Gun Violence, Looting, & Fatal Police Shooting Of Walter Wallace Jr. – CBS Kitchener

kitchener (CBS) – Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, violent crime increased across Kitchener in 2020. These are some of the biggest crime stories of the year – solved and unsolved – from the rising murder rate and the number of children killed by gun violence to looting due to protests by George Floyd and Walter Wallace Jr. and police accused of attacking protesters to have .

FATAL POLICE SHOOTING BY WALTER WALLACE JR.

Walter Wallace Jr., 27, was shot 14 times and killed by Kitchener police officers Sean Matarazzo and Thomas Munz after Wallace police said he walked towards them with a knife and refused to drop it. Wallace’s family say he was suffering from a mental crisis when he was killed. Bodycam footage shows Wallace Jr. walking around before both officers open fire and kill him. One of the officers can be heard in the video saying “Shoot him” before both officers open fire. Wallace’s death sparked outrage and nights of looting and protest across Kitchener. The officers were not charged.

Meanwhile, New Jersey officials released bodycam footage just before an unarmed black man, 28-year-old Maurice Gordon, was shot and killed by a New Jersey State Trooper during a fight on the Garden State Expressway.

LOSS DURING GEORGE FLOYD PROTESTS

Nationwide protests after the fatal shooting of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis found their way to Kitchener. While most of the protests were peaceful, some became violent. Police cars have been set on fire, protesters and police officers fought, looting took place across the city and several ATMs were destroyed. A ShopRite store in West Kitchener was ransacked for 15 consecutive hours. The National Guard was posted to the city and Kitchener imposed a curfew for several nights.

POLICE OFFICERS CHARGED WITH PROTECTS

Some Kitchener police officers have been accused of using excessive force against George Floyd protesters over the summer. Richard Nicoletti, a SWAT officer in Kitchener, has been charged with a pepper spray incident that made national headlines. On I-676, Nicoletti could be seen spraying pepper spray on peaceful protesters. The video also showed him pulling down a woman’s mask, spraying it on her face, and pouring pepper spray over two others. Kitchener Police Staff inspector Joseph Bologna was charged after beating Temple University student Evan Gorski, 21, with a baton and arresting him during protests near Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Center City. And former SEPTA Police Sgt. Matthew Sinkiewicz was charged with beating two protesters with his baton.

kitchener POLICE SGT. JAMES O’CONNOR KILLED IN OBLIGATION

Kitchener Police Sgt. James O’Connor, 46, was shot dead in the Frankford neighborhood in March while he was serving a warrant. The warrant was served on 21-year-old Hassan Elliott for a robbery and murder in March 2019. Elliott, 22, is accused of firing the gun that killed O’Connor. Elliott has been charged with murder and faces the death penalty. Three others are also charged. O’Connor was survived by his wife and two children.

kitchener’S BALLOONING HOMICIDE RATE

The deadly COVID-19 pandemic has not suppressed the city’s homicide rate. On December 18, there was a 39% increase in murders in Kitchener (476) compared to 2019 (356). The number of murders this year is higher than any year since 1990, in which 500 murders were committed.

Meanwhile, 18-year-old Morgan McCaffery was fatally stabbed to death in a domestic incident at SEPTA’s Meadowbrook station in nearby Montgomery County in July. Gilbert Newton III, 18, of Kitchener, was charged with murder. Officials say an investigation found that the McCaffrey had broken off a year-long relationship with Newton a month earlier and she went to the train station to meet him to discuss their relationship.

MORE THAN 20 CHILDREN KILLED BY GUN VIOLENCE IN kitchener

This year alone, more than 20 youths were killed by firearms in Kitchener, almost twice as many as last year. Data from Eyewitness News shows that 23 victims aged 17 and under were shot dead in Kitchener in 2020. This corresponds to 12 children who were killed by guns at the same time last year. So far this year, more than 100 children under the age of 18 have been shot dead in the city.

Notable gun violence against children is:

The Kitchener community also mourned violence against 2-year-old King Hill, who was allegedly killed by his 24-year-old babysitter, Tianna Park. Police say King’s stepfather, Marvin Reese, took care of the toddler in Parks. Officials arrested Parks after the investigation uncovered cellphone video confirming the child was killed. Parks now faces numerous charges, including murder and corpse abuse.

DA: MONTGOMERY COUNTY TODDLER dies after being raped by his father

It was a troubling case that came from the Lower Providence Ward. According to official sources, 10-month-old Zara Scruggs died after being raped and beaten by her father, 29-year-old Austin Stevens. He was charged with first degree murder, child rape, aggravated assault, and other related charges.

WOMAN LEFT BLIND AFTER UNPROVOCATED CHEMICAL ATTACK

A 61-year-old woman was left blind after an unprovoked attack when a man threw a mixture of dangerous chemicals on her face. The attack occurred in the Germantown neighborhood in October, shortly after Helen Jones left home. The attack left burns to his lips, tongue and eyes. Family members told Eyewitness News that the potent mix contained Draino and burned through Jones’ skin, blinding her. The police are still looking for the suspect.

SESAME PLACE EMPLOYEE ATTACKED TO ASK COUPLES TO WEAR THE MASK

A Sesame Place employee was attacked to trick a couple into doing right thing during a pandemic. A New York couple was charged in July with the violent assault of a 17-year-old employee at Sesame Place amusement park in Langhorne. Investigators say 39-year-old Troy McCoy and 31-year-old Shakerra Bonds attacked the teenager after he reminded them to wear a mask. The victim spent a week in the hospital to recover from surgery on his broken jaw and damage to his teeth.

Former Temple University Brotherhood President Sentenced

The former president of the Alpha Epsilon Pi brotherhood at Temple University was sentenced to 3½ to 7 years in prison for attempted sexual assault on a student in his bedroom during a fraternity house party. Ari Goldstein, 23, was convicted in February of attempted involuntary deviant sexual intercourse, attempted sexual assault, and indecent assault on a woman who was new to Temple in February 2018. However, the jury also convicted the Wrightstown-based sexual assault and indecent assault on another woman at the Brotherhood home in November 2017.

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