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Police: Few Leads In Brandon Gil Slaying

The community is mourning the gang-related death of another young Watsonville man.

A makeshift memorial for has sprouted from the concrete sidewalk downtown where he was found mortally injured.

Flowers, photos, notes, candles, a balloon and alcohol bottles have been arranged like an altar to Gil, a fourth-generation Watsonville resident, in front of the Union Bank on Brennan Street and East Lake Avenue.

Gil's friend underwent surgery late Saturday and is expected to recover, police have said. He has not cooperated with the investigation and police said Tuesday they have yet to identify a suspect in the attack.

"The investigators are still working on it but there’s no new information to put out," Watsonville police Lt. David McCartney said Tuesday.

Gil and his friend were at the Miramar Sports Bar, on the 500 block of Main Street, on Saturday night. McCartney said they also have a friend who lives in the area.

Police have not said how the violence sparked and are unsure of how many people were involved. McCartney said it would be possible for one assailant to stab both men.

"It is rare but it does happen," he said.

McCartney declined to say if police had found the weapon or weapons used in the attack.

An autopsy revealed that Gil had been stabbed to death. There was speculation that he may have been shot because of how the wound looked, but that was incorrect, according to McCartney.

Detectives consider the violence gang-related, largely because of the lack of other motives such as robbery or a fight over a woman.

“We’re still looking at that (gang relations) as the primary motive but we’re looking at all the different possible motives," McCartney said. "Right now it appears being gang motivated is most likely.”

McCartney said both Gil and his friend were considered gang associates by the Watsonville Police Department.

“We’re familiar with him. He does have gang associations," McCartney said, explaining that "gang association" means the men had been seen with known gang members by police officers but were not in the gang themselves.

In comments on Watsonville Patch, Gil is remembered as a loving son and readers express outrage that gang violence in Watsonville has claimed another young person.

"I would just like to express our heartfelt sympathy for his mother, who I know Brandon loved very much cuz he always yelled "love you" whenever he was going out the door," reader Theresa Toledo shard.

His father, Richard Gil Jr., told the Santa Cruz Sentinel that his son loved to restore classic cars and was a talented mechanic.

Daniel Juarez, who had attended Starlight Elementary with Gil years ago, said he was shocked by the news.

"Even though I lost touch with him over the years, its still sad to know that he ain't around anymore," Juarez wrote.

See all the coverage of the violence that killed Brandon Gil here.

Detectives ask that with further information regarding this case contact the WPD Investigation Division at (831) 768-3350 or the Crime Tip Line at (831) 768-3544.

