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Saturday, June 03, 2006

Some Civilian Killings are More Important Than Other Civilian Killings: Mass Murder in Indianapolis

You may not otherwise hear of these killings because they did not take place in Iraq and the killers were not US troops.

The family of seven had much to celebrate recently. Youngest sons David and Alberto Covarrubias had just made First Communion, and their mother, Emma Valdez, had marked a birthday. Her adult daughter had just found a new home.

The seven, described as well-liked and good neighbors, were found dead in their house late Thursday in what city officials described as the worst mass murder in Indianapolis in 25 years. The crime rocked their working-class neighborhood about a mile east of downtown.

"Right now we're kind of in shock," said the Rev. Carlton Beever, pastor of St. Philip Neri Parish, where the family attended Mass each Sunday.

Police on Friday arrested one suspected triggerman, but continued their search for the main suspect — 28-year-old ex-convict Desmond Turner — and possibly two other men a witness reported seeing running from the house.

A search of a home for Turner just blocks from the shooting scene turned up empty Friday night after police officers fired tear gas in and broke down a door.

Deputy Police Chief Tim Foley said James Stewart, 30, was arrested without incident after a traffic stop Friday afternoon and would be charged with murder. Foley said both Stewart and Turner were believed to have fired shots at the victims.

Officers found the three children — Alberto Covarrubias, 11; David Covarrubias, 8; and Luis Albarran, 5 — dead on a bed and the bodies of the four adults scattered inside the home. Police identified them as Valdez, who turned 46 in April; her husband, Alberto Covarrubias, 56; her daughter and Luis' mother, Flora Albarran, 22; and her son, Magno Albarran, 29.

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