“In the wrong place at the wrong time.” We hear it too often.
- Annamarie Wagener
…didn’t know her attacker, it seems. But the 41-year-old, right, understood the risk of working past midnight in St. Paul, Minnesota. And she knew the risks of walking home alone. Reports say Wagener obtained a concealed weapon permit and carried a firearm. Still, on September 3, 2020, she was reportedly confronted by an adult male intent on robbing her. Witnesses say they heard a gunshot, a pause, and then a burst of more shots. One witness saw Wagener step back while the male continued shooting.
Paramedics found Wagener collapsed on the sidewalk. She was unconscious but still breathing. But not for long. She died at the scene.
Just arrested: Antoine Lorenzo Powell, 34:
Powell has an extensive criminal record in Minnesota that includes convictions for firearms, assault, controlled substances, drunken driving and other offenses.
Wagener was white. Powell, right, is black. The black-on-white murder is one of several reported in local media during the month of November 2020.
The incident appeared to be a random attack. Wagener was in the wrong place at the wrong time [St. Paul man charged in fatal shooting of 41-year-old woman on East Side, By Katrina Pross, Pioneer Press, November 24, 2020].
- Jessica Kotulsky
…also didn’t know the person who fatally shot her in Oklahoma City. Kotulsky, 31, reportedly stopped at a gas station shortly before 11 p.m. on November 28. A group of males engaged in an altercation that escalated to an exchange of gunfire.
29-year-old Kemun Davis was arrested on complaints of felony murder and possession of a firearm after a conviction of a felony. He was identified as one of the individuals involved in the shooting. Other arrests are expected.
Authorities believe Kotulsky was an innocent bystander—another person in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Kotulsky was white. Davis, right, was black [Police: Woman shot, killed at Oklahoma City gas station was innocent bystander, by K. Querry, KFOR-TV, November 30, 2020].
- Robert Jaden Urrea, Adam Gautreau
…were also in the wrong places at the wrong times! Both men, 19 and 36 respectively, were victims of a shooting spree that occurred in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The spree spanned two weeks. Authorities believe the two victims were chosen at random.
Reports say surveillance footage records the moment Urrea, right, lost his life. The teen is seen walking in the downtown area when he appears to turn towards a white Ford. He is then seen falling to the pavement as the vehicle drives away. The incident occurred at 2:56 a.m. October 31. Urrea was a student at Southern Methodist University.
Two weeks later at around 8:33 p.m. on November 14, Gautreau, left, was shot and killed in Dallas. The victim was homeless and was apparently shot at random as he panhandled at the side of the road.
Both victims were white males and both were allegedly murdered by 31-year-old Jeremy Harris. Harris, a black male, below left, is also accused of shooting another white man, 60-year-old Blair Carter. Reports say Carter was the father of the suspect’s former love interest. The suspect is accused of fatally shooting Kenneth Hamilton, 57, a black male, during the crime spree [Timeline: Alleged serial killer accused in spree of shootings across Dallas-Fort Worth, by Tasha Tsiaperas, WFAA, November 20, 2020].
The above incidents give us pause to wonder: Where are the wrong places and what are the wrong times? Where do random black-on-white murders occur and when?
- David Henderson and his wife, Edith
The wrong place for this Lakeland, Florida couple was the master bedroom of their home. Authorities found them lying dead in pools of their own blood at 5:30 p.m. November 10. They had been fatally stabbed. David was 63. Edith was 67. Police had been called for a wellness check, suggesting the couple had been murdered the previous night.
Marcelle Waldon, 36, right, of Lakeland was charged with 10 felony counts, including first-degree murder, according to ABC Action News. Police believe it was a random attack. The suspect did not know the victims.
Waldon is black. The Hendersons were white [‘Absolutely horrific:’ Former Lakeland city commissioner, husband killed in random act, police say, by Emily McCain and Mary O’Connell, ABCActionNews.com November 12, 2020].
- Eddie Hassell
Authorities claim the actor “was just a victim of wrong place, wrong time,” according to nypost.com. That place was the parking lot of the Grand Prairie apartment complex where he lived in Dallas, Texas. The time was about 2:30 a.m. on November 1.
Arrested for capital murder is 18-year-old D’jon Antone.
Antone is black. Hassell was white.
The victim was
…best known for roles in NBC’s ‘Surface’ and 2010’s Oscar-nominated “The Kids Are All Right.” His most recent appearances were in two 2017 films, “Oh Lucy!” And ‘Bomb City.”
Oddly, news of this race-related murder drew little Main Stream Media attention—in contrast to the incident involving another actor, Jussie Smollett, which commanded front-page scrutiny for weeks on end [18-year-old arrested in fatal Texas shooting of actor Eddie Hassell, By Alex Heigl, NY Post, November 5, 2020].
- Carly Rae Baron
There is no indication Baron knew the man who allegedly shot her Halloween night. Residents of Wilmington NC learned the 23-year-old died in the hospital the following day, November 1.
