Family defends slaying suspect

Palo Verde High School freshman Christopher Privett was slain Friday in a drive-by shooting with no apparent motive.

Gerald Q. Davison, a Palo Verde sophomore who reportedly shared a physical education class with Privett, now will be pressed for the reasons behind the shooting.

But members of Davison’s family, speaking out for the first time Monday, have their own question: Did he do it?

"My sympathies go out to the family of the boy who was killed — that is so terrible — but I can’t believe my brother did it," said Davison’s 18-year-old sister, Alaya Brooks, who wants to study criminal justice in college. "There were supposedly so many kids in that car with him. Why aren’t the police charging them with anything? I can’t help but think they’re saying he did it because the police made a deal with them."

Davison, a 16-year-old facing charges as the drive-by shooter, has been incarcerated at the Clark County Juvenile Detention Center since Saturday. He is awaiting his first juvenile court hearing involving one count of murder with a deadly weapon, three counts of attempted murder with a deadly weapon and four counts of firing a weapon from a moving vehicle.

"Everybody wants an answer that makes sense, and unfortunately we can’t deliver on that right now," Las Vegas police Deputy Chief Ted Moody said Monday. "We might not ever be able to deliver on that."

Brooks, who lives with her brother and their mother in a condominium in northwest Las Vegas, said that on the day of Privett’s death, Davison stayed home from school because he wasn’t feeling well. Later in the day, she said, one of her brother’s friends picked him up in a car.

"They said they were going to pick up some girls," Brooks said.

Visiting Brooks Monday night was her aunt, Sharonda Logan, and her cousin Angel Stevenson. Davison’s mother, Shanna Morris, had left to visit Davison in the detention center.

Logan said her nephew always had a big smile on his face early in the morning when he got on the school bus with her children to ride to Palo Verde.

"He’s never been involved in anything with a gun," she said. "He’s gotten in trouble for curfew and missing too much school, but a lot kids have that problem. He’s not in a gang."

Logan is suspicious of police not charging the others in the car. "Gerald doesn’t even drive," she said. "How is it he just got pinpointed?"

Stevenson, 19, said that shooting at somebody "isn’t something he would do."

Brooks said her brother "is too scared" to get involved with guns. He loves sports, particularly basketball and football, and has musical talent that includes singing and dancing, she said.

"I think we’re going to find out there is more to this story," Brooks said. "I know my brother and what’s happened here is not him."

Police have not formally named Davison as the suspect. But in the Palo Verde community, where residents and school-involved individuals remain shell-shocked by the violence, Davison’s identity has become something of an open secret.

Davison was a relative newcomer to Palo Verde, enrolling there in the fall after leaving Cimarron-Memorial High School, sources said. Davison is pictured as a freshman in last year’s Cimarron-Memorial High School yearbook. Prior to high school, Davison attended Becker Middle School.

All three schools are in the Northwest region of the Clark County School District.

According to police, the suspect who gunned down Privett was in a car with four other people — two female Palo Verde students and two young men who never attended the school. Witnesses reported seeing a hand holding a gun emerge from the vehicle’s rear-passenger window. The weapon was aimed at the group and four shots were fired. One bullet fatally wounded the 15-year-old victim.

Privett was walking with a group of students leaving campus about 20 minutes after classes ended. Police believe that group of students was targeted by the gunman but don’t know why. Detectives have found no gang connections among anyone involved.

Still, students returning to school after the three-day holiday weekend will be surrounded by an increased police presence in and around Palo Verde. Clark County school police spokesman Lt. Ken Young said the district force and Las Vegas police will be working together to provide the stepped-up coverage.

Superintendent Walt Rulffes said counselors will be available at Palo Verde to speak with students.

Keeping students safe is the district’s top priority, Rulffes said, but factors such as gang activity, easy access to guns and television violence all contribute to making that task more difficult. "It’s very difficult to provide absolute safety on public streets," he said.

School board member Terri Janison, whose daughter will attend Palo Verde next school year, said she’s receiving calls from parents anxious about the safety of Palo Verde students.

"This is an incredible tragedy," Janison said. "We need to be there for our kids and make their lives as normal as possible from here on out."

Although much about the incident is still unclear, the fact that police have a suspect in custody did ease the concerns of one Palo Verde parent.

