According to a news release from the Copperas Cove Police Department, police in Williamson County arrested a suspect in the Feb. 5 shooting that occurred in the 1000 block of West Business U.S. Highway 190.

Daniel Joseph Leonelli, 26, of Leander, was arrested by officers of the Austin Police Department soon after the incident occurred.

At approximately 3:40 p.m., Cove police were dispatched to the 1000 block of West Business U.S. Highway 190 in reference to shots being fired. On arrival, it was determined that a motorist had fired multiple shots at another motorist.

Two victims were transported to Metroplex Hospital for treatment.

Apparently, the shooting suspect was known to the victims, who they assisted police in identifying Leonelli as the man who opened fire on them.

Police identified Leonelli on Feb. 8 and said he was arraigned at the Williamson County Jail on multiple charges including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon/family violence and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Leonelli was held on two surety bonds of $75,000 for each felony charge.

Anyone who reads this column knows that family violence is an increasingly serious problem in Copperas Cove. I frequently chastise the perpetrators of this preventable crime and suggest remedies including family counseling and a more severe and punishing judicial hand in dealing with repeat offenders.

This family violence-related shooting incident underscores the potentially deadly result of this category of crime. Unfortunately, family violence sometimes has fatal consequences as we have witnessed in the past.

Locally, we see numerous incidents of family violence perpetrated by prior offenders. This is known as continuous violence against family. There is no excuse for this criminal behavior. It appears that some perpetrators of this despicable crime seem to be unaffected by the consequences of damaged/destroyed relationships and/or lenient judicial process.

Texas has laws and penalty ranges in place to deal with all aspects of domestic violence. The trick is to induce the legal system to impose increasingly harsh remedies for repeat offenders. These penalties should be sufficiently severe to deter future aggressive behavior.

Cove crimes

I recently returned home from a two-week hiatus in Florida. It’s good to be home. However, in researching the incidence of crime occurring in Cove during my absence, I was dismayed by the number of assaults, family violence and thefts that continue to soar in our little city. What have we come to be and what will we become? We must get a handle on the categories of crime that define who we are and what kind of city we want to be.

The vast majority of us are not thieves and we do not commit domestic violence. Those among us who are thieves and those who transgress against family are not representative of Copperas Cove.

Assault

These statistics represent a two-week period. Fifteen assaults were reported. Of these, 13 involved family violence. This is a disgusting statistic, supporting the national contention that family violence is an epidemic.

  • An assault with bodily injury was reported Feb. 27 in the 800 block of Industrial Avenue.
  • An assault with bodily injury/family violence was reported Feb. 25 in the 600 block of Casa Drive.
  • Injury to a child was reported Feb. 25 in the 1100 block of Hawk Trail.
  • An assault by contact/family violence was reported Feb. 21 in the 1400 block of South 23rd Street
  • An assault by contact/family violence was reported Feb. 20 on Lantern Circle.
  • An assault by contact/family violence was reported Feb. 20 in the 1300 block of Dixon Circle.
  • Two separate counts of assault by contact/family violence were reported Feb. 25 in the 1300 block of Katelyn Circle. No charges were filed.
  • An assault with bodily injury/family violence was reported Feb. 18 in the 600 block of Allen Street.
  • An assault with bodily injury/family violence was reported Feb. 18 in the 100 block of South Drive.
  • An assault with bodily injury/family violence was reported Feb. 17 in the 500 block of Sunset Lane.
  • An assault by contact/family violence was reported Feb. 17 in the 200 block of Manning Drive.
  • An assault by contact/family violence was reported Feb. 18 in the 4100 block of Shasta Road.
  • Continuous violence against family was reported Feb. 18 in the 500 block of Bermuda Street.
  • An assault by threat was reported Feb. 16 in the 700 block of Sunny Avenue.

Theft/burglary

Twenty-three thefts/burglaries were reported in the past two-week period. Secure your valuables if you intend to keep them. There are those among us who prefer stealing over gainful employment.

