Latest Drug War News

GoodShop: You Shop...We Give!

Shop online at and a percentage of each purchase will be donated to our cause! More than 600 top stores are participating!

The Internet Our Website

Global and National Events Calendar

Bottoms Up: Guide to Grassroots Activism

Prisons and Poisons

November Coalition Projects

Get on the Soapbox! with Soap for Change

November Coalition: We Have Issues!

November Coalition Local Scenes

November Coalition Multimedia Archive

The Razor Wire
Bring Back Federal Parole!
November Coalition: Our House

Stories from Behind The WALL

November Coalition: Nora's Blog

September 23, 2005 - The Fresno Bee (CA)

Girl, 17, Wounded In Drug Bust Dies

Boyfriend Is In Critical Condition At UMC

By Marc Benjamin, Tim Eberly and Louis Galvan

Return to Drug War News: Don't Miss Archive

Katrina Campos, 17, was an outgoing tomboy who helped homeless people, but she also was dealing drugs, police say, and that's how she was fatally wounded Tuesday night.

Katrina was shot by police during a drug bust Tuesday and died Wednesday night. The bullet pierced her brain above her ear, family members said. Her boyfriend, John Ibarra, 29, remained in critical condition Thursday at University Medical Center.

Ibarra now faces a count of murder because Katrina died while he was committing a felony. Police say she was in his car when he tried to ram police officers while trying to escape as officers moved in on a drug transaction on Jensen Avenue near Highway99.

About the same time as Katrina's death, about 10 to 15 distraught family members were at UMC saying they would seek revenge on Ibarra. It prompted a call to Fresno County Jail's special emergency response team.

Additional sheriff's staffing remains on duty at UMC, said Lt. Fernando Lopez.

Ibarra also will face three counts of assault on a peace officer with great bodily injury, resisting arrest and possession and sales of methamphetamine.

Katrina's mother, Lisa Ramirez, 36, said Katrina was her only child who didn't attend school and was a gang member. She described her daughter as a San Francisco 49ers fan and a tomboy with a kind heart.

Katrina would often give money to homeless people or buy them food.

Said Ramirez: "She would say, 'Mom, one of these days we could be like that. They could be angels. God could be testing us.'"

Ramirez said Katrina was gifted at arguing and she encouraged her daughter to become a lawyer.

But she did have a juvenile criminal record, which began when she was 12 years old and went joy riding in her aunt's car, Ramirez said. Her probation ended in July.

Police said Ibarra has an extensive violent-criminal history. Ramirez described him as Katrina's new boyfriend and said they had been dating for three weeks. Ibarra recently proposed marriage to her daughter and gave her a ring, Ramirez said. Thursday, Ramirez was wearing the ring that was removed from her daughter's hand.

Ramirez did not know the couple were dealing drugs.

"She was very private. She did not let us get involved in her business. I had no idea she was doing stuff like that. She never got a drug charge. She didn't even like to drink."

The last time Ramirez spoke with Katrina was 90 minutes before the shooting, when Katrina said she was going to a baby shower.

"How she ended up at the McDonald's, I have no idea," Ramirez said.

But Ramirez remains upset at police and at Ibarra.

"They should have tried to get [Ibarra] when he was by himself, not when someone was in the car. All I know is I'm angry and I want it investigated. I want answers for all the stuff that happened. I am going to get a lawyer."

She understands that Ibarra placed her daughter in harm's way.

"If he could hear me, I would have it out with him. I'm angry at him for driving the car at them and putting her in that situation."

Katrina's family doesn't have money for a funeral, so they are holding car washes to raise money. One will be Saturday near Roeding Park.

Police said the drug deal began unfolding about 3 p.m. Tuesday when officers met with a man named "John," who told an undercover officer he could get seven pounds of crystal methamphetamine and cocaine. The officer agreed to purchase methamphetamine and cocaine later that day.

About 6:30 p.m., the undercover officer began discussing a site to meet with John and a female, believed to be Katrina, by cell phone. Katrina was instrumental in the transaction and in arranging the meeting at a McDonald's restaurant, said Lt. Randy Dobbins, who described what happened next:

Katrina and Ibarra arrived at the restaurant about 8 p.m. Tuesday to deliver three pounds of methamphetamine to an undercover officer. Officers met with Ibarra and Katrina and the couple showed the officer a pound of methamphetamine.

Uniformed officers wearing vests marked with Fresno Police Department patches converged on the car and ordered the two to surrender. Ibarra saw officers on both sides of the car and acknowledged them before shifting his car in reverse and moving away at a high speed.

Police reports said that three unmarked police cars were struck as he accelerated. One officer was pinned between the rear bumper of Ibarra's car and the driver's side door of an unmarked cruiser. Other officers dived out of the way. Fearing they would be run over, three officers fired their handguns while avoiding the car until it stopped.

Two officers were taken to Saint Agnes Medical Center. Both were released Wednesday. The officers who fired weapons are on paid administrative leave.

Three pounds of methamphetamine with a street value of $90,000 was recovered from Ibarra's car, police said.

For the latest drug war news, visit our friends and allies below

We are careful not to duplicate the efforts of other organizations, and as a grassroots coalition of prisoners and social reformers, our resources (time and money) are limited. The vast expertise and scope of the various drug reform organizations will enable you to stay informed on the ever-changing, many-faceted aspects of the movement. Our colleagues in reform also give the latest drug war news. Please check their websites often.

The Drug Policy Alliance
Drug Reform Coordination Network
Drug Sense and The Media Awareness Project

Working to end drug war injustice

Meet the People Behind The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines

Questions or problems? Contact