"When there is not someone out there on the loose, you can’t help but feel better, " said Ryan Tuttle, a businessman who has two daughters at Palo Verde.

Tuttle still plans on taking precautions. It’s possible he’ll no longer allow his daughters to walk the quarter-mile from the bus stop to home.

"I may pick them up for a while," Tuttle said. "I’m going to talk to them more about this. We have to see how the whole family is feeling."

Valerie Abu-Alu, whose daughter was a classmate of Privett in honors biology, said she has always dropped her daughter off at the bus stop in the morning and her parents picked her up "most of the time." Now, she said, her parents probably will do that all the time.

"I think people see this as a random one-time incident that people hope will never happen again," she said.

There is no question, however, that parents are upset.

"Our community is grief stricken and shaken to the core to hear of such tragic news," she said. "No parents should ever have to go through this."

Review-Journal writers Antonio Planas and Brian Haynes contributed to this report.

ad-high_impact_4
News
Ron Jeremy and Heidi Fleiss React to Dennis Hof's Death
Ron Jeremy and Heidi Fleiss speak about their friend and prominent brothel owner Dennis Hof's death at Dennis Hof's Love Ranch. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada brothel owner Dennis Hof has died
Nevada brothel owner and Republican candidate for Nevada State Assembly District 36, Dennis Hof has died. He was 72. Nye County Sherriff's office confirmed. Hof owned Dennis Hof's Love Ranch brothel, located in Crystal, Nevada.
Las Vegas police investigate suspicious package at shopping center
Las Vegas police evacuated a southeast valley shopping center at Flamingo and Sandhill roads early Tuesday morning while they investigated reports of a suspicious package. (Max Michor/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Las Vegas Metro hosts the K-9 Trials
The Las Vegas Metro K-9 Trials returns to the Orleans Arena to benefit the Friends For Las Vegas Police K-9 group.
Kingman residents love their little town
Residents of Kingman, Ariz. talk about how they ended up living in the Route 66 town, and what they love about their quiet community. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Service at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery
Twelve unclaimed veterans are honored at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City in Oct. 9, 2018. (Briana Erickson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas house prices reach highest level in 11 years
Las Vegas house prices are rising But so is the amount of available homes on the market Still, properties priced below $300,000 are selling fast And September was the first time since June 2007 that the median house price reached the $300,000 mark Las Vegas home prices have been rising at one of the fastest rates in the country over the past year Recent data show the market is now less affordable than the national average
National Night Out
About 100 Summerlin residents gathered at Park Centre Dr. in Summerlin on Tuesday for National Night Out. Lt. Joshua Bitsko with Las Vegas Metro, played with 3-year-old David who was dressed as a police officer. Face painting, fire truck tours and more kept kids busy as parents roamed behind them. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rural homeless issue comes to a head in Pahrump
On Sept. 12, Pahrump sheriff deputies told residents of a homeless encampment on private property that they had 15 minutes to vacate and grab their belongings. That decision might face some legal consequences. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remembrance blood drive on October 1
A blood drive was held at the Las Vegas Convention Center on the one year anniversary of the Oct. 1 shooting. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remembrance Lights memorial unveiled at St. Rose hospital
A dedication ceremony was held at St. Rose to unveil a memorial and to read the names of those who died on October 1, a year ago. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
1October Blood Drive Remembrance Wall
(Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
1October Blood Drive
Vitalent hosts a blood drive at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Monday, Oct. 1, 2018, the first anniversary of the Las Vegas shootings. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
1October sunrise remembrance ceremony in Las Vegas
Myanda Smith, sister of Las Vegas shooting victim Neysa Tonks, speaks at the sunrise remembrance ceremony at the Clark County Government Center in downtown Las Vegas, Monday, Oct. 1, 2018. (Chitose Suzuki/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
‪Gov. Brian Sandoval speaks to crowd at Oct. 1 sunrise remembrance ceremony ‬
‪Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval speaks to the crowd at the Oct. 1 sunrise remembrance ceremony ‬at the Clark County Government Center in downtown Las Vegas, Monday, Oct. 1, 2018. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Father of Route 91 Harvest festival shooting victim talks about college scholarship in his daughter's memory
