News

Third East Palo Alto homicide in past week

Man shot multiple times found by police in driveway

Another young person has died after being shot multiple times in East Palo Alto Tuesday (July 19), police said. The shooting marks the city's third homicide in a week.

Officers found Hugo Chavez, 26, lying in the driveway of 13 Camellia Court at approximately 10:15 p.m. He sustained multiple gunshot wounds to his torso, police said.

Chavez was taken to a hospital for treatment but died about four hours later, according to police.

Investigators determined a man approached Chavez in front of the house before the attack. It appears the two may have had a brief conversation before the suspect shot Chavez several times and ran away, police said.

East Palo Alto police have not released any suspect information and have not made any arrests in the homicide. Investigators have not determined the motive or identified whether the homicide was the result of gang violence.

Less than 24 hours earlier, police arrived at the 2500 block of Illinois Avenue Monday at about 8:45 p.m. to find 23-year-old Jabari Banford, who had been shot multiple times, lying on the sidewalk.

Paramedics treated Banford but he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

On July 13, 19-year-old Catherine Fisher was shot while sitting in a car with two others in the 2500 block of Annapolis Street at about 2:10 a.m., police said. The Menlo Park woman was taken to Stanford Hospital, where she died later that day.

Last month, a 3-month-old Izack Jesus was killed as his family was leaving a baby shower on Wisteria Drive on June 5.

Investigators believe Jesus was mistakenly shot in retaliation for an assault by Sureno gang members in Redwood City on May 31. Fabian Zaragoza, the 17-year-old who prosecutors suspect killed the infant, pleaded not guilty to murder charges on July 13.

Chavez's death marks East Palo Alto's fifth homicide of the year, which is already more than the city's four murders in 2010.

Witnesses are asked to contact the East Palo Alto Police Department by calling or sending a text message to the anonymous tip line at 650-409-6792. Anonymous tips can also be sent by email to epa@tipnow.org.

Related stories:

Man, 23, killed in East Palo Alto shooting

Menlo Park teen dies after shooting

— Bay City News Service

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by observation
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 21, 2011 at 8:05 am

It appears that Chief Ron Davis' "summit" at the Four Seasons in not working according to plan.
Maybe this time he leaves the cameras and circus at home and do some real police work...after all, isnt this crime wave a reflection of the Chief and the job he is doing?
Chief Davis love taking credit when the statistics and the percentages are down from last year and the year before that.
Isnt fair if he does the same when foul odor objects hit the fan?


Like this comment
Posted by Mr. Ironic
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 21, 2011 at 9:09 am

Here we go again. Seems like every year about this time this stuff happens. After that 4 seasons meeting 3 homi's in a week Dam. Are all those extra cops really helping?


Like this comment
Posted by Old Palo Alto
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 21, 2011 at 11:10 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by G TOWN
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 21, 2011 at 11:11 am

Police cant stop everything people....youngstas out thier in the wild with no rules or guidance.EAST PALO ALTO WILL ALWYS BE EAST PALO ALTO if you cant stand the madness move like most people or wish you would have.No one feels the need to break a cycle that has gone on for years. Its all they know so why not be good at it.Mentality ride or die .Kill or be killed.Dam the police where is the prevention for saving our up coming generation.PUT MONEY N THE HOOD AND STOP USING CRIME TOO BOOST YOUR STATS RON,had a meeting for a public stunt now your comunity is showing you what it realy thinks.RIP TO ALL FALLING SOILDERS.....


Like this comment
Posted by Not Again
a resident of another community
on Jul 21, 2011 at 11:14 am

People can't blame EPA police for such crimes. It takes 30 seconds or less to kill a person. Police can't be everywhere all the time. These aren't random killings.


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Posted by Not Again
a resident of another community
on Jul 21, 2011 at 11:17 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 21, 2011 at 11:27 am

Old Palo Alto your comment is not helping.
You just put all the good people in with the "few" bad ones.
The shootings are not an easy problem to solve. When the good people of this city hear words like that it can be very discouraging.
We all need to work together to end it or the problem will only migrate to other towns.



Like this comment
Posted by KP
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jul 21, 2011 at 11:30 am

I think I said it clearly in my post on Bari's shooting article.
There will be more to come...MARK MY WORDS!

"Sad to say...When you live the life, expect the consequences. There is usually only two ways it ends...jail or death. Unfortunately, this just means more tragedy to come to EPA...mark my words"

and to Not Again...I wish we could raise our rents, but there is a program called "Rent Control"
and that keeps the rent at a, so called, affordable rate for everyone. Sec 8 tries to lower it even more.


Like this comment
Posted by Old Palo Alto
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 21, 2011 at 11:35 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Member
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 21, 2011 at 1:08 pm

It is sad and frightening to see the direction things are headed within the city. Real solutions to the present problem are a challenge. Identifying the "bad" apples has been the goals of the summits but seemingly these are not showing success. Not that this problem can be ignored of course but I would like to see more youth involved in positive programs that can offer them options other than crime so that we are not seeing this cycle of violence in the future. It affects more than only people who reside in the city of East Palo Alto.


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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 21, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Nayeli is a registered user.

