It’s a story that feels all too common in 2024: An innocent man is dead, and a suspect who’s all too young is arrested for the death.
According to KDVR-TV in Denver, an unnamed 13-year-old boy was arrested as a suspect charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of a 60-year-old grandfather aboard a Denver Regional Transportation District bus.
The killing took place on Jan. 27 — reportedly sparked by where the victim had placed his leg.
KDVR reported that the deceased, identified as Richard Sanchez, was just blocks from his home when the incident occurred.
At roughly 6:40 p.m, shots rang out inside the bus while it was at a stop. In addition to Sanchez, another individual was reportedly injured — albeit not seriously.
The Denver Post reported that the injured victim was treated at the scene and did not need to be transported to the hospital.
“At this stage of the investigation, it appears there was verbal exchange between the suspect and victim about the victim’s leg blocking the aisle on the bus, and the suspect then shot the victim,” Denver police said in a news release on Friday.
KDVR reported before the suspect’s arrest that the family was “asking questions” about law enforcement’s response.
“It feels unreal,” said Sanchez’s grandson, Joseph Chavez as the family held a vigil on the corner where he was killed, according to the station.
“He was always happy. He was a really happy dude.”
Family members said they they didn’t find out Sanchez was dead until they reported him missing the following day.
“I was really heartbroken, honestly,” Chavez told KDVR.
“I don’t understand how someone could do that to such an honest person. It’s been hard because we didn’t know where he was at, and the whole time, he was at the hospital and they didn’t contact us. Nobody was there with him during his last breath.”
Classified 13-year-old arrested for allegedly murdering man on Denver bus.
Police say a 13-year-old murdered Richard Sanchez, 60, because he wouldn’t move his leg. A second male victim was also injured by a bullet. pic.twitter.com/RHqN2CxoAc
— National Conservative (@NatCon2022) February 5, 2024
Granted, in the United States, all criminal defendants are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. However, this isn’t the first — nor, indeed, even the most disturbing — high-profile murder case involving teens allegedly killing a law-abiding older man over basically nothing.
Take the case of 66-year-old Uber Eats driver Mohammad Anwar, who was killed in March of 2021 after two girls, ages 13 and 15, decided to carjack him in Washington, D.C.
Why? Well, they wanted to steal a car, according to The Washington Post. Why else?
According to NBC News, the two received the maximum sentence after pleading guilty — which involved not being released from juvenile detention until they turned 21.
Anwar, his family said, had immigrated from Pakistan in 2014 “to build a better life for himself and his family.” Instead, he ended up dead — and his killers will only spend six years in juvie.
After this and other crimes committed by minors in the District of Columbia, Washington’s attorney general faced questions on why harsher punishments weren’t being meted out to juvenile offenders.
“We also are committed in the juvenile system to treat kids like kids and that we give kids what the law requires, which is a chance of rehabilitation and going on to live lives of success and independence,” said Attorney General Brian Schwalb in April of 2023, according to WTTG-TV.
“Kids are different than adults and our job as the attorney general of the city is to keep the city safe, but also make sure we stay true to our obligation to young people.”
“I don’t think kids should be treated as adults,” he added. “Kids are kids and when you’re talking about teenagers particular – their brains are developing, their minds are developing, and they’re biologically prone to make mistakes – that’s what we’ve all done as we’ve grown up.”
Yes, haven’t we all killed an Uber Eats driver because we wanted to steal a car? Or allegedly shot a 60-year-old granddad to death because, you know, his leg was blocking the aisle on the bus? Kids will be kids.
With that kind of progressive attitude en vogue among progressive big-city politicians at the moment, there will only be more and more Richard Sanchezes and Mohammad Anwars.
It’s as simple as that.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.