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Karl Nobel April 05, 2012 at 07:53 AM
Jurisdictions across the country have allowed police to stop and question youth who fit the description of a gang member, and numerous states have gang databases.46 As many youth may associate with others who are gang-involved, a significant number of youth could be put into the database in error. A study of Latino youth in California found that 84% of youth reported having family, friends, or acquaintances in gangs, even though only 10% of youth personally reported being in a gang or crew themselves.47 As police stop groups of youth and photograph them, and a youth does not have to commit a crime to be entered into the database in California, many youth could mistakenly be identified as gang members by mere association and with disastrous legal consequences if they were ever caught for unrelated misbehavior.48
Karl Nobel April 05, 2012 at 07:59 AM
Last ill Patricia doubt you will read the facts because blaming family planing is much easier. Latino youth who are prosecuted in the adult criminal justice system have a very difficult time completing their education. Latino youth as a group are already the most likely group to be out of school and without a high school diploma between the ages of 16 and 24 (see Figure 2).59 Many more white students (78%) than Latino students (58%) graduate with a regular high school diploma within four years.60 In 2007, 40% of Latinos ages 25 and older were not high school graduates, compared to 14% of whites and 18% of African Americans.61 For Latino youth involved in the justice system, additional barriers to education only increase the likelihood that they will not complete their education.
Karl Nobel April 05, 2012 at 08:01 AM
Reference Arya, N., Villarruel, F., Villanueva, C., Augarten, I., Murguía, J., & Sánchez, J. (2009). America's invisible children: Latino youth and the failure of justice. Washington, D.C.: Campaign for Youth Justice. Blanchard, O., Amighini, A., & Giavazzi, F. (2010). Macroeconomics: A European perspective. New York: Prentice Hall.
Karl Nobel April 05, 2012 at 08:28 AM
This is the sad thing myself grew up in Watsonville and left overseas when I came back at a young age I had no parents and no education. I tried to get my GED at a school called Radcliff on Rodriguez street, while attending I noticed I knew more than many of the other youth there just by having gone to primary school in Europe. Many Caucasians would mistake my accent from being overseas as Cholo and I would occasionally get stopped for no reason. I begin to get discourage, not because I did not see opportunity, but because I got the sense that everybody was fake. Playing roles and hiding from the real realities of life. I am not afraid to I got in trouble with the law when I was younger. I will be the first one to tell you it had little to with the parents I did not have and more to do with the baggage I brought from the United States to Europe. I remember back in 1986-87 my mother and me were evicted from a room in Santa Cruz because I took a yogurt from the refrigerator, I was only 6 at the time. I would never blame my parents for none of my convictions nor would I call myself a coward. The best thing my mother could have done was move me because would I have stayed in America I would have been be dead or vacating in San Quentin, Follson or Corcoran. My father laid brain dead for almost a decade before succumbing to ammonia from laying in his own piss. Sure, I can blame my parents for not properly planing, or better yet my mother for telling me she hates me in church
Karl Nobel April 05, 2012 at 08:56 AM
My point is I did not become a criminal, instead I did the next best thing I became educated and studied hard despite my lack of concentration. I now have my bachelors in Social work and Public Health manage my own portfolio while attending school for my Masters in Business, working on my business plan and work with "at risk youth in Watsonville". Understanding how so many youth kill each other in America isn't "Rocket Science" to me. What is, people within a community they grew up in all there life not understanding what is going on? Now that is insane! If I were a gang member I would lack the respect and motivation to encourage and give me enough incentives to change after listening to much of the ignorance. What spine less person puts down others in their own community especially knowing where most of are grandparents came from breaking their backs picking fruits and cleaning walls. My last words because I have to finish my home work... "As a Proud Mexican American I would rather spend my life locked up behind bars than live in a society were I will be judge and labeled, because in many ways that is a death sentence in itself" Good night!
