As many as 500 people attending a community meeting last night after 9 year old Ximena Meza was murdered in a drive by shooting Wednesday night in the 2300 block of West Greenacre Avenue in Anaheim. The shooting is the result of possible gang violence. Witnesses reported two groups in the area at the time of the shooting, one of which traveled in a white vehicle. Meza was not the target but was hit by a bullet. News media reports say the family had just moved into the apartment about a month ago. She would have turned 10 later this month.
We spoke with Dr. Jose F. Moreno yesterday. he told us he got a text from the superintendent about the shooting and together, they mobilized the district’s crisis team. Meza attended a school in the Magnolia district but many of the kids who lived in the apartment complex near the shooting attend school at Gauer Elementary. Dr. Moreno said grief counselors were on hand to help students and faculty deal with this senseless tragedy. The district implemented protocols for this incident effectively and with speed. We’d also like to call out the work of AUHSD Trustee Annemarie Randle Trejo who was involved in prepping Brookhurst Jr. High students.
While he did not go to the scene of the shooting, he and Mayor Tom Tait did attend the community meeting last night to address the shooting and how police are investigating the case. But Dr. Moreno viewed his job Wednesday night as one of supporting the school district’s team with everything they needed to address the needs of students and teachers the next day.
For the Tait bots, they’ll be in praise and awe of Tait’s attendance at the meeting (which as mayor, he was where he was supposed to be). Moreno was right to be there too; but dollars to donuts, had candidate Lorri Galloway shown up, they’d be using tragedy to accuse her of pandering for votes. Council member and Mayoral candidate Lucille Kring was also in attendance. Galloway scheduled an ESCRI Public Safety Town Hall event for November 17 to review safety issues specific to disenfranchised areas of Anaheim. This was organized about a month ago.
Gabriel San Roman’s story in OC Weekly takes aim at the city’s police department. From the story: “To be honest, we need assistance, but sometimes we feel a little bit uncomfortable with some police,” resident Guillermo Ocampo tells the Weekly. A patrol car parked in the alley blocked his passage last week as he tried to drive through. A cop got out and sternly ordered him to move while hitting the trunk of his car. The experience left him with a mixed feeling.
The number of service calls to police this year from the neighborhood reflect that reality: only 91 such requests have trickled in. Residents in the audience wanted better lighting in the dim alleys of the neighborhood and also for Brookhurst Park, where drug use is said to be commonplace.”
With a number of high profile police shootings in Anaheim during Tom Tait’s stewardship of the city, it’s not surprising that residents are distrustful of the police. Donna Acevedo had no comment for us on the shooting when contacted Wednesday night. She did condemn the gang violence and promised to get back to us — two days ago. We haven’t heard a peep from her since. Since she leads an effort to “Film the Police” and is a candidate for City Council, I wonder if she’ll lead a similar effort to “Film the Gangs” in an effort to hinder gang violence.
A GoFundMe site has been set up to offset the child’s funeral expenses; we urge readers to contribute what they can.