Local News

Vigil Memorializes Victims of Violence in Raleigh

Posted July 30, 2007

— Families, friends and strangers gathered at a vigil for murder victims in Raleigh Sunday afternoon.

The group Vigils Against Violence organized the event to remember six people who were murdered in Raleigh between June 3 and July 1.

Vigils Against Violence is run by the Triangle chapter of the Interfaith Alliance, a national group that holds such vigils across the country.

The vigil was held in a parking lot, across from the State Farmers' Market, that was site of the murder of Jenna Nielsen, who was eight-months pregnant.

Nielsen, 22, of Fuquay-Varina, was found stabbed to death outside a convenience store on Lake Wheeler Road. She was restocking newspaper boxes in the overnight hours when she was attacked and killed.

The vigil also honored Pascual Xolo, 33; Damarkos Eugene Alan Thorpe, 30; Tyrone Robert Covington, 28; Veronica Malone, 38; and Fidencio San Agustin San Juan, 37.

Xolo was found stabbed to dead  behind a wall at the edge of the parking lot at a Sam's Club at 2537 S. Saunders St. on June 3. Police are searching for Carlos "Sombrerito" Gutierrez, 40, who is also charged in a hold-up in the 1400 block of South Wilmington Street on September 2, 2006.

Thorpe was found shot in a car that hit a utility pole on Glascock Street in the early hours of Sunday, July 10.

Raleigh police arrested three men on charges of murder in connection with Thorpe's death: David Turpin, 33, of 4401 Green Road; Nefta Wilson, 27, of 2400 Lemuel Drive; and Arthur Gaines, 25.

Covington, of Durham, was shot behind the Black Tie Nightlife club at 3201 New Bern Avenue on Monday, July 25. Another man was injured in the shooting, said police.

Police have made no arrests in the shooting, but the incident prompted the Raleigh City Council to order a review of all the city's entertainment permits.

Malone was run over and killed by Victoria Graham Goode on Sunday, July 1. Malone and her 15-year-old nephew were helping Goode's former roommate move out at the 1229 Bentley Lane home.

A Wake County grand jury indicted Goode for attempted murder, among other charges.

Also on July 1, police responding to calls about an assault found San Juan stabbed to death off Capital Boulevard.

Pennsylvania state troopers pulled Miguel Angel Torres-Zendejas, 26, on Interstate 78 near Strausstown. Torres-Zendejas is in the process of being extradited to North Carolina to face charges of murder.

Anyone with information about the unsolved murders is asked to call Raleigh detectives at 919-890-3555 or Crime Stoppers at 919-226-CRIME (2746).


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  • whydoisurvive Jul 31, 2007

    What about Michelle???



  • Chasityj25 Jul 30, 2007

    Anyone who doesn't blame the victim is "stupid"?

    Could you please verify what exactly you are saying a bit confused. Are you saying that it's the VICTIM'S FAULT for getting murdered? If so I DISAGREE they were not ASKED to be murdered, these were everyday people making a living so what is your rationalization on this? Please explain?

  • lastchance Jul 30, 2007

    ok lets get underway, here is a petition please pass it along needs lots of signatures, lets help one another and bring these criminals to justice for all...http://www.petitiononline.com/lj6306/petition.html

  • ncwebguy Jul 30, 2007

    I think it is ironic that someone with the ID Harrison Bergeron would advocate making everyone the same by not holding vigils for the murdered. With Fox News, we don't need amendments requiring people to not think about anything! Watching America's Most Wanted and buying ammo isn't "contributing to crime stoppers."

    The "why don't they spend their time putting up a website" comment is silly as well. There is already a website for Jenna Nielsen. Why is there no security tape from the gas station? I doubt the cameras are turned off when the store is closed.

    Reading the comments on here, I now know to avoid USA Today at all costs. Delivering their papers puts you in a gang, and it's your fault if you're killed working their gang turf. And for helping someone move out of a house. Don't pick up boxes without the expectation that someone is going to run you and your nephew over with their car! Anyone who doesn't blame the victim is "stupid"?

  • lastchance Jul 30, 2007

    steve, about putting up a website or newspaper with people of interest in them, we have asked one newspaper in particular to do this and as of yet no response, all ive heard so far was news is a business and even the government cannot tell them to do it. I am trying to do what ever it takes to get all criminals that havent been caught out in public view. if anyone out there knows how this can be accoplished please let me know or maybe a petition will help. please help all that can,,, thanks... tristendeane1@yahoo.com

  • Steve Crisp Jul 30, 2007

    If their intention was to keep these cases in the mind of the public, they why would they have this vigil in the memory of four cases which have been solved? No, their stated reason for the vigil was to remember the victims of violence. Their whole schtick is anti-violence, not keeping unsolved cases in the mind of the public.

    And they somehow think that by making a public scene of their feelings on the matter that it will change anything. But at the same, they are unwilling to support the prison system as a means of incarseration and punishment rather than as a means of behavior modification. They just can not accept that some people's behaviors can not be modified no matter what anyone does.

    What they end up doing essentially is giving support and comfort to complete sociopaths who just feed on them with their con jobs.

    For the ultimate example of this phenomona, just look at Mumia Abu-Jamal -- living scum that liberals want released from prison because of the "good" in him.

  • Steve Crisp Jul 30, 2007

    Four out of the six are solved. One is unsolved. And I suspect that police know who did the sixth one, but can not get anyone to step forward and confirm it.

    But back to the whole concept of the vigil.

    I firmly believe that vigils such as these, though potentially comforting to the family members as we have seen in several posts, serve no purpose at all. They are purely for show. Now, if those folks wanted to actually do something which would truly keep these cases in the minds of the public, they would create a web site with information and composite drawings, then publicize the web site. That way if there is actually any information to be gleaned, all the info needed to elicit it would be publicly and continually available. Local TV, radio, and newspapers could make periodic announcements about the site so it stays in the public mind.

    What astounds me, though, is the motive behind these vigils by this particular group.


  • linnway Jul 30, 2007

    There were six victims, right? I thought all these crimes happened this year? (June -July 2007) 3 are still unsolved out of 6. If these crimes happened this year, these cases are not over with. Of the 3 crimes with arreasts, they have already been sentenced too? I am just not buying it.

  • RoseBud Jul 30, 2007

    I thought they said that all the victims for this vigil had been murdered within a month of each other. I know some had been solved, but wasn't it that they had all died within like 32 days?? I may be wrong, but I thought thats what this one was for.

  • Nancy Jul 30, 2007

    "These vigils are for 2 purposes, One it keeps the victims case in the media with hopes that it may lead to new leads that could solve this case. It also gives the families a chance to have their loved one remembered and honored, therefore it gives them a sense of comfort & peace."

    Except, these cases for the most part have long ago been solved, persons responsible jailed.