David H. Perez April 05, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Karl - I am Latino as well. My mother came from a very poor family. When she was four years old, she and her family moved to California from Oklahoma during the Great Depression where my grandfather did farm labor to barely survive. My father came from a very poor family who moved around California looking for any kind of work they could - farm labor or otherwise. My parents planned their family wisely and had only 2 children, which is how many they figured they had the resources to raise. So before people like you start accusing me of coming from "privilege", I just dispelled that claim. As a Latino, I have never been held back, mistreated by the law or treated badly by others of any race. Maybe that is because I have been a responsible individual who has never whined and played the race card, and have never gotten into trouble with the law (you can't be locked up and mistreated if you don't break the law). I obtained Bachelors and Masters degrees, and always refused to participate in Latino student organizations because I did not believe in race-based organizations. As an individual, I have had a successful career based on hard work, not whining about what I am entitled to that I am not getting. (continued)
David H. Perez April 05, 2012 at 04:34 PM
(continued) Solving the gang problem requires each individual and each parent taking personal responsibility, and leaving behind the racism and whining about it being all the White person's fault. If you are not into the "blame game", then quit blaming "Caucasians" for the ills that Latinos and impose on themselves. It's all about making better personal choices.
Karl Nobel April 05, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Not accussing dont understand were you get from after all the information I provided. That is great for you that you have had the PRIVILEGE. I am not promoting MECHA or that type of movement. I don't know where your getting this from or race card from, but what I put up is facts not accusations? That is great you came from a labor tense environment where your head in the ground. Unfortunately, everybody does grow up not questioning their environment. Third where do you see whining, I live by "what ever does not kill you makes you strong". Obiviouly you do not know the difference between individualism and collectivism, I do take responsibility for my surroundings, but I am an individualist as well. Right now I am speaking like an individualistic, "America would be such a nice place if we all came from labor intense families with are heads to the ground" that is called acculturation. " I have never been held back, mistreated by the law or treated badly by others of any race. " Why were both your parents from very poor backgrounds and barely survived working breaking their backs. I guess you still cant see how families get held back, there are many different ways than just one. "Reminder Richest country in the world". We are the Richest country in the world yet we borrow $740 Billion dollars from the rest of the world.
Karl Nobel April 05, 2012 at 07:16 PM
IT IS INSANE, I spent all this time writing about how blaming is not the solution, and I am not blaming Caucasians either. Obviously your Bachelors was in Denial and your Masters in the Tricle Down System. Because I am a professional on these topics I thought I would share some knowledge about the systematic disparities that exist which plague certain demographics. Obliviously, you took it personal and changed it to being racially motivated. Unlike your vague selfish answers calling out for parents of the world to be on the same parenting page, which sounds sounds like a verse straight out of the 700 Club. I thought I would provide my perspective having lived in a country, which has free health care, and great education system and does not have more state prisons than Universities. But I guess as an individual we are not entitled to health care or a good school system. Parents should just be responsible and provide their own health care and home schooling. Here let me try to make my words more simplistic as possible David: All I was trying to state is I came from a harsh and tragic background "not whining" but because of it, I have the experience and compassion to take a comprehensive look at everything around me. I knew both Brandon and Cendejas you why for the same reason I make it a point to talk to people when I see people even if I don't know them.
Patricia April 05, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Remember, Karl, we are talking about the gang situation in our own little corner of this world. The only way to try making changes begins in our own backyard so to speak. You are excusing parents' responsibilities by citing various researches and studies. Here we are talking about real people and community that we understand. Figures on paper and studies on paper don't help to make changes. Those studies can be worked any way you want but facing the reality of our own community and its people is our own situation. Having more children than you can care for should not lessen your responsibility. Society should not be held responsible for those children. It may take a village to raise a child but we are not that village. We are living real life here and everyone has obligations to care for their own families. From time to time people do need a helping hand but when it becomes a generational hand out, that diminishes the person's self help challenges. Children need to be encouraged to challenge themselves and stop blaming society for holding them down.
Karl Nobel April 05, 2012 at 07:43 PM
