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Mar 5, 2010

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Gang member convicted of murder in shooting over tattoo

My life,since my son was murdered. On January 23, 2005, I received a phone call at 3:30 AM. The caller asked if I was the mom of Michael & Oscar. He said that there had been a shooting at my son's home and that Michael had been shot. I asked him "is he okay?" have the paramedics been called? What hospital are they taking him to? Is Oscar with him? He said the street was blocked off but he would get more info and call me back. I woke my husband and my oldest son and told them what I knew. We started getting dressed to get to the hospital. The phone rang again and I was told that my son Oscar was shot as well and that they were taking him to Harbor General. I asked what about Michael? Are they taking him to the same hospital? The caller said "they think Michael's dead, I'll call you back." The phone rang again and the caller spoke to my husband and told him that our son Michael was dead. I could not "fall apart" at the tragic news that my beloved son Michael was dead, I had to keep myself together to get to my son Oscar. I was anxious and prayed that God would not let Oscar die too. This would be too much for any parent to bear. I made all the difficult phone calls to family and friends. Emotions run from sorrow to disbelief to anger. It's a vicious cycle. It's extremely hard to see the hurt in the eyes of your loved ones and you can do NOTHING to remove their pain. Your mind wanders to countless "whys?" You somehow question the decisions that you made as a parent in raising your son's to be men of integrity. Why did you make them responsible and accountable for their actions, only for some undisciplined individual to make a cowardly decision to pull a trigger and murder Michael shooting him once in the back of his head & twice in his back, then shooting Oscar in the arm, hand, shoulder and eventually leaving a bullet permanently embedded in his head and the bullets that hit their friend Joey went through his intestines and did severe damage. Since the murder and attempted murder of my son's, I’m not the same person. I have trouble sleeping. It's as though every night my brain hits the "replay" button and the words "they think Michael's dead" plays over and over again and emotionally I'm right back to January 23, 2005. The anxiety we experienced having to plan a funeral but not knowing when we could set a date for it because our son Oscar was in intensive care was really difficult. Would we be burying TWO of our sons?? I may be rambling now, but it is hard to fully express what this whole ordeal did to us and continues to do. The police officers and homicide detectives assigned to the case were diligent and quick to apprehend the suspects. The District Attorney's were tenacious in their efforts to get this trial to conclude. Unfortunately, court proceedings were constantly delayed. We have been going to court for the last five years. When I use to hear the term "weapon of mass destruction” I would think of tanks, missiles, etc., but one gun and a couple of bullets were indeed a weapon that brought mass destruction upon my family. I think of the defense attys and what their hired to do, they may help their client serve a lesser term, but in reality they only weaken society as a whole. These types of criminals only re-offend, simply because they are not held accountable for their actions. I’ve often wondered what the outcome of the trial would be? And thankfully after these long and arduous 5 years we finally got our answer. I can’t fully express our gratitude to the men and women of the jury. We had hoped that you (the jury) would know that it took everything in us NOT to react to the photos of our son Michael's fatal injuries; we did what we could to adhere to the order of Judge Cassani's courtroom. I know it was difficult for you too!! THANK YOU!! To ALL our family and friends who have NEVER left our side our hearts overflow with love and gratitude for you.  (Mar 5, 2010 | post #21)