Reports say that Baron was shot after a traffic crash. Police rushed to the scene after hearing what would turn out to be fatal gunfire. Officers chased and eventually detained 21-year-old Jaquan Cortez Jackson. He was charged with second-degree murder.
Jackson is black. Baron was white. [Wilmington police: Traffic crash led to deadly Halloween night shooting, By Gabrielle Williams, WECT, November 1, 2020]
- Deanie Logan
The wrong place, for Logan, 83, was her Shelbyville, Kentucky home. The wrong time: Sunday morning, November 22. She was found dead the next day.
Arrested is 34-year-old Alvin L. Brooks.
He is black. Logan was white.
Brooks’ wife told police that Brooks told her he shot an elderly woman and took $500 cash. [Shelbyville man accused of shooting, stealing money from 83-year-old woman found dead at home, WLKY, November 27, 2020]
- Darian A. Woods
The wrong place for Woods, 23, was his Collinsville IL apartment. The wrong time: November 19.
Darian Woods Funeral Fund, GoFundMe.com
The murder reportedly occurred during a home invasion. There was no indication that the victim knew his attackers.
George Lacey, 25, Adisa Smith, 27, and Demandrell Davis, 40, have been charged.
Woods was white. The suspects are black[Metro East man shot and killed in home invasion, police say | Law and order | stltoday.com, Robert Patrick, November 20, 2020].
- Sara Blackwood
The wrong place for Blackwood was the 2600 block of East Washington Street in Indianapolis. The wrong time: around 10 p.m. on October 11.
The 39-year-old was fatally shot while walking home from a job at a fast-food restaurant. Robbery appears to have been the motive.
Arrested for the crime is Johnny Viverette Jr., 32. The arrest was reported on November 23.
Blackwood was white. Viverette is black.
(Personal note: When I grew up near this neighborhood, it was a white working-class area. Violent crime was virtually unknown. What changed? What made the difference between the 1960s and today?) [Man charged with murder, robbery in Oct. 11 Sara Blackwood shooting, by Lawrence Andrea, Indianapolis Star, November 23, 2020]
- Jaime Humet
The wrong place for 47-year-old Humet: Miami Gardens, FL. The wrong time: the morning of December 18, 2019. Humet was fatally shot to death while sitting in his vehicle at an intersection.
An arrest was announced nearly two years later, on November 24, 2020. Arrested is 19-year-old Shaun Fortune, 17 years old at the time of the crime.
Humet, who had worked as a librarian for 21 years, was reportedly shot “almost at point blank range.” Robbery may have been a motive as the victim had used an ATM moments prior to the crime. The victim’s sister said: “My brother had four $10 bills in his pocket that they did not even take” suggesting Humet refused to hand over his cash and was subsequently shot.
Humet was white. Fortune is black [Arrest Made In Murder Of Miami Gardens Librarian Jamie Humet Nearly Two Years Ago, CBS Miami, November 24, 2020].
- Skyler Shane Townsend
The wrong place Townsend for was the 1100 block of Center Street in Green Cove Springs, FL. The wrong: November 17.
Reports say the white 18-year-old, right, was fatally shot during a robbery attempt.
Arrested on charges of armed robbery: two black males, 23-year-old Kieshawn Ray Capri Smith and 20-year-old Daveion Breshod Austin.
Kieshawn Ray Capri Smith, 23 (left), and Daveion Breshod Austin, 20 (right)
The victim was a graduate of Orange Park High School who wanted to attend Louisiana State University to pursue a career helping animals, family members say.
Two others were shot in the incident but survived [Two men arrested in connection to Green Cove Springs shooting that left teen dead, First Coast News, November 22, 2020]
- Kevin Duane Robbins
The wrong place for Robbins, 43: 267 East Broad Street in Newman, Georgia. The wrong time: 7:58 p.m. on November 5.
Robbins was one of six who were fatally shot during a crime spree in the state:
38-year-old Nicholas Martez Nelson is being charged with four of the six murders with charges pending for the other two.
Nelson, below, is suspected of forcing his way into an occupied home where he stole firearms and jewelry. Hours later he is suspected of shooting two at another residence multiple times.
Both died. One of those victims was Robbins.
Robbins was white. The suspect is black. [Suspect in custody after ‘killing spree’ in Newnan leaves 6 dead over 4 days, by Adrianne M Haney, The Citizen, November 10, 2020]
Other black-on-white murders making the news in November:
- Justin Lett
His bullet-riddled body was found in a Birmingham, Alabama alley in 2018.
Just arrested for the crime is 29-year-old Cameron Cook, right. The arrest was reported November 26, 2020. Reports say Cook was in jail on another capital murder charge, being held without bond. His arrest was the outcome of an extensive investigation [Birmingham police make arrest in cold case murder, by Jack Helean, ABC3340.com, Thursday, November 26th, 2020]
- Steven Finch, Eugene McClam, Robert Caverly.
All fatally shot in a Gwinnett County, Georgia neighborhood—aged 33, 45, and 64 respectively.