@ KP:

I think that it would be beneficial if recipients of government housing assistance (like Section 8 or rent control) are obliged to have no felonies for seven years (or longer). This would help motivate individuals into good behavior and keep many neighborhoods free from likely offenders.

Many states, including California, have successfully used housing restrictions to keep convicted sex offenders away from neighborhoods with schools, parks and other means of access to children.

In my college statistics classes, we learned that the risk of repeat offenses by most categories of sex criminals (particularly non-violent, incestuous or "consensual" sex crimes) is much lower than most other violent felonies (like aggravated assaults, gun crimes, etc...).

Those offenders aren't permitted to live around our parks and schools. While we want to protect our children from heinous criminals like sex offenders through such legislation and policies, then why can't our communities be made similarly safe from other violent criminals? After all, individuals involved in violent assaults and robberies (including gang activity) are more likely than not to re-offend.

It makes me wonder if some housing restrictions would be beneficial to a community?

East Palo Alto is a scary place to live. This has nothing to do with the racial or ethnic makeup of the community. Rather, it has everything to do with the criminal activity in (and from) that community.

My husband and I have had very bad experiences when traveling through East Palo Alto. My husband and I were approached by drug sellers at the little Mexican mercado/restaurant on Willow Rd. We were also approached by a drug dealer at Mi Pueblo. We saw a group of teenage gang members (well, they looked and dressed like gang members) behaving badly at the Taco Bell near Ikea (they were screaming inside the restaurant and kicked someone's car outside). My husband was approached by a prostitute outside of the Auto Zone. All of these things happened in broad daylight.

My husband is an Anglo (white) American, but I am noticeably Hispanic. Yet we both feel uneasy about the prospect of visiting stores like Ikea, Best Buy or Mi Pueblo because of the experiences that we have had.

I just think that there could be a better way to redevelop that community. Before we moved to this area, we were warned about East Palo Alto by two colleagues while we were still living in Texas! Imagine: A small community like East Palo Alto already has such a bad reputation that we heard warnings about it in Texas!

I can only imagine that the way to help is to, like others said, keep out the "bad apples." That isn't a racial, ethnic or economic proposition. Rather, it is a way to prevent criminals from living in the town that might foster the activity that we have grown to fear.


Like this comment
Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 22, 2011 at 11:57 am

JustMe is a registered user.

Question: Have any witnesses stepped forward to help the police out?

The police cannot efficiently do their jobs without the support of the community. They cannot be everywhere at once unless you want a huge, costly, and omnipresent police presence. So they need the help of the public. Historically, this support has not been there. Even when someone gets shot in broad daylight in front of an active celebration, no one steps up to help the police and tell what happened. What are they supposed to do?

You can complain about these crimes all you want, but until the people summon the courage to help the police take back the streets, you can only expect the frustrated police to perform as best they can, which will not be good enough.

Bad people prosper when good people remain silent.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 22, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

Please, JustMe, spare us your philosophizing. If you want to know if there were any witnesses, just call the EPA PD and ask.


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Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 22, 2011 at 6:06 pm

JustMe is a registered user.

I wasn't philosophizing, I was just laying out the facts. Nothing is going to change until the police get the support they need from the people. What I said is far more constructive than sitting around, not helping, and demanding they do the impossible.

I was just looking at the Fry's ads today and I notices a bunch of surveylance outfits for reasonable prices and not hard to install around your home. If you live in a high crime area, buy one, cover the area around your home with cameras, and then if something goes down within view cut a DVD and give it to the police. They will not get a conviction off it, but they can get vital clues. Could you imagine how much help this would be if one house in 10 had cameras? How much is it worth to you to catch some of these guys and make the neighborhood safe? Is it worth the purchase price of one of those systems to you? Or are the lives of these kids not worth that much to you?

Don't attack me, I am not the problem.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 22, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

Why is what you said constructive? Do you really think that people who remain silent after witnessing murder read this forum?

Many of these people are criminals who take care of each other in brutal ways. You really think that if someone had a surveillance system in a bad neighborhood, it wouldn't be discovered, and moreover, they wouldn't be discovered giving a DVD of a murder to the cops? Please, that's just naive if you think anyone can live like that safely.

You really have no idea as to what security measures I take. I'll only say that having dogs helps, as do other things I'm not gonna be public about. I also make sure I don't live where the criminals flourish - and they don't flourish, in large part, because of the ongoing work I've done.

BTW, it wasn't an attack. My opinion is that, once again, your posts about EPA display true ignorance/naivete and aren't helpful, even if well-intended.


2 people like this
Posted by joejoe46
a resident of another community
on Jul 23, 2011 at 9:59 am

joejoe46 is a registered user.

@Nayeli

You are an outsider looking in, speaking for a city based solely on your opinions. How would you know that its a scary place to live when your only negative experiences have been in places of business? If the city makes you uneasy then stay away. Problem solved.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 23, 2011 at 10:26 am

Hmmm is a registered user.

