outlaw the juggalos as a gang right now

Loveland murder victim remembered

On Sunday mornings, David Shern liked to take his son and daughter out for breakfast.

He liked to teach them how to fish.

Like most fathers, Shern enjoyed sharing his time and knowledge with his children, 8-year-old Kaitlynn and 10-year-old Caelan.

On April 30, 2009, a man identified as a follower of the Juggalos street gang, who Shern didn’t know, stabbed Shern with a 14-inch sword after an altercation at Loveland’s North Lake Park.

Shern, 34, who was hospitalized after the stabbing, died one day later.

That day, the children Shern raised, who are now admired by adults for their upbringing and good manners, lost their father.

That day, Priscilla Stamp lost her son.

And although she is dealing with her own grief, Stamp said the hardest part of her son’s death is watching her grandchildren move on without him.

“To see how much I miss him is hard enough,” Stamp said recently. “But then to listen to the children, how much they miss him. That just breaks your heart when they start talking. There’s those spurts where they’ll just burst into tears and they want their dad.”

Friends and members of Shern’s family recently gathered in Loveland to mark the one-year anniversary of his death.

Afterward, they talked with Loveland Connection about Shern and their beliefs that he died at the hands of Loveland gang members.

Lives changed
Since losing her son, Stamp said it’s difficult to detail how much her life has changed.

“I don’t even know words to sum it up,” she said. “It’s been devastating. My life stopped at that moment. It all just stopped.”

While coming to terms with their loss, Stamp’s and Shern’s family and friends also have had to deal with their grief while sitting through hearings and watching people involved in the case face justice.

Sarah Sypian, a close friend to Shern, attended many of those court hearings.

“You want to see it through, you want to see an end. You want to see justice,” she said. “It wasn’t easy, that’s for sure. … Nothing will ever bring him back.”

During many of the court proceedings, Stamp said it was frustrating to hear people talk badly about her son.

She was especially hurt by accusations made about her son saying he acted aggressively and violently toward people the night of his death because he had been laid off from his job.

Stamp said her son knew his work was temporary at the time of his death.

“So, none of it made sense to me,” she said. “In my heart, I just couldn’t put it together.”

Larry Walters, 20, was sentenced in November 2009 to 12 years in prison for reckless manslaughter in the stabbing death of Shern.

Two other people were charged with being accomplices in the case.

Christopher Hatch, whose flame-shaped sword was used to stab Shern and who helped hide the weapon after the assault, will serve one year at the Larimer County Detention Center.

Melissa Deeb, 19, who hid the weapon in her parents’ motor home, received a 45-day sentence for her involvement in the incident.

The gang connection
During an April court hearing, Stamp stood before Larimer County District Court Judge Stephen Schapanski and said Walters and his friends are members of the Juggalos street gang, a group that follows the Insane Clown Posse band and started as a Detroit street gang.

And although Loveland police have classified this case as gang-related, the case was never dealt with as if it was gang-related, she said.

This week, Loveland Police spokesman Sgt. Jan Burreson said Walters never was identified by police as a gang member, but officers were aware that information on his MySpace page mentioned the Juggalos and he liked to listen to Insane Clown Posse.

“According to us, there was no gang relation there,” Burreson said, adding that the assault on Shern was not a planned crime.

In the past, Loveland police officials have said they will not attribute gang activity to gang members because they do not want to glorify their actions.

Still, Stamp said she wants people in the community to be aware of gang activity in town and know exactly who their children are associated with.

“You worry about your kids when they drive to Denver or something, but I never would have dreamt that something like this would have happened in Loveland,” Stamp said of her son’s death.

To help people learn from her son’s death, Stamp hopes to encourage lawmakers to formally recognize the Juggalos street gang as one that operates in Colorado.

Lawmakers in Utah, Arizona and California already have done so, Stamp said.

“How do you prosecute them if they’re not recognized legally as a gang,” Stamp asked.

Earlier this year, Loveland police hosted a community forum focused on increased gang activity in the city.

During the forum, more than 200 residents gathered as Loveland police officer Tammy Fisher talked about the types of gangs in Loveland and graffiti they post around town.

Fisher said the Juggalos is an active gang in Loveland.

The Loveland Police Department has documented 262 gang members, 69 of those gang members are juveniles.

In response to gang activity in the community, officials with the Loveland Police Department have started outreach efforts and encouraged people to spend more time with their children, being engaged in their day-to-day activities.

At the county level, Deputy District Attorney Shaun Reinhart will serve as the Larimer County Detention Center’s office liaison and specialize in gang activity for all law enforcement agencies, said district attorney spokeswoman Linda Jensen.

Remembering
Now that the people involved with Shern’s death have been sentenced, Stamp said she is focused on bringing routine back to her family member’s lives and remembering her son.

Most of Stamp’s family lives in Iowa and many have visited Loveland in recent months to help her through the difficult times.

Through family support and memories shared about her son, Stamp said she hopes to help her grandchildren come to terms with their lives now.

Earlier this month, about 90 people attended a service at Resthaven Memorial Gardens, where Shern is buried, to mark the one-year anniversary of his death.

