Saturday, October 13, 2012

High School Student On Public Bus a Target of an Armed Assailant


         On Oct 11, 2012 in Norwalk, Connecticut, a 21 year old man, Terrick "Scrap" Vanlierop, was arrested for allegedly repeatedly trying to board a Norwalk city bus to get to a high school student from Briggs High School that he allegedly had a dispute with. Vanlierop was also charged with shooting at another man on Woodward Avenue on the previous Monday afternoon. The man who was shot at said that as he was walking down Woodward Avenue and saw Vanlierop coming and was worried about Vanlierop's gang connections.  "This all is from an ongoing beef that started because of where I'm from. Because of where people live, there is an ongoing beef and people were getting shot and killed," he told police, the affidavit said. Vanlierop then pulled out a semi-automatic handgun and fired three shots at him. Norwalk Police found bullet holes in the siding of homes there and identified the shooter from a photo lineup.  Vanlierop was charged with criminal attempt at first-degree assault at his arraignment on Friday in a Norwalk court. He has three previous felony drug convictions on his record from 2009 and 2010, was ordered held on $91,000 bond.    

Points for Discussion:
  • Acts of violence (random or planned) that occur in our cities can carry over into or near our school environment.
    • June 2012, three Norwalk schools went into a lock-down after an alleged gang member was wounded nearby during a drive-by shooting. 
    • Oct 11, 2012, a distraught boyfriend armed with a high powered rifle created a standoff in a neighborhood where an after school recreation center full of students was located.
  • Gang activity is something that can "ebb and flow"and must be monitored by police, school resource officers (SRO), and the school (leaders, teachers, and students) community.  Violence can be triggered randomly (wearing the wrong colors, a perceived affront, etc.) so people must be alert.
  • This armed violent offender was going after a high school student on a public bus – what if he had not been stopped...?
  • While the bus this alleged assailant was trying to get on was a city bus it is still a threat to our students who ride those public buses. It could have very easily been a school bus, and where gang status is gained and increased by a gang member’s propensity and quickness for violence, the results could have been lethal.
  • Capability developed by periodic and well planned drills allows local leaders to mitigate an incident, as well as to respond and recover more effectively reducing risk to students and faculty. 

SEE SOMETHING, HEAR SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING probably saved that high school student's life because someone stepped up and reported a previous crime.