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Apr 20th
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Fatal Stabbing Information Released

camoSANTA CRUZ > Police have released the identity of the local woman who passed away yesterday, Monday, May 7, due to a brutal stabbing attack. The victim was Shannon Collins, the well-known and beloved co-owner of Camouflage in Downtown Santa Cruz.

Collins, who was 38-years-old, was accosted and repeatedly stabbed on the 300 block of Broadway Street around 11:50 a.m. yesterday. She was pronounced dead on the scene. Police say the suspect, 43-year-old transient Charles Anthony Edwards, hails from San Francisco—where they say he has “an extensive violent criminal history”—and had been in Santa Cruz for about a week. He did not know Collins.    

“After interviews with multiple witnesses, and Mr. Edwards, investigators established that the victim did not know Mr. Edwards,” said a Tuesday SCPD press release. “It appears as though this was a senseless, unprovoked and random attack by Mr. Edwards upon an innocent victim. There is no clear motive.”

Edwards was booked at 9 p.m. Monday and remains in police custody. His photo will be released after the police department has finished conducting photo lineups with witnesses, of which they say there were “a high number.”

The SCPD released Collins' identity in a later press release, and said that they “are asking that the community come together to support the family in this tragic event.”

Santa Cruz Mayor Don Lane released the following statement soon after: “We all are mourning the tragic loss of Shannon Kathleen Collins, a beloved Santa Cruz community member and downtown business owner. Though no words can alleviate the pain, anger and shock Mrs. Collins’ family must feel at this time, I offer my deepest condolences to them. I hope thoughts and prayers from people throughout Santa Cruz will provide them some comfort during this extraordinarily difficult time."  

UPDATE 4:05 P.M.: The Santa Cruz County Superior Court has confirmed that Edwards' arraignment is schedule for tomorrow, Wednesday, May 9, at 8:15 a.m. at department three of the county courthouse.

Pictured: The storefront of Camouflage as of 2 p.m. on Tuesday, May 8.

Comments (30)Add Comment
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written by Abbie, May 10, 2012
I am so saddened by this news. Shannon invited me to show artwork at Camouflage during first fridays and she generously bought a piece of art for her store. Such a gracious and sweet person and such a senseless, tragic event. My sincere condolences to Shannon's husband, family and friends.
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written by citizen, May 10, 2012
hold your block down. serve and protect one another. it's all we can really do. i'll be looking out for you; please look out for me as well.
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written by Mr Moon, May 09, 2012
This was the act of an unstable, out of control person. You can not blame any group or any government policy. It was random and could happen anywhere!
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written by fucksociety, May 09, 2012
if you have children don't let them walk around this town without a weapon (not just pepper spray) If you've been around this town you'd know how necessary it is, yourself too fuck the law protect yourself, oh and for all of those people who didnt try to stop it, you will get your karma
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written by Local Business Owner, May 09, 2012
Having a business in Santa Cruz for over 30 years, I've seen a lot happen over the years. If we're pointing fingers, I choose Reagan, because the transient problem blossomed after he cut the mental health budgets to nothing. Mental health is a joke in California, I sure hope we can get people like that man off the streets. I'd be willing to pay a few extra cents if it kept men like him locked up or medicated.
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written by Moriah, May 09, 2012
I just don't understand why none of the "multiple witnesses" did anything to intervene or stop Shannon's death. REALLY? In the middle of the day, lots of people around, none of you did anything to help her. I just can't comprehend this. I worked with Shannon for 4 years, she did not deserve this. Its disgusting.
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written by Sven..., May 09, 2012
REALLY! You can’t even walk across town in the middle of the day to get your hair cut without being stabbed to death! This is an outrage and unacceptable! Why does the leadership in Santa Cruz allow this community to be a haven for the dregs of society??? And at what cost? How many times does this need to happen? It’s time for a change. How about “Keep Santa Cruz Safe!” I’m so sorry for the loss to Ken and all of Shannon’s family and friends.
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written by tboss, May 09, 2012
This is a very sad day for santa cruz..This woman was one of the pillars of our community. My heart goes out to all family and friends affected by this tragedy, as well as all the neighbors in the area that now have to be scared just to walk down the street. Shame on our local government, our mayor and the city council. Its time that we change our town. Obviously the people who are getting paid to run santa cruz can't handle the job..let's change that
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written by SC Local, May 09, 2012
Anyone is capable of a random act of violence. The key factor for many happens to be in weighing what they have to lose by committing such an act. If they have mental illness that removes that weighing of consequence all together, then they are even more likely to do so. A sad story, however mostly preventable by proper treatment of mentally ill individuals.There will always be someone with nothing to lose and a chip on their shoulder however, and that is why all of us must take pro-active steps to protect ourselves either through self-defense training, or carrying weapons for self-defense.
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written by Mike Travis, May 09, 2012
It's depressing to know that there were plenty of witnesses but not a single account of anyone coming to try to kill charles on her behalf.
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written by jimjones, May 09, 2012
Wow.... that sucks and is very embarrassing for the small town of Santa Cruz.. Even though he was not from here it still reflects poorly on this beautiful bum infested town... Prayers and condolences to the family we are all sorry...
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written by Asking, May 08, 2012
WHY, oh WHY, are people with "an extensive violent criminal history" allowed to roam freely? Someone, somewhere is responsible!
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written by Long Time Santa Cruz Local, May 08, 2012
We need to bring back the 'Kill Santa Cruz Dirts' bumper stickers...
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written by Anonymous, May 08, 2012
I agree, Local. Things have gotten way out of hand and the danger seems to increase at a steady rate. Things have got to change or we may see our beautiful community fall to its knees in defeat of ever present crime.
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written by Cialis Cooper, May 08, 2012
He was out there mad dogging people for 5 hrs. Where were the police? My Gulf War Veteran was in his car and felt threatened just by his affect and the way he was giving intimidating looks. Avoidable?? They were probably busy ticketing a skateboarder where it's safe from profiling accusations...
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written by Ronne Marino, May 08, 2012
So Scarey and Sad, I just can not believe this could happen in our town..I live close by to the murder of Shannon and it could have been anyone of us..after my Hip replacement I walked around the neighborhood, Never ever gave something like this a thought..Now I will..Sending my deepest symptom and condolence to Shannon Family and Friends ..Tragic and I know the whole town of Santa Cruz is moved to tears and join me in Condolence's..R.I.P :(
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written by Dom, May 08, 2012
Coming from a 3rd generation local, the problem absolutely is transients, who come to Santa Cruz from all over because homeless services PAYS PEOPLE FOR BEING HOMELESS. I know this because I cashed those checks at coast commercial bank when it existed. Any place that provides incentives to be a transient is perpetuating it's existence.
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written by Jay (local resident), May 08, 2012
That poor woman...and at 11:50 am, in the middle of the day? This is horrifying...This is the hardest time to remember that the vast majority of transients and homeless are just people struggling to make it through the poor economy...if Charles Anthony Edwards had “an extensive violent criminal history” he needed to be locked up or institutionalized...
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written by Locals Local, May 08, 2012
This isn't a Santa Cruz transient problem. This is a violent person coming from San Francisco to Santa Cruz and comitting a crime. It's an awful situation, they caught the guy. He will pay. No need to keep pointing fingers right now.....
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written by A Real Local, May 08, 2012
For true Santa Cruz pride- the question should be asked: Where were the SCPD at the time that this happened, when Broadway has always been a high crime area along with the Lower Ocean section of Santa Cruz?

