On Friday night February 12, 2016, a horrifying murder took place in Plymouth, Minnesota. Shortly after 9:00 PM, Trisha Nelson either jumped out or was pushed out of the SUV she was riding in. Trisha ran out into the intersection of Northwest Boulevard and Rockford Road, desperately seeking assistance and escape. Corey chased Trisha down in the SUV as she attempted to flee on foot, and opened fire on her with a gun. In front of stunned and fearful witnesses, after shooting her, witness report that Corey proceeded to run her down with his vehicle. At least a dozen shots were fired. Corey then fled the scene leaving the woman he professed to love, crushed and lifeless, in the street. Corey fled to the apartment he had shared with Trisha, a few miles away. Several people also called the police from the apartment complex to report a man with a gun. When police arrived, gunshots were exchanged. Corey Perry was shot and killed, although at the time, it was not clear if he was struck by police bullets, or if he took his own life. He was wearing tactical gear and was in possession of multiple weapons.
Listed below are some news accounts of what happened and it would be helpful to read a few of them, especially the last one on the list, that talks about mental health, domestic violence, and gun laws.
Both Corey Perry and Trisha Nelson were 28 years old. Perry’s family says he legally owned a hand-gun and had a permit, while police are investigating why a convicted felon had guns and ammunition in the first place. Perry was convicted in 2014 of making terroristic threats, and therefore could not legally own a firearm. Perry’s family also claim that Corey suffered from a multitude of untreated mental disorders. The night this horrible event took place, Corey Perry had been out with his brother and father drinking at a bar, despite being on probation (and according to Perry’s attorney, Perry may have felt this was a probation violation). A verbal altercation with possibly his father and an employee where they had been drinking, led him to call Trisha to come pick him up at the bar. Alcohol and agitation….certainly did not help this any.
It does not matter if Corey Perry was a legal gun owner prior to his felony conviction. After his conviction, all guns and ammunition should have been removed from his possession, in compliance with the law. Trying to excuse a brutal and public murder by playing the “mental illness” card does not squeeze one drop of sympathy from me for Corey Perry…..especially when his family further states the relationship between Corey and Trisha was NOT violent and his lawyer says he was such a NICE guy. There are people out there with first-hand knowledge about this couple, that would paint the exact opposite view-point of Corey Perry.
Simply put, a convicted felon with a (supposed) history of mental illness…..should NOT have a gun, ever. This is what happens when you “look the other way” and allow situations to occur, that should not. Corey Perry should have never had a gun. Corey Perry should have been under the care of a mental health professional, if he was indeed ill. His family knew he had guns. His family says he was mentally ill. They did nothing, except bring it up after the fact.
Perry’s family had further indicated that they bear no ill-will toward the police in regard to the death of their son. Honestly, who cares? Whether they harbor ill-will or not, does not matter. Either way, the police did their jobs by neutralizing an armed, deranged man. Further, two police officers suffered injuries during the exchange of gun fire with Perry, but both are going to be OK.
Corey Perry went out drinking that night. He was wearing a tactical vest. He was carrying a gun. AS A CONVICTED FELON. He chased Trisha down with the SUV. He fired multiple bullets at her. He shot her. He struck her with a vehicle. He killed her. He fled the scene. Went home. Engaged the police in gunfire. And he’s now dead. And we’re somehow supposed to feel sorry for him? How’s that, again?
I despair at how so many people just don’t want to get involved. If you know a friend, a family member, a co-worker, a neighbor…..who has a gun in their possession when they should NOT have one (convicted felon), the best thing you can do is to turn them in, or see to it personally that they properly dispose of their weapons. If someone you love suffers from mental illness, help them get the help they need. Encourage them to see a doctor and/or counselor. If they cannot afford one, help them find medical services and counseling services for the under-privileged. Most counties have at least one place that can help folks with no money. Don’t blame horrible decisions on mental illness after the fact, if it isn’t true, and don’t let it go untreated, if it is true. The right help and the right time can save lives.
If you are in an abusive relationship here is a some info to help you find your way out. http://www.thehotline.org or call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) Even if you have no where to go, even if you have no money. You can get out.
If you witness abuse and domestic violence…..CALL THE POLICE. Get involved. Make that call. You might save someone’s life.
