Why Was Latino Former Marine Shot 60 Times by Arizona SWAT Team?

Why Was Latino Former Marine Shot 60 Times by Arizona SWAT Team?

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Another Latino has been shot dead in an Arizona home invasion – and the national media is once again ignoring the story. It happened on May 5 and the news is only now surfacing outside the Arizona media through citizen journalism on blogs, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.

According to the Arizona Daily Star...
“José Guerena, 26, a former Marine, was sleeping after the graveyard shift at Asarco Mission mine about 9:30 a.m. when his wife woke him saying she heard noises outside and a man was at their window. Guerena told his wife to hide in a closet with their 4-year-old son, his wife has said. He grabbed an AR-15 rifle and moments later was slumped in the kitchen, mortally wounded from a hail of gunfire.”

Guerena was shot 60 times by members of the Pima Regional SWAT team. His bullet riddled body was found by his wife Vanessa and their four-year-old son, Joel. “Mom, my dad was a bad guy? What did my dad do?'" asked Joel according to Vanessa. Her desperate 911 call to save her husband’s life was recorded on a chilling YouTube video.

The explanation by the Pima County Sheriff’s office for the home invasion has changed since the May 5 shooting. First reports by the Sheriff’s office were that the SWAT team’s mission was to break up a suspected drug ring and that Guerena fired his weapon before the SWAT team fired back. That story was later reversed when it was discovered the safety on Guerena's AR-15 was still locked. The motive for the SWAT team’s mission was then changed by the Sheriff’s office, which now says that "someone in the home" had been suspected of a connection with a home invasion robbery ring. The search warrant and court documents that would reveal what the SWAT team was looking for in Guerena's home have been sealed by a judge and are unavailable to the public.

No drugs, cash or criminal evidence of any kind were found in the home. Neither José nor his wife Vanessa has a criminal record. In an attempt to discredit Guerena’s character, a lawyer for the AZCOPS law-enforcement union, Michael Storie, told the media that rifles, handguns, body armor and a portion of a law-enforcement uniform were found inside the house where José Guerena was shot. However, Storie was forced to admit that if SWAT members had entered the home without incident, those inside "probably ... wouldn't have been arrested."

Ironically, Pima County Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik was highly critical of right wing talk radio following the Tucson shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords in January, saying that Arizona had become "a mecca for prejudice and bigotry" thanks to the “vitriol” spread by far-right pundits. Sheriff Dupnik is now stonewalling requests for more details about the case but implied Guerena should not have resisted.

Although virtually ignored by the national media, most Latinos in Arizona know about the 2009 home invasion by Shawna Forde and her Minutemen accomplices posing as Border Patrol agents that led to the shooting death of 9-year-old Brisenia Flores and her father. So it’s not surprising José Guerena would have reached for his rifle to defend his family.

Guerena served two tours of duty as a decorated Marine in Iraq. He returned from service no doubt grateful to have survived the firefights in that war-torn nation. In a cruel twist of fate, he would die in a hail of bullets in his own home.

This tragic story is shocking and sad. Sadder still is that this tragedy has found no "bounce" in the national media. Had this two-hitch Iraq veteran been named Grady instead of Guerena, I think it would have made headlines across the country.

No federal investigation of the actions by the Pima County SWAT team is planned at this time. And without any significant national media coverage of this questionable incident, that is likely how it will remain.



Raul Ramos y Sanchez is the award-winning author of the novels AMERICA LIBRE and HOUSE DIVIDED from Grand Central Publishing as well as the host of MyImmigrationStory.com. For more information visit www.RaulRamos.com.
 

Comments

 
Anonymous

Posted May 25 2011

Please please PLEASE do not make this about race. Right now everyone is behind the Guerena family as this could happen to anyone in America given the way SWAT police are running rampant. But if you try to make this into a racial issue you will lose the support of many people, myself included. I know from experience the cops don't care if you're black, white or whatever. They only care about themselves. I agree that the story should be getting far more press but you are mistaken if you think someone named Grady would have gotten more press. Take a look at the Cato Institue's report on the rise of paramilitary police in the US. This has been going on for years and every day the 4th amendment is eroded more and more with barely a whimper from the media. Hopefully the fact that the thugs disguised as police killed a Marine who served his country with distinction will force scrutiny of these disgraceful events.

