Student gunned down while Mom serves country in Iraq

Recent updates:

Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton said Wednesday that the department’s controversial policy on dealing with illegal immigrants was widely misunderstood by the public and some of his own officers, and he would clarify the rule in the next couple of weeks. -Los Angeles Times

  • KNBC, 19-year-old pleads not guilty in Jamiel Shaw, Jr. homicide case, April 9
  • cbs2.com, Shaw’s family proposes law to help curb violence (VIDEO), April 8
  • FOX News, “Jamiel’s Law” targets illegal immigrant gang members, April 8
  • MyFoxla.com, Jamiel Shaw’s parents meet with city leaders, April 8
  • The Daily Collegian (Penn State University) Cities bleed with ‘death by percentages, April 8
  • FinalCall.com, Fear of a Black-Brown race war in Los Angeles, April 3
  • Independent Weekly (North Carolina), For Eve and Jamiel, and everyone else (commentary), April 2
  • mayorsam.blogspot.com, Family of Jamiel Shaw to voice support for “Jamiel’s Law” on Doug McIntyre tomorrow morning (posted April 1) *note: Doug McIntyre is a radio host on KABC (Los Angeles). You can listen to his program here.
  • Pedro Espinoza mug shot and booking sheet
  • Daily News (Los Angeles), Barbarians are within the gate, March 30:

    The latest atrocity was the slaughter of 17-year-old Jamiel Shaw Jr., a star footballer who caught the eye of top college recruiters. Tragically, he also caught the eye of an illegal-alien gangbanger who gunned him down while Jamiel’s mother served in Iraq.

    You can’t make this up. The irony of fighting a war against terrorism half a world away while a generation of Angelenos is shot to pieces by local terrorists, while your own son is cut down at home…. Wow.

  • CNN, Dad faces son’s alleged killer; sees ‘normal’ youngster, March 26
    Murder suspect Pedro Espinoza
  • Times Record News (Wichita Falls, Texas), “A horrible waste,” March 25

    Jamiel Shaw Jr., a teenager on the verge of living out an American dream, was gunned down by someone who authorities believe had no business still living in America. -Times Record News

  • MyFoxLA, Arraigment postponed in Jamiel Shaw case, March 25
  • KABC-TV, Man accused of killing teen heads to court, March 25
***

Odds are you’ve never heard of 17-year-old Jamiel Shaw Jr. At least not until this week.

But if you’re a parent, you know something about what the young man represented.

You see, for 17-years Shaw’s parents poured their lives into raising a child that would know the difference between right and wrong. The value of hard work. And how to be successful in life.

Imagine their devastation when they learned someone–allegedly a gangster–simply walked up to their first born and blew him away. Shaw’s mother, Army Sgt. Anita Shaw, was informed of her son’s murder while she served her country in Iraq.

Jamiel Shaw Jr. was set to graduate from high school this year. And, oh yeah, he was a helluva football player. Stanford and Rutgers were among the schools pursuing him. Jamiel Shaw Jr. The “football star” angle’s been heavily played-up in media reports ever since Shaw was murdered Sunday as he walked home while speaking with his girlfriend on his cell phone.

But Shaw was more than a football player. He was a son. A strengthening testimony to the love and hard work his parents had invested throughout his short life.

Just as so many of you have done for your children.

That’s why, if you’re a parent, you have an intimate understanding of what Jamiel Shaw Jr. represented: The hope and love we have for our kids. And yes, the worry, too.

Shaw’s parents have already shown great strength. Not only in media interviews. But in a a community gathering aimed at addressing recent violence.

I strongly recommend that you watch an interview with Shaw’s parents conducted by Shephard Smith of FOX News. Hang in there until the very end and you’ll be rewarded with the poignant words of the father, Jamiel Shaw Sr.

Other Links:

KABC-TV

Los Angeles Times

KCAL-TV

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12 Responses to Student gunned down while Mom serves country in Iraq

  1. avatar
    Rickeisha davis March 10, 2008 at 12:24 pm #

    he was a friend playbrother ive known hime sence the 6th garde
    all i want to say is Jamiel Shaw ima miss you……….

  2. avatar
    Rickeisha davis March 10, 2008 at 12:27 pm #

    we go way back to Mount Vernon middle school
    i pray and wish all the love and support to his family

  3. avatar
    hornerscorner March 10, 2008 at 3:09 pm #

    Thank you, Miss Davis, for sharing your thoughts. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, too.

  4. avatar
    PeacePantherG March 12, 2008 at 4:10 am #

    This is so sad. My heart goes out to the Shaw family. Just so senseless, this young man had so much going for him. These gangs are killing the community. I am absolutely frustrated & outraged with all this violence living in a gang infested community myself (with three young sons) on the east coast… I really feel for these parents, this is tragic. God Bless & prayers….

  5. avatar
    hornerscorner March 12, 2008 at 5:42 am #

    Thanks for your post, PeacePantherG.

    I wholeheartedly agree with you. It is chilling to think about this young man’s last moment of life. And that someone who apparently never knew Jamiel Shaw Jr. would kill him w/o any sort of provocation.