I despair at the commentary I see on social media about cases like this, and about this one in particular. I saw judgement on Trisha’s appearance. I read judgement as to why “she stayed” among other things. Asking questions like “How did this happen?” or “Why didn’t she just leave?”. I saw the conversation turn into a total fiasco about “Obama-Care” and “gun control” and race-baiting……sleazy little Internet Trolls spreading their misery everywhere they go.
While Corey Perry’s family said the relationship between Perry and Nelson was not violent, I suspect that it was no bed of roses, for it to end so brutally and for the whole world to witness. It smacks of long-term anger and violence. It may have been going on behind closed doors, there may have been some indication outwardly that things were not quite right…..but I highly doubt this was a problem-free relationship.
Friends of Trisha actually DO paint a very different picture:
Those who knew her best say a long history of domestic abuse between Nelson and Corey Perry, her partner of about seven years, preceded the events that unfolded Friday night, ending with a rampage that left both dead.“He was not a good guy,” said her friend Alexa Nelson, who is not related. “She was going back and forth a lot because she really cared about him and it’s not that easy to pack up and leave.”Perry was controlling, and verbally and emotionally abusive, Nelson’s friends and family said.
The 28-year-old straddled the line between leaving Perry or giving him another chance, but threats of killing himself and their 12 pets often scared her into staying.
It is not as easy as one may think, to pack up and leave.
A woman may fear her partner’s actions if she leaves.
- My partner said he will hunt me down and kill me.
- My partner will kidnap the children and disappear.
- My partner will take my passport and immigration papers.
- My partner will spread horrible rumors about me.
- She will “out” me at work or to my family.
- My partner will have me deported or report me to the INS.
- My partner will stop the processing of my Green Card.
The effects of abuse may make it difficult to leave.
- I’m nothing. I don’t deserve better.
- I feel paralyzed.
- I can’t face making decisions anymore.
- I was brainwashed to believe that I couldn’t cope without my partner.
- I am so used to life being this way.
- I’m more comfortable with what I know, than the unknown out in the world.
A woman may have concerns about her children.
- My children will blame me and resent me.
- The kids need a father.
- She will tell my ex-spouse or authorities that I am a lesbian so they will take the kids.
- Children need a “real family”.
- My partner will steal the children.
- My partner will kill the children.
- My partner will turn the children against me.
- She is the biological mother; I have no legal rights.
A partner’s attempts to isolate a woman may make it difficult for her to leave or get help.
- My partner doesn’t let me out of the house.
- I have no friends to call for help anymore.
- My partner doesn’t let me take English classes so I can’t communicate with anyone.
- If I ever tell anyone about this, my partner will kill me.
- My sister said I couldn’t come and stay with her anymore, after the last time…
- My partner said he or she would teach my friend a lesson if I go over there again.
- My partner hides my wheelchair so I cannot leave the house.
A woman’s personal history may have shaped her attitude toward abuse in relationships.
- My father beat my mom – it just goes with being in a relationship.
- Getting hit isn’t the worst thing that can happen in a family – I know of worse things.
- I have seen a lot of violence in my country so violence has become normal for me.
- My parents never gave up on one another.
A woman may be deeply attached to her partner and hope for change.
- I believe my partner when he or she says that it will never happen again.
- My partner promised to go to therapy.
- I cherish the sex and intimacy.
- My partner is really loving towards me most of the time.
- My marriage vows.
- My religion.
- I love her or him.
Some women are taught that it is their job to maintain the relationship and support their partners, so they may feel guilty about leaving or feel they have “failed.”
- I will ruin his or her life if I leave.
- My partner will have nowhere to go.
- My partner will lose her or his job if I report this.
- My partner tells me the system does not support non-citizens.
- My partner will start drinking again.
- I will disappoint my family. I can’t admit my relationship is a failure.
- I am afraid the deaf community will reject me.
- I have to take care of him or her.
- She or he wouldn’t hurt me if I were better at keeping up the house.
Women may be economically dependent on their partners or their partners may be economically dependent on them.
- My partner has all the money.
- I’ve never had a good job. How would I take care of my kids alone?
- I have no work experience in this country.
- It’s better to be beaten up at home than to be out on the streets.