Anonymous

Posted May 25 2011

Please please PLEASE do not make this about race. Right now everyone is behind the Guerena family as this could happen to anyone in America given the way SWAT police are running rampant. But if you try to make this into a racial issue you will lose the support of many people, myself included. I know from experience the cops don't care if you're black, white or whatever. They only care about themselves. I agree that the story should be getting far more press but you are mistaken if you think someone named Grady would have gotten more press. Take a look at the Cato Institue's report on the rise of paramilitary police in the US. This has been going on for years and every day the 4th amendment is eroded more and more with barely a whimper from the media. Hopefully the fact that the thugs disguised as police killed a Marine who served his country with distinction will force scrutiny of these disgraceful events.

Anonymous

Posted May 25 2011

You never know whether this could be about him being latino. But he's very light skinned i dont think it was for that reason but this story is now on the huffingtonpost

Anonymous

Posted May 26 2011

No its not about race. Its about a poor marine whom had served his country well to find himself living in a shit hole where illegals hide out. Its about closet KKK in Arizona that is used to shaking down the illegals and running in to a decorated marine. 60 slugs later, life goes on as the KKK takes over Arizona.

Anonymous

Posted May 26 2011

People who equate "Latino" and "race" already betray their prejudices. For the record, Latino is not a race. What many Latinos feel is unjust about this killing is how this story is being ignored by the media. When a white rancher was killed by someone merely suspected of being an illegal immigrant (that was assumed because tracks led toward the border), it raised such a media uproar that it served as the justification for SB 1070. But when a group of former Minutemen invaded the home of a (legal) Mexican-American family posing as border patrol and shot everyone inside including a 9 year old girl, the case was ignored by the national media. This is not about race. This is about justice.

Anonymous

Posted May 26 2011

Semper Fidelis.

There are no "former" Marines. The filth who murdered Jose Guerena will be brought to justice in a court of law.

Marines always take care of our own.

It's not over. We'll all be reading those "warrants" sooner or later, and a real investigation will occur.

Anonymous

Posted May 26 2011

Semper Fidelis.

There are no "former" Marines. The filth who murdered Jose Guerena will be brought to justice in a court of law.

Marines always take care of our own.

It's not over. We'll all be reading those "warrants" sooner or later, and a real investigation will occur.

Anonymous

Posted May 26 2011

As a former Marine, I find this is a gross injustice to that Marine and his family. That SWAT team and its leadership should be made to pay for this. I understand trying to uphold the law and the odds they are facing down there in Arizona. That doesn't mean they can violate, harass, and kill whoever they feel like they can do it to. My questions are did they identify themselves to him before firing? Why did it take 60 shots? I am also not a fan of them stating there is doubt in the evidence after they changed their story twice.

Anonymous

Posted May 26 2011

Keep in mind that this is in the most liberal part of Arizona, ran by a Sheriff who doesn't believe that the public should be allowed guns to protect themselves. Regardless of the man's race, this was a heinous act perpetrated upon an innocent man with no criminal history or background. He was murdered in cold blood, we don't even know that the police had the right house and thus a family is now torn apart.

Anonymous

Posted May 26 2011

Looks like his wife will own Tucson. Oh and there is no such thing as a Latino Marine. A U. S. Marine, is that what you meant?

Anonymous

Posted May 26 2011

Looks like his wife will own Tucson. Oh and there is no such thing as a Latino Marine. A U. S. Marine, is that what you meant?

Anonymous

Posted May 26 2011

What do you mean there's no such thing as a Latino US Marine? Does he stop being Latino after he enlists? WTF?

Anonymous

Posted May 26 2011

Err ya. I think he means that all marines are marines, black, red, yellow, white or purple,doesn't matter.

