News


Update: Menlo Park teen dies after shooting

Young woman was sitting in a car with others in East Palo Alto during early-morning attack

A 19-year-old Menlo Park woman was shot early Wednesday morning (July 13) in East Palo Alto has died, East Palo Alto police said.

Catherine Fisher was shot while sitting in a vehicle with a man and another woman at 2:12 a.m. in the 2500 block of Annapolis Street between Michigan and Notre Dame avenues east of Bay Road.

Fisher was transported to Stanford Hospital where she died from her injuries. The vehicle's other occupants were unharmed, police said.

Investigators are working to develop suspect information and a possible motive for the shooting.

Acting Capt. Jeff Liu said police have not yet determined if the shooting was gang related. It is the city's fourth homicide this year, he said.

Police are asking anyone who has information or might have witnessed the shooting to contact the East Palo Alto Police Department by email to epa@tipnow.org, or leave an anonymous voicemail or text message to 650-409-6792.

— Sue Dremann and Bay City News Service

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by local gurl
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jul 13, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Nothing good comes from hanging around at that time of night.


Like this comment
Posted by Huh?
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 13, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Local gurl, sounds like you're blaming the victim here.


Like this comment
Posted by JW
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 13, 2011 at 4:12 pm

Not blaming the victim, just stating the obvious: it's very well known that it's not safe to even be outside in EPA at 2:00am.


Like this comment
Posted by SMH
a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2011 at 5:09 pm

The comments are all correct here. I am the uncle of the victim and following this story from where I live on the other side of the planet away from my native going-to-hell-continuously California. Even I have known since 20 years ago that East Palo Alto is not really safe at 2 p.m.---broad daylight---let alone at 2 a.m! [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 13, 2011 at 5:27 pm

SMH, I flagged your post because it's full of inflammatory language, not too mention, lacks facts.

I am very sorry for what has happened to your niece & I hope she recovers. I also hope that whomever is responsible is apprehended swiftly & safely, then prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] I know that at 19, many of us felt immortal, so mistakes are easily made regarding our safety.

EPA is not nearly as safe as we want it to be, but it's much safer than it was 20 years ago. This comment may fall on deaf ears, but it's true.

My best wishes to your family at this time. I will keep her in my thoughts & light a candle for her, in lieu of being able to do anything else at this point.


Like this comment
Posted by SMH
a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Hmmmm, the crime statistics about your city don't lie. You just keep living in denial and apathy. You may not like the "facts," but they don't go away just because you don't like them. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 13, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

How do you know I live in "apathy"? Are you the apathy police or perhaps you're psychic?

In denial? Nope, wrong again. Crime has gone down here, overall. The cops & many community orgs & churches have worked hard to bring crime down. Of course, a bad deed seem to make a bigger splash than the good deeds & they're unfortunately also the ones we remember the most. It's also pretty easy to point the finger at a place far from removed from when you're angry.

Most of the violent crime victims here aren't innocent civilians. Was your niece an innocent civilian or involved in crime? Something in between perhaps, like young people who enjoy danger?

The majority of legit residents here aren't victims of violent crime. That's a big part of why they stay. They work, take care of their families, enjoy life, go to church or family activities & other normal activities. Most people here sure don't hang out in cars in the middle of the night.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 13, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

I just heard that this young woman has passed away. I am deeply sorry for this loss of life. My condolences to her loved ones.


Like this comment
Posted by Anthony Mason
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 14, 2011 at 9:12 am

Anthony Mason is a registered user.

RIP to the lady.
2am chilling outside in EPA is just not smart IMO.

I agree with SMH

As a lifelong EPA resident I think the streets were safer in the 80's- 90's i know murder cap 92 blah blah i know. But back then we had real neighborhoods everyones parents knew eachother and everyone looked out for there community and the kids in it. It was a real tight knit community. Now a days most of those people have moved due to the housing boom and bust and no one knows anyone anymore and its kinda every man for there selves real cut throat type of living. I miss the good old days. EPA is so small but all the residents here are so distant now.


Like this comment
Posted by offn2it
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 14, 2011 at 10:41 am

offn2it is a registered user.

RIP to the young lady and prayers to the family. What Anthony has said is so true, as a lifelong resident of the Belle Haven neighborhood and numerous friends from EPA, times sure have changed and in the 80's there were real communities with families intact.

MENLO


Like this comment
Posted by Paly Alum
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 14, 2011 at 11:11 am

Paly Alum is a registered user.

