Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Army Veteran Elijah Warren

Remember Our Heroes

Suicide of Army Veteran, Senior Shocks Family

By Zach Williams
Contributing Writer
Wednesday, October 8, 2008 | 8:49 pm

Elijah Warren, a UC Berkeley senior and a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, died from a self-inflicted gunshot to the head on Oct. 1 in his Oakland home. He was 26 years old.

Police found Warren at his residence on the 1900 block of 90th Street in Oakland at 3 p.m. on Oct. 1, said Oakland Police spokesperson Jeff Thomason. Warren did not leave a suicide note, Thomason said.

About 20 friends and family members came to Warren's wake in Oakland on Wednesday to bid farewell to a man who they said was intelligent, ambitious and articulate. His sudden passing shocked his loved ones, many of whom said there had been no indication that Warren would take his own life.

"No tell-tale signs," said Geoff Warren, his older brother. "A really cool, calm guy."

Elijah Warren, an Oakland native, leaves