The SCPD officer who might have prevented this tragedy from happening was probably harassing a homeless person. Or someone smoking on Pacific Avenue. Or writing a loitering ticket for a local sitting with their back against a building in the tourist shopping district.
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written by P, May 08, 2012
Yep santa cruzhow is the sanctuary status working for you , wake up Santa Cruz ,support your police , move the crazies and druggies along .
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written by JP, May 08, 2012
Does anyone realize that places like San Francisco send their homeless to our city? They give them bus passes!
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written by LocalLady, May 08, 2012
This is a horrible crime. This is not just about the transient population this had to do with mental illness and chronic drug abuse. I work with many good and decent people that just happen to have nowhere to live. Please do not blame this on a whole class of people. This is about one person that did a horrible thing. Prayers to her family.
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written by anotherLocal, May 08, 2012
This is indeed sad. Yes I agree. This area of town has become worse. What can we expect when we have cut the budget to the people that are supposed to police our community? It is up to the citizens to keep a watchful eye as the police are overworked and understaffed.
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written by ME, May 08, 2012
I think the person who says this is a result of the "Keep Santa Cruz Weird" campaign misses the whole point. It's not about the transients. It's about the melting pot of individuals and groups who are welcimed for their individuality. These same senseless acts happen in just about every town. Prayers to the family, friends and patrons.
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written by n.dundas, May 08, 2012
the problem is that as society we find it acceptable to use the streets as an alternative to mental institutions. people like mr. edwards need to be in institutions, not running the streets.
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written by Anonomous, May 08, 2012
Time to reinstate the Troll Busters'
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written by Compassion for all, May 08, 2012
This is incredibly sad. Blessings to Shannon, her family and all who were touched by her life.

Mr. local, please place blame where blame is due. This was caused by one person not a whole class of people.
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written by ., May 08, 2012
This is what "keep santa cruz weird" gets you. This is disgusting and senseless and every measure needs to be taken to ensure that this NEVER happens again.
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written by Local , May 08, 2012
This is an outrage, as long as we continue to allow our city to be a haven for transients this problem will continue to get worse. Over the last decade this city has gone from having a few bad areas to becoming a giant bad area.

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