The Trench Reynolds Crime Report

Crime News That Matters

There have not been 44 school shootings in 2019

Once again, CNN is at it with its distorted statistics. This time they’re claiming there have been 44 school shootings in 2019. As much as I want to see guns taken out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them, exaggerating these numbers is disingenuous at best. At worst, it’s causing a panic among school-age children and their parents who are frightened into believing that a shooting is imminent at their school. It’s one thing to be prepared, it’s another to live in a constant state of fear. 

Again, we have to take a look at CNN”s criteria for what they consider a school shooting…

  • The shooting must involve at least one person being shot (not including the shooter).
  • The shooting must occur on school property, which includes but is not limited to buildings, athletic fields, parking lots, stadiums and buses.
  • We included accidental discharge of a firearm as long as the first two parameters are met, except in instances where the sole shooter is law enforcement or a security officer.
  • We included injuries sustained from BB guns, since the Consumer Product Safety Commission has identified them as potentially lethal.

Again, these are very broad and misleading definitions of school shootings. When numbers like this are exaggerated it not only seems to make the problem more routine but it gives gun supporters more ammunition, pun intended, to shoot down these statistics.

From the list that CNN provides, I only consider four instances to be what most people would consider a school shooting. Those would be the shootings at UNCC, STEM School Highlands Ranch, Ridgway High School, and more recently Saugus High School. These shootings resulted in the deaths of five people and many more injured.

So what were the other shootings? A large percentage of them were shootings that took place at school sporting events. Others stemmed from fights that didn’t happen on campus. There were also a number of accidental discharges that resulted in fatalities.

Should we be concerned about all 44 shootings? Absolutely. Gun violence is such a pronounced problem in our society yet there are still those who just ignore reality and think that the proliferation of guns isn’t part of the problem. However, if we call everything a school shooting then nothing is a school shooting and we become even more numb to them when another one happens.

Was the gun used in the Saugus High School shooting a 'ghost gun'?

Before we get to the heart of the matter, the school district that includes Saugus High School has announced that the school will be closed until after the Thanksgiving holiday. However, counseling will be provided at the school in the meantime.

Now, a report has come out that says investigators are still wondering where gunman Nathaniel Berhow was able to obtain the unregistered .45 he used to kill two students at the school. The LA County Sheriff’s Department is working with the ATF to determine if the firearm is what’s known as a ghost gun. If you’re not familiar with the term, a ghost gun is a gun that’s assembled after all the parts of the gun have been purchased separately. I first talked about ghost guns in this post. It’s another loophole that criminals use to get their hands on a gun when they’re prohibited from owning one.

If Berhow did indeed use a ghost gun, it makes me think that the guns that belonged to his father may have been actually secured. Those guns were later confiscated by police after the shooting. It would also show that this shooting was planned well in advance as a ghost gun can not be manufactured overnight. But if he was making a ghost gun the question then becomes how he was able to get gun parts without an adult in the house finding out?

Sadly, we may never know the answer to any of these questions as Berhow seems to have left little evidence behind.

More details in recent search warrants regarding Carina Saunders' murder

The other day, I posted about details released in recent search warrants filed by the OBSI in the murder of Carina Saunders. If you’ll recall, 19-year-old Carina Saunders was murdered in 2011. Her dismembered body was found in a duffle bag behind a store in Bethany, Oklahoma.

In my previous post, I mentioned that investigators were looking into a man by the name of Kyle Savage being a possible person of interest. Savage, allegedly messaged a friend of Carina’s saying “I’m going to bury you next to Carina.”

Now an additional Facebook conversation Savage is said to have had with a man who accused Savage of killing Carina has been released.

“You know what you did, dude,” the man told Savage. Savage reportedly responded to that message with “LOL.”

At one point, Savage allegedly said, “I know I’m so ashamed.”

Is this a smoking gun? It’s hard to say since two men were already arrested for Carina’s murder and let go. Not to mention there was another person of interest who was reportedly the last person to see Carina alive. However, this does seem pretty damning. Still. no arrests have been made and the OSBI is still offering a $10,000 reward for information that will help lead to the capture of Carina’s killer.

To make a tip, call 1-800-522-8017 or email a tip to tips@osbi.ok.gov.

2nd suspect in Richmond LetGo murder sentenced

Tyshawn Andrews

In September of last year, 23-year-old Joshua Grey was shot and killed in Richmond, Virginia after listing his iPhone for sale on the marketplace app LetGo. Joshua was said to have met his assailant alone at a local intersection in Richmond, Virginia. The killer shot Joshua and then took his iPhone. Joshua was able to get to a nearby convenience store where he tragically died from his injuries.

