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.

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The Secrets of The Lockheed-Martin Fire

1.fire-31.Fire rages on Eureka4

My area has been struck with wildfires burning unchecked for a few days that have finally come under control thanks to no small effort from statewide firefighting services called unto the task. The Lockheed-Martin Fire has reached a high level of containment at long last and residents have been allowed to return to their homes. The danger is still present, but the blaze has become more manageable after intense firefighting into the late hours of the night.

I recently spoke with three firefighters called in to help from the Central Valley and they had a rather interesting story to tell about their experiences while working on this call.

As you may or may not know the private military contractor Lockheed-Martin holds a rather large facility up in the Bonny Doon Hills just north of Santa Cruz City. Three firefighters were telling me that they and the rest of their units were charged with guarding five buildings inside the Lockheed-Martin property after the staff of the facility had been  evacuated.

These men knew nothing of the area and were specifically called in to guard specifically this area, presumably because they are not from Santa Cruz area and would not have much reason to share their stories with locals in the area. On top of that, who is going to believe a bunch of “valley boys?”

They claim to have been guarding one building that was just a big cement bunker with a large diesel generator on the side that held a huge yellow sign saying:

“Danger! No Less Than 11,000 Pounds of Explosives Present!”

They explained to me that in a normal situation in firefighting that if the flames overtook you one need only to pull out a kind of “fire tent“, that is more a large silver-blanket, and wait inside that covering until the flames passed over you.

In this case, they were informed that if these buildings were to catch fire that they would have to evacuate the area immediately but at the same time they were also told that these building simply “could not go up.”

So they were in a position where they had to simply fight the fire no matter what with no idea whatsoever exactly what they were guarding.

One of the younger firefighters was saying that one of the buildings was nothing but a shell of a building with walls falling apart and they received an order to protect that building as if it was the building marked with high-explosive storage labels.

They were apparently told: “if that goes, we all go.” With no further explanation beyond that.

Apparently there is a light and siren system up there. A yellow light means caution and danger is present. A red light means danger is real and you should be getting ready to evacuate. A red light with a siren means you have about 30 seconds to get the heck out of the area with no room for error. They all said that when they saw a red light go off they were about to lose their nerve thinking about hearing a siren all of a sudden.

I have no idea how true it was but they claimed that Lockheed-Martin is working on some kind of new explosive material and that was the reason why the “top brass” in the Pentagon were quite intent on protecting the facility at all costs. It’s possible that’s just hearsay and rumor.

But the facts are solid and absolute that our proud and brave California Firefighters have saved the day once again. We suffered no massive explosions in the hills and the smoke blowing through the city is hardly the same kind of damage that could have been wrought if the explosive storage and possible nuclear facilities within Lockheed-Martin were to have become inflamed.

We all know that there is underground facilities in Lockheed-Martin and some question could certainly be raised as to just how much danger their was of explosive outbreaks from the tiny bunkers catching fire. But I myself am grateful for the firefighters who put their lives on the line to protect unnamed and secret bunkers full of military secrets.

As to what started the fire there is some talk as of today that trespassers on an area we call “The Moon Rocks” are to blame. I myself blame the facility full of explosive equipment before I blame some random visitors to one of our local spots to see and enjoy.

But no conclusive evidence is available to answer the causal question at this time.