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Fri Jan 18, 2013, 09:11 PM

Supporters rally, petition for San Jose man charged with murder in vigilante shooting

Source: SJ Mercury News

Supporters rallied Friday to urge prosecutors to drop a murder charge against a San Jose man who shot and killed an alleged burglar in a vigilante act that made him a folk hero to residents frustrated with a shrinking police response to lower-level crimes.

A Change.org petition was launched by family and friends of Luis Ricardo Hernandez, 26, who is being held in Santa Clara County Jail on $1 million bail in the death of 36-year-old Christopher Soriano of San Jose.

Hernandez was a maintenance worker at the Summer Breeze apartments when on Dec. 31 he and a supervisor reportedly tried to perform a citizen's arrest on Soriano, who they suspected of burglarizing cars at the complex. In an ensuing physical confrontation, police said, Hernandez shot Soriano, who later died.

The online petition garnered more than 500 signatures as of Friday. Family spokesman Gina Gates said the defendant, who on Friday postponed a plea entry, was trying to thwart a series of crimes given short shrift by a budget-starved police force. He is due back in court Feb. 15.

Read more: http://www.mercurynews.com/rss/ci_22404350



More safely, Hernandez could have hidden somewhere, snapped a smartphone photo of the burglar, fled, and called 911 instead of confronting someone over car burglaries. If he a saw mugging, rape, fight, etc. in progress maybe the armed confrontation would be more justified.

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Reply Supporters rally, petition for San Jose man charged with murder in vigilante shooting (Original post)
alp227 Jan 2013 OP
uppityperson Jan 2013 #1
reACTIONary Jan 2013 #2

Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 10:19 PM

1. Seriously. These bits are telling. Shooting over a car burglary is stupid &with an illegal handgun?

Hero my butt. There are things worth shooting someone for and this wasn't one of them. Pulling a Zimmerman?

"We acknowledge that it may take us a while to get to a property crime like an auto burglary depending on what else is going on in the city," said outgoing police Chief Chris Moore in a recent interview. "I'm somewhat disappointed that people are treating this person as a folk hero. In my opinion, he's not. I understand the frustration. But that doesn't give someone the right to take a gun out and take the law into their own hands."

Brian Welch, who supervises the District Attorney's homicide unit that is prosecuting the case, had similarly strong words.
"My office is prosecuting Luis Hernandez for the murder of Christopher Soriano because the current facts show that at the time of the shooting Mr. Hernandez had no legal excuse or justification for using deadly force on an unarmed man," Welch said in a statement. "The circumstances of this homicide will be examined in a court of law where Mr. Hernandez will have an opportunity to defend the charge."

(clip)

The two men told Soriano that they were going to hold him for police. Soriano started to leave, but Hernandez and the supervisor tried to pin him to the ground. Soriano broke free, and Hernandez shot Soriano once with what police said was an illegally purchased handgun.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 10:39 PM

2. A "citizen's arrest"? Or was that a "citizen's execution"?

The death penalty for being "suspected" of a car burglary? By some yahoo with a gun?

This guy deserves arrest, trial, and if guilty, conviction. In other words, better than what his victim received.

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