A Gangland Murder Down The Street

A young man, Carl Reimer (R.I.P.), was brutally killed no more than a block from where I write to you now. This small beach town of Santa Cruz, California is fast becoming not a small town at all. We are fast becoming a city that has young men killed in public parks then proceeds about our daily lives as if nothing ever happened.

I am reminded of when Tyler Tenorio was stabbed to death in front of a 7-11, and the community outrage over this incident. Where are these same people when it comes to this recent gangland killing? Does community involvement stop and end around the popularity of the victim murdered?

I have a mind to take the fight to these murderers, to show them the residents in this area have guns too. Another element here is the complete incompetence of the local police department. Myself and many others are skeptical that the SCPD will be able to do anything to put behind bars the murderer of a 19 year old local. We feel they lack the experience or the tools required to aggressively investigate a murder case to a conclusion.

Police presence has increased ten-fold since the murder in the immediate area, but I don’t feel any safer. I feel I need to openly brandish weapons and start my own “community involvement” group centered in violently resisting criminal elements by any means we deem necessary.

The rumor about town is that this young man was killed for wearing gangland colors at the wrong place and the wrong time. According to my sources he enjoyed wearing red plaid and backwards hats, which many gang members in this area associate with gang affiliation. It is extremely unlikely that Reimer had any gang affiliation of any sort, and likely this was a case of gang members mistaking his identity for a rival gang member. Regardless this recent act of gangland violence in my town has me thinking it’s time to stop playing by the rules with ruthless murderers and psychotic gang-bangers.

His honorary grandmother is quoted in a Letter to the Editor appearing in the Santa Cruz Sentinel (Wednesday, April 28th 2010) as saying:

Gang members are nothing but cowards. They travel in groups and shoot and stab unarmed people. I want them to know how devastated his family and friends are, and they have taken the life of a beautiful, intelligent, multi-talented and beloved human being.

Cowards don’t respond to fair play and status quo responses. Either these murdering gang-bangers get the message they will be hunted down like animals for this, or they will boldly kill again.

Maybe next time I’ll be the crime statistic, maybe next time a stray bullet will kill one of the many young children who live on the block. Then the community will be sure to rise up, but if you kill a 19 year old in a public park that’s apparently not enough to incite people to do something about it.

Gangland Stabbing in My Town

A young man was stabbed to death in front of a 7-11 parking lot in Santa Cruz, California. Tyler Tenorio was sixteen at the time of his death on October 16th around 10 p.m.

20091024__CSS53015~5_GALLERYFriends of Tyler Tenorio (Shmuel Thaler/Sentinel)


20091024__CSS53015~4_GALLERYMore than 300 people gather on Laurel Street Friday evening to voice their opposition to gang violence and to remember Tyler Tenorio. (Shmuel Thaler/Sentinel)


The Santa Cruz Sentinel

What was conjecture of the locals the day prior has become an issue of major concern for the District Attorney and the police department.

Was Tyler representing gang membership or making a claim to belong to a gang surrounding the time of his death?

Those like myself who read the original article published in The Sentinel on this tragedy saw this element of the story coming ahead of time.

I don’t wish to cause anyone to be troubled but in my estimation Tyler, and likely his friends as well, were representing themselves as being in a gang called “Westside” that associates with the color red and is local to this side of Santa Cruz.

The history of “Westside” is not my focus here, but it is a gang that is mainly people claiming to belong to it and has very few (if any) actual members beyond teenagers wearing colors.

It is my contention that Tyler Tenorio was wearing red clothing, and having his shirts pressed by his mom, because he wished to be associated with a local gang that would never seek recrimination upon those who falsely claim to belong to it.

This is a very common occurrence in Santa Cruz youth, to claim to be part of “Westside”.

This case underlines the need to be aware of what our children and our friends are doing around us.

There is another element I feel I should touch upon as well.

There is a possibly that this tragedy was not as strongly related to gang affiliation of any sort, but rather was a case of prideful arrogance boiling into sheer violence on behalf of both parties.

The entire scene of violence could have been avoided if only Tyler had chosen to keep driving and avoid the confrontation itself.

It is within reason to assume that this young man is dead because of man-pride and the need to prove yourself right at the end of a fist.

After the shouting, the driver pulled the car onto Myrtle Street, parked and Tenorio and his friends got out. One friend told police he was angry and got out to fight, according to the court document.

I was not present for this event. I can only read news reports and hear what people have to say around town about it. But based on what I know it is a possibility that this senseless death was fueled by the arrogance of the young men in both parties, or it also possible that this was a gangland stabbing that involved a false gang member being stabbed by a real gang member who assumed that other was affiliated.

Let’s Talk About Gangs

I just broke down the entire gang-structure of our area for my mother after she asked and suddenly realized that I have some amount of knowledge on this. And some small level of understanding of what role I can play in terms of the issue as a whole.

 “Live by the sword, die by the sword.”

 These words sum up my personal feelings towards owning weapons. However, the issue is not as simple as my personal reservations.

“Let the fittest survive, and the weak be food for the strong.”

This is not some crazed sentiment bandied about in movies or rap music but rather a fundamental way of thinking. A way of thinking I call being ‘criminal minded‘. This sole element is what I can relate to when speaking within my own experiences.

In a certain mindset people become ‘marks‘ and therefore weak enough to steal from or kill if necessary. 

I understand well what it means to want to take without asking and claim what is ours by right of the fact that you were clever enough to take it.

But it is a cycle of destruction. And nothing more.

While gang ‘culture’ abounds it seems to me that many simply fail to understand how exceedingly complex these issues are.

I simply cannot discuss much of what I know here on this format, but there are things I can do.

Like say that my local police department has failed to properly guard against gang violence. Is the same true for you? Look into it.

In my experiences I have spoken with many former-affiliated individuals and most anything I understand is simply second-hand from them.

The only organization I can freely decry is the Cartel. They have invaded US territory in so many facets for so many years it is almost immeasurable. The phrase: “They are everywhere” applies here. But nonetheless the government takes open and often hostile actions against them. Therefore I know I can attack them by name and I am not alone.

My question is simple: Who will back me if I start denouncing local gangs or individuals? 

I don’t wish to do this but rather am making a point. In the absence of a clear and present resistance to the spreading of gangland violence in my neighborhood I am remiss to start laying the issue out.

I encourage action over discourse in this specific matter, the danger of inaction is too high.