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Saturday, 21 June 2008

Julius Robinson targeted by members of the Omaha Mafia Bloods.


07:24 |

Julius Robinson's friends say Robinson was targeted by members of the Omaha Mafia Bloods, a group of largely young white men from Millard that Omaha police consider to be a street gang.
18-year-old Robinson was shot to death Sunday night along a tree-lined Millard street."His dad brought him out here to prevent this from happening," said friend Dan Kuhr, a former Millard South classmate and teammate of Robinson's.
Authorities have issued a warrant for the arrest of 18-year-old Daniel C. Miller, a graduate of Millard's alternative school, accusing Miller of first-degree murder in Robinson's slaying.Police say they are not yet ready to say whether the killing of Robinson was gang-related. But they say they are aware of Omaha Mafia Bloods members in and around Millard and say the group does fit the definition of a criminal gang.
"OMB in Millard? Yes, we do have enough information to consider them a gang in Omaha," said Lt. Richie Gonzalez of the Omaha police gang unit.
And regardless of whether the shooting of Robinson outside a suburban apartment complex was gang-related, the killing does make it clear that youth violence in Omaha is not limited to north and south Omaha.Dave Gehrls, an ordained minister who has been leading prayer vigils at the sites of Omaha shootings, held two such vigils Tuesday night. One was at 40th and Spencer Streets, marking the latest shooting death in north Omaha. The other was in Millard just south of 128th and Q, where Robinson fell."I don't know what happened here," said Gehrls, director of Omaha ministry for Christ for the City International. "We just know violence is spreading in our city, and we have to address the issue."Though many of Robinson's friends dispute the notion that the shooting was related to gang activity, they make it clear it did stem from a rivalry between two groups of Millard-area youths.
Robinson's friends say they know the identities of four youths they say were in the car from which Robinson was shot, including the one they say wielded the gun.

Robert Elliott was with Robinson and another man Sunday night at 128th and Deauville Drive when they came face to face with the occupants of a tan Chrysler Sebring.
"We were here walking out to the road. All I saw was a gun come out, it was on the windshield and I heard the first pop," Elliott said.
He said he pushed Robinson to the ground behind the sign for the Oak Ridge Apartments and heard two more shots. The car drove away, and Elliott quickly realized Robinson had been shot in the chest. Elliott watched Robinson's eyes roll back, and Robinson later was pronounced dead.While some of Robinson's friends refer to OMB as a gang, others dispute the notion. They say it isn't a criminal enterprise, just a group of Millard gang wannabes with nothing to do.
"They don't do anything but sit around a house all day," one of Robinson's friends said.Friends also give conflicting accounts of whether Robinson himself was in a gang. His girlfriend termed the group of mostly white, former Millard South students with whom Robinson hung around a gang, but she said it was more just a close-knit group of friends."His gang was a family," said Michelle Rayborn, who said she had been dating Robinson for more than a month.While some Robinson associates have suggested Robinson once had been a member of OMB, Elliott disputed that, saying Robinson never had been and had rebuffed the group. Members of Robinson's family, who live about a mile from the shooting scene, have publicly disputed the notion he was a gang member.
Regardless, Robinson's friends say there was a running feud between Robinson and members of the OMB, many of whom also had attended Millard South. (Miller had attended Millard West before graduating from the Millard Learning Center.)
Robinson had made his feelings about the rival group clear, putting up on his personal MySpace page, "F - - - OMB." The friends say a member of the rival group posted a threat on the Web page in response.
Gonzalez stressed that Omaha police cannot say until they complete their investigation and make arrests whether OMB members were behind the shooting.But those OMB initials aren't new to police.
Gonzalez said they know of OMB members who have committed crimes in and outside Millard — one of the criteria to be considered a gang. OMB graffiti also has been found spray-painted around Millard.
Police think OMB also draws members from other parts of the city, including northwest Omaha. He said police have been working with school resource officers in Millard to educate school officials about the gang.
Millard school officials are aware of the Omaha Mafia Bloods and are watchful for gang activity in general, said Kraig Lofquist, the district's director of pupil services.
Lofquist said security staff and administrators from Millard's middle and high schools have attended presentations by the Omaha police gang unit. School resource officers assigned to the district have shared information with their schools, he said.
"I don't think we have a gang problem," he said. "But to be really honest with you, from time to time we have gang members in our schools."Situations involving gang members, Lofquist said, rarely happen on school grounds.But just this month, the Millard school board specifically prohibited gangs, their apparel and hand signals in the district's student code of conduct.
"The more proactive you are, the better off you are," Lofquist said.
During and after the Millard prayer vigil on Tuesday night, Robinson's friends tearfully shared memories of him.
Kuhr said he first met Robinson in seventh grade, when they were wrestlers for rival Millard middle schools. Kuhr later ran into Robinson and his father fishing at Chalco Hills, and they became fast friends.
Kuhr said Robinson had an outgoing personality that would light up a room, and he was a standout athlete in both wrestling and football.
Robinson was a running back and linebacker on the Millard South team last fall and had a key fumble recovery in the Patriots' win over rival Millard North. But he did not finish the season with the team, apparently for disciplinary reasons.
Kuhr says "some old stuff came back to get" Robinson.
In April, police cited Robinson on suspicion of disorderly conduct at the school over an incident in which he was accused of twice shoving a classmate to the floor. The case was set for trial next month.
Kuhr said both he and Robinson, who didn't graduate with his class this spring, were planning to finish their degrees at Millard's alternative school beginning this fall.
"He was determined to be the first person in his family to go to college," Kuhr said.
Instead, Robinson's friends are now planning for his funeral and angrily awaiting an arrest.After many of the youths had left the prayer vigil, J.D. Elliott, the father of the young man who had witnessed the killing, gave his own thoughts on what is going on in Millard. Does he think there's a gang problem there?
"Seriously, yeah," the contract truck driver said. "They're not part of national gangs, but they've got their own goings on. It makes me mad."


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