Anonymous

Posted May 27 2011

Tche, que loucura isso! mandem esses cara da SWAT para a cadeia!!

Anonymous

Posted May 27 2011

mandem eles para a cadeia!!!

Anonymous

Posted May 27 2011

A MAN JUST GOT LIFE IN PRISON FOR SHOOTING A ROBBER 5 TIME IN SELF DEFENSE
AND THE LAW SAID THAT WAS EXCESSIVE AND FOUND HIM GUILTY OF MURDER.
TO SHOOT SOME ONE 60 TIME ... THATS MURDER ..
ALL OF THEM NEED TO FACE MURDER CHARGES INCLUDING THE SHERIFF
THAT WOULD BE 15 SHOTS EACH FOR 4 SWAT MEMBERS
THATS MURDER
A MAN HAS A RIGHT AND A NEED TO PROTECT HIS HOME AND FAMILY
NOW NOT ONLY FROM THIEVES ND BURGLES NOW FROM GUN HAPPY COPS

Anonymous

Posted May 27 2011

Amen! ^

Anonymous

Posted May 27 2011

Mr. Guerena's seem to indicate that he didn't think there was any reason for someone to bust in his door. If there is something happening outside your house and you are a law abiding citizen then you have the right to defend your home however you see fit. If the Pima County Sheriff had no reason to bust his door down then they are deffinitly liable. I will stop short of saying they are guilty of murder in that case. If they didn't have a reason to be there then I would say whoever filed the warrant and the officers are guilty of negligent homocide. If it does come to light that Mr. Guerena was involved in criminal activity then so be it but I don't believe the crimes discussed in the article warrant that kind of entry.

Anonymous

Posted May 28 2011

The adusity of playing the race card here RAUL you should be writing for the Cartels in your dearly beloved Mexico. I am a white male and my sympthys go out to the marine that was murdered, and his family. For you to title this story "a Latino shot 60 times instead of just saying a american makes you a hater in my book and someone trying to enrage your comrades against the white AMERICA.You are disgusting!

Anonymous

Posted May 28 2011

http://oathkeepers.org/oath/2011/05/25/oath-keepers-muster-_-tucson-info/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6NOx5Cx8Ws&feature=player_embedded


What – An Oath Keepers muster. Oath Keepers and friends will muster and march to the home of Mrs. Vanessa Guerena for a ceremony of memoriam for her late husband Jose Guerena, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of the Iraq war.

When – 8:00 a.m. sharp Monday morning Memorial Day, May 30, 2011

Where - The intersection of West Valencia Road and South Wade Road. Take I-10 to I-19 South and exit West Valencia Road to South Wade Road, Tucson, Arizona. See below.

Who - Oath Keepers is calling for all veterans, National Guardsmen, active duty military, current-serving peace officers, firefighters, retired public servants, gun owners, veterans organizations, civic organizations, church groups, student groups, and other patriotic Americans.

Oath Keepers will muster at 8:00 a.m. on the morning of Memorial Day, May 30, 2011, and will march at 8:30 a.m. to the home of Vanessa Guerena, the widow of Jose Guerena. Our procession will not permit late-comers to join after we begin the march, so make sure to be on time. Come early. Our march will begin at our rally point which is less than one mile from the Guerena home.

Our muster will be at the intersection of West Valencia Road and South Wade Road. Out of town marchers can find West Valencia Road by exiting Interstate I-19 just south of Interstate I-10 at the exit for West Valencia Road.

Upon arrival at the intersection of West Valencia Road and South Wade Road, please park on the South side of Valencia. We would like to ask all drivers to park by backing in, instead of parallel parking, so as to reduce the length of parked cars. Thank you for remembering to do that.

Oath Keepers will not permit the carrying or displaying of signs during our march and memorial service.

Anonymous

Posted May 28 2011

http://oathkeepers.org/oath/2011/05/25/oath-keepers-muster-_-tucson-info/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6NOx5Cx8Ws&feature=player_embedded


What – An Oath Keepers muster. Oath Keepers and friends will muster and march to the home of Mrs. Vanessa Guerena for a ceremony of memoriam for her late husband Jose Guerena, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of the Iraq war.

