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His license was revoked when he spent a year in jail on charges of vehicle theft, possessing drugs and assaulting a police officer.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>>

  • 3rd Person Arrested In McDonald's Robbery

    3rd Person Arrested In McDonald's Robbery

    Saturday, April 19 2014 10:56 AM EDT2014-04-19 14:56:28 GMT
    UPDATE: Two suspects have been arrested in connection to the robbery that occurred Thursday evening at the McDonald's at 2200 W. Wellesley Ave. Major Crimes Detectives are also investigating the possibility these suspects are connected to other robbery incidents.More >>
    UPDATE: Two suspects have been arrested in connection to the robbery that occurred Thursday evening at the McDonald's at 2200 W. Wellesley Ave. Major Crimes Detectives are also investigating the possibility these suspects are connected to other robbery incidents.
    More >>
  • Judge Rules Taxpayers Won't Pay For Sex Offender Treatment

    Judge Rules Taxpayers Won't Pay For Sex Offender Treatment

    Saturday, April 19 2014 2:36 AM EDT2014-04-19 06:36:00 GMT
    TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - A judge has rejected Steven Powell's request to have taxpayers pay for his court-ordered sex offender treatment after a voyeurism conviction.Pierce County Superior Court Judge Ronald Culpepper agreed Friday with the state attorney general's office that Powell cited the wrong statute when he made his request.More >>
    TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - A judge has rejected Steven Powell's request to have taxpayers pay for his court-ordered sex offender treatment after a voyeurism conviction.Pierce County Superior Court Judge Ronald Culpepper agreed Friday with the state attorney general's office that Powell cited the wrong statute when he made his request.More >>
  • North Idaho Poachers Taking Heavy Toll On Game

    North Idaho Poachers Taking Heavy Toll On Game

    Saturday, April 19 2014 2:09 AM EDT2014-04-19 06:09:06 GMT
    LEWISTON, Idaho — Poachers are likely killing far more game animals than wolves are, state wildlife officials in North Idaho say. Officials tell the Lewiston Tribune in a story on Friday that last year in North Idaho they confirmed poaching of 30 elk, four moose, 13 mule deer and 57 whitetail deer.
    More >>
    LEWISTON, Idaho — Poachers are likely killing far more game animals than wolves are, state wildlife officials in North Idaho say. Officials say last year in North Idaho they confirmed poaching of 30 elk, four moose, 13 mule deer and 57 whitetail deer.

    More >>
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.