Justice R. Lusk, 21, was charged with three counts of felony murder, three counts of aggravated assault and three counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
Lusk is black. The three victims were white.
The motive for the crimes is under investigation. We can only speculate that the murders may have been driven by low intelligence, low impulse control, and low executive function [Man arrested in 3 shooting deaths in Gwinnett; victims ID’d, By Shaddi Abusaid, AJC.com, November 22, 2020].
- Michelle P. Capell
Capell, 36, white, was fatally shot in Kansas City, MO. Arrested for the drive-by shooting: James Gregory, black, who has been charged with second-degree murder, first-degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon and three counts of armed criminal action.
Reports say the suspect had been in a dispute with a couple earlier in the day, and may have shot Capell out of revenge [Man charged in connection to deadly shooting Monday night at Independence and Indiana, by Brian Dulle, Fox4KC.comNovember 19, 2020]
- Timothy George Milliken
Milliken, 45, was fatally shot in his Bluffton, SC home:
26-year-old Devante White, of Green Pond, South Carolina, and 22-year-old Malik White, of Beaufort, were wanted for felony warrants out of Hardeeville. The third man, 22-year-old Jamal Coakley Jr., of Dale, was arrested on a separate charge/
A fourth suspect, 17-year-old Sarah Barr, has since been arrested on warrants for murder, armed robbery and kidnapping in Milliken’s death.
No motive was reported for the crime, but reports say the victim, who was white, may have known one of those arrested.
Milliken was white. Three of the listed suspects are black males. One is a white female [4 arrested for Bluffton man’s murder, WSAV, November 20, 2020].
- Scott Brooks
Brooks, 61, was fatally shot at his Charlotte NC sandwich shop in December 2019. Arrested in March 2020: 33-year-old Terry Connor. Connor was one of two accused of robbing, then fatally shooting, Brooks.
The second suspect, 31-year-old Steven Staples, was just arrested, in November 2020.
Reports say Staples was in custody for another homicide at the time of his arrest. Reports also say he is connected to four other murders,
The victim was white, the suspects black [CMPD: Man charged in NoDa sandwich shop owner’s slaying tied to 4 other murders, WSOCTV, November 17, 2020]
- Tammy Ledbetter
Ledbetter, 56, was murdered in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Reports say she suffered a severe head wound.
Eric Marquis Fowler, 28, was arrested after the murder due to blood evidence on his chest and legs. He is believed to have been Ledbetter’s boyfriend.
Ledbetter was white, Fowler is black [Blood stains lead to arrest in domestic-related murder in Tuscaloosa, by Jeff Wyatt / Stephen Gallien, Monday, November 9th 2020].
- Jamie Francis Wright,
Wright, 34, was fatally shot at a Melbourne, FL. Restaurant on October 15, 2020. 40-year-old Latavious Shant Johnson has been charged with first-degree murder.
Reports say the victim’s husband, Theron Wright, shot the suspect, below, in self-defense.
All three suffered gunshot wounds. Motives for the shootings were not disclosed. Victims white, perp black. The arrest was just reported [Melbourne police arrest suspected shooter in homicide case initially considered to be a victim, by J.D. Gallop, Florida Today, November 11, 2020].
- Jeremiah Goleman
Goleman, 28, was found shot on a second-story balcony in an apartment complex in Tulsa, Oklahoma after running from a crashed vehicle, reports say.
16-year-old Zachariah Stevenson, below, was arrested.
The victim was white. The suspect is black [Police arrest 16-year-old boy in connection with deadly shooting, by Megan Butler, KTUL, November 5, 2020].
- Chester Novak
…was found apparently bludgeoned to death with a sharp object near a boarding house he owned in Bibb County, GA. Two other murder victims were found inside the house and another was hospitalized in critical condition.
The suspect was identified as Ronald Green Jr.
Novak, right, was white. Green is black [Man charged with violent double murder at Georgia boarding house, FOX 5, November 9, 2020].
- Leslee Umpleby
Umpleby, 49, was found murdered at a motel in Winter Haven, FL. 38-year-old Beloni Petitfrere was charged with two counts of First-Degree Murder. The suspect is believed to be the victim’s ex-boyfriend.
A man who was in the room with Umpleby was also found dead.
Umpleby was white. Race of her companion is unspecified. The crimes occurred on October 13 and were reported on November 7 [Suspect Charged In Double Homicide At Rose Motel In Winter Haven, Tampa.CBSLocal.com, November 7, 2020].
Is America the wrong place? Is now the wrong time?
Kenn Gividen [Email him/Tweet him] is a retired direct marketer. He lives in Indiana with his wife. Kenn is the father of two grown children, four grandchildren, and two grand dogs. He publishes dailykenn.com and abatehate.com. In 2004 he was the Libertarian Party’s candidate for governor of Indiana. In 2002 he published The Prayer of Hannah, which sold about 24,000 copies. Kenn is an alumnus of Liberty University.