Four teens arrested, charged with trying to kill two Tucson cops

Teens are generally programmed to be a bit brazen, even get in a few scrapes with the law. But those scrapes are usually for something like speeding, not trying to murder cops.

Photo Ryn Gargulinski

Photo Ryn Gargulinski

Four teens were arrested Dec. 1 for trying to kill two Tucson police officers.

Seems the teen quartet didn’t like that their attempted home invasion was interrupted by officers who arrived at the scene. So two of the teens shot at the officers with an assault rifle and a handgun, according to a news release from the Tucson Police Department.

Arrested were Alvaro Felix, 16; Martin Felix, 19; Gilbert Gamez, 18; and Jorge Flores, 17. Each faces two counts of attempted homicide, seven counts of aggravated robbery, seven counts of aggravated assault and seven counts of kidnapping. Seven people were in the house the teens allegedly invaded, demanding drugs. None of the residents were injured.

Do you know where your children are?

The games began around 1 a.m. when two officers were checking out a residence in the 200 block of East Elm Street after a hang-up call from the residence came in to 911.

The two officers, 3-year veteran Lucas Gossett and 1-year Jacy Palic, found the door ajar from a forced entry. They peeked inside and found an armed gunman and demanded he drop his weapon. Instead of complying, the first gunman was joined by a second gunman, both of whom began shooting at the officers.

“Multiple rounds were fired, all of which missed the officers by inches,” the release said. “Other rounds struck nearby homes. Both officers managed to take cover and keep sight of the residence.”

The four suspects then took off, but one officer was able to keep track of the vehicle and forward along the information. The four teens in the car were finally apprehended after a group effort by the Air Support Unit, K-9 officers and patrol units. They didn’t go quietly but rather tussled with arresting officers.

Nice kids.

And just in case you were wondering: “After speaking to the victim officers and interviewing the suspects, detectives determined that the suspects were indeed attempting to shoot the officers.”

You think?

Several issues arise over this one.

Criminals are getting younger. This trend has been on the horizon for the past few decades, and perhaps is best summed up by a trio of students who were suspended from a Philadelphia school in 2003. One hit a pregnant teacher in the stomach. Another exposed himself. A third stabbed a fellow classmate with a pencil. These kids were in kindergarten. They were also among the 33 kindergartners suspended from Philadelphia public schools that year.

Young people are getting lazier. It seems the younger set is becoming increasingly lazier, fatter and less motivated than the set before them. Some interns I’ve worked with, both from high schools and colleges, thought joining the workforce meant chatting about nail polish or listening to an iPod while sitting at a computer. One applied to a newspaper without even knowing how to type. At least they went through the motions. Others decide work is for sissies, especially when it’s quicker and easier to make money with home invasions, drugs and guns.

An essay in promoting mandatory military service for teens tells us:

Each passing generation produces teenagers who are more and more brazen, disrespectful, lazy and ill-qualified for success in the real world. Thus, our society becomes more dangerous, depleted and dishonest every year. With one simple – albeit radical – move, our government could eliminate these problems and help our children and our country reach their potential. Mandatory military service, or conscription, could cure many of our societal ills and allow American teenagers to truly reach their potential.

I’m laughing but I’m also inclined to agree.

Respect is dying, if not dead. Never mind teens who cuss at their neighbors, elders or parents. We’re increasingly seeing young people who obviously have no respect for authority of any type, especially those in law enforcement.

Please note these are general statements and there are thankfully several exceptions to the rule. I’ve met parents who care and kids who are hard-working, respectful and a blessing to know. These exceptions would never dream of attempting a home invasion. And it’s definitely not on their agenda to try to kill a cop.


wb-logolilWhat do you think?

Do you notice the decay of society with each passing generation?

What values were you taught growing up that no longer seem to exist?

How do you keep your own kids from being sucked into the increasingly lazy heap of losers?