When – 8:00 a.m. sharp Monday morning Memorial Day, May 30, 2011

Where - The intersection of West Valencia Road and South Wade Road. Take I-10 to I-19 South and exit West Valencia Road to South Wade Road, Tucson, Arizona. See below.

Who - Oath Keepers is calling for all veterans, National Guardsmen, active duty military, current-serving peace officers, firefighters, retired public servants, gun owners, veterans organizations, civic organizations, church groups, student groups, and other patriotic Americans.

Oath Keepers will muster at 8:00 a.m. on the morning of Memorial Day, May 30, 2011, and will march at 8:30 a.m. to the home of Vanessa Guerena, the widow of Jose Guerena. Our procession will not permit late-comers to join after we begin the march, so make sure to be on time. Come early. Our march will begin at our rally point which is less than one mile from the Guerena home.

Our muster will be at the intersection of West Valencia Road and South Wade Road. Out of town marchers can find West Valencia Road by exiting Interstate I-19 just south of Interstate I-10 at the exit for West Valencia Road.

Upon arrival at the intersection of West Valencia Road and South Wade Road, please park on the South side of Valencia. We would like to ask all drivers to park by backing in, instead of parallel parking, so as to reduce the length of parked cars. Thank you for remembering to do that.

Oath Keepers will not permit the carrying or displaying of signs during our march and memorial service.

Anonymous

Posted May 29 2011

AR 15 assault rifle? and also ... got guns... SWAT has never shown up at the door. Thinking this isn't nearly as innocent as you guys want to make it sound.

Anonymous

Posted May 29 2011

state sanctioned murder. If they did it to him, they'll do it to anybody and its a shame if you don't try and do something to get this story out. God Bless You, Marine. What you did for this Country will not be forgotten and I am SORRY for what these punk a**holes hiding, behind their ski-masks, body armor and phony warrants did to you. Let your soul Rest in Peace, Sir. Justice will be served, your fellow citizens won't let you down.

Anonymous

Posted Jun 7 2011

I'd like to see the Marines give 10 seconds of warning to the Pima sheriff's office and then do exactly what was done to that poor bastard...

Anonymous

Posted Jun 15 2011

why does this have to turn into a race thing. Im a marine ive served over seas twice i was born in mexico, i dont condone this act by pima county i thinks its messed up but to bring race into this is making the matter worse. Your wrong for trying to do this. Thats like us saying obama got the presidency cause he is black, even though we all know he is unfit for command. I

Anonymous

Posted Jul 11 2011

Cops definitely do care if you're white.

Anonymous

Posted Jul 11 2011

There is no latino race, no white race, no black race... There is only 1 race; the human race.

Anonymous

Posted Jul 11 2011

And they wonder why we rejoice everytime some stupid cop gets clipped in the line of duty! Too bad he wasnt able to take a few of those loser PUNK swat pigs with him!

www.web-privacy-toolz.tk

Anonymous

Posted Jul 11 2011

1.) THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH RACE (it has to do with absurd police tactics over a plant that causes little to no harm other than it ruffles a few feathers of the higher ups, or the people who are "better than you because they follow every rule to a T") 2.) You're using sensationalism to spark this in a direction that tries to distract the people from the real events. [the police came and murdered, a citizen, who happened to serve the country, without hesitation and without regard] 3.) This is about who owns the police and who is giving them the "right to murder" anyone they deem fit. And as you probably can tell they aren't fit to have this clearance. As a police officer you're supposed to be putting your life on the line to serve and protect all peoples and that means even the criminal is meant to be dealt with in a non life-threatening way. ESPECIALLY IF YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE THE BEST OF THE BEST FROM THE POLICE A.K.A. SWAT TEAMS...

