Grant High victim's mom begs witnesses to step up
Nicole Clavo cannot help but keep track. It has been has one week and one day since her son was gunned down at a busy intersection in the middle of the day – and still, no one has come forward with information to help solve her son’s killing.
So Clavo on Saturday joined roughly 50 members of the Del Paso Heights community to implore those who might have been at Silver Eagle Road and Mable Avenue on Nov. 13 when someone killed Jaulon “JJ” Clavo, 17, to come forward. And if their words weren’t enough, the group hoped the $15,000 reward would entice a reluctant witness to tell what they saw.
Nicole Clavo was among a handful take to the podium Saturday at the Robertson Community Center just blocks from where Jaulon was shot to death.
“I beg you from the core of my soul” to come forward, said Clavo, who wore a customized shirt displaying six photos of her son. She told the crowd that she has hurt “every moment, every minute, every hour of every day” since her son’s death.
She said that it might be the reward that finally brings the answers the police are seeking.
“Someone knows,” she said. “And they need to come forward. ... You should want to come forward. You should want these killers caught. Next time it may be your brother. It may be your sister. It may be your son.”
We’ve recognized that when we lose any of our children, we all have a responsibility to take action to try to change things. ... This reward says that people recognize that what occurred is wrong.
Derrell Roberts, organized fundraiser for information regarding the shooting death Jaulon “JJ” Clavo, 17
The Sacramento Police Department is still compiling information about the shooting from witnesses, including the students who were in the car, said spokeswoman Traci Trapani on Saturday. Key details including the location of the shooter or shooters, the number of shots fired and whether the incident was gang-related are still under investigation.
“With any investigation, you’re going to have different recollections of different events,” Tripani said. “Anyone who was in that car is also a witness, so that’s something the detectives are obviously looking into.”
Clavo was driving senior fullback Malik Johnson and three other players back to the school after grabbing food before a game when he stopped at Silver Eagle Road and Mable Avenue and was shot in the neck. Johnson was shot in an arm and is expected to make a full recovery. Clavo later died at the UC Davis Medical Center. His funeral is set for Saturday.
A homicide team of five detectives has been dedicated to the case, police said last week. While there are no surveillance cameras at the intersection where Clavo was killed, there is a police camera one block east, along with ShotSpotter microphones that can detect the firing of gunshots.
Assistant Chief Deputy District Attorney Rod Norgaard said boosting the reward could be integral in cracking a case that no one wants to talk about. He has no doubt that someone saw the shooting in the well-traveled area.
“It could be not wanting to snitch, or not wanting to be involved, or thinking that your information isn’t important,” he said. “Wherever you fall on that spectrum, it’s time to step up.”
The reward is entirely the work of the Del Paso Heights community, with no contributions from the Police Department or other law enforcement. In addition to the Mutual Assistance Network, a Del Paso Heights nonprofit focused on family health and safety, big backers include Sacramento City Councilman Allen Warren, County Supervisor Phil Serna, and a number of churches.
“In Del Paso Heights, too often crimes like this go without any consequences,” said Richard Dana, executive director of the assistance network who spoke at Saturday’s event. “Too often, the residents of Del Paso Heights and other neighborhoods like it don’t step up to make these things stop. Right now, we want to add incentives for folks to be change-makers."
Rewards are typically only offered in much more high-profile cases, said Derrell Robertsthe North Sacramento community activist who has spearheaded the fundraising. But Clavo’s death struck a chord. His hope is that the money will inspire not only potential witnesses but also the whole community to stand up against what’s become an eerily common problem. Clavo’s death was the 11th this year in Police Patrol District 2, which encompasses the North Sacramento area around Del Paso Boulevard and Del Paso Heights.
“To stop violence from occurring in our community, we need to stop the cycle of silence,” Roberts said. “If the fund will be the catalyst to bringing the person who’s done this to justice – if that’s what it takes – that’s what will happen.”
Editor’s note: This story was changed Nov. 24 to correct the spelling of Assistant Chief Deputy District Attorney Rod Norgaard’s name.
Bee staff writer Richard Chang contributed to this story.
Want to make an anonymous report about the slaying? Call 916-443-HELP.