About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at
This entry was posted in Crime, danger, gross stuff, life, Police/fire/law, Stupidity and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

50 Responses to Four teens arrested, charged with trying to kill two Tucson cops

  1. Jennatoolz says:

    Hey Ryn! I was an “exception.” Lol…the only thing I did from your list was speed…although I didn’t actually get my first Driving Award until I was considered an adult. I didn’t drive my mom crazy, or make her worry about me…and I stayed home most of the time! I was a pretty boring kid. 😛

    • Rynski says:

      that’s not boring at all, jeanntoolz! that’s a model for the rest of ’em. good for you! i also know you’re hardworking and honest. so glad you were an exception! sad to say it was too easy for me to come up with the poll scenarios – hahah – but i never did shoot at police, kill a cat or date a felon (the latter, at least not when i was a teen – hahaha).

      • Jennatoolz says:

        I’m the oldest of 3 children in my family. My brother and sister didn’t exactly follow in my footsteps. They were the ones getting into trouble by ditching school, smoking, piercings, etc. At least my mom couldn’t blame me for being a bad example, haha!

      • Rynski says:

        yaaay! my younger brother, on the other hand, had it easy.
        “at least you don’t act like your sister” – hahhahahah

      • azmouse says:

        Hello Jenna,
        All my kids have been the same way. I always knew/know where they are.
        As a parent, my house has always been the kid hang-out since my kids were little. All the parents had my number, because if they couldn’t find their kid, they were usually at my house swimming, playing games, watching movies and eating.

  2. Dom says:

    In regards to Jennatoolz’s reply stating that she stayed home most of the time, I’m sure there are some “experts” out there who would label those actions as being anti-social. That’s not a healthy thing. Also, I don’t mean to imply that the teens were justified in there actions but I see that invisible line between cop and public getting wider and wider. It’s that “us” versus “them” mentality and the cops are sometimes very good at creating and feeding it. They seem to forget that they are very much a part of the public!!

    • Rynski says:

      hi dom,
      thanks for your input.
      i don’t think staying home automatically constitutes being anti-social, unless you stay at home barricaded in your room without any human contact for days on end (which is one of my main goals in life – haha).
      i also see your point about the “us” versus “them” mentality with the public and police, but i also know police, in some cases, do try to become more a part of the community rather than a force working against it. “community policing,” where police work WITH the community to help combat crime, is a big concept with TPD. perhaps not every individual officer at every given time engages in it, but it is a goal towards which the dept. has been working.
      glad you noted that these kids were not justified in their actions, nor do i see the invisible line as a factor in this situation at all, which you may not, either.
      the officers were trying to help the folks in the house, checking to see what was going on. that would put the police AND the home’s residents in the “us” category – with the alleged criminals definitely as the “them.” i like that distinction much better.

    • Jennatoolz says:

      “Experts” aren’t always correct with their labeling, lol. I don’t feel I was anywhere near anti-social. I had plenty of friends at school…and outside of school I chose to stay home because I wanted to. Every once in a while I’d go out to the mall with friends and what not, but I didn’t want to do that every single day. If experts want to call that anti-social, then they’re mistaken. I didn’t just hide in my room all day and not talk to anyone. I always got along with my family…and I wasn’t an unhappy, or unhealthy teen.

      • Rynski says:

        you don’t seem anti-social, jennatoolz. but if you ever want to know how to be, just let me know and i’ll fill you in – haha.

      • Jennatoolz says:

        LOL!! Thanks Ryn! I’ll definitely let you know if I need some tips for being anti-social. 😛

  3. leftfield says:

    I have to go with “other”, because there was no category for “several of the above”. 

    I’m looking forward to hte inevitable posters who will find a way to blame things on “them lib’rals” and the “invasion of our sovereign borders”.

    • radmax says:

      Yeah, I noticed there was no way to combine several of the above either.
      :)…let’s see, I think I can combine ’em for ya lefty. The liberal flow of drugs across our border could have something to do with it.

      • leftfield says:

        We have a winner!  Original, creative and true; the flow of drugs is definitely “liberal”. 

    • Rynski says:

      the poll allows you to check as many as that apply – which could be one or all or six or two or other.

