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Brisenia Flores, the other 9-year-old AZ shooting victim

LatinaLista — The Tucson region has the dubious distinction of being a place where two nine-year-old girls were horrendously murdered — Christina Taylor Greene and Brisenia Flores.

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By now, the world knows about Christina Taylor Greene. She was an accidental victim of a deranged murderer in a Tucson grocery store parking lot. All Christina wanted to do on that Saturday morning was to meet Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and instead she lost her life.

The gunman, Jared Loughner, has exhibited such erratic behavior that everyone accepts the explanation that this was a mentally disturbed individual, not in his right mind when he committed this deadly act.

But as much publicity and recognition Christina Taylor Greene has received, the world hardly, if at all, knows about Brisenia Flores.

Brisenia was also 9-years-old, but unlike Christina, Brisenia was in a place where she deserved to feel safe and protected — her home. Yet, that didn’t stop a heartless individual who purposely shot and killed her because she was crying for her father who lay dying in front of her eyes, as a result of being shot.

Currently, the woman blamed for these senseless, hateful murders is on trial in Tucson.

Prosecutors have said they believe Shawna Forde, 43, recruited a group of men to rob and kill Flores in order to fund her Minutemen American Defense militia group. Defense attorneys have said there’s no evidence linking Forde to the home invasion.

Forde and her accomplices took it upon themselves to police for undocumented immigrants. They got their thrills in the hunt. They went to the trailer home of Brisenia and her family that night because they thought there would be some easy money to be made if they robbed Brisenia’s dad. Her father was identified as a drug dealer and Forde had told associates that she was planning on doing several home invasions to raise money for her organization.

“She sat here and said that she was going to start a group where they went down and start taking things away from the Mexican mafia,” Rena Caudle said from her Redding Calif., home. “She was going to kick in their doors and take away the money and drugs.”

While many will argue that Brisenia’s dad put her and his entire family in danger because of his illegal activities, it still doesn’t justify the murder of an innocent 9-year-old girl.

In many respects, the murder of Brisenia Flores is more despicable than Christina’s murder because Brisenia’s murderer looked her in the eyes and purposely shot her. However, while the world knows about Christina and of her dreams, hardly anyone knows of Brisenia.

Brisenia deserves to be remembered, known and talked about. Talked about among those parents running drugs and putting their children’s lives in danger on a minute-to-minute basis; talked about among the media to highlight how hate for undocumented immigrants took the life of a 9-year-old girl; talked about among politicians to highlight the fact that daughters and sons of criminals have dreams of their own and are not responsible for the poor decisions of their parents and still deserve to be recognized; and talked about among the rest of the country to underscore no 9-year-old child in this country should find themselves at the end of a gun barrel.

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