Grandmother Of Suspected Car Thief Shot, Killed: 'He Wasn’t A Vi - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Grandmother Of Suspected Car Thief Shot, Killed: 'He Wasn’t A Violent Person'

Posted: Updated:

SPOKANE, Wash – A day after her grandson, Brendon Kaluza-Graham, 25, was shot and killed by the owner of a car police say he was trying to steal, Ann Kaluza says he was a wonderful grandson, and not a violent person.

Tuesday, she sorted through pictures of her grandson when he was a little boy, telling KHQ "every time he called me he always said ‘I love you, Grandma.'"

Kaluza says she practically raised the boy, after he was born to 16-year-old parents.  The grandparents on both sides became very involved in raising him, and became very close.

Kaluza last saw her grandson Sunday night – the night before he was killed – when he came over for dinner and raked her pine needles.  She says it was his dream to own a landscaping business, and was trying to get his life back on track.

"Just Sunday I gave him two leads on landscaping jobs," she said, adding that she was going to take Kaluza-Graham and his little brother to get their drivers licenses – but never got the chance.

His license was revoked when he spent a year in jail on charges of vehicle theft, possessing drugs and assaulting a police officer.  He was just released in January, and was applying for jobs.  Before that, he'd been convicted four times for taking a vehicle without permission.

Kaluza admits her grandson made a few mistakes the last few years, but says he didn't deserve to die.

Police say Kaluza-Graham had just jumped into a running SUV and was driving away when the owner of the SUV fired one shot.  The medical examiner reported the shot hit him in the head, and ruled his death a homicide.

"To me, it was an execution, he was driving away and he was shot in the back of the head," she said. "It's one thing to have someone you love taken from you accidentally, but to be shot needlessly?  Our thought is, if he just wanted his car back, why didn't he shoot for the tire?"

Police have not identified the man who shot and killed Kaluza-Graham, and a sign on his front door Tuesday read:

"We appreciate your desire for information.  However, we have been advised not to speak to anyone about the incident at this time.  Once everything is settled, we will be more than happy to give the press a statement.  Thank you for your understanding."

Police say the man who pulled the trigger has been cooperative with their investigation, and he has not been charged with any crime.  The prosecutor will decide if charges should be filed, based on witness testimony and evidence recovered at the scene.

"I'd like it all undone, I'd like my grandson back," Kaluza said tearfully.  "I don't wish ill will on people, but this gun violence has to stop."

Tuesday, a memorial was set up at the scene where Kaluza-Graham died, and a number of people stopped by to sign it.

  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Court Documents: Man Comes At Boy With Running Chainsaw As Form Of Punishment

    Court Documents: Man Comes At Boy With Running Chainsaw As Form Of Punishment

    Thursday, April 24 2014 2:46 AM EDT2014-04-24 06:46:13 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Tuesday morning investigators, including a SWAT team executed search warrants on two homes believed to be involved in a string of recent burglaries.More >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Tuesday morning investigators, including a SWAT team executed search warrants on two homes believed to be involved in a string of recent burglaries. In all, 9 people were detained and Wednesday we learned two men were arrested. 41-year-old Robert Pearson and 40-year-old Dennis Blessing are now facing charges including trafficking in stolen property.More >>
  • Jury Finds Arteaga Guilty Of Murder

    Jury Finds Arteaga Guilty Of Murder

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:14 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:14:03 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - It took a jury only a little more than two hours on Wednesday to find Daniel Arteaga guilty for the murder of Kim Schmidt. The prosecution said Arteaga was very jealous that his relationship was ending with Schmidt and she was moving on.More >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - It took a jury only a little more than two hours on Wednesday to find Daniel Arteaga guilty for the murder of Kim Schmidt. The prosecution said Arteaga was very jealous that his relationship was ending with Schmidt and she was moving on. They say that's part of the reason why he decided to kill her at the beginning of 2012. The defense disagreed saying that Arteaga was not there when she died and they think she may have even died of suicideMore >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KHQ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.