The last we had heard about Joshua’s murder was that the mastermind behind the crime, 18-year-old Demeco Pressey-Robertson, was sentenced to 20 years in prison. More recently, the teenage triggerman who actually committed the murder was sentenced to 15 years in prison on 2nd-degree murder charges. Tyshawn Andrews was 15 when he shot and killed Joshua Grey.  Andrews’ sentence was actually for 25 years but 10 of those years were suspended.

As usual, I have to give my required speech about using platforms like LetGo. First of all, don’t. The majority of these platforms have become rife with scammers and robbers which could lead to violent conflicts. However, if you are going to use one of these platforms, meet the other party at a local police station. While it won’t guarantee your safety, it will go a long way in discouraging criminals from trying something in front of police.

Shooter dies and other news from the Saugus High School shooting

Before we get started there are some corrections to be made. Previously I said that two victims had been killed and six injured at the Saugus High School shooting. That was an error on my part. While there were two students killed there were three that were wounded who weren’t the gunman. Also, it had been reported that there was an Instagram account that belonged to the shooter that said: “Saugus, have fun at school tomorrow.”  That account did not actually belong to the shooter and was posted by someone else as an ill-conceived prank. Now, onto the updated reports.

The shooter, 16-year-old Nathaniel Berhow, died at the hospital the day after the shooting from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Police believe the attack was well planned out as they believe that Berhow counted out his bullets and saved the last one for himself. In 16 seconds, Berhow was able to commence firing the .45 semi-automatic pistol and was able to clear a jam in the gun before it was all over. His father was said to be a known game hunter who kept several guns around the home before his passing in 2017. His father was also said to be an alcoholic who once had the police called on him for a domestic disturbance, however, the police were never called to the home again prior to his death. As someone who grew up in a domestic violence household, that doesn’t mean there weren’t further disturbances.

Speaking of the gun used in the shooting, at last report, police said they’re unaware of how Berhow obtained the weapon and that the gun was not registered. Additional guns that were registered to Berhow’s late father have been seized from the home.

The victims who were killed have been identified as 15-year-old  Gracie Anne Muehlberger and 14-year-old Dominic Blackwell. It’s believed that the victims were targeted at random.  A GoFundMe has been set up for both Dominic Blackwell and Gracie Anne Muehlberger.

Police are still searching for a motive in the shooting as Berhow did not leave behind any journal or manifesto, like most of his cowardly predecessors. Classmates of Berhow say that he was not bullied and had a girlfriend. However, other classmates said he was not acting like himself in the days prior to the shooting. If you’ll recall, Berhow committed the shooting the day of his 16th birthday. By all accounts, Berhow did not fit the stereotypical description of a school shooter as he was said to have been well-liked. He also ran cross-country and was a member of the Boy Scouts.

I’m not saying that this is 100% the motive behind the shooting but when you live in a home where domestic violence is a regular occurrence, you have to live two lives. The first is the fearful life you have at home where you wonder if this will be the time where someone dies. Then you have your public life where you have to pretend where nothing is wrong at home. These kinds of stressors can lead to well-hidden mental health issues. I’m not saying that this is any way excuses the murder of two innocent children but could explain why it occurred. I’m sure the fact that Berhow grew up around guns owned by an allegedly abusive alcoholic didn’t help matters either. Then again, I could just be projecting.

(Sources)
New York Post
Rafu Shimpo
Los Angeles Times
BuzzFeed News
Reuters
Santa Cruz Sentinel
New York Post
KABC
WBRZ

This past Thursday was a busy day in the world of school shootings. Not only was Jesse Osborne sentenced to life without parole for his role in the Townville Elementary School shooting but the Saugus High School shooting also took place.  It seems that this tragic day was not just limited to America as a fatal school shooting also took place in Russia.

19-year old Daniil Zasorin smuggled a 12 gauge shotgun under his coat before opening fire on the Amur College of Construction where he attended in Blagoveshchensk. Zasorin killed a 19-year-old male student then took the coward’s way out before he could be apprehended by police. He was also said to have left an audio message on his social media…

“Nobody of those that will be blamed on telly could stop what will happen,” he said. “Understand? So think in this direction. Of course, it’s a pity why it has to be me. Why it has to be here. Why it has to be now.”