  4. Andrew Ulanowski says:

    Hiya Ryn,
    I was a bit of a hellion as a teen; i believe i got to check off about 5-6 things on your list. i was very successful as a runaway getting from Chicago to Los Angeles, spending some time in Eugene, OR, then settling as a teen in the San Fernando Valley

    “The walls at the mall are totally, totally tall!”

    I never returned to live with my family.
    Only time will tell with my own daughter. I work to keep communication a viable thing between us. I have a 15 year old step-son who willing gives me hugs and will tell me he loves me. I consider that a major accomplishment. When it comes to my kids, I let them know I am proud of them and that they don’t have to do anything to earn it. They may do things to further those feelings and they are welcome to anytime they want . . .

    I make sure to talk with my daughter about sex and drugs and alcohol when we are in a speeding car on the freeway. That way, no one can squirm out of the conversation. They are funny conversations and my daughter does not get upset with me for them for which I am grateful.

    • Rynski says:

      hiya andrew,
      that’s quite some runnin! to get from chicago to L.A. with eugene and san fernando in the mix. wow.
      i needed to live in new york city, so i took off for it like a bullet the minute i graduated high school.
      good for you on being open and talking honestly with your daughter and stepson. communication is the key to every successful relationship. also love your tactic of strategically bringing up certain topics when you know there’s no escape – hahah.
      i hope one of your poll answers was “shave your head into weird patterns.” i am very sad more people didn’t do that.

  5. radmax says:

    Mornin’ Rynski! Great job by the TPD. Nobody hurt, prevented a crime,(or several) got the perps. This sounds like textbook police work, given the details in your fine article.
    Don’t laugh at the mandatory military proposal.
    I have two nephews, close in age, worlds apart in success dealing with the ‘real’ world’s challenges.
    The only difference between them was that one got the gumption to join the army. He has turned into a fine young gentleman. His work ethic is exceptional! He’s in the reserves now, and has worked for my company off and on when not on deployment. The service may not be a universal panacea to youth’s problems, and there are those who should definitely be screened out, but those in my employ with a military background are usually very easy to distinguish from those straight off the streets. You want hardworking, conscientious workers? In my experience, hire a vet, when you can.
    Oh…drugs and alcohol growing up?…I take the fifth. 🙂
    The extent of my police encounters while coming of age were  the cops or sheriffs breakin’ up our boonie parties…

    • Rynski says:

      hiya radmax –
      i was only laughing about the military idea because i know i would have HATED it as a teen -not because it’s a bad idea.  i agree that it could shape up a goodly number of youth. thanks for the personal examples with your nephews…and using the word “panacea.” that’s good word. too bad not many exist – hahha.
      yeah, biggest teen cop stuff i recall was being in the park after dark – ooooh, aaaahhhh! def. not shooting at them while we were robbing a house.

    • azmouse says:

      I was probably at some of those boonie parties……
      seventeen poles?
      a couple areas at the base of Mt. Lemmon?

      • radmax says:

        Hi az! Yup, plus alamo hills,(east of Santa Rita H.S.)’ the trestle’, ‘the spot’, between old spanish tr. and 22nd st. close to where gollob is now. So many places to party then. Nothin’ like a great boonie to cap off a football game… 🙂

      • azmouse says:

        Yeah, all the good spots are gone now for our kids to throw keggers. lol

  6. leftfield says:

    A closer look has me involved in 8 of the 14 activities listed as a teen.  I will say thoug, I cheated a little.  I counted breaking windows in the campus ROTC building as an act of vandalism.  At the time, I thought of it more as “cleaning up the neighborhood”.