You even got Individualism wrong as well: " Concentrate on your self-interest and you will automatically serve your customer and society better, which in turn lets you serve your self interest". Western American paradigm Adam Smith. But still was this philosophy was meant to be a collective goal for communities, unfortunately the you are the adaption of this philosophy, which in my book is the definition of cowardliness and selfishness. I grew up in the north European philosophy so how am I turning this into a racial debate Please. "I think therefore I exist" European paradigm Unfornately your old school way of thinking has the old scent of European principles of nobility and Darwinist, YOU HAVE TO STAND ON YOUR OWN TO FEET BOY, ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE. This mind set is not far from the street mentalty of many gangs on the streets, see where I am going. By you interpretation of my last paragraphs I doubt you do. But I don't want to waste my time I will leave you with this: Europe was able to integrate 27 countries and currencies and have the best education systems in the world along side health care. Most of the spending budget goes toward the youth. We as a country cant even pass a budget no ethier less freak out when gas goes up. Our way of approaching problems in every angle is flawed, but when ever you become too narcissistic and think you know all the answer you should you in the mirror I am a product of acculturation.
Karl Nobel April 05, 2012 at 07:44 PM
But you probably think your mind is one you developed AS AN INDIVIDUAL.:-)
Karl Nobel April 05, 2012 at 07:48 PM
I never used "White Person once". That is racist because White is not a race.
Karl Nobel April 05, 2012 at 08:16 PM
No I am not but the kids, that actually become criminals don't come from regular house holds and if obviously children at high risk don't have great parental structures. But I am not focused on the just the parents in these cases because that would be naive. It requires new methods and participation from people like us in a community to understand that. Those studies should not be disregarded because those studies is what stands between people locking up the majority of youth in Watsonville and sending them away to places where they become sociopath. I work in the field I am not trying to exaggerating. I am not saying society should be held responsible I am giving facts to better understand the problem. Not blaming society, man how should I break it down so you guys understand. OK It is not about helping... In an epidemic what does the epidemiologist do? Well they find out the source of the problem.. Right Well in the case of the flue everybody knows it is seasonal. "not a problem" Well in the case of E-bola we have a problem? 1. The first step of a epidemiology you find the source the cause. 2. Sure parenting "DUH" is a problem hands down but when it comes to violent behavior and anti-social tendencies we must think comprehensibly. 3. I know what you and David are thinking now "ITS THOSE GANGS". 4. Now we are stuck what came first the chicken or the egg. 5. How did the prison culture become integrated in our community?
randy April 05, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Karl, in my opinion, this is going toward RACE and I believe that you are really concentrating on that. You state WHITE is not a race Latino isn't a race either. Also, you have stated many things that are either contradictory or confusing. Such as, you stated "when I came back at a young age I had no parents" then in the same paragraph, you state "I remember back in 1986-87 my mother and me were evicted from a room in Santa Cruz "" which is it. This is some information that I find interesting. >>Hispanic or Latino Americans are Americans with origins in the Hispanic countries of Latin America and in general all persons in the United States who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino Why doesn't the census include Hispanic as a race? The census does it right! Hispanic is NOT a race. There are many races within the Latino community, including White, Black, Native Indian, and even Asian. Some segments, like the Cuban community, show very few mixed-race individuals. In fact, Cubans exhibit a race discrimination behavior within their community that is similar to that of the general market. Other groups, like Puerto Ricans, are very mixed. Argentineans are mostly White and some Latin American countries, including Mexico, have a strong Native Indian background. Biologically, there is only one human race: Homo Sapiens. Sociologically, there are tens of thousands of races.<< (cont'd)
randy April 05, 2012 at 08:28 PM
I think this topic has gotten off course from the young man that lost his life IF and I believe he was, he was in a GANG, that doesn't justify the killing. BUT a person that joins a gang does so knowing what the dangers are. The gangs aren't just poor young kids with nothing to do. Look at the Brown Berets. They are classified as GANG. What about the Black Panthers... same, classified as gang. Now I hope you will let the race issue go. You see, we belong to ONE race "Homo Sapiens" I do hope that everyone went to have their car washed. Support Brandon's family and the community. This post is the opinion of the poster.
David H. Perez April 05, 2012 at 08:41 PM