I guess it's a matter of degree for using the word "safer". It was still a feared city in the 80s. From what I hear, the kids have grown up and their moms still live there so when they leave prison, they go home to live with their moms.


Like this comment
Posted by KP
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jul 14, 2011 at 1:19 pm

KP is a registered user.

Hmmm - I agree with SMH (Uncle). He understands the area and so do I. It hasn't changed much over the years. They seem to be trying to work on it. The Gardens are a bit better now, but the people who were trouble there just moved on over to the Ville. The community is very close knit and they have family in each of the neighborhoods.

You should have left his post alone and let him say the truth. The truth is, the police don't do much over there. They drive by the dealers and ask them "what they are doing", they know them by name, but unless they SEE something, they keep on driving after a moment of "harassment"

You DO have to question what she was doing over there hanging out at 2 am in a car. Maybe just dropping someone off after the club. Maybe seeing if someone was home or still up. Who knows. But hanging out at 2am is not a wise thing to do if you are not from the Town!
Sympathy to you SMH and your family. Whatever she was doing she didn't deserve this.


Like this comment
Posted by ArtStudentSF
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 14, 2011 at 2:00 pm

ArtStudentSF is a registered user.

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Like this comment
Posted by ArtStudentSF
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 14, 2011 at 2:04 pm

ArtStudentSF is a registered user.

To Cates uncle, I am very sorry for your loss. Despite our falling out, I have many great memories of her and she will be missed.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 14, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

I can't imagine making all of the same decisions over again, that I made at 19 - I know that some of them were clouded by lack of life experience & that feeling of being almost immortal. I am very sorry that Cate doesn't have the chance to grow up, learn from her mistakes & make better decisions.

While I have a friend very close to where she was killed, I am wary of that area because it's been very troublesome recently. I stand by my comments to her uncle, because his exaggerated account is inaccurate & bigoted. Where I am, the police do a decent job & there is accountability. Part of that accountability is because I'm not a criminal and don't settle for a dangerous neighborhood & neither do many of my neighbors. We have worked together for improvements & have driven out drug dealers & prostitutes & prevent others from taking hold. It takes work & time, but it's much safer now than it used to be. Not everyone is up for that commitment, which is understandable & that's part of why parts of EPA are dangerous.


Like this comment
Posted by ArtStudentSF
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 15, 2011 at 10:06 am

ArtStudentSF is a registered user.

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Like this comment
Posted by Older&Wiser
a resident of another community
on Jul 15, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Older&Wiser is a registered user.

The loss of a life, whatever the circumstances, is cause for sorrow. When young life is cut short, by senseless violence, the tragedy is multiplied.

SFArtStudent-When you are much older & have many more life experiences, you'll realize that your teenage follies are just that. Many teenagers are misguided, experiment with substances, hang with bad crowds & display bad judgement. Then, those same rebel teens mature and have the opportunity to lead full, productive lives. I wish you just that, a full, productive life. I also hope that someday you will realize that a few of Cate's teenage transgressions do not define who she was or who she could have been.

Cate Fisher leaves behind a lovely family & many friends who I'm quite sure will miss her dearly.


Like this comment
Posted by ArtStudentSF
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 15, 2011 at 1:38 pm

ArtStudentSF is a registered user.

How about before trying to pull the maturity card, realize that in no way shape or form have I been claiming that her "teenage transgressions" define her in any way.

I'm sure a great many people will miss her dearly.
All of my comments pertain directly to the chain of events that led to her death, not as a judgement of the value of her character.
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Like this comment
Posted by singsong1
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 15, 2011 at 8:19 pm

singsong1 is a registered user.

I know Cate personally, having been her teacher in grade school, and she has helped with our hot food distribution more that three times a week all last school year at her sisters school where I work. She was so sweet and always gave me a hug every time she saw me, I know that she is now receiving a hug from God as I write this. No matter the circumstances, she was at the wrong place at the wrong time and we all will miss her smiling, vivacious personality which I will always remember. I love you Cate.


Like this comment
Posted by sunshine51
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 15, 2011 at 10:19 pm

sunshine51 is a registered user.

I've known Cate since elementary school, and her untimely death is absolutely tragic. My heart goes out to her friends and family.