  7. longbow says:

    This train of trouble in America will not stop anytime soon. As politicians, liberals, and lawyers all protect the criminal in the guise of acceptance, or the excuse of a bad childhood, society will only further decay into a souless nation. When are we going to spend the money on education rather than state of the art prisons? When are we going to eliminate life sentences, or consecutive life terms? When will we realize we have all contributed to the social destruction, by believing it is not our responsibilty, but that of the lawmakers? When will parents realize it is their job and responsibility to raise their children, not the schools?
    All the ills of society are portrayed daily on TV, radio, and the movies, and furthermore are pushed as though it is okay to be bad. There are so many wrongs today that are overlooked because we are too busy with ourselves. We must make the changes ourselves, because the politicians, lawmakers, liberals and lawyers are speaking the loudest, and making the changes they want. In the end, not only does this cost us more money, jobs, and sometimes our life, but it will cost us our freedom, prosperity, and sovreignty. We are fast becoming the modern slaves to marxism, and there is only one way out. relieve

    • Rynski says:

      thanks for input, longbow.
      very very interesting points. i also enjoy your use of the following phrases:
      “train of trouble” and “further decay into a  soulless nation”
      those need to be in a poem somewhere.
      also agree that parents, not the schools, need to play the main role in raising kids…glad to know several who are doing a grand job.

    • leftfield says:

      Correction, Longbow – There is no democracy without socilaism and no socialism without democracy.

      I can only give you honorable mention today.  You did well on blaming our problems on liberalism, but you failed to incorporate the invasion of illegal immigrants as a root cause.  Good effort, though.

  8. Carolyn Classen says:

    You didn’t have a category for those of us who didn’t do any of the above, except for “Other”.

    • Rynski says:

      you know, when i was setting up the poll i thought of that. then i said, ”now who the heck didn’t to at least ONE of these things…”
      even if you didn’t inhale, it counts -hahahha.
      glad to hear you were well behaved – even as a teen. that’s huge, carolyn!!

  9. leftfield says:

    Has there ever been a generation who didn’t look at the upcoming generation knowing for sure that they would be the end of civilization as we know it?  I seem to remember that Elvis was going to singlehandedly bring America to its knees. 

    • azmouse says:

      You are so right.

    • Rynski says:

      that’s so funny…you’re right.

    • kevinp says:

      “I seem to remember that Elvis was going to singlehandedly bring America to its knees.”

      Not that I necessarily agree, but the argument could be made that is precisely what has happened.
      I was not alive, but from what I understand, the fear was that Elvis was promoting a  more brazen, public, sexuality, leading to a decay in popular moral standards.
      Some would say that is exactly what has occured over the past half-century.

  10. I’m sure every generation bemoans the current state of youthful indulgence but this is beyond the pale and forebodes eventual fatal mayhem. I feel fortunate to have come of age during the heyday of the counter culture and its idealistic assumptions about making a better world through the judicious use of LSD.  Delusional yes, but it gave us hope for a better day and a better life than the previous generation endured.Teenagers that want to kill policemen; this is hope-less.

    • Rynski says:

      hi steve,
      thanks for input. YOU LUCKY!! man to come of age during the counter culture. my coming of age was the 1980s with the claim to fame of really bad music coupled with really bad fashion like neon pants. i always thought i was born too late…missed the french revolution, too. haha.
      anyway, i agree that teens that want to kill policemen seem like hopeless cases in a hopeless society…

  11. azmouse says:

    Well, I checked off 9 of the items on the list. Of course, being a hair stylist now, I DID shave my head into cool shapes and colored them different colors. For my thirtieth birthday I bleached my hair, then died it fuschia-plum.LOL Some of us grow up slower than others.

    I will admit I was the worst teenager in the world. I never would have hurt anyone though. I had this desire to be free to do whatever I wanted and that’s what I tried to do all the time.

    My first arrest was when I was 14 yrs. old. I’m happy to say by the time I was 17 I turned over a new leaf, but as far as my parents are concerned, I’ll never live those years of trouble down. lol

    My kids are the total opposite of me, thank goodness!

    • Rynski says:

      yaaaaay!!! another funky head shaver!!! yours sounds so much more fascinating than mine, with all your different colored shapes and all.
      i just had unven, scraggly looking lines…hahah.
      i, too, was a pretty crappy teen but no, i would never have hurt anyone either.
      that’s great you had your “re-awakening/rebirth” at age 17. hahaha. good job!

