Thursday, January 27, 2011

Please don't shoot me

'Girl, nine, begged for her life before she and her father were shot dead by 'anti-immigrant vigilantes'

Mail Online
By Daily Mail Reporter

A nine-year-old girl begged for her life before being shot dead along with her father by an anti-immigrant vigilante group, a court heard.

Brisenia Flores was gunned down at point-blank range in her own home in Flores, Arizona, as her terrified mother Gina Gonzalez, who had also been hit, played dead on the floor.

She sobbed as the court was told how she had heard Brisenia's desperate pleas as her killer stood over her.

'I can hear it happening,' Mrs Flores told the court describing how her daughter said: 'Why did you shoot my dad? Why did you shoot my mum?'

'I can hear her telling him to "please don't shoot me."'

The prosecution alleges that the child and her father Raul Flores Jr were murdered in May 30, 2009 by a group of vigilantes set up to tackle Mexican immigrants.

The shootings took place 200 miles from Tucson, the scene of the gun massacre earlier this month in which another nine-year-old girl died.

Shawna Forde, the head of the Minutemen American Defence group, is on trial accused of two charges of first degree murder.

She is allegedly orchestrated the attack on the Flores family with two male accomplices, due to face face court in.March.

Police claim that Forde believed Mr Flores was a drug trafficker and would have cash and goods in the house which they could use to fund their patrols.

She reportedly led the raid and gave instructions to the male accomplices.

Mrs Gonzalez told the court that her husband woke her up just before 1am on May 30 and said that the police were at the door.

The couple went to the front room - where Brisenia had spent the night on the sofa to be near her new dog - and spotted two people outside.

Both were in camouflage. Mrs Gonzalez said one was a heavy-set woman while the other was a man whose face was blackened with greasepaint. He was armed with a rifle and pistol.

The mother-of-one told the court the pair had demanded to be let in, claiming the family were harbouring a fugitive.

They then burst into the house. The man told Mr Flores: 'Don't take this personal, but this bullet has your name on it.'

He then opened fire, hitting Mrs Gonzalez in the shoulder and leg.

Her husband was hit multiple times before the gunman turned to her daughter.

She described hearing the murderer reload his weapon as he ignored Brisenia's pleas for mercy and then open fire.

The gunman and his accomplice left but as Mrs Gonzalez called 911, she heard him returning.

Desperately wounded, she dragged herself through the house to find her husband's gun and exchanged fire with her assailant, who police say is Jason Bush.

He was injured and fled the scene.

Forde was arrested shortly after the shooting. She had Mrs Gonzalez's wedding ring and other jewellery, according to police.

Investigators said that she was originally a member of the anti-immigrant Minuteman Project but left to form a more extreme breakaway group.

Members claim that it is their civil duty to protect the Mexican border with weapons as the authorities are unable to do so.

Forde allegedly funded her by group by robbing the houses of suspected drug dealers. When she reportedly proposed one such raid to two potential accomplices, they phoned the FBI - who did nothing because they believed the suggestion was too ludicrous to be true.

Prosecutor Kellie Johnson said: 'Not only will the state prove to you that Shawna Forde was in that house that night, barking orders and telling people what to do, the state will prove that Shawna Forde organised and planned this offence.'

Forde's lawyer Eric Larsen told the court that she was not at the house and that much of the evidence was circumstantial

Forde denies murder. The trial continues. If convicted, she faces the death penalty.

Is this kind of behavior going to be repeated as more outfall from the Hate Rhetoric of the past two years resonates?

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