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Sunday, April 1, 2007

Sex Offender Found Dead Outside Richmond School

9-8-2005 California:
RICHMOND—A convicted sex offender was murdered today outside John F. Kennedy High School, less than a day after he was released from prison. The 28-year-old African American man was still in his scrubs.

A school custodian discovered the body of George Colbert on the concrete entrance as he was preparing to open the school at 6:09 a.m. Ltn. Mark Gagan said police believed Colbert was murdered at the school because parts of his brain were scattered around the body. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said they are concerned because the department did not receive a call at the time of the shooting, and no eyewitnesses have come forward. The school is in the middle of a residential neighborhood, and Colbert's grandmother lives across the street. He appeared to have been visiting her around the time of his death. His own address is also registered in Richmond.

There are no suspects currently under investigation, police said, and it is not clear if the killer's motive was connected to Colbert's time in prison.

Detectives worked quickly to collect evidence and were able to lift the crime scene tape before school started. The institution functioned as usual, although class began a few minutes late. "We didn't know how to deal with it," said Gagan. "We wanted to provide a sense of normalcy, so we had the students go to class."

Many students had no idea a homicide had occurred outside their campus. Others arrived early to discover officials cleaning up Colbert's blood at the school entrance. "I was scared, but I still feel safe because there's a lot of security around," said freshman Victor Logo, who goes to school early every morning to help his teacher prepare for class. "This isn't the first time I've seen something like this."

Colbert's murder was the 25th in Richmond this year. Last year a man was shot and killed on JFK's football field.

Logo, along with the other early arrivals, was sent to the gym, where they were informed that the incident was unrelated to the school, and grief counselors were available to provide services for those with special needs.

The school principal declined to comment on the killing, as did the school's police officers, who were adamant that the crime was not tied to the school in any way. "It didn't happen at the school," said Randy Joseph, a volunteer hall monitor. "It was like normal." ..more.. by Rudabeh Shahbazi

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