Local News

Thursday, Jul 18 2013 08:55 AM

Family mourns marijuana dispensary shooting victim; two suspects sought

  1. 1 of 9

    By Autumn Parry / The Californian

    Bridget Daniels, right, hugs her cousin at her home on Thursday afternoon. Daniel's son, Devin Daniels, 23, was one of two victims shot and killed Wednesday during what police say was an armed robbery at First Reliable, a medical marijuana shop on Chester Avenue.

    click to expand click to collapse
  2. 2 of 9

    By Autumn Parry / The Californian

    Bridget Daniels takes a phone call at her home on Thursday afternoon following the death of her son, Devin Daniels, 23. Daniels was shot and killed during a robbery at First Reliable, a medical marijuana shop where he had been working. Bakersfield Police are now looking for two suspects, one of which has been identified as 32-year-old Aaron Patrick Burris.

    click to expand click to collapse
  3. 3 of 9

    By Photo courtesy of the Daniels family

    Devin Daniels, 23, poses for a picture with Elicana Echevarrias, 22, on Feb. 9, 2012.

    click to expand click to collapse
  4. 4 of 9

    By Courtesy of the Daniels family

    Photos of shooting victim Devin Daniels.

    click to expand click to collapse
  5. 5 of 9

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    People arrive and are in apparent disbelief as BPD officers are at the scene of a double homicide at 217 Chester Ave. where First Reliable, a medical marijuana collective, is located. Police were called at 9:49 a.m. of a report of a shooting at the business.

    click to expand click to collapse
  6. 6 of 9

    By Photo courtesy of Bakersfield Police Department

    The Bakersfield Police Department released this photo of Aaron Patrick Burris, 32, of Bakersfield. Police said he is a suspect wanted for the double homicide and armed robbery in connection with the shooting at First Reliable on July 17.

    click to expand click to collapse
  7. 7 of 9

    By Photo courtesy of Bakresfield Police Department

    The Bakersfield Police Department released this photo of Aaron Patrick Burris, 32, of Bakersfield. Police said he is a suspect wanted for the double homicide and armed robbery in connection with the shooting at First Reliable on July 17.

    click to expand click to collapse
  8. 8 of 9

    By Photo courtesy of Bakersfield Police Department

    The Bakersfield Police Department asked for the public's help identifying this woman they said is wanted in connection with a shooting and armed robbery at First Reliable.

    click to expand click to collapse
  9. 9 of 9

    By Photo courtesy of Bakersfield Police Department

    Bakersfield Police released this photo of a second suspect in the crimes at First Reliable on July 17.

    click to expand click to collapse
BY JASON KOTOWSKI and THEO DOUGLAS Californian staff writers jkotowski@bakersfield.com; tdouglas@bakersfield.com

Bridget Daniels was never concerned about her son working security in a medical marijuana dispensary.

“It’s like any other job you go to,” she said Thursday. “You go to work and you go home.”

But 23-year-old Devin Daniels didn’t go home Wednesday. He and 55-year-old Tony Conrad Sherman were shot and killed in a robbery at First Reliable collective Wednesday morning.

Bakersfield police have identified one suspect as Aaron Patrick Burris. A $2 million warrant was obtained for the 32-year-old Bakersfield resident.

Burris pleaded no contest in September 2010 to assault with force likely to produce great bodily harm, according to court records. Charges of robbery and participating in a criminal street gang were dismissed.

The second suspect is described as a black woman in her 20s, 5 feet, 2 inches to 5 feet 3 inches tall, 150 pounds, with a light complexion and black hair pulled into a bun.

Bridget Daniels said she’s never heard of Burris before. She said her son never had problems with anyone at First Reliable, located at 217 Chester Ave.

She said her son was an outgoing, good-natured person.

“He was willing to help anybody,” she said.

Bridget Daniels said Devin Daniels attended West High School, where he played football. Other interests included fishing, traveling, taking his kids out and just hanging out with family and friends.

Devin Daniels leaves behind three daughters — ages 5, 3 and 2 — and is due to have a son in December. The woman pregnant with his son, Eliciana Echevarrias, said Devin Daniels loved his family and got along with everyone.

“His children were his world,” Echevarrias said.

Marquise Blackmon, mother of Daniels’ daughters, said he was friendly and kind-hearted. Almost too kind-hearted.

Blackmon said she worried about him working at First Reliable because he was too trusting with people. She said they still lived together and she watched him leave for work Wednesday.

“I’m taking it a little better than yesterday, but I’m still taking it hard,” Blackmon said of Daniels’ death.

Blackmon said her children are too young to really understand their father’s gone. The 5-year-old has a sense that things are different, she said.

The investigation

Police said their investigation led the SWAT team to the 10000 block of Valley Forest Court and the 1300 block of Schull Court, where investigators conducted a search and collected evidence related to the crimes. Burris was not found.

A resident in the 1300 block of Schull Court in southeast Bakersfield confirmed that law enforcement had visited a yellow house on the north side of the street early Thursday morning. A woman answered the door at the house, where boxes of housewares were stored on the front porch and a young man appeared to be charging a cell phone from an extension cord in the front yard, but she declined to comment.

"We don't ever want to talk to the newspaper," the woman said.

City officials have said there were no complaints against First Reliable other than one for overflowing trash. The killings are believed to the be the first homicides to occur inside a medical marijuana dispensary in Kern County.

Law enforcement has said crime is often connected to the dispensaries. Sheriff Donny Youngblood said his deputies have investigated robberies and thefts at pot shops, and crimes at those businesses often go unreported.

Bakersfield attorney Philip Ganong, who often represents medical marijuana collectives and cooperatives, said Wednesday’s killings are tragic. He said he met with a group of dispensary managers Wednesday night, and their hearts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.

"Our concern is, if the city shuts everything down, this stuff is going to move from where it is to back alleys and neighborhoods," Ganong said, referring to the city's ordinance prohibiting medical marijuana dispensaries, which goes into effect Aug. 1.

Ganong said robberies and other crimes occur far more often at liquor stores and convenience stores than at dispensaries. He said people need to keep in mind that violence can happen anywhere, whether it’s a school, movie theater, convenience store or wherever.

“Violence is a part of American life,” he said.

Ganong said he’d never heard of First Reliable before and knows nothing about the business or the security it has in place. He said there’s typically good security at dispensaries.

The owners of these businesses want to comply with law enforcement and assist them in shutting down organizations that are operating outside the law, Ganong said. Their primary purpose is to provide assistance to patients, he said.

Medical marijuana cooperatives and collectives in county jurisdiction are required to be located only on industrial land at least one mile away from schools, day care centers, churches, public parks or any other collective or cooperative.

Anyone with information about Burris’ whereabouts or the identity of the female suspect is asked to contact the BPD at 327-7111.

Have something to share? Comment on this story
Today's Daily Deal
from
Bakersfield.com
$7.50
Daily Deal Image
Star's Cafe
$15 of Food for only $7.50 from Stars Cafe
  • Value
    $15
  • Savings
    $7.50
  • Bought
    0
Buy Now