And even just "hanging" with gang members puts the person at the same risk, even if they are not actually a gang member. Seems like many people's lives could be saved by making a better choice of friends and using more discretion as to who they "hang" with. I agree with Randy that we are all homo sapiens, and to me a person's race or ethnicity should not even be an issue. Gangs like the Brown Berets just help to incite and perpetuate division.
Karl Nobel April 05, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Latino is a cultural base for all Latin Americans? Not talking about about racism, so you think these laws that target certain demographics and put our communities at is should be accepted because all Races have gone through it. Hispanics is a term from New Mexico used to identify Spanish decent but has been integrated for everybody that speaks Spanish now. Man, I am not your guys teacher now I know why we cant meet the demand to become a service economy, you guys dont even no the terminology of words. You guys keep talking about racism, that is stupid that is not how you have a structured and understanding conversation. Are you serious about the census question " I don't know why the US government like colors" I have an Olive completion Am I part of the Olive Race or Tan Race? I understand if what I said is confusing Randy, I have to so specific with you guys this has nothing about what I am talking about but I am "AMERICAN" with a Mexican and Italian heritage. Believe me I love all races, I just like disparities.
Karl Nobel April 05, 2012 at 09:06 PM
You are right David many tactics used by these type of organizations, do cause division. I will be the first one to say when I have reached out to The BB when doing crime prevention work shops or presentations they turned me down by never calling. They rather scream than actually give support to not poor kids but kid with disparities meaning : Abused, poor, labeled, illegal, malnutrition, health problems, learning problems. When you throw the word poor around to me it just doesn't mean not to have money.
Karl Nobel April 05, 2012 at 09:07 PM
They are not gangs or they would of been prosecuted by the RICO statue law or other gang enhancements.
concerned April 05, 2012 at 09:49 PM
This is what happens when young people make a choice to be affiliated with a gang. It is unfortunate. If he would have been home than walking around so late with the homies this could have been prevented. Kids now a days, do not realize the risk they are taking by associating with gangs. so sad....
Angela Elmore- Gallardo April 06, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Maybe our city should invest in video cameras around the town, instead of spending money foolishly on those digital mile per hour things they put up in town that tell us how fast we are going... Don't our cars aleady come with those..
Angela Elmore- Gallardo April 06, 2012 at 07:21 PM
I agree... It starts when they are kids... What are parents doing???
Angela Elmore- Gallardo April 06, 2012 at 07:22 PM
It all starts when they are kids and then very very young teens... Needs to be stopped at that point- PARENTS!!!!
Angela Elmore- Gallardo April 06, 2012 at 07:29 PM
I was a single parent and raised a wonderful daughter who is now 19 and going to college full time and working part time... As she was growing up, I did use the "spank method" (I didn't say beat, I said spank) I did not use the " time-out, little jonny.. listen to mommy stuff" I also ALWAYS new where she was, who she was with, and the parents as well. I've always been open and honest with her and let her know that she can always tell me anything regardless of what it is... And well... We CAN'T spank our kids anymore- they can call the cops/cps. Right? Do YOU know where your kids are, who their with? Do they have a curfew??? Probably not!!!
Angela Elmore- Gallardo April 06, 2012 at 07:38 PM
I don't see too many white kids with huge W's on their face, or necks.. etc. However, I do see tons of hispanics with those symbols.. So yes.. They get gang inhancements tacked on too... As I said before, it starts when they are kids - running around with no parental guidance what so ever. There's a little boy up on Apple Hill... He's only 4 yrs old.. His parents deal drugs and the father tells the lit boy to go play outside so that the dad can watch PORN!!! The little boy has witnessed things that nooo lit kid should see or here. YES- I've told and called... Police have been to their house- boy still lives with them.. I did my part, but nothing is done. So, who do you think the little 4 yr old will become in a few years??? As he's already running around with other poor stray kids in the neighborhood, doing what they want, when they want. So so sad and it just breaks my heart.
Angela Elmore- Gallardo April 06, 2012 at 07:46 PM
When a person is a gang member, or associates with them... They do know the dangers and their families do too..
kjbkjbasfkj April 08, 2012 at 07:14 PM
no coal no lights
Cathy P. April 09, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Thank you for telling the truth Angela, you are 100% correct.
GNINERS CHELA May 18, 2012 at 02:11 PM
R.I.P BBYBOY GIL....AND MY PRAYERS TO UR JEFITOS...UR BACK IN GODS HANDS.N TO YALL GIVING UR NOT NEEDED GANGS OPINIONS YOU HAVE TO LIVE IT IN ORDER TO TALK SOO PLEASE ZIP IT A YOUNG LIFE WAS LOST AND THATS THE FOCUS.BORN N RAISED IN WATSON R.I.P MIJO MY NINERS JUST LOST ONE OF OUR FINEST.

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