Police arrest suspect sought for double shooting in East Ventura
On Saturday, suspected shooter Brandon Ellis, 29, was arrested in Rosarito, Mexico, as he sat inside a bar. The Ventura Police Department had received a tip that Ellis was in the bar, and with the assistance of the FBI and U.S. marshalls, he was taken into custody and booked into the Ventura County jail with bail set at $3 million.
On Thursday, Dec. 17, shots rang out in an East Ventura neighborhood. At approximately 8:30 a.m., a woman called 911 and reported that she had been shot. Police arrived to a grisly scene: On the front yard, a woman with multiple gun shots; and indoors, a man was found dead.
Ellis immediately became the subject of a countywide manhunt that at one point forced the closure of the area surrounding the Motel 6 on Seaward Avenue in Ventura, but Ellis had by then already fled the county — and the country.
The Ventura Police Department immediately sealed off several streets around the 1600 block of Tapir Circle as the 20-year-old victim, whose identity has not been released, was transported to the Ventura County Medical Center where she is expected to survive. Forty-seven-year-old Douglas Blasher suffered a gunshot wound to the head and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Ellis has a history of violent altercations, having pled guilty to second-degree robbery and assault with a deadly weapon in 2004, when he robbed a market in Oak View, beating an employee with a stick and threatening others with a gun before leaving with money. He was sentenced to four years in prison for the event.
Ellis appeared in court on Tuesday, Dec. 22, where the judge raised his bail from $3 to $5 million after it was discovered that Ellis had flooded his jail cell and was found with a key to his handcuffs. Charges filed against Ellis include murder and attempted murder, but do not include special circumstances allegations, therefore making him ineligible for the possibility of receiving the death penalty.
Looking for Latinos/Latinas with traumatic brain injuries
Ventura County families with a member who has a traumatic brain injury are sought for a free service dubbed “Trabajadora de Salud,” a series of home visits that will assist caregivers and families in identifying resources.
Though the service is open to any family, Assistant Professor of Health Science Kriston Linton, Ph.D., at California State University, Channel Islands, says that Latinos and Latinas are less likely to receive the rehabilitation required to return to work or resume normal activities and that oftentimes Latinos are likely to experience worse disabilities than others.
“Studies have shown that Latinos are less likely to ask for help,” Linton said in a statement. “There may be barriers because of language or lack of resources. Caregivers may have more of a burden.”
Beginning in January, the three-month program will have five upper-level health science students conduct home visits. The pilot program will be used as a test of the effectiveness of this kind of program for the possibility of launching similar programs in the future.
If you are interested in participating in the lay health -orker home visit program, contact Kriston Linton at Kristen.Linton@csuci.edu.
Area arroyo toad retains endangered species classification
A little toad that has caused big issues for a proposed development on the Ventura and Los Angeles County line will retain its endangered species classification after new information showed a decrease in the population in some areas.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed the reclassification from endangered (a classification given to the toad in 1994) to threatened, but new data shows that the toad still faces the threat of extinction.
The toad’s livelihood faces its biggest challenge in the looming California drought as it requires shallow, still pools of water to lay eggs and reproduce.
The proposed Newhall Ranch development, which, in November, was deemed to have an insufficient environmental review that was needed to move forward, sits in a 500,000-acre swatch of arroyo toad habitat, labeled as such by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service when the toad was classified as endangered.
Foster kid toy shop open this week for the holidays
Underprivileged children looking for a little holiday spirit had an opportunity to “shop” for toys this week, an act that could bring “some holiday cheer to these children in need.”
Children and Family Services — Foster VC Kids and Children’s Services Auxiliary have teamed up to receive donations in the form of toys to be placed in the Holiday Toy Store for underprivileged children to visit with their foster families or caregivers, and to can take a few items home.
The children are able to shop for free, choosing from a wide variety of gifts that can include dolls, matching games, books, bicycles, clothes, board games, sporting equipment, movie passes and more.
“Every year we do our best to increase gift donations to these kids in need,” said President of the Children’s Services Auxiliary Board Teresa Brumit in a statement. “With the support of the VC Fire Departments, local malls, volunteers and everyone who donates, we’re able to collect and distribute a ton of wonderful gifts. Every child deserves that special holiday miracle, and we’re fortunate we have the opportunity to make their holiday wish come true.”
For more information, call 654-3220 or visit www.fostervckids.org.