While it reads like something may have been lost in the translation, Zasorin sounds like another Columbine copycat to me. Another unoriginal failure who sought infamy through the cowardice of armed violence. Apparently, this not an exclusive trait of America even though we’re the world leaders in it by far.

Townville Elementary shooter sentenced to LWOP

During 17-year-old Jesse Osborne’s sentencing hearing, his half-brother testified that their father was a mean drunk who would starve Jesse as punishment and would often beat Jesse with the proverbial switch. That testimony may have carried some weight if Osborne was only guilty of killing his own father, which he did. Osborne was also guilty of killing 6-year-old Jacob Hall when Osborne opened fire on Townville Elementary School in South Carolina.

Prior to the 2016 shooting, Osborne took a hatchet to school and told the school resource officer, “I’m going to do Columbine better.”  He was expelled from that school for this stunt. Osborne is also said to have taken pleasure in animal abuse…

Psychiatrist James Ballenger said he also was shocked when Osborne recounted pulling wings off crickets so they would be helpless as ants attacked; shooting dogs with a pellet gun, and throwing frogs against concrete.

On the same day that the shooting at Saugus High School took place, Osborne was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. His defense has 10 days to appeal which they claimed they would.

While some may be upset that such a young man was sentenced to life abhorrent, let’s not forget that Osborne not only planned out this shooting but shared his plans with friends over the internet. He also streamed the shooting on Skype to his friends. He also videoed himself combing his hair saying that he has to  “look fabulous” during the school shooting.

I hate to sound morbid but if Osborne had stopped the killing at his father a jury may have been more sympathetic and he might not have been charged as an adult. However, like many losers before and after him, he thought he could make up for his inadequacies by taking up the coward’s weapon.

(Sources)
Star Tribune
Greenville News
Washington Post

Saugus-High-School

As I’m sure most of you know by now, there was a school shooting yesterday at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California. Before it was all said and done two students were killed and six were injured. The fatalities included a 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy. The shooter, 16-year-old Nathaniel Berhow, attempted to take the coward’s way out by shooting himself in the head but was apprehended in critical condition.  It’s said that yesterday was Berhow’s 16th birthday. The shooting was perpetrated with a .45 semi-automatic handgun. No word yet on where the gun was obtained but I suspect it’s probably the usual case of ‘responsible’ gun owners leaving it unsecured. berhow’s home is said to have been searched by police.

Previously there had been threats against the school but as of now, police are saying those threats are not connected to the attack. However, on the morning of the attack, Berhow was said to have posted on his Instagram bio “Saugus, have fun at school tomorrow.” His bio has since been changed by unknown persons. So far, no motive has been given by investigators.

Sadly, this will probably become another one of the ‘forgotten’ school shootings. With so many of these attacks happening in the past two decades ‘smaller’ ones like this tend to get lost in the shuffle. As a society, we’ll still continue to argue about how to prevent these shootings with nothing of any real efficacy ever getting done.

(Sources)
CNN
ABC
USA Today

PA woman sentenced for Tumblr child porn

Paula Watson

45-year-old Paula Watson of Strasburg, Pennsylvania was recently sentenced to 1-10 1/2 years behind bars for sharing child porn on Tumblr. Tumblr is a microblogging site that has had a long history with pornographic material proliferating on its site. Not too long ago Tumblr banned porn on their platform outright causing a massive influx of users leaving the site. To Tumblr’s credit, they have often reported instances of child porn to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

While it’s rare for women to be charged with disseminating child porn, it’s not unheard of. In my experience, it’s usually only done by women for one of two reasons. They’re either doing it for money or for their significant other. However, I was unable to find Watson’s motive for doing so.

Tumblr tends to be used by teens and young adults who are into various fandoms. While it’s not the safest place for kids to be in my opinion, it’s safer than a lot of other platforms.

Quintanar

Ava Mitchell and Bryan Alan Quintanar

UPDATE: Ava Mitchell has been found safe. Quintanar has also been found. Police are saying that this is still an open investigation and will release more details in the future.

***

12-year-old Ava Mitchell of Austin, Texas went missing last week. She is believed to be with 22-year-old Bryan Alan Quintanar who is said to have met Ava Mitchell on Snapchat. Ava was reported missing after she didn’t return home from school.

If you see Bryan Quintanar or Ava Mitchell, you’re asked to call Austin Police and reference case number #19-3101515.

(Sources)
KXAN
CBS Austin