But here's what I don't understand. Last summer another Menlo Park teenager, Bryce Gilbert, died of a drug overdose. The Menlo Park community responded quickly, making a memorial for him on Facebook and announcing the date and time of his funeral. Everyone's facebook status was about Bryce. People were making him their profile pictures. He was the talk of the town for weeks. I'm not trying to marginalize Bryce's death (I'd had known him for as long as I'd known Cate), but I don't get why no one has bothered to say anything about Cate's death. There's no facebook group for her. I only saw one or two statuses about her. The articles I've seen seem to focus more on the triumphs of the EPA police than on Cate. They don't even have a picture of her in any of the articles or videos. Why don't people care? Was it because people think she was "asking for it" by being in EPA at 2 am? Was it because she wasn't always well-liked at school? I always felt bad for her. Since kindergarten people were mean to her, and I think all she wanted to do was fit in.

I think people are sweeping this story under the rug as "just another EPA shooting", which is why it's getting so little attention. But the fact of the matter is, Cate was murdered on Tuesday night and her killers are still out there. If we want justice, we need to put a face on this story. People need to know that Cate, a 19 year-old student, sister, daughter, and beloved gymnastics coach was killed, and as of right now no one is being charged with the crime.


Like this comment
Posted by ArtStudentSF
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 16, 2011 at 9:24 pm

ArtStudentSF is a registered user.

@sunshine51
It's absolutely not "just another EPA shooting". There was a targeted killing, and everywhere I've posted a comment about it, and how Cate was mixed up in drugs, and that people need to start exploring the reason she was targeted if they want to catch the killer. Sadly, every post I make about it is censored or edited out, as if people don't want to admit that this was anything but just a terrible accident of a girl at the wrong place at the wrong time.


Like this comment
Posted by sunshine51
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 16, 2011 at 10:23 pm

sunshine51 is a registered user.

ArtStudentSF, I've seen a lot of your posts, and it sucks that they keep censoring them out. Even though I didn't know Cate very well at all, it seems like she was doing something she wasn't supposed to be doing if she was out at 2 am in EPA. Not that that justifies her death in any way, but I do see what you're saying. Do you know who was in the car with her and if they know anything about the people who did it? I feel like if anyone knows anything, it's them.


Like this comment
Posted by ArtStudentSF
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 16, 2011 at 10:27 pm

ArtStudentSF is a registered user.

Thats the thing, I have all sorts of people telling me "You're such an awful person, how could you say she deserves it" and I'm totally not in any way saying that. I'm saying that all of the evidence points to a targeted shooting. She was shot multiple times, by two gunmen, and the other two men in the car were not injured at all. Then the gunmen ran. It's clear that the poor girl ended up in something way over her head.


Like this comment
Posted by sunshine51
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 16, 2011 at 11:35 pm

sunshine51 is a registered user.

People are dumb and misinterpreting your posts. Of course she didn't deserve it. No one does. I know that's not what you're saying at all. You obviously knew a lot more about her than most people on here do. And thinking about the circumstances that may have gotten her in trouble (pissing off a drug dealer, etc) may help lead to the capture of her killers. So thank you.


Like this comment
Posted by ArtStudentSF
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 17, 2011 at 12:51 am

ArtStudentSF is a registered user.

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Like this comment
Posted by iSez
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 17, 2011 at 1:00 am

iSez is a registered user.

@ArtStudentSF: I said something derogatory about EPA and it got snatched out of thin air without even a notation that it was deleted. Your comments have been completely helpful to the situation for people to understand that it wasn't some law-abiding angel who was innocently killed. No, no one deserves to die, but yes, mix with street drugs, and it makes one a target. Your information helps the rest of us feel less fear that random people are being knocked-off. Thank you for your postings.


Like this comment
Posted by ArtStudentSF
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 17, 2011 at 1:06 am

ArtStudentSF is a registered user.

@iSez Your welcome. I also do this because despite our fallings out, Cate was a really sweet girl who went through a lot of discrimination. She also was getting mixed up in sketchy situations even when we were still hanging out together.
It's tragic what happened to her, but I doubt a killer with be caught, because people don't want to believe that this was anything but just a random chance.


Like this comment
Posted by ArtStudentSF
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 17, 2011 at 3:39 am

ArtStudentSF is a registered user.

Also, a minor change, I've now heard from one source it was a man and a woman in the car with her, another source says two men.


Like this comment
Posted by sunshine51
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 17, 2011 at 10:24 am

sunshine51 is a registered user.

This is probably going to be deleted too, but: good job censoring the young people who are trying to help, Palo Alto Online. I've lost a lot of respect for you guys now.


