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Update: Six Charged with 2007 Murder of 14-Year-Old at Barnard-White Middle School

Vernon Eddins was gunned down in front of the school on Dec. 21, 2007, an act which helped spur an anti-violence movement in Union City.

Updated 10:49 a.m. Friday

After more than four years, local authorities have made a breakthrough in the shooting death of 14-year-old Vernon Eddins, who was slain in front of Barnard-White Middle School on Dec. 21, 2007.

According to Inside Bay Area, six men were charged Thursday with murder for the benefit of a street gang.

Among those charged is Robert Yim, 21, who was . Online court records indicate Yim was arrested on suspicion of Eddins’ murder on Wednesday while in custody at Santa Rita Jail.

According to the IBA report and court records, Yim’s co-defendents include:

  • Eric Anthony Camacho;
  • Jovencio Luis Camacho, 22, who was arrested Wednesday afternoon in Union City;
  • Richard Antonio Corona, 21, who was arrested Wednesday morning in Hayward;
  • Alexis Alfonso Pamiroyan, 22, who was arrested Wednesday evening in Hayward; and
  • Derek Justin Rodriguez, 23, who was arrested in San Leandro Thursday evening.

Arrest records for Eric Camacho were still not online Friday morning. Records do show that four of the suspects appeared at the Hayward Hall of Justice at 2 p.m. Thursday.

The arrests were made in an investigative operation by the Southern Alameda County Major Crimes Task Force and the , along with other assisting agencies, said Cmdr. Ben Horner of the Union City Police Department.

The investigation is ongoing and additional details will be released in an official UCPD statement to be released.

News of the arrests sparked intense emotions among those who knew Eddins personally.

“I can still remember talking on the phone with him and hanging out and talking to him about almost everything. I still remember every little detail of his face & smile. He had one of the best smiles in the world,” . “I was devastated that day. I still remember running from my house to Barnard thinking I could help him, [in] denial that he was already gone.”

Matt Haney, 19, said hearing that there was a breakthrough in the case was “better than winning the lotto” as he worried Eddins’ case had grown cold. The two attended Barnard-White and played basketball together. They would have graduated together last year.

Haney said he was shocked and thought someone was playing a prank on him the day he learned of Vernon’s death.

“I never imagined something like that would happen to someone I know,” Haney said. “He was just that one happy kid. He was never a wannabe gangbanger; he was just a kid walking around with a smile all the time.”

“If they really have found Vernon’s killers, the Union City Police Department should be commended for that. It’s really good news for Vernon’s mom,” said Karen Yifru, who lost her son, , then 17, to gun violence in June of 2007.

And 2007 was particularly critical for Union City, as Jesus Cruz was also shot and killed in November while celebrating his 21st birthday. Cruz' killing was followed by Vernon’s death a month later.

Following Biniam’s death, Yifru joined with community partners to help form the Youth Violence Prevention Coalition — the predecessor to the city’s Youth Violence Prevention and Intervention Program. She said Vernon’s death later that year served as another catalyst for change in the community.

“For me, Vernon’s death brought us to a common ground. It affected everyone,” Yifru told Patch Thursday night. “When Vernon died, he pushed us over the edge and pushed us forward. He was 14. He was a baby."

The shooting and other incidents in which black students were allegedly attacked prompted a group of parents to file a lawsuit against the New Haven Unified School District claiming that school officials failed to protect black youths from attacks by a Latino gang.

According to Oakland civil rights attorney Pamela Price, who represented the
parents of 12 students, to be split among the students' families.

Price said the same plaintiffs have a similar lawsuit pending against the Union City Police Department, alleging that it also hasn't done enough to protect black youths.

Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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Guido April 07, 2012 at 03:11 AM
de: Nobody is throwing the book at anyone. The UCPD has been working on the case for since 2007. It is very unfortunate that it has taken this long. The jury will decide if there is enough evidence to convict. You seem to be very sure that the ones arrested are not the guilty parties. The only way you could be so sure is if you either are the guilty party or you know the guilty parties. Why don’t you come forward and tell the police what you know!
agope love April 07, 2012 at 04:37 AM
Alls i'm saying is everybody talking about these boys are guilty who's to say they are..its my opinion!! I have a child who was incarcerated for something he was no part of,so much for the justice system! As far as the ucpd working on this case for years there's also other case that haven't been solved
Ben April 07, 2012 at 05:46 AM
so was this a drive by shooting that occured in 07?
Ben April 07, 2012 at 05:58 AM
nevermind i just read the old article. so what kind of prison time are the accomplices looking at for being there? life?
Uc resident April 07, 2012 at 06:14 AM
I think UCPD are a bunch of crooked cops harassing kids because of what they wear
One Voice April 07, 2012 at 07:08 AM
UCPD has alot of wrongs but we are talking about MURDER here. Decoto is a community that unfortunantly has a gang just like many other citys. These boys (young men) that are being charge will have thier day in court to prove they are innocent. Vernon was not a saint or a sinner he was a kid, a person, a living soul who was taking for a stupid reason im sure. That is the issue. Junior was taken for no reason also and so was Biniam, Samuel and Anthony Ramirez. Whoever took the lives of these people will face thier maker and untill that day if evidence proves them guilty than justice will take it from there. THERE ARE NO RIGHT WAYS ABOUT THIESE SITUATIONS...EVERYONE LOSES..THE ONES WHO LOST ALREADY AND THE ONES WHO WILL LOSE THERE FAMILY TO THE SYSTEM. I PRAY FOR THEM ALL TO HAVE PEACE.
Tim April 07, 2012 at 02:44 PM
It doesn't matter that only one pulled the trigger under CA law. If the others were complicit in the act then they are all equally as guilty and can and should be found guilty of murder.
Tim April 07, 2012 at 02:46 PM
What's the saying... that if you lie down with dogs, you're gonna get fleas...
LIVE STRONG April 07, 2012 at 07:25 PM
@ UC RESIDENT THEY ARE A BUNCH OF CROOKED COPS NICE ONE UC RESIDENT>>>> POLICE NEED TO INVESTAGATE THE MURDER OF *JESUS CRUZ*
tony April 07, 2012 at 07:55 PM
LIVE STRONG and Uc resident uc and fremont have some of best cops in the county but as far the leadership of our town aka mark green that doesnt even care about the community problems we need strong mayor who can deals with gang problems ,budget cuts and unempoyment problems that man is Richard Valle
king zayy April 07, 2012 at 10:01 PM
I will never forget that day we shared before i watchd u pass away in my vision through dat benard white window........somedayz i just wish dat i woulda been da bigger person and said lets not go up there R.I.P Vernon Eddins(knock out) gne bt neva fforgotten .......... isaiah williams
LIVE STRONG April 07, 2012 at 11:14 PM
and because of where there from!!!
Sarita April 08, 2012 at 05:27 AM
Samuel Nava,III, aka "Amazing Audi" A True Earth Angel ~has come together with Vernon! I’m pleased INEVITABLE arrests from Audis case lead to GRATIFICATION and JUSTICE for the Vernon Eddins' family. May they now feel some tranquility. Make no mistake justice will prevail.
kane April 09, 2012 at 07:48 PM
GUIDO YOU JUST SOUND PLAIN OL STUPID!!LETS JUST SAY SOME OF THE YOUNG MEN BEING DETAINED COULDNT BE TWO PLACES AT ONE TIME!!AND AS FAR AS YOU POINTING THE FINGER A ''DE'' AS IF THIS PERSON HAS INFO IS JUST WAYYY OUTA LINE!!AND THE UCPD DIDNT HAVE SOME AMAZING BREAKTHROUGH A RAPIST SNITCH IS TRYIN TO SAVE HIS OWN A** !!!GOOD JOB UCPD HAHAHA!!!YEAH RIGHT!!!
kane April 09, 2012 at 07:51 PM
WOW HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO COME UP WITH THAT ONE TIM!!I SEWAR SOME OF YOU PEOPLE ARE JUST PLAIN SLOOOWWWW!!
agope love April 09, 2012 at 08:42 PM
and because of where they live!!!!!!!!!!!
agope love April 09, 2012 at 08:47 PM
