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On October 19th I wrote about the case of 22-year-old Elizabeth Easterly, the young woman who, on October 18th, shot and killed the man who was attempting to steal her child from the store where she worked, Del’s 24 Hour Food Store in Naples, Florida.
Yesterday Naples Police announced that their investigation into the shooting death of Daniel Ramont Hernandez was complete, and that no charges would be filed against Elizabeth Easterly.
"The case is closed. There will be no charges," said Collier sheriff’s spokeswoman Michelle Batten.
Following a review of the (Collier County Sheriff’s Office) agency’s investigation, the State Attorney’s Office "agreed with them in their determination that no charges should be filed," said Samantha Syoen, spokeswoman for the State Attorney’s Office.
That’s great news, not only for Elizabeth and her family, but for common sense and the right of each of us to defend ourselves and our loved ones. If a mother has no right to stop a man from stealing her child by using any means necessary then who does?
“Never get between a mama bear and her cubs” is the advice knowledgeable outdoorsmen and women will tell you. There’s good reason for that. There is nothing quite so angry as a mother when a stranger is standing between her and her cubs.
If that’s true for bears, then how much more so is it true for us human beings? After all, despite the asinine protestations of the so-called animal rights crowd, people ARE more valuable.
I don’t know of a mother who loves her children that would not do ANYTHING to prevent someone from bringing harm to her children. That is precisely as it should be. God gave mothers that powerful instinct for a reason: He loves children and wants them to be protected from evil at all costs.
Elizabeth Easterly is a mother who loves her children. Daniel Hernandez was stupid enough to think he could try stealing one of her children would not have consequences. Those consequences just happened to cost him his very life. I’d be willing to bet he never thought of that before attempting to take Elizabeth’s child from right in front of her.
Paradoxically, the very reason that Elizabeth Easterly feels so badly right now is because she is a kind and loving mother.
She doesn’t want to harm anyone and she certainly doesn’t want to kill anyone, but in a choice between the life of her child and the life of the thug attempting to steal her child, that’s a no-brainer.
I’m very grateful that the police and prosecutors in Naples, Florida have seen this case clearly and have come to the correct conclusion.
The reality is that there is one person and one person alone who is responsible for Hernandez’s death: Daniel Hernandez.
Though his granddaughter has been exonerated, Del Ackerman (owner of Del’s 24 Hour Food Store and Easterly’s grandfather) said he is dismayed the images from inside the store will not be seen by the public. He declined to specify what images from the video would be revelatory.
"I’m very disappointed," Ackerman said. "Someday that (video) will be shown. That releases the whole truth."
When reporters contacted Elizabeth Easterly by telephone she did not want to talk about the case.
"I really want this behind me," she said.
Nobody can blame her for that.
I’ll end off this column with my closing thoughts from my October 19th column, for they are just as valid today as they were the day after the shooting.
My sympathy will be going out to Elizabeth and her entire family as they help her deal with the fact that in spite of doing exactly what was required to keep her children safe, a person lost his life. She’ll need help and encouragement to get her through this… for taking a life is not an easy thing to live with. But she should, I hope, rest easy knowing that her actions kept harm from coming to her baby.
That’s a mother’s duty, after all. To keep her children safe, no matter the cost to her personally.
Well done, Elizabeth.
As I said, my thoughts and prayers will be with you and your family as you deal with yesterday’s events.