Like this comment
Posted by ArtStudentSF
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 17, 2011 at 2:50 pm

ArtStudentSF is a registered user.

Yup. They censored my post with the story about Cate.

Hey Palo Alto Online, when are you going to stop trying to pretend nothing is rotten in the heart of denmark?


Like this comment
Posted by MenloGirl
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 17, 2011 at 7:27 pm

MenloGirl is a registered user.

Hearing of this tragedy was very shocking. I have known Cate since 1st grade. I had a friend who lived on her street and since I was always over at her house there were times when Cate would hang around with us. Cate was a very nice girl. I too, as mentioned in one of the previous posts, feel as though she was always trying to fit in. A lot of people at school didn't like her and I know she was teased quite often. We never hung out at school (different friends ,didn't have classes together...etc ) but sometimes when i'd be over at my friends i'd see her outside and invite her to hang around with us. I remember back in about 7th grade we had a conversation where she asked me what she needed to do in order to have people like her. Even though I was around 12 years old I felt terrible that she was asking such a question. She explained to me how she thought maybe she had to change. I didn't know what to say but i remember telling her not to. I told her that anytime i was over at my friends she was more than welcome to come and hang out with us. I felt she needed a buddy.

When high school hit i wasn't friends with the one girl who lived on cate's street so i didn't see cate that often except for every now at then at school. We hung around in different cicles and I never really had any conversations with her again. I was aware though that she was changing. That led me back to our old 7th grade talk.. about how in order for people to like her she felt she had to change. Since I didn't really see her anymore...I heard of the lifestyle she was creating for herself. I couldn't help but feel sry for her. I wish she could have taken a different road. I am glad that throughout the middle school years i was able to be a somewhat of a buddy to cate. I can't help but think maybe my one little semi-friendship with her helped her from starting the lifestyle she chose any earlier.

I don't know any details about the shooting. I do know that she was definitely with a male and another girl. The girl she was with I have met multiple times, but don't know much about her. I hope that someone speaks up and that we find out what really happened that night. Rest in peace cate... I am sorry we never really became friends.


Like this comment
Posted by ArtStudentSF
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 17, 2011 at 9:59 pm

ArtStudentSF is a registered user.

I was in therapy with her.
I'd never reveal her secrets, but there was a lot more going on with her than people thought.
It's a shame people treated her the way they did sometimes.


Like this comment
Posted by daniellers
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 17, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Yeah.. I believe there probably was a LOT more going on than most people knew about. Like I said.. I lost pretty much complete contact with her ever since 8th grade ended. I saw her every now and then around town and saw her teaching gymnastics a few times.. but as for her personal life.. didn't really know a thing about it. All I knew was from what I heard. I knew one of her good friends pretty well and that's where I heard most of it from. It really is such a shame. I can't imagine what her family is going through. I wish we could just turn back time..I don't know what she was doing being out and about that late at night and in that area....but i wish she would have thought otherwise.


Like this comment
Posted by sunshine51
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 17, 2011 at 11:27 pm

sunshine51 is a registered user.

Poor Cate. Maybe if people had an ounce of respect for her when she was alive, she wouldn't have gone down the path she took. It's those little things (snide remarks from classmates and teachers, etc) that add up in the long run. I remember in like 3rd grade I took this acting class (taught by Mr. I, coincidentally enough)and she was in it. I was one of the few people in the class who actually treated her like another human being, and she seemed to happy that I was being a friend to her. After that we didn't really talk much (different friends, not many classes together, that sort of stuff), but I still cringed every time someone said anything mean about her. I mean, come on. I think people just needed someone to hate, and they happened to pick on Cate just because she was a tiny bit different. One of my best friends worked with her at Burgess Gym, and a few months ago we had a conversation about her. She said that she "hella loved" Cate and didn't get why people were always so mean to her. I told her I felt the same way.

Does anyone know anything about when the funeral will be? Or did it already happen? I don't know her family at all but I want to show my support for them.


Like this comment
Posted by jazzylsweetie
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 18, 2011 at 12:05 am

jazzylsweetie is a registered user.

^ I definitely agree. Cate was a little different from the rest, but that didn't mean she deserved the way she was constantly treated. I always felt bad. I was never friends with her but it was obvious to see what was going on. I wish people could have been a little kinder. No one likes to be made fun of. I hope that as she got older the teasing stopped?? I would hate to know that she faced it all throughout her short life.


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