People like Sypian and Jeremy Olson, longtime friends of Shern, shared stories of spending time with him.

Olson was friends with Shern for 30 years, he said.

“At a drop of a hat, he would be there,” Olson said. “I just called him out of the blue one day, hoping that he would be around because I knew that he knew how to do drywall and asked him if he wanted to help drywall my garage and on moments notice he’s like, ‘Yea, lets do it.’ ”

In addition to his dedication, Olson said Shern had a sense of humor and was someone people wanted to be around.

“He was so funny,” Olson said. “He could always pull you out of a bad mood.”

Sypian agreed.

“He could lift your spirits,” she said. “He had a knack of doing that.”

Sypian and Shern were schoolmates at Thompson Valley High School, where Sypian said he was her first love.

Throughout the years, she said they remained good friends and he always had a way of lifting her spirits.

Such memories of her son are nice for Stamp to hear, she said.

They help her think back on how he lived his life and are now helping her make decisions with his children for their futures.

“On his Facebook (page) after this happened, everyone (wrote) how much they were going to miss him, and that he had their backs since grade school,” Stamp said.

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6 thoughts on “outlaw the juggalos as a gang right now

  1. Juggalos are ignorant, arrogant, and stupid. I troll Juggalo Facebook pages and they have yet to prove me wrong. I even got one Juggalette to say she was ignorant, she didn’t mean to, but all the same, she said it.
    Here’s the actual conversation.
    “Ignorance is Bliss bitch” – Ashely (The Juggalette)
    “You would know how blissful ignorance is, Ashley.” – Me
    “damn straight bitch.” – Ashley
    “You just admitted you’re arrogant. Proving my point that Juggalos are arrogant. Thanks. :)” – Me (I meant ignorant, not arrogant. My bad.)
    “im not addmiting shit bitch.” – Ashley
    “And I quote, “damn straight bitch” which was a reply to when I said, “You would know how blissful ignorance is, Ashley.” You admitted to being ignorant.” – Me
    “No retort? Ha, Ashley, you’re dumb, but there really is *no* way to take back what you said. You admitted to ignorance, therefore, you’re ignorant.” – Me
    She responded to other posts, but not this one. BTW, that is entirely unedited. Notice the lack of grammar, punctuation, and spelling skills.
    Here’s a link to read more of her stupidity, it’s very entertaining: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Insane-Clown-Posse-Fans-aka-Juggalos/31839739944?v=wall&story_fbid=292098549944

  2. Fuck all of you juggalo haters.
    We give you kno reason to hate us.
    So we dont dress like all of you
    or listen to the same music as all of you
    that doesnt mean we arent human beings.
    Im tired of seeing these damn websites with all this bullshit
    so what if you dont understand what we believe in
    does that mean you have to go around killing us
    and saying every rude ass comment that comes to your mind about us
    i mean seriously you call us a gang because we dress alike
    and listen to the same music
    and yeah i will admit some of us do get in legal trouble
    but i mean if we wanna get technical we could call “preps”
    a gang.
    they dress alike. basically all of them wear hollister,
    aeropostale, and american eagle and all those other shitty stores
    like them. they also listen to very similar music and some of them too get in legal trouble.
    so just stop with all this bullshit and move on

  3. This is JUST REDICULOUS!!!! Juggalos are not gang members but there are many that use the juggalo lifestyle as an excuse to comit a crime and blame it on a band, it’s like Manson and colimbine. People that are messed up in the head trying to find some path and miss understanding or using the excuse for something. Now, As for you Maddie, here’s your proof that we have some good ones and while my spelling is not exactly great the point remains the same, you hate and fear what you do not understand, that is more ignorant than anything else in this world.

  4. The reason people hate on Juggalos is because they’re fakes….hiding behind clown makeup and crappy music. Using the excuse of being a Juggalo to act out and be different. There are a few good ones in the large mass of rotten ones. I have only met five okay Juggalos, the rest are just as arrogant as you, Mrs. H.
    I do not fear something that I understand, and I understand Juggalos.
    They think they’re out casts, set aside for something greater, to be apart of a family that will accept them for who they are or who they appear to be, to have lust and to have lust for others in their “family,” to gather together and bitch about haters, the talk about how you plan to deal with these haters by taking your meat cleavers to their heads, and to stay centralized around a brand of music that is only around for your money.
    It’s a clique that I’d like to avoid ever being apart of, and I could never set my standards low enough to ever date a Juggalo.

  5. “The mind of the bigot is like the pupil of an eye; the more light you pour upon it, the more it will contract.” Oliver Wendell Holmes

    MCL to my juggalo family out there..love yall and stay strong..dont let ignorance and jealousy break you down.

  6. ok you people are stupid there is a big diff from juggalos and the people this happen to learn ur shit before u open ur mouth and if u wanna see some really juggalos and really know what they are like go to a ICP show and see how the juggalos are and just but reading this crap you people put on this is fack or u just wanted people to look your way so how many cuts and hits did the boy (killer wow) have on him and if the (killer) wanted to kill there would me cuts all up and down the body if it was a juggalo

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