- My partner won’t let me send any money overseas.
- My disability does not enable me to work.
- I’d rather die than be on welfare.
- My partner forces me to work and then takes all my money.
- My partner charges up all my credit cards.
- My partner can’t work – he depends on me to support him.
Our culture sends the message that a woman’s value depends on her being in a relationship. Women without partners tend to be devalued.
- My partner keeps me together. I’ll fall apart if I leave.
- I have to have a man by my side.
- I would be disgraced in my community and bring shame to my family.
- People will call me a whore or sleazy.
- I’ll be an old maid.
- I’m afraid to be on my own.
Quoted from: http://www.domesticabuseproject.com/get-educated/compelling-reasons-women-stay/
I believe in Trisha’s case, that part of this was true:
“Up to 65% of pet-owning women will delay leaving an abusive home because they are afraid of what will happen to their beloved pets if they leave. Domestic violence doesn’t just effect women and children. Pets become victims of domestic violence everyday. Victims shouldn’t have to make the terrible choice between leaving to save themselves and leaving their pets behind with an abusive partner.
There are 1,500 shelters for battered women in the United States and 3,800 animal shelters. Three to four million women are beaten in their homes each year by their husbands, ex-husbands, or partners. With so few domestic violence shelters having the ability to accommodate pets, victims often feel like they only have two options when it comes to their animals: leave them behind, or remain with their pets and subject themselves, their children, and their pets to continued abuse.”
I want to talk about Trisha Nelson now.
Trisha Nelson was 28 years old. She owned a gorgeous, elderly cat named Tabitha…..and Tabitha was also diabetic and required specialized care. Trisha also owned five Iguanas, one of whom even has his own Facebook page. His name is Dulap. She worked at Caterpillar Inc. and dedicated time, resources and expertise to Resource for Iguana Care and Adoption
Trisha liked tattoos and body piercing…..not so much as something to have shock value……but as a form of art and self-expression. She liked rock-climbing. She liked heavy metal music. She liked the movies “The Lion King” and “The Adventures of Milo and Otis”
Trisha loved her pets dearly and cared for them well. Trisha was an amazing friend (I have spoken to a number of people who knew her personally, face-to-face). She was dedicated. She was a hard worker. She had big dreams.
Trisha DESERVED so much more from life than to be shot with a gun and run down by an SUV, to be left broken and dead, on the street.
There are a few things that we as a community, can do for Trisha now. Her family is making arrangements for Tabitha the cat. However, Trisha’s five Iguanas, are now in the care of Resource for Iguana Care and Adoption where they are being fostered. They were also checked by a vet. to make sure they are OK (they were in the apartment when the shootout with police occurred). Donations may be made to “RICA” to help with the care of Trisha’s pets by clicking on the donation button at the top of the official web site. My personal finances are very limited, but I made a small donation. If lots of people made a small donation….that would add up quickly.
There is a “GO FUND ME” set up to help raise funds toward Trisha’s funeral, and here is the information: Funeral Fund for Trisha Nelson
Finally, the most important thing we can do to honor Trisha Nelson is to get involved. Make things our business. To report any abuse that we see immediately. To help those we know that are having problems (like struggling with mental illness). To not look the other way when a loved one violates their probation, or worse, participate in that violation as if it’s no big deal. It is a big deal. To educate ourselves about domestic violence so we can treat those it has been perpetrated upon with the care and respect they deserve as human beings. No more lo0king the other way. No more telling ourselves we don’t want to get involved. No more telling others it’s nobody’s business. Make it our business before the Corey Perrys of the world remove all our options to make a difference.
(Added by me on Wednesday 2/17/16:) Trisha Nelson had family and friends in her life that loved her beyond measure, and encouraged her to get away from Corey. They love her, and always will. They miss her. They are hurting. They need to be assured that they did all that they could, and that none of this is their fault whatsoever, and they are doing all they can to honor Trisha now. Too many people just don’t understand that leaving an abusive relationship is not as easy as opening a door and walking away. The flip-side of this is……I will never excuse those who try to diminish a brutal act of murder by explaining it away as a momentary lapse in mental capacity.
FACEBOOK USERS! Trisha’s friend, Alexa, has written a wonderful post about Trisha and you can read it on Facebook HERE