Well said ONE VOICE,just like the grieving mother that wants justice for her son,Lets not forget there's also a hurting mother who will do everything in her power prove her son is innocent<3
BLACK CHIP April 09, 2012 at 08:56 PM
WOW! I THINK KING ZAYY SUMS IT UP ''KNOCK OUT '' WAS THAT HIS STREET NAME?? O WAIT HE WAS A INNOCENT KID !!AND YEAH YOU SHOULDA NOT CUT SCHOOL AND WENT LOOKIN FOR TROUBLE!!THIS SUMS IT UP KING ZAYY SPELLS IT OUT FOR ALL OF US PLAIN AND CLEAR!!!
MsNancy April 10, 2012 at 01:18 AM
I'm just reliving this tradegy hearing of the arrest. I have sons who were friends of Vernon's; and who also played little league baseball with some of the boys/young men arrested. I would love to hear that they were innocent. But, if they did the murder, they should be prosecuted to the fullest. I pray that no one ever gets away with murder. Also, M/M Check Your Facts, for the record, I know a teacher who used to work at Logan who actually went to the district to report that African American students were not being protected on Logan's campus; i.e., if/when they tried to walk off campus, teachers would be standing around and would not even attempt to stop them; as though they were afraid of the students. For the students protections, they should always be on-campus where their parents have entrusted them. Other students, non-black, were stopped at the gate when attempting to leave. I don't know why the school "acted" with such lack of concern for the A/A students. Lots of issues came into plan in Vernon's murder. I hear that the reasons the boys walked to Bernard White was to pick up the little brother of one who was afraid to walk home from school alone because of threats. So our little Union City community is not as innocent as we want to think it is. I pray all our youth.
MsNancy April 10, 2012 at 01:28 AM
That's not what I read at all, Black Chip. What King Zayy is saying is that if he had to do it again, he would have made another decision. Hind sight is 20/20. My son said that they asked him if he wanted to walk to the school to pick up one of the boy's little brother with them. Thank God my son declined. What seemed to be an innocent trip ended in the death of an innocent child. He was 14 just like my son at the time. There is absolutely no excuse for his death... cutting or not. If it were your relative, you might be a bit more compasionate.
comrade April 10, 2012 at 09:35 PM
I agree.
shelkesha April 10, 2012 at 11:25 PM
never did they leave school looking for trouble , there was a rumor going around at bernard saying that a A/A was going to get shot & teachers reported this to the adminstration as soon as they heard . however , two of the peers that was with vernon had brothers that went to bernard so they all left together. ( birds of a feather flock together ) so dont ever forget that ! so reguardless of them skipping school still does not Justify this death & the whole way there they were being followed by a black suburban full of mexicans . now we all know that this black vs. mexican stuff being going on for years in union city . when i first came to benard i was automatically involved with the non-scence just from my color. & who ever pulled the trigger will get the death penalty & all the others will get a sentence just as well ( Gulity by Association ) !
agope love April 11, 2012 at 12:44 AM
WE'VE LIVED IN DECOTO OUR WHOLE LIFE 40 PLUS YEARS WE WENT TO SCHOOL AND HAD AFRICAN AMERICAN FREINDS VERY GOOD FRIENDS TILL THIS DAY ,SO PLEASE DON'T TRY TO USE THE RACE CARD.
One Voice April 11, 2012 at 06:07 AM
DE you are right! Great friends that are african american among other races here in Decoto/Union City. Those boys (all included) were walking with weapons. This is no excuse for the life lost but it is not a racial thing. Yes there have always been problems with different races but if you teach your kids not to be that way than THEY WONT BE THAT WAY! @ KANE, Im curious who the RAPIST IS? Is he locked up or is he one who is being charged in this case? That is unsettling to hear that there is a rapest among all this.? Wow, but ill say it again INNOCENT UNTILL PROVEN GUILTY~ You have to have proof not just what one person says. TRUTH WILL BE SEEN SOON.
Ms. Leno April 13, 2012 at 06:27 PM
