San Jose’s 15th homicide this year means we’re edging closer to Oakland, woohoo! But seriously, that’s a nicer part of town (compared to many areas of the city). And police, why again aren’t you letting paramedics take care of someone with a gunshot wound? There was clearly no more threat upstairs, no one else was getting shot.
A woman who was attacked in an apartment complex near San Jose City College on Wednesday night has died, marking the city’s 15th homicide this year. The Santa Clara County coroner’s office has confirmed the death but is referring all calls to San Jose police.
About 10 p.m. Wednesday, San Jose police received a call about a disturbance at the 2000 block of Rexford Way. When officers arrived at the apartment complex, near Fruitvale and Bascom avenues, they discovered one woman had been shot and another stabbed, San Jose police officer Jose Garcia said Wednesday night. Garcia could not immediately be reached this morning for an update about the case. Police arrested one man in connection with the shooting and stabbing. His role in the attack remains unclear.
In an interview this morning, Marlene Anderson identified the slain woman as her sister, Verna Lisa Hollins. Anderson, who lived in the same apartment as Hollins and their spouses, heard a commotion Wednesday just before her 48-year-old sister was shot. She didn’t know where the noise was coming from. Then, somebody knocked on the door and Hollins answered. She stepped outside, her sister said, and closed the door. Moments later, Hollins re-entered the apartment, telling her family that someone had been stabbed. “He stuck her,” Anderson recounted what her sister had said from outside the apartment. Anderson said she heard a man had stabbed a woman in a domestic violence dispute.
Suddenly, they all heard a gunshot from inside their apartment. It sounded like a “big old blast,” Anderson said, and it knocked her to the ground. She said one of the spouses grabbed Hollins, pulled her inside and closed the door. They called 911 to report the stabbing, which is when they also realized that Hollins had been shot. “I got hysterical with the 911 operator, I said my sister has been shot, we need an ambulance,” Anderson said. “They came quick.”
But family said police would not let paramedics immediately come upstairs. She said the wait was “at least 30 minutes.” Their apartment is blocks away from Valley Medical Center. Anderson is distraught both that her sister died, and she believes she might have been saved if lifesaving measures could have begun more quickly. Anderson said that she and her husband, Leonard, stood on the balcony of their apartment complex near the college and begged the police to send up help for her bleeding sister.
Police told the family to get back inside their apartment, she said. “They did not come get her. They let her die,” Anderson said. Anderson said police arrested one of her neighbors, which police have not confirmed.
Thursday morning, a small group of friends and family gathered at a strip mall near the apartment complex, grieving for Hollins, a devout member of the Cavalry Christian Church in Sacramento, where she had once lived and a mother to a grown son. But the supporters were also angry. They just can’t understand why Hollins was left for so long bleeding on the ground.