I think Nayeli's experiences here are rather chilling. Frankly, I haven't had that many problems when shopping & I live here. Years ago, hookers were frequenting 7-11 & the residents made a lot of calls to the cops. I've never been approached by anyone for a drug sale; neither has my spouse. I'm not naive about the problems here & have had to deal w/stuff, most definitely. But as Nayeli has seen thuggy youth here missbehaving, I've seen the same in MP & PA, in fact, do worse stuff than what she described.

As for hearing about EPA's problems in Tx., it's not that small of a community; it's the same population approx. as Menlo. Due it it's reputation for being the murder capital 20 years ago, people all over know about EPA. In 1990, when Mrs. Roddy was shot & the Guardian Angels showed up, it was international news for weeks, so it's really not surprising people in Tx. know about EPA.

I've never had problems at Ikea or the shopping center, either- Jamba Juice, the grill, Sports Authority, etc. I love the Togo's because I've found the service consistently good, for personal & catering orders. BTW, the market/taqueria on Willow is actually in MP. The taqueria's rep is a good one, known for its clean kitchen (I'm referring to the 1st one on the left as you drive east on Willow).

Perhaps if I frequented Mi Pueblo more I'd get approached the way she has. But maybe I'm just too old & white!

I won't join our Y because I don't want to deal w/any potential thuggery on my way in or out of the Y, but I know many people who've safely used it for years. Looks at the mayor - he rides his bike all over w/out a problem.

I am very sorry she's had such crummy experiences here. I went to Auto Zone only once & what I remember is the cute dog that lived in the house running along the back side of Auto Zone.

I have to say, what I find myself most itching to do when I'm at the shopping center is throw together my own little "What Not to Wear" for both the ladies & the gents!


Like this comment
Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 23, 2011 at 10:53 am

JustMe is a registered user.

Congratulations Hmmm, you have solved the problem of EPA for yourself. But you have not solved it for anyone else. You have your fortress it sounds like. You have said "Leave me alone, pick on someone else." You have treated the symptoms, but not the disease. Your dog(s) protect you, but not your neighbors.

Ebil preys on the weak and unwary, and that's not you. But what have you done for others? And as for doing what is "safe", how safe do you REALLY feel? It is going to take more courage than that to make a change.

And if you can't figure out how to slip a DVD to the police without the world knowing about it, then we have a REAL problem in another area.


2 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 23, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

Wow, JustMe lives on their own planet! They also need to reread my comments about filming activity on the street w/multiple cameras - like that would go unnoticed. JustMe clearly has spent little time in EPA, & certainly hasn't said anything useful for the community. I'm not responsible for my neighbors' safety, nor they for mine. However, if they do things to increase my danger, they get the boot - it's pretty simple.I'm happy to have solved EPA-related issues for myself - I have this crazy idea that my well-being matters to me. Also, I'm not a dealer or shooting people, so no problems caused by me - that's a definite plus. JustMe also has a short memory - I've stated before the work I've done for this community, & it's work I still do, professionally & as a volunteer. Has JustMe come over here to walk their talk? They're welcome to. I can show them how to do so safely.


Like this comment
Posted by Sekou Black
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 28, 2011 at 2:45 am

Sekou Black is a registered user.

I have read many opinions; some from residents that are from EPA and others that propose solutions in the best way that they have learned how. Some comments posted I feel are very ignorant & shocking. I no longer live in EPA(2500 Block of Illinois St.), but always visit friends and extended family. East Palo Alto has always been a strong community despite it's reputation. When problems arise, the community pulls together like tendons & flesh when a muscle is flexed. It would be more than refreshing to see some of the resources reaped from financial ventures, such as Ikea and Nordsrom's Rack, filtered down into those that actually live there. All of this money being put into the police dept, and new ways to curb crime...curb crime, not attack it at it's source.

When I was a kid we had Ravenswood Rec center with gym, African dance & drum classes, weight room, a pool, Tennis Camp, Football Camp, a large track field. Dance and talent events used to rock Ronald McNair, and the "Rec" at Bell Street park was a haven for youth. If this wasn't enough, we would walk, take the bus, or ride bikes to Kelly Park to go swimming or play basketball or have fun at the Boys and Girls club in Menlo Park. This was when there were such avenues and resources for the youth to take advantage of... and if a parent couldn't afford it, the staff would understand and lend a hand. This is where it was truly understood as well as practiced that "it takes a village to raise a child."

Lets nip these problems in the bud and begin opening up more avenues for the youth similar to the ones I was used to! Where are the mentoring organizations? How about those sliding-scale sports programs, midnight basketball? Where is U-Turn? Where are the Rec centers & community gardens? If you provide a way towards a bright future with an endless horizons, many will likely walk towards that path. I was one that chose the hard route (although raised by many that cared and also had educated parents) yet I fully understand my mistakes as well as recognize and appreciate what is possible when people think out of the box of confinement and open their minds and hearts towards what love and imagination can accomplish. Lets get it together!!!

Whether you live in East Palo Alto or not, what will YOU do to make EPA better? A tremendous shot out to 1EPA, CDI, Free At Last, FYBY, College Track, OICW, YUCCA, and last but definitely not least Robert Hoover that runs the Junior Golf Program.

Sekou M. Black

"Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love."

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
~ Martin Luther King Jr.


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