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It was only four days ago, September 11th
J.A.I.L. reported on the government terrorist invasion of Computer
Programmer John Bailey's home. He was suddenly overtaken by machine gun
toting thugs in his home who held guns to his head. The cause - someone called
in as a result of watching "America's Most Wanted" saying they thought
he might look like the person on T.V.
In that case one of the
terrorists accidentally fired his gun sending a bullet passing through
the walls of Bailey's home and ending up in his bathroom. We said in that
article, "Imagine if a child had been struck while sleeping on the other
side of the wall where the police's stray bullet passed through." Well,
that was just a caveat. And, of course, we all know, had someone
actually been killed, the police would have gotten off by saying "It was
just an accident."
In that story of terrorism in America we said, "Welcome
to Cobb County, Georgia." Well, now we cover terrorism in America again two
weeks later, Modesto California style. Only here, this terrorist's
accidental shooting does involve a child - an eleven-year-old
* * *
Officer Kills Boy,
Police Call Shooting An
By TY PHILLIPS
(September 14, 2000)
An 11-year-old Modesto boy was
fatally shot early Wednesday morning when police SWAT team officers on a
federal narcotics sweep raided his parents' home.
Police said the
shooting was an accident.
Alberto Sepulveda, a seventh-grader at Prescott
Senior Elementary School, was pronounced dead in his home at 2524 McAdoo
Ave., just east of Highway 99 in the north Modesto neighborhood commonly
known as Highway Village. He died from one shotgun round to the back,
Police Chief Roy Wasden said.
Wasden would not give any other details of the shooting or
raid, not even where in the small house the shooting took place. He said
details will not be available until investigations have been
"Our entire department is in shock," Wasden said. "And our
sympathy goes out to the family of the child, and the officers who
involved in this tragic incident."
The shot came from officer David Hawn, whose weapon
discharged during the raid, Wasden said. Hawn, a 21-year
veteran, has served on the SWAT team for 18 1/2 years.
Following department policy, Hawn was placed on paid leave. ....
Officers knocked on the door at 6:16 a.m. Five minutes later, a
went out for an ambulance and Fire Department
personnel. Police swarmed in and out of the house all day, and
Stanislaus County coroner's deputies did not remove the boy's body until
after 2 p.m. ....
As some officers worked inside the house, others
stood grim-faced outside, talking in small groups. Neighbors stood in front
of their homes, wondering what had happened on their street. ....
Wednesday night, neighbors stood at the edge of driveways
and lawns, swapping stories of concern, shock and grief. "I didn't
ever think anything like this could happen at that house, to that family,"
former next-door neighbor Nadia Chuca, 23, said. "He was just at the wrong
place at the wrong time; it's just sad that this happened to
an 11-year-old. ... I saw him grow up." The Sepulveda family has lived at
the McAdoo Avenue home for about five years. Fourteen-year-old Melissa
Gold lived across the street until recently. She said Alberto
taught bicycle tricks to her 9-year-old brother, Brian.
"My little brother, he's been sad all day. He tried to ask me
cop shot him. I didn't know how to say it in sign language," she
said. "My brother's deaf." Sam Climber walked his 9-year-old son, Sam
Jr., in front of the Sepulveda house to try to make sense of Wednesday's
shooting. His son, he said, played daily with Alberto.
"We would play hide-and-go-seek, ride our bikes and have water
fights," the young Climber said. "I sort of could not believe it; I
think kids could get shot."
Counseling services will be provided today for students at
Prescott schools, said Judy French, a secretary in the
School District. Alberto attended Chrysler last
year. .... SWAT teams called upon for Wednesday's operation were from
the Sacramento and San Francisco offices of the FBI, the DEA, the
Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department and the Lodi Police
Bee staff writer Ty Phillips
can be reached at
Bee staff writer Crystal Carreon contributed to this report. She
reached at 578-2347.