Chris Davis, father of a Route 91 Harvest festival shooting victim, Neysa Tonks, talks about a college scholarship in his daughter's memory to assist the children of those who died in the shooting. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Oct. 1 survivor Malinda Baldridge talks about life after the shooting
Malinda Baldridge of Reno attended the Route 91 Harvest festival with her daughter, Breanna, 17, and was shot twice in the leg when the gunman fired on the crowd.
Route 91 survivor talks about lack of progress in gun legislation
Heather Gooze, a Route 91 survivor, talks about lack of progress in gun legislation since the Oct 1. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas/Review-Journal) @reviewjournal
Review held in death of man after encounter with Las Vegas police
The mother of Tashii Brown, who died after an encounter with Las Vegas police on the Strip, not satisfied after public review of evidence. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County Museum opening "How We Mourned: Selected Artifacts from the October 1 Memorials"
The Clark County Museum is opening an exhibit "How We Mourned: Selected Artifacts from the October 1 Memorials" of items left to honor the victims killed in the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Memorial service for former RJ lawyer Mark Hinueber
Mark Hinueber, the Review-Journal's former lawyer and defender of the First Amendment, died in Las Vegas on Aug. 23. Hinueber, who was 66, worked at the RJ and other newspapers for 42 years. On Saturday, his friends and family gathered for a memorial service.
Army veteran honored in Henderson event
Army Sgt. Adam Poppenhouse was honored by fellow veterans in an event hosted by a One Hero at a Time at the Henderson Events Center.
Michelle Obama and Keegan-Michael Key urge Nevadans to vote
Former first lady Michelle Obama and comedian Keegan-Michael Key urged Nevadans to vote at Chaparral High School in Las Vegas Sunday, Sep. 23, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
1 dead, 1 wounded in North Las Vegas standoff
A woman was hospitalized with serious injuries on Thursday morning after being shot inside a North Las Vegas house. Police responded about 11 p.m. to a shooting at a home on the 5600 block of Tropic Breeze Street, near Ann Road and Bruce Street. The wounded woman, police believe, was shot by a man, who later barricaded himself inside the house. SWAT was called to assist, and when officers entered the house, they discovered the man dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Las Vegas Teen Makes Clothing Resale His Side Hustle
Las Vegas resident Reanu Elises, 18, started buying and selling streetwear online when he was a high school junior. Like many other young adults, the world of online resale applications like Depop and Mercari have made selling clothing online for a profit easy. Now, Elises spends his free time at thrift shops looking for rare and vintage clothing he can list on his on his shop. Now in his freshman year at UNLV as a business marketing major, Elises hopes to open a shop of his own one day and start his own clothing brand. He estimates that he's made about $1000 from just thrifted finds in the past year, which he'll use to buy more thrift clothing and help pay for expenses in college. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
Fruition Vineyards Encourages Young Entrepreneurs to "Buy, Flip, Dream"
Once a month, young adults gather at Fruition Vineyards on South Maryland Parkway near UNLV to dig through a stack of rare, vintage and designer clothing that's marked down well below it's resale value. Shop founder Valerie Julian began the vent, dubbed "Fruition Vineyards" in August after running her streetwear shop since 2005. The event gives young entrepreneurs the opportunity to "buy, flip, dream" according to Jean. Meaning that they're encouraged to buy the clothing for sale and find a way to resell it for a profit, then reinvest that into whatever dream they pursue: college, a hobby or their own resale business. Shoppers lined up starting an hour before noon on the last Saturday in April for the opportunity and spoke about what they hoped to do with their finds and profits. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
Local man goes under cover searching for answers to homelessness
Licensed mental health therapist Sheldon Jacobs spent 48 hours under cover posing as a homeless man in an attempt to gain perspective on the complex issue.
Social Work UNLV Lecturer's Calling
Ivet Aldaba-Valera was the first person in her family to graduate from both high school and college. The 33-year-old UNLV lecturer is now pursuing her Ph. D in public policy at the school and has used her degree in social work to engage with the young Latino and Latina community of Las Vegas. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
Gold Point townsperson talks about why he choose to live in a ghost town
Gold Point townsperson Walt Kremin talks about the ghost town in Nevada he calls home. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like