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Reports shed light on immigrant shooting near Arivaca

An illegal immigrant who was paralyzed after being shot by an Arivaca homeowner told deputies he never set foot inside the man's home.

Michael Goodwin, 71, was indicted Aug. 14 on two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the July 31 shooting of Jose Hernandez, 32.

According to Pima County Sheriff's Department reports released this week, Goodwin told deputies he heard noises inside his home and found Hernandez inside his living room, about five feet from him. He said he chased Hernandez outside and shot at him twice in rapid succession to scare him off.

Hernandez told deputies he was shot after sticking his head inside Goodwin's door and calling out "Hello," according to reports.

Hernandez said he was deported June 16, but came back into the U.S. on July 27 with 13 others in the hopes of reuniting with his family in Atlanta. He became separated from the group and was searching for food and water on the night he was shot, he said.

No one answered at the home of the first Arivaca residence he went to, Hernandez said, so he went to the home next door. No one answered the door, but when he looked in a window he saw an older man lying on a couch.

He said he went around to the carport, opened a door into the house and called out, "Hello!" without entering. A man in the middle of the living room asked what he was looking for, using profane language.

Hernandez told deputies he said, "For food" at the same time the homeowner called him a profane name and pointed a gun at him from 15 to 20 feet away.

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"(Hernandez) then stated he began to walk away as he was looking back to see if the homeowner was going to come out of the house as well. He then stated he was at the edge of the carport when the homeowner fired one shot at him," according to the report.

Hernandez told deputies he started running away and that was when he was shot in the back and paralyzed.

The homeowner immediately came up to him and apologized, Hernandez said. He told deputies he pleaded with the man to call an ambulance and to "not let him die there."

The homeowner left and came back 15 minutes later with a blanket, Hernandez said.

According to sheriff's reports, Goodwin told deputies there was almost no visibility when he fired his gun, but Hernandez said it wasn't dark yet and he could see Goodwin and the house from where he was shot.

Goodwin also told deputies that after placing the blanket on Hernandez, Hernandez told him, "I'm going to get you for this," and "I was just trying to get some food."

Goodwin's defense attorney A. Bates Butler, is requesting his client's indictment be dismissed and that a second grand jury be convened, all in the hopes the grand jurors will decline to issue a second indictment.

In his motion, Butler said prosecutors indicted his client before he had an opportunity to give them his client's version of events. He further alleges the prosecutor who presented the case provided "inadequate and inaccurate legal instructions" on such matters as burglary and justified use of force.

Butler said he wanted the grand jurors to know that Goodwin is a Vietnam veteran who suffers from severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and spends most of his time in bed as a result of osteoarthritis and degenerative disc disease.

He also wanted them to be aware that because Goodwin has assisted law enforcement officers on numerous occasions, causing "bulk quantities of marijuana" to be seized, Goodwin's life has been threatened numerous times and he continues to believe his life is in danger, Butler said.

The defense attorney also wanted prosecutors to tell the grand jurors Hernandez was found lying in Goodwin's fenced yard on top of a set of keys that had been in Goodwin's truck that night. One of the keys was to Goodwin's kitchen door, he said.

A hearing on the matter is set for Oct. 9.

At the time of Goodwin's indictment, Tom Weaver, the chief criminal deputy Pima County attorney, declined to go into details of the case, but said his office believes the shooting was "unlawful and not justified."

Hernandez, a married father of three, was struck in the spine and is paralyzed from the waist down, said Tucson personal injury attorney Bill Risner, who represents him.

This story was first published by the Green Valley News.


TucsonSentinel.com's original reporting and curation of border and immigration news is generously supported in part by a grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.

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2 comments on this story

2
7 comments
Oct 4, 2017, 4:59 pm
-0 +2

So using that logic, the next time a Jehovah’s Witness knows on your door and sticks their head in to see if you’re coming, we can blow them to smithereens?  Home protection means your protecting your home.  It doesn’t mean you are firing at pesky people who are looking for food.

1
1762 comments
Oct 4, 2017, 10:12 am
-2 +0

Hernandez told deputies he was shot after sticking his head inside Goodwin’s door and calling out “Hello,” according to reports.

He said he went around to the carport, opened a door into the house and called out, “Hello!” without entering.

Contradictory statements. I think one can reasonably assume that stinking any part of your body in someone’s home constitutes entering.

Based on this story, I think both the prosecutor and the grand jury suffer from some sort of mental disorder. We’re allowed to defend our homes if we feel threatened. If someone entered my home, I would definitely feel threatened.

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PCSD

Michael Goodwin