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June 15th, 2009
12:46 PM ET

Patriots or predators?






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[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/15/art.crime.forde.jpg caption="The Pima County Sheriff's Department in Arizona says Shawna Forde, MAD's executive director, killed a father and his daughter." width=292 height=320]

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/15/art.crime.bush.jpg caption="MAD's Operations Director, Jason Eugene Bush, is also facing charges." width=292 height=320]

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/15/art.crime.gaxiola.jpg caption="Albert Robert Gaxiola was also allegedly involved in the killings." width=292 height=320]

Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

Shawna Forde considers herself a true patriot, a frontline freedom fighter who claims to protect the country by guarding against illegal immigrants.

Forde is the Executive Director of the Minuteman American Defense. According to the Washington State organization's mission statement, the Minuteman American Defense (MAD) helps secure America's borders "against unlawful and unauthorized entry by all individuals.

Serving as MAD's Operations Director is Jason Eugene Bush. Bush, who goes by the name "Gunny," paints a stark picture of the stakes at play. On the group's web site, he writes in capital letters "THIS IS MY COUNTRY. THIS IS YOUR COUNTRY. DEFEND IT OR LOSE IT. PERIOD."

To their followers, Forde and Bush are leaders and crusaders. But to the police, they are killers, extremely violent predators who took the lives of a father and his young child.

The Pima County Sheriff's Department in Arizona says Forde, Bush and an associate of Forde's, Albert Robert Gaxiola, killed 29-year-old Raul Flores and his 9-year-old daughter, Brisenia Flores on May 30th.

Authorities believe the three suspects used deception to enter the Flores home in the town of Arivaca. Deputy Dawn M. Barkman, the Public Information Officer for the Pima County Sheriff's Department says they "apparently forced their way into the house posing as law enforcement."

The suspects allegedly shot Raul and Brisenia Flores to death. They also are accused of wounding a third victim, described as an adult female. Deputy Barkman said the woman who survived a gunshot wound, engaged in a shootout with one of the suspects while she was on the phone with a 911 operator.

Forde, Bush and Gaxiola are charged with two counts of first degree murder, one count first-degree burglary, and one count of aggravated assault. Authorities say two possible motives have emerged. In a release to the media, the Pima Sheriff's Office stated that detectives "believe the killings to be premeditated and the group entered the residence with the intention of stealing money and drugs.

In a statement posted on its web site, the Minuteman American Defense said "we wish to offer our deepest regrets to the Flores family of Arivaca, Arizona for the loss of their loved ones by this terrible event. MAD will will cooperate totally and fully with any and all Law Enforcement agencies and the appropriate judicial system to bring this most terrifying event to a close."

A heading titled "Shawna's Corner" also appears on the MAD web site. It offers musings and interviews with her. In one entry, she writes, referring to herself, saying, "there is a new white girl in town this one is not afraid and will not tolerate this not while I'm on post. We can all live in fear or we stand strong and tall and look the criminals in the eye and say "No more" that is what I choose to do I did not get involved in this movement to be a wall flower and as most of you know me you know I'm a hands on kind of gal."


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Chris

    These criminals are not patriots. They are thugs who rode on the Patriot movement. This was not about illegal immigration but about drugs. Check local sources for a clearer picture...

    June 16, 2009 at 8:11 am |
  2. Ballpengod

    it is sad that those who claim to be of superior intellect act like babarians and savages of the lowest order. the only true owners of this American soil are the Native Indians, everyone else is an immigrant.

    June 16, 2009 at 7:07 am |
  3. scott

    andrew everett June 15th, 2009 2:14 pm ET

    the police only arrested them because they didn’t get first dibs….

    here, here, very succinct and complete. this thought is more than extremely likely to be true. Law enforcement does not care about the human rights of illegal aliens, and is often the perpetrator of violence against them, if not always to this extreme.

