On the afternoon of Christmas Day 34-year-old Melissa Arizola found her long time boyfriend holding a gun to his head. He had recently moved to Tacoma from Mexico. Her three children were in the house. Melissa attempted to grab the gun from her boyfriend and was shot during the struggle.
Her boyfriend and another man took her to an area hospital where she died three hours later. At first the boyfriend told police he was downstairs when he heard the gunshot upstairs. He later changed his story. He’s been arrested and charged with first degree manslaughter.
Melissa Arizola is the fifteenth and last homicide of 2007 for the city of Tacoma and a tragic one at that. When I transcribed police reports for the Tacoma Police Department, the first thing I noticed was the alarming number of suicides that were happening in my city and that with the exception of friends and family of the deceased, no one was noticing.
Personally I’ve always been of the opinion that everyone has a right to end their own life. It’s unfortunate that anyone does it, but I view suicides as substantially less tragic than homicides because at least the deceased had a choice. Melissa had a choice too and she chose to try to save the man she loved from ending his own life and paid for it with hers.
So long 2007. Here’s hoping 2008 will be less bloody.