  • The theft of a purse and contents was reported Feb. 14 in the 2000 block of Josie Circle.
  • The theft of general merchandise was reported Feb. 14 from a retailer in the 2700 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.
  • The theft of assorted hand tools was reported Feb. 16 in the 800 block of south 11th Street.
  • A burglary of a building was reported Feb. 16 in the 1300 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.
  • The theft of currency was reported Feb. 18 in the 300 block of Northern Dove Lane.
  • A theft of merchandise was reported Feb. 20 from a retailer in the 2700 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190. Gloves and books valued at $66 were reported stolen.
  • Currency and household items were reported stolen Feb. 21 from a retailer in the 2700 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.
  • The theft of a grill and criminal mischief were reported Feb. 21 in the 2100 block of Miles Street.
  • The theft of currency was reported Feb. 22 in the 200 block of Barber Drive.
  • A theft of currency was reported Feb. 22 in the 800 block of North First Street.
  • The theft of an Xbox gaming system and video games was reported Feb. 23 in the 1200 block of South Third Street.
  • The theft of medication was reported Feb. 24 in the 1200 block of South Third Street.
  • An attempted burglary of a residence was reported Feb. 23 in the 100 block of Meggs Street.
  • A theft of beer and electronics were reported stolen Feb. 27 in the 500 block of North First Street.
  • The theft of a DVD player from a residence was reported Feb. 25 in the 400 block of Allen Street.
  • The theft of currency was reported Feb. 25 in the 400 block of Ridge Street.
  • A theft of a bicycle was reported Feb. 25 in the 500 block of Hill Street.
  • The theft of two bicycles was reported Feb. 25 in the 500 block of Washington Street. These bicycle thefts appear to be related.
  • Furniture and electronics valued at $4,600 were reported stolen Feb. 26 in the 700 block of west Avenue F.
  • A trashcan valued at $65 was reported stolen Feb. 26 in the 2700 block of Joseph Drive.
  • Tools valued at $24.68 were reported stolen Feb. 26 from a retailer in the 2700 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.
  • A burglary was reported Feb. 27 in the 100 block of East Avenue A. A trimmer/edger valued at $189 was reported stolen.
  • The theft of food and drinks valued at $46 were reported stolen Feb. 27 in the 2500 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.

Other crimes

  • Criminal mischief was reported Feb. 14 in the 2200 block of Miles Street.
  • Criminal mischief was reported Feb. 14 in the 1100 block of hawk Trail.
  • Criminal mischief was reported Feb. 16 in the 500 block of Meggs Street.
  • Criminal mischief was reported Feb. 17 in the 2400 block of meadow Lane.
  • Criminal mischief /inconvenience was reported Feb. 18 in the 700 block of Morse Drive.
  • Criminal mischief was reported Feb. 23 in the 2400 block of terry Drive.
  • Criminal mischief was reported Feb. 24 in the 700 block of Constitution Court.
  • Criminal trespass of habitation/shelter and criminal mischief were reported Feb. 25 in the 400 block of north Fourth Street.
  • Criminal mischief was reported Feb. 25 in the 4100 block of Wine Cup Road.
  • False report to a police officer was reported Feb. 26 in the 300 block of East Avenue E.
  • Fraudulent use/possession of identifying information was reported Feb. 17 in the 1800 block of Patricia Street.
  • Fraudulent use/possession of identifying information was reported Feb. 17 in the 400 block of Cottonwood Drive.
  • Fraudulent use/possession of identifying information was reported Feb. 25 in the 1300 block of Eagle Trail.
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia and fugitive from justice were reported Feb. 18 in the 800 block of Traci Drive. An arrest was made.
  • Manufacturing /delivery of a controlled substance in a drug-free zone, a felony, was reported Feb. 23. An arrest was made.
  • Possession of less than 2 ounces of marijuana was reported Feb. 26 in the 300 block of East Avenue E.
  • Forgery of a financial instrument was reported Feb. 22 in the 100 block of Campfire Circle.
  • Forgery of a government document was reported Feb. 23 at the intersection of North Third Street and West Avenue A.
  • Driving while license suspended with previous convictions was reported Feb. 23 in the 2600 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190. This driver faces severe penalties upon conviction of a subsequent offense of this charge, and rightfully so.

John Vander Werff is a 30-year veteran of law enforcement and a Copperas Cove resident.​

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