Accused killer Pablo Gomez at UC Berkeley event. (Courtesy: YouTube)
Accused killer Pablo Gomez at a September 2016 event at University of California at Berkeley. (Courtesy: YouTube)

Oakland, Alameda, California – 23-year-old transgender university student and queer activist Pablo Gomez, Jr. is accused of stabbing to death a 27-year-old female science teacher who was a stranger to him, and stabbing and threatening to kill his own female friend.

Authorities say that on January 6, 2017, Mr. Gomez went to the home of Emilie Inman, and stabbed her repeatedly in the neck and abdomen. He carefully hid Ms. Inman’s body beneath a plant, and covered the body with a pile of hay, reports show. Ms. Inman’s body was so well-hidden, with no rise in the hay, that it took authorities hours of searching to find the deceased.

Born in France and raised in the US after age 10, Ms. Inman was a school teacher, artist and singer, and created sharing circles for women.

Emilie Inman
Emilie Inman, a Frenchwoman, was brutally slaughtered at her home by a stranger. (Courtesy: Earth Soul Productions/YouTube)

The night before the murder, Mr. Gomez had exhibited odd behavior after an hour of smoking with friends at University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley). Barefoot and without pants or a shirt, he kept muttering to himself and suddenly ran off down the street after asking, “Kiana, is this real?” his friend Kiana Schmitt testified. His worried friends, including Ms. Schmitt, spent a good part of the night searching for him.

Twelve hours later, at 11AM on January 6, Ms. Schmitt encountered Mr. Gomez outside speaking heatedly to a friend when she went to move her car. He asked Ms. Schmitt to drive him to what he said was a friend’s house. According to Ms. Schmitt, Mr. Gomez had cut his waist-length hair short since she had seen him the night before, and now insisted, “I’m not Pablo. I’m Ray now.” He told her he saw a woman in the sky – a hallucination, she said.

Kiana Schmitt
Kiana Schmitt was repeatedly stabbed and slashed with a large kitchen knife because she witnessed the aftermath of a murder. (Courtesy: University of California at Berkeley)

Mr. Gomez refused to tell his friend the name of the person who lived at the house or why he was going. Concerned about him entering a strange home alone, Ms. Schmitt went to find Mr. Gomez after parking her car.

As she approached the property, she heard him at the left side of the house, muttering to himself, Ms. Schmitt testified. When she called to him, he invited her to open the gate and enter.

She found Mr. Gomez clutching a large, bloody kitchen knife, and pacing through sizable pools of blood, which covered the ground, Ms. Schmitt said.

Mr. Gomez wouldn’t tell her what happened, she told the court, but insisted she help him, trust him and keep his secret.

When Ms. Schmitt only reluctantly agreed to help, Mr. Gomez declared, “I can’t have any uncertainty,” and began stabbing and slashing Ms. Schmitt’s face, chin, neck, back and shoulders, she said, relenting only when she begged for her life and convinced him that she’d help him.

Kiana Schmitt speaks about victims’ rights in the Boalt Law School on the UC Berkeley campus on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. (Credit: Laura A. Oda/East Bay Times)

Mr. Gomez drove them back to campus erratically, according to Ms. Schmitt. Still holding the knife, Mr. Gomez walked off and left his friend. Ms. Schmitt flagged down two female passersby in a car, who called 911 when they saw her injuries.

Law enforcement arrested Mr. Gomez on January 7 at a Burbank hospital near his parents’ home. He was initially charged with murder, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and robbery. Prosecutors later dropped the robbery charge.

Pablo Gomez Jr
Pablo Gomez (Credit: Berkeley Police Department)

During a brief meeting with his public defender, Mr. Gomez began to kick and scream, and deputies had to drag him out of the courtroom. A judge ordered a six-week mental health evaluation. The mental health screening found Mr. Gomez fit to stand trial. The trial is currently pending.

Berkeleyside reporter Emilie Raguso broke the story, identifying Mr. Gomez as the suspect. One of Mr. Gomez’s activist friends wrote in a short time later to notify Ms. Raguso that Mr. Gomez identified as non-binary. “Non-binary” is a self-description used by transgender individuals who identify out of the two sexes of male and female.

Ms. Raguso updated her news story to change the “he” and “his” pronouns to “they” and “them” to match Mr. Gomez’s preference. Public backlash to the author’s placation of the accused killer’s gender identity was swift, with an outcry from even Berkeley city residents and University of California at Berkeley students, who are typically staunch supporters of gender identity. “Thank you so much,” Mr. Gomez’s friend told Ms. Raguso, gratefully.

Pablo Gomez
Activist Pablo Gomez leads a protest chant on September 7, 2016. (Credit: Laura A. Oda/East Bay Times)

Read more on this story

Berkeley Killing Renews Debate Over Gender Pronouns

Mercury News
BERKELEY — Pablo Gomez Jr. was a University of California, Berkeley, senior majoring in Latino studies and a prominent campus activist when authorities say he stabbed to death a popular elementary-school teacher. Soon, the crime that police described as “very brutal and unusual” in a city that reported just two homicides last year was sucked up into the debate over gender identity when it was reported that Gomez preferred to be called “they” rather than “he.”

Berkeley Killing Renews Debate Over Gender Pronouns

Berkeleyside
A UC Berkeley student recounted being attacked and stabbed by a friend, right after the killing of another young woman in January, during a hearing Monday to determine whether the murder case against Pablo Gomez Jr. would proceed to trial.

Pablo Gomez scheduled to reappear in court Feb. 8

The Daily Californian
Former UC Berkeley student Pablo Gomez Jr. is scheduled to reappear in court Feb. 8, as announced in a disposition and setting hearing Friday at the René C. Davidson Courthouse.

Former Cal student held to answer in fatal stabbing of teacher in Berkeley

East Bay Times
BERKELEY— A former UC Berkeley student accused of fatally stabbing a science teacher was held to answer to charges for her death and the attempted stabbing of another woman, a judge ruled Monday during a preliminary hearing.

UC Berkeley student told friend after fatal stabbing: ‘It’s your time now’

Berkeleyside
A UC Berkeley student recounted being attacked and stabbed by a friend, right after the killing of another young woman in January, during a hearing Monday to determine whether the murder case against Pablo Gomez Jr. would proceed to trial.

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