Deputy kills woman: Highland officers had been called to a domestic dispute, Calif.

By John Welsh
The Press-Enterprise
March 26, 2001

(Highland, CA) - An 18-year-old woman who had been arguing with her boyfriend was killed by a police officer Sunday afternoon in Highland, officials said.

Police said Ginenne Stover had a steak knife as she ran at the officer, her boyfriend and his mother.

The mother, Latonia Thomas, said: "Her shooting was not justifiable. There was nothing in her hand, and her life was wasted."

Stover stood 4-foot-11 and weighed 110 pounds, said her boyfriend, 18-year-old Charles Johnson.

Johnson and the officer stood on the front porch of Thomas' home and Stover was inside the house when the officer shot her, according to Johnson and sheriff's Lt. Tom Neely.

The officer said the young woman refused to drop the knife, Neely said.

When the officer drew his gun, Johnson said he pleaded, "Oh, no. Please don't. Please don't." He heard two shots and ran onto the lawn.

"I just saw my fiancee die," he said Sunday night.

Blood soaked into the brown carpet near the front door.

About half an hour before the shooting, one neighbor said, Stover cried as she sat on a curb at Union Street and Del Rosa Avenue, down the street from the house.

A sheriff's deputy had gone to Thomas' house, in the 7600 block of Elmwood Road, after she called 911 to report a domestic disturbance, Neely said. The Sheriff's Department provides police service in Highland.

A dispatcher taking the 2:42 p.m. call heard people arguing and heard a woman's voice in the background making threats to kill someone inside the home.

Stover had attended North High School in Riverside and was working as a nursing assistant in a convalescent home. She and Thomas had graduated as state-certified nurse assistants in San Bernardino in late December.

Two other officer-involved shootings have been fatal this month in the Inland area.

On March 10, a Moreno Valley police officer shot an unarmed man who had his hands raised. Protesters have brought up issues of race. Dante Meniefield, 23, was black. Robert Marks, the officer who shot him, is white.

On March 15, San Bernardino police shot and killed Jose Velasquez, 45, after being called about a domestic disturbance. Velasquez refused to drop a gun and wounded a San Bernardino police officer before being killed, police said.


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