Anonymous

Posted Jul 11 2011

the reason race is an issue is because this incident happened fairly close to the mexican border. also, why would the police have believed a decorated marine was selling drugs? whatever evidence the police had was obviously totally wrong or they would have released it to cover themselves. Maybe if his name was johnson the police would have double checked to make sure they had the right guy? Why isn't Obama investigating the issue? and why isn't the media reporting this more?

well, my liberal cynical opinion is that it's not politically popular to question the war on immigration. Unemployment is high, nationalism is strong and Hispanics have a proud but different culture.

however, i would be very relieved if the rest of the country had sympathy for this man! The nation spent two weeks obsessed about the anthonys, which was very tragic indeed; but

can we not get one major headline when a decorated marine husband and father gets shot to pieces in his own home by the government??!?!?

Anonymous

Posted Jul 11 2011

Har, this is exactly about race. Do you seriously think if he was white that they would have done this?

"Please don't make this about race" - too late, it was about race the instant they sent SWAT to his door. There is one set of laws for the white guys and another set for everyone else. I've seen it. You don't want to be non-white when it comes to "interacting" with the police.

And this happened in the most racist state in the union. I am not surprised.

Anonymous

Posted Jul 11 2011

He may be light skinned? WHY DOES IT MATTER?! He was murdered in HIS home by the police and NOTHING is going to be done about it.

Anonymous

Posted Jul 11 2011

So let me get this straight, a druggie or drug dealer who used to be a marine got shot and killed? How is this new?

Anonymous

Posted Jul 11 2011

This is definitely about race. Are you kidding me? And by the way, just because a group has the word "Institute" in it does not make it entirely correct. Cato is widely recognized as a libertarian leaning think tank. This is most certainly about race and politics.

Anonymous

Posted Jul 11 2011

Great article.
AZ is easily the most racist state in the nation.

Anonymous

Posted Jul 11 2011

So let me get this straight, a druggie or drug dealer who used to be a marine got shot and killed? How is this new?

Anonymous

Posted Jul 11 2011

you moron this IS about race-- no one has to MAKE IT about race.

Anonymous

Posted Jul 11 2011

you dope this IS about race-- no one has to MAKE IT about race.

Anonymous

Posted Jul 12 2011

Police (usually) go into a situation that is potentially dangerous with the notion that they will "Neutralize" whatever the problem might be. Even if this man was 100% wrong on all levels, it wouldn't have taken 60 bullets. This sounds like a man who knew something. No one puts 5 dozen rounds into a person unless they need to make sure he will never live to tell. I pray to God the investigation goes through to the core of the truth.

Anonymous

Posted Jul 13 2011

Police are untouchable! I was beaten in my own home by a police officer who came in and pulled me out of bed! I live in Sandy Utah and am a 38 year old caucasion woman! We need to fight back! God Bless the Guerena family!

Anonymous

Posted Jul 13 2011

2 things "Anonymous" , may 25 If there is any state where people are prejudiced against Latinos, its AZ. The safety was on the Man's rifle, they put 60 rounds into the poor guy. This doesnt just happen to anyone and everyone, you dont fire 60 rounds into someone unless you are motivated by something else to do so. i doubt there were even 10 people in the room when he was shot. think about it. this is absolutely about race. a black man with a rifle would have been given the same amount of holes in him in a southern state for sure. But the worst part of this, is that it has been almost 3 months. and this is the first im hearing about this. someone didnt want this story released and circulated. im not saying this is a conspiracy, but someone with the political muscle to do so, most likely has spent a lot of effort and money to cover their ass. that is disgusting. and its not like they wouldnt have known that the man was a marine and a family man before they broke his door down. second. you are absolutely right about the 4th ammendment. and if you want my unsolicited opinion, its because people know so very little about their government and the documents that build it. its easy to get away with it if there is hardly any opposition. theres so many contradicting precedents in the 4th ammendment law, and theres so much grey area attatched to it. look people make mistakes, but you cant tell me that a trained swat team would be trained to light a person up like a christmas tree. 2 bullets does a good enough job. 1 if you are precise. but 60? thats mutilation. if it were to be tried as murder. it would be considered a hateful action, a crime of passion. you cant justify 60 rounds into one man by a team of trained SWAT police. its Arizona. i have a hard time with that. i wish we could all be so idealistic. colorblind. but people just arent. and they will demonstrate their baseless hate in just these ways. before anyone decides to get cute and criticize me on my grammer, punctuation and spelling, realize i dont give a crap and just argue my points. please and thanks.

