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December 14
07:04 2018
THE REPORTER: News Staff, - Dec.14th.

Brenda Castellanos, 25, also known as Brianne Thomas, will never get to see her two year-old son grow up because a man who wanted to get even with someone near her in a yard shot her to death as she held the toddler in her arms sometime around 7:00 last week Thursday night. Miraculously, the baby was not injured; but Castellanos’ landlady and friend, Jennis August, who was sitting with her under a tree, was also struck, though she survived the attack.

As if the incident was not callous enough, Police suggest that the killer shot the women in retaliation towards a man who lives at the same house and with whom he had an altercation about a month ago.

“It is what we believe is because of a dispute that occurred about a month ago…in that same location at a bar which we suspect led to this shooting,” Eastern Division Police Crimes Investigations Branch (CIB) Assistant Superintendent of Police Alejandro Cowo told the media this afternoon. “The intended target, we suspect, was inside that yard when the shooting happened. …Both females were inside the yard socializing with other family members when a male person approached and fired several shots at their direction. …Police had detained several persons who they have questioned; however, because of lack of evidence, they had to be released,” Cowo informed, saying that investigators feel that they had detained the murderer, but had to release him for lack of evidence.

Police need eyewitnesses to the incident to give key information in order that they can make an arrest, but so far, those who have been interviewed have been reluctant to cooperate, investigators say. August could not assist Police with much details about the shooter, who reports say wore full black clothing and had a hood over his head. He reportedly took everyone by surprise when he emerged from a back alley to the house and opened fire, indiscriminately unleashing about 12 rounds into the crowd, which included children, before retreating using the same route.

In trying to protect her own child, Castellanos, who lived on the lower flat of the house, shielded the baby with her body and she was struck in the rib cage and ankle while August, who lived upstairs, was hit once in the chest.

The incident has left people in the area dumbfounded because the two women who were senselessly shot had no enemies and were not even involved in the dispute a month ago. Brenda, her friends recall, was making plans for a happy Christmas making cakes and playing music for them. She had invited them to visit her on Christmas Day for merry-making; instead, they will spend it mourning her loss at the hands of a man who wanted to hurt his nemesis by killing the people close to him.

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