  12. Ado says:

    Can’t help but wonder why the TPD didn’t simply cap all four of those wannabe murderous bastards.  Now ain’t gangbanging  just great(Gotta’ love that cross border Mexican culture that’s leaking into Southern AZ)?  How much ya’ wanna’ bet these fools got a lot of their ideas sittin’ round with their homies in the barrio just listenin’ to gangsta’ rap and rollin’ big ones?  More of their  kind need to be put in the ground by TPD bullets and it will not only be a service to all law abiding taxpayers, but a lesson to the rest of their gangbanging/gangsta’ crowd as well. Lesson being  that criminal acts have serious, if not deadly, consequences.
    Was there a mention of their citizenship status?  What are the odds…?

    • james says:

      Its real easy to sit around the campfire and think out loud about how we will handle the situation. Kinda like a Monday mornin QB! The shooting review boards get to do just that. We can stereotype this matter to death, and get nowhere.

      Don’t know of a single, SANE, Officer out there that wants to shoot anyone. Most of those that do, learn early in the acadamy, to change their minds, keep quiet, or find another line of work. I will not ask another to use that force upon another human being, in any but the gravest of circumstances

      There are many, many reasons why we have come to this time in society, not the least of which, is parents do not know how to parent.


      • Ado says:

        ” I will not ask another to use that force upon another human being,  in any but the gravest of circumstances…”
        So, it would seem that I.Y.O. this was not a sufficiently grave enough circumstance to meet your bleeding heart criteria? Four gangbangerss shooting live rounds at two cops, and their bullets flying through walls and windows of neighboring residences, not a grave enough circumstance? You are quite insane if you believe that and I would hope the next shootout puts bad guy ‘s bullets through the place where you sleep. Perhaps that would wake up your sleepy mind…

      • leftfield says:

        Ado, have you considered anger management therapy? 

      • james says:

        have you been there? apparently not. perhaps you should stick to the cartoons and leave the police work to the pros.

    • leftfield says:

      Ah, my good friend Ado.  You forgot them lib’rals.  Aren’t they just as responsible for sapping the moral fiber of the nation?  Godless commies; every one bent on turning this once proud country into a socialist nightmare.

      • radmax says:

        General Jack D. Ripper: You know when fluoridation first began?
        Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: I… no, no. I don’t, Jack.
        General Jack D. Ripper: Nineteen hundred and forty-six. Nineteen forty-six, Mandrake. How does that coincide with your post-war Commie conspiracy, huh? It’s incredibly obvious, isn’t it? A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual. Certainly without any choice. That’s the way your hard-core Commie works. 🙂

      • Korey K says:

        One time when I was about 16, one of my dad’s shooting buddies (and Amway salesman) began lecturing me about fluoride and commies.  He was dead serious and went on and on and on.  When I saw Dr. Strangelove a few months later, that scene held special meaning for me. 

      • radmax says:

        That is one of the funniest, most poignant satirical flicks of all time. I wonder if your dad and mine were buddies… 😉

      • Ado says:

        Confession is good for your soul lefty.  Keep it up.

  13. Ferraribubba says:

    Hey Rynski: By the time that I was a senior in a certain Orange County, Calif. High School, and knowing that the newspaper racket was going to be my chosen way of life, I decided to start honing my jounalistic skills a little bit early. 1. Since I was taking a print shop class, I printed up some ‘Senior Passes,’ which I sold to freshmen for $5.00 ea. These passes enabled the poor frosh to navigate the campus without any fear of harrassment from senior boys. (Me and my friends.) This kept me and my friends in beer, which I purchased with my fake I.D. cards, which I also printed in print shop. 2. Growing up in sunny Southern Calif., with horse-race tracks like Santa Anita, Hollywood Park, and Del Mar running ‘year around, I  made book on my lunch hour.  That pre-newspaper learning experience was going very well until a mark snivelled to his mother that he had lost all his lunch money to (name deleted). That one cost me a week’s suspension, and a rather cryptic remark from the Dean of Boys that, You’ll go far in the newspaper business. I don’t know whether he was right or not, but in my 40+ years in the racket, I worked in papers from L.A. to San Francisco, from Hollywood to Honolulu, and even spent a decade, God help me,  in The Old Pueblo. Yer pal, Ferrari Bubba

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