    As a journalist and author who worked the crime beat for a number of years, I’m rarely surprised by what people are capable of doing to each other. This case doesn’t surprise me as much as it serves as a disturbing reminder of what actually goes on in our world. More to the point, our country.

    Certainly, this case saddens me because the young man had apparently been “doing the right thing” and had the good fortune of a solid upbringing from both a mother and a father. And the mother was oversees serving her country.

    The suspect in this case is a gang member. He’d just been released from jail 28 hours before Shaw’s murder. Let us remember that he’s innocent unless proven guilty.

    As, no doubt, as many others have been doing, I’ve found myself considering some disturbing but worthwhile questions.

    Did snuffing-out an innocent boy’s life even touch the killer’s conscience for a fleeting moment?

    Is the killer actually feeling empowered because the murder has elevated his status within his gang?

    Does the killer prefer to be in jail or prison where gangs often have some influence within the subculture of confinement?

    That the answer to questions such as the ones proposed here might be “yes” is also not surprising. If, it turns out, the “yes” answer(s) does not apply to this case, there are plenty of others where it does apply.

    I write this lengthy response to your heartfelt comment only because it seems like a an opportune moment to share what’s been on my mind since the news broke of yesterday’s arrest…that this case is also a disturbing reminder of a heartless, remorseless subculture that not only exists in our “correctional” institutions, but often spills back onto the streets of your neighborhood and mine.

    We’ve often heard the claim–apparently aimed at providing comfort–that “most murder victims knew their killer.” I’m sure that’s true.

    But it appears Jamiel Shaw Jr. didn’t know his attacker. Some of the other high profile murder cases making national news this past week suggest their victims didn’t know their attackers, either.

    On another note, at the end of February, we learned that–“for the first time in U.S. history”–more than 1 in every 100 adults is in jail or prison.

    It’s against this background of gang and prison trends–and thoughts of Jamiel Shaw Jr.’s last moments–that I consider certain words that have been spoken since the murder. Words from LA’s mayor, police chief, the victim’s family and from others all calling for “change”.

    It makes us feel a bit better if we can see something positive come out of something so horrible. Let not a good young man die in vain.

    Many of these words have been heartfelt. And while words can be good, they can only go so far. What new action will be taken towards stifling a gang culture that respects the killing of an innocent person’s life?

    Here, I find myself reminded of the media’s focus several months ago, I believe, on the popular street rule that one should never snitch. No matter what.

    I don’t propose that there’s a simple solution here. This all speaks to “larger societal issues” that can seem overwhelming.

    But we shouldn’t settle for the numbing or surrendering of our concern as our lives segue into tonight’s episode of American Idol.

    Watch and enjoy the show, if you like. But let’s remember that the same streets will be there at the end of the night.

    I hope those heartfelt words in LA serve as a catalyst to brave action. Certainly, the time has come for it.

  6. avatar
    Felecia March 13, 2008 at 1:12 am #

    You know I am angry that I have not heard of this story on any channels not cnn not hwere I live in N.C all I hear of is a about a white girl getting kill on UNC campus! We sure be mad and something needs to be done about these gangs taking the lives of youths who want to be somebody! I live in Cali for 2 years and the reason I letf is because I didn’t want to raised my children in a enviroment as in L.A. There are some good ppl in L.S don’t get me wrong and gangs are everywhere but what are parents of these kids doing, or they not paying any attention to their children that the gangs are taking over..I am so sorry Mr and Mrs Shaw for your life just reading about your son and the way he was taken from you all were just plain wrong, you are in my prayer’s in N.C….

  7. avatar
    hornerscorner March 13, 2008 at 2:32 am #

    Thanks, Felecia, for sharing your thoughts from North Carolina, and for sharing why you left California.

    Interesting to hear from your state where another young person’s death has received national headlines.

  8. avatar
    PeacePantherG March 18, 2008 at 12:22 pm #

    Unfortunatetely these gang affiliated shootings pushes the member “higher” up the ranks, and serving a “life” sentence also means “higher” status within the gang & “respect”.

    The saddest part is many young people who become involved with gangs have low self’esteem, have been sexually abused, come from dysfunctional families, and turn to gangs for emotional support. In the gang members mind, the “gang” really serves as a family unit which is why it is is difficult to break the bonds they establish some as young as eight. For many, it is a life long, cyclic affiliation, jail time & murder are just a part of it.

    EARLY prevention, gang task force & programs targeted at children as early as kindergarten is a worthwhile investment for school districts to implement into curriculums/ communties when gang recruitment is at EARLY stages. Mentors volunteering for Boys/Girls clubs ,after school programs, especially males, because there is a connection between gang membership & lack of father figures in the household. It is not a problem that is going away. Put the money into the young people of the community not into the correctional facilities which supposedly “rehabilitate”. Why is more money spent on the prison system than quality afterschool programs/leadership/community outreach?

    CORRUPTION within the police departments also contributes to the “power” a gang may have within the community. The “shit” system is complicated and are young people are being failed miserably.

    PREVENTION>>PREVENTION>>PREVENTION..

    not JUVENILE DETENTION!!!!!!

    …..G

  9. avatar
    hornerscorner March 25, 2008 at 6:00 am #

    Beyond90Seconds.com: Arraigment postponed in Jamiel Shaw case, March 25

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