    June 16, 2009 at 6:03 am |
  4. shane

    Its sad really. And I don't know who tried to say that it was illigals who broke into the home. It was these two MAD members who broke into a home owned by immigrants and they blew them away, visciously murdering a 9 year old child. Throw them in a super max, lose the key.

    June 15, 2009 at 8:10 pm |
  5. Alice

    The problem with these idiots is that they are like so many other folks who complain about illegal immagrants. First they don't want them even if they came here legally. Why is it that when people talk about illegal immagrants they quickly assume MEXICAN.? I live in New York, trust me we have more illegal alens then perhaps any other city in the country, beacuse its' easy to blend and everyone is to darn busy to worry about someone elses stautus. That said its' not the Mexicans we should be concerned about. They are hard working people who sacrifice for theri families every day. i am not mexican but I am sad to say that my own cultue does not work as hard as the mexican. Ok i said it. Leave them alone, worry about the others.

    June 15, 2009 at 7:33 pm |
  6. jake

    i understand how they may think they are helping the united states back. i bet they just saw another race and just acted without thinking. that child did nothing and did not desrve to die.

    June 15, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  7. M.Lanosa

    I am just disgusted! Terrorism from inside, from Americans! OMG! Kill a child and her father and attempt to kill another is not a way to protect this country. The Border attempting to keep Mexican workers out is not protecting the country. Look to the Canadian Borders, look at the immigration process. We are no safer today than we were on 9/11. History has proven that Americans have short memories and repeat bad mistakes over and over. Mexicans who come to our country to do the work that "white folks" won't do is not a threat to this country. At this point the only terrorists I worry about are the Home Grown Ones.

    June 15, 2009 at 7:11 pm |
  8. HOPE

    It's a sad state of affairs when the country that stands for freedom, liberty and justice is turned on its' ear to protect the rights of a few. It used to be that this country lovingly opened its' arms to immigrants and were happy to raise our children in a country that wore its' diversity like a crown. The French, even, gave us a Lady to welcome the ships filled with those looking for freedom from oppression... today, we are the oppressors.

    Sad.

    June 15, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  9. Janie

    Very well said, Tom. Nothing, absolutely nothing, justifies murder of a child.

    June 15, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  10. Rebecca

    She is not Native American, so her ancestors were immigrants. Let the law deal with illegal immigrants, not gun toting racists who happen to be criminals.

    June 15, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  11. Mike M

    How many dozens of instances can someone find in the U.S. over this same time span of illegals breaking into peoples homes and robbing/killing them?

    June 15, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  12. andrew everett

    the police only arrested them because they didn't get first dibs....

    June 15, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  13. Tom

    Nothing justifies the murder of a child....nothing
    Zeal has it's limits...and it stops just before the other person's nose
    All three should be charged with capital murder, so that this kind of action never repeats itself

    June 15, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  14. bella

    Why hasn't the ameriacan tax $ payed for our safety at the borders!!!!!!!!This would also ensure there safety(illegals)from the communities the unlawfully prey on.

    June 15, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  15. BlazE

    speechless...

    June 15, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  16. Artbuff

    We need secure borders. I had read on a website about about a plan to smuggle a nuclear device into Us through a tunnel from Mexico. STOPPED THIS TIME, MAYBE NOT STOPPED NEXT TIME. JOY IN OHIO

    June 15, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  17. SnowBoarder

    if they were drug dealers, then why not just call the cops on them. Killing a child. There is no excuse for that. These people are evil and I hope they get what's coming to them.

    June 15, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  18. Marie

    That's sad nothing justifies a child being hurt no matter the cause..

    June 15, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  19. Kevin

    Two true patriots

    June 15, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  20. Edward Heffernan

    This is a proud day for all Americans. After half a century of marches and debates and protests and education we have finally, FINALLY achieved racial integration in our retarded and violent hate groups. Gotta love that. Oh, look... They're even progressive enough to have a female CEO.

    Whatever.

    June 15, 2009 at 10:34 am |