Our Lantern Will Be Lit from 3/2/2020 to 3/9/2020 for Amarah “Jerica” Banks, Zaniya R. Ivery, Camaria Banks, Meshala Bell-Pabai and Aubrianna Lancaster...
Lantern Project: Since October 2013, Hope House has joined with other domestic violence programs around the state by implementing the Lantern Project. For our part in this statewide project, we added to the lamppost in front of Hope House a purple wreath. We will turn on the light for a week every time there is a death related to domestic violence in Wisconsin. We will post information online about the person(s) that was killed. If you drive by our building and see our lamppost on, please reflect on the deadly impact that domestic violence has on our communities. We know the list of stories we post here is incomplete. We strive to learn about and share these stories but know that there are some that we and the media miss. If you see a news story of a death in WI related to domestic violence and don't see it posted here, please feel free to let us know about it here. Thank you.
February 8th, 2020: Amarah “Jerica” Banks, 26, Zaniya R. Ivery, 5, Camaria Banks, 4 – Milwaukee
The Milwaukee man accused in the deaths of his former girlfriend and her two daughters severely beat the woman in the hours after their young son’s funeral, according to prosecutors.
A neighbor told police that in the early morning of Feb. 8, she saw Amarah “Jerica” Banks, 26, running through the parking lot of the apartment building where she and Banks lived. Banks had no shoes and was bleeding from the mouth, according to a criminal complaint.
Banks screamed, “No, no, please don’t kill me” as Arzel J. Ivery, 25, dragged her back into the building, according to the complaint.
A second neighbor in the same apartment called 911; she later posted a screen grab of her call history, indicating the call went out at 1:51 a.m. Police call logs show officers responded at 2 a.m. to the building in the 5900 block of N. Sherman Boulevard but could not locate the complainant. That usually means police could not find the 911 caller. They routinely leave under those circumstances.
The police log also shows the contact as a generic “call for police,” not specifically a battery or assault.
Banks and her two daughters — one of whom Ivery fathered — ultimately were found slain Sunday in a garage behind his apartment building in the 4700 block of West Burleigh Street. Zaniya R. Ivery was 5 years old; Camaria Banks was 4. They were the victims of an apparent homicide, police said.
By the time the three bodies were found, it had been eight days since the fight, and nine days since the funeral for Arzel J. Ivery Jr., who was 21 months old when he died from bronchitis.
Prosecutors on Saturday filed a charge of felony aggravated battery against Ivery. He was arraigned Monday morning in Memphis, Tennessee, on a fugitive-from-justice warrant.
No homicide charges had been filed as of Monday afternoon.
February 22nd, 2020: Meshala Bell-Pabai, Age 31 – Milwaukee
Police say a man shot and killed two women in Milwaukee. The shooting happened about 8:30 p.m. Saturday near North 24th Place and West Auer Avenue. Police said the victims were a 30-year-old woman and 31-year-old woman. Family members identified one woman as 31-year-old woman Meshala Bell-Pabai.
“She took chances and always had a smile on her face. She was always that go-to person, willing to help,” her sister told WISN 12 News. “She was a good mom,” a neighbor said. “She did everything she could to take care of her baby. She’s nice, friendly. She’s the type of person that was helping me when I was struggling.” Bell-Pabai’s family identified the other victim as her friend, Aubrey.
Police told WISN 12 News they arrested a 32-year-old man at the scene. Neighbors said the shooting was the result of a family dispute. Family members said the suspect was a relative of one of the victims. It is unclear what led up to the double shooting. The Milwaukee Police Department is investigating the shooting. Anyone with information should call MPD at 414-935-7360 or Crime Stoppers 414-224-TIPS. Family members created a GoFundMe page to benefit the victims’ children.
February 22nd, 2020: Aubrianna Lancaster Age 30 – Milwaukee
The brother of one of the women killed in a deadly shooting last weekend is upset his sister died trying to break up a fight she didn’t start. Milwaukee police have not released much information about the shooting near North 24th Place and West Auer Avenue Saturday except to describe the cause of the violence as a family dispute.
However, Robert Lancaster, whose sister Aubrianna was killed, said he blames the other woman who died, Meshala Pabai, for starting the fight, citing information he said police detectives provided, but had not shared publicly. “Meshala was very manipulative and exploited my sister’s depression,” Robert Lancaster said when reached by phone Monday night. “That’s what my sister had. She had depression. That didn’t get treated because she didn’t have enough money. Meshala got into an argument with her brother, because I guess they were living there, and he shot his sister and killed my sister in the process.”
According to a search warrant obtained by WISN 12 News, investigators found Deandre Bell in the basement of the home after the shooting. The document also said police found a gun at the scene and recovered several shell casings from the home.
A surveillance camera near the scene captured six gunshots around the time of the incident. Bell, 32, is in police custody. Charges have not yet been filed in the case. A mugshot of Bell was not immediately available on the Milwaukee County Jail website. “My sister had a beautiful, kind heart and she would sacrifice anything she had to make sure that you had it, and that’s what she was. She used to give and give and give,” Lancaster’s brother said.