Anonymous

Posted Jul 15 2011

SWAT teams have become a source of random lethality. They are a clear and present danger to the life of every American.

Anonymous

Posted Jul 15 2011

SWAT teams have become a source of random lethality. They are a clear and present danger to the life of every American.

Anonymous

Posted Jul 21 2011

That's ashamed when you have low life cops that attack someone because of there race That's the way the confederate were in the civil war.

Anonymous

Posted Aug 30 2011

The police in Arizona shoot everyone with the same disregard. Race is not an issue with who they kill and they act as though they are above the law. The media is in their pocket(maybe they are scared as well), and this police state has everyone scared!

Anonymous

Posted Sep 8 2011

If he were Black it would have been on National TV! We live in a Gestapo State!

Anonymous

Posted Nov 28 2011

Mt deepest sympathy goes out for Jose Guerena and his family . I've looked at most of the U-Tube articles and read most of the newspaper and commentary on this tragic event. I am appaulled by the assault on this mans home, family and their reputation. These swat members who shot Mr. Guerena oughtt to be executed by a group of trained marines for their disgusting, & unjustified asult on this decorated Marine. I was not in the Marines, But I was a POW for over a year and I have nothing but the upmost respect for this Brave Marine. THINK, This was a well trained & decorated Marine, respected by his superiors, fellow Marines, and at the mine, and by his friends--This being said if he had been crouched down in a shooting posture as swat now says, a well trained marine certainly would not be pointing a weapon on somebody forcefully breaking into his home with THE SAFETY ON. I beleive Swat took the law into their own hands and wanted this man dead at all costs. You are taught not to pull your weapon unless your ready to use it, this means ready to use with the safety OFF. Where this will lead is hard to say, but my guess says it goes alot higher than this corrupt Swat team, and wouldn't surprise me how many polititions are involved. HOMEOWNERS BEWARE, when somebody breaks open your front door like happened hear, PLEASE make sure your safety is off and you take a few of these looonatic Swat Members with you, because as you can see they have no sympathy for innocent law obiding citizens of this ONCE GREAT "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA". In conclusion I would like to ask all retired and active military personel of all braches of the armed service to get behind Mr. Guerena , and help bring due justice to the swat team and its superiors however high that goes ( for the gutless MURDER SHOT 62 TIMES of a decorated Marine) the Marines, Navy, Army, Air Force, and National Guard are ready and willing to stand up to back the Marine Corp on this one. ARIZONA SWAT IS GOING DOWN

Anonymous

Posted Nov 30 2011

It's bad enough a situation without bad information. He was shot 22 times! NOT 60! Let's make sure we have all the facts before adding more fuel to an already lit fire.

Anonymous

Posted Nov 30 2011

The police have to protect themsleves too. This guy had a AR-15 rifle. They don't know what kind of person this is. It doesn't sound the story here is the WHOLE story and who knows if the public will ever get to hear the WHOLE story. You shouldn't lump ALL police together. Not all of them just go into houses and start shooting for no reason at all. I feel sad for his wife and child and for the fact that they had to see him that way.

Anonymous

Posted Dec 1 2011

He may have been shot 22 times, but the SWAT TEAM (AKA MURDERS) fired 70+ rounds. THis is disgusting. I live in NY but supported Governor Brewer in her fight, but no more. ALL members of this SWAT TEAM should be arrested and tried for murder (including the Sheriff himself obviously). Governor Brewer has done NOTHING in this matter. Neither has the Federal Government. There have been articles that the Police are at war with the public they are supposed to protect. They is definitely true. These cowboys (all over the country not just Arizona)apparently have no fear of being proscecuted. As one poster indicated, I wish that the MURDER VICTIM would have had the safety off and would have taken a few of these criminals in police would have been taken out. I was not a Marine, BUT SEMPER FI!!!

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