Tuesday, January 26, 2010
San Jose's First Homocide of 2010
Albert Cobarrubias became San Jose's first homocide victim of 2010, after being shot to death Saturday night, while playing pool with friends in an open garage in the East Side neighborghood where he grew up.
It's just one in a long list of tragic, senseless, useless killings happening far too often, although this first incident in San Jose may prove the most tear-jerking and heart-breaking of all.
Cobarrubias graduated with honors from San Jose State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in justice studies, and held the dream of becoming a lawyer in order to fight off the social injustices of racial profiling he experienced growing up.
"Albert had two paths to choose from: the right path or the gang life", his uncle Mitch Cobarrubias said. "He chose the right path and got his education."
"He grew up in an area that wasn't the richest or safest", said Sang Kil, one of Albert's professors at SJSU. "Instead of distancing himself, he embraced it and was going to help! That's what was so beautiful about Albert".
Saturday night, after watching his beloved Sharks whip the Sabres 5-2 on T.V., Cobarrubias went to a friends house to shoot pool at the 2700 block of Chopin Avenue just south of Eastridge Mall, when shots rang out about 11pm. According to Albert's uncle, a strange car stopped in front of the home and someone got out from the passenger side, walked up the driveway and opened fire...killing Cobarrubias.
"It's just a random act of violence," said Mitch Cobarrubias. "Albert was not into gangs. he was educated. It was a case of mistaken identity." Albert's family and friends concur that he had no gang ties, and San Jose Police maintain a tight-lipped investigation into a crime outcome that seems more ironic than slitting one's throat on a first aid kit!
Countless, upstanding young citizens like Cobarrubias who focus on solving society's problems, continue to end up dying because of them! All Albert wanted to do was go to Santa Clara Law School and fight for a better, safer society. So what if he shaved his head, wore baggy clothes, body tatoos and drove an older model, beat up Buick?
He finished highschool, joined the Marine Corp. Reserves, put himself through college working full-time at a paint store, volunteered his weekends at criminal justice clinics and neighborhood watches, publilshed praised research papers on the realities and possible solutions for racial profiling, and the hurdles he faced growing up in East San Jose.
Why did a happy, smart young man who is loved by family, friends, professors and leaders alike, have to fall to a senseless bullet, fired by some low-life, yellow bellied, scum-bag, street punk with a single-diget IQ and an itchy trigger finger?
No one said life was fair, however, we can still keep Albert's dream alive by fighting to end social injustice, and by putting an end to freedom for sub-human criminals like the one who took him from us!
Anyone with information about this first homocide is urged to call the SJPD homocide unit at 408-277-5283, or Crime Stoppers at 408-947-STOP if wishing to remain anonymous.
Also, San Jose Pastor Sonny Lara, a longtime gang prevention and intervention activist, is holding a prayer vigil for Albert Tuesday at 7pm outside the steps of San Jose City Hall!
Thanks, and be safe.