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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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
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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