I believe we're missing the point...OUR CHILDREN ARE BEING MURDERED! No child or person should die by the hands of another individual. We MUST teach our children to respect each other, regardless of race, where youre from or what you wear. This has to be formulated in our homes. We as adults must set the example. Vernon's death was so personal because he died on one of our campuses! Our children, community members and school personnel had to witness this horrific tragedy. I believe Vernon's death shook all of us to our core and made us truly look at how we relate to each other in our community. We must protect the lives of ALL children, and let them know they are valued. To the parents of these young men who lost their lives....May peace be with you, because you had the unimaginable happen to you...to be told your child is dead. God bless us all.
Doughboy47 April 14, 2012 at 05:52 AM
how come nobody talks about the young mex-american girl that her family has lived in decoto since the 60's was almost raped in one of the james logan high school bathe rooms back in 04 by a young black male with a history of sexually assaulting women and raped a new haven school district teacher at his house in east OAKLAND were he lives but takes BART to union city to commit crimes. So who is so-pose to protect our decoto kids from all of this good kids coming from out of town (oak)? now did she file a law sue because the District Union city and UCPD dint do what they should have done to protect her from this good kids ? O his name is Errol williams
H street April 15, 2012 at 12:58 AM
RIP VERNON....FINALLY HAVE JUSTICE...but I ASK MYSELF...THEIR ARE MORE KILLERS OF KIDS OUT THERE AND NOT YET FOUND......SO SAD THAT OUR CHILDREN ARE GETTING KILLED BY OTHER KIDS,,,,,WHERE ARE THE PARENTS OF THOSE KILLERS?? Union City has always have problems with gangs but also other Cities.....PEACE...should be focus on our COMMITIES BESIDES TEACH OUR CHILDREN BETTER VALUES MAYBE THAN THIS HORRIBLE TRAGEDIC DEATH WOULD HAVE NOT OCCURED
sick and tired of bull shitters April 15, 2012 at 03:52 AM
I'm so tired of everyone talking about things on just hear say. I am also sad someone lost there life on that day. I have been in this town for many many years and I continue to see the same thing people get judged way before the facts are even looked at from everyone even the DAM UCPD. If you have a long family history in this town you really get pre-judged negatively. I know from experience of living in this town for many generations. ONLY GOD knows the truth and that's who everyone should be focusing on to get to the truth. there are alot of families that are going to be and are being affected by this unfortunate day. So please all you unqualified judges stay out the mix and rely on GOD............Sick and tired of bull shitters
MYOB April 21, 2012 at 02:14 AM
When is UCPD going to do something about Junior Cruz? Maybe because he doesn't have activist groups and parents forming lawsuits and such means his death isn't as important in their books. His death is what started all the retaliation shooting that took Vernon Eddings. Get with it UCPD. You spend too much time harassing the kids that aren't doing anything and not enough on real investigation.
UnionCityRes July 05, 2012 at 06:47 AM
I agree with you on this one KANE, it seems people only want to defend what the "think" they know is right or percieved as right. I was in high school when Vernon was shot, and even then some of the people that he was friends with werent all on his side. He isnt as innocent as alot of people think. Hello most of these people were in high school, and often have lack of judgement and also biased. & as far as the New Haven School District being sued for "not protecting the welfare of african american students" do you still think its worth it to have other people that are out of the district come to school here? Basically my question is: Do the thousands & thousands of dollars you dished out to these "Impacted families" compare or come close to the amount of $$$ you get for the students that come here? & As far as those "impacted families" how are ya'll enjoying the lavish life your living while using your kids as excuses to mooch off of where ever you can latch on too. pathetic! I dont see Mexicans/ or other races for that matter crying for $$ for "not having their welfare protected." PUULEASSEE its another way for them to mooch off of the government/district.

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