to indict the shooter, then the true story behind Melvin Swift’s death will likely remain forever untold.

Donesha_gant_facebook_liveScreenshot via Facebook

Unknown assailants opened fire on a car waiting in line at a Burger King drive-thru this morning. Inside the car was 17-year-old Donesha S. Gantt, her mother, and two others. Gantt and another woman were shot. In a state of panic, Gantt took out her cell phone to say what she thought might be her goodbye to the world in a video broadcast on Facebook Live.

“I know they shot me, but it’s good. It’s good,” a teary Gantt says in the video. “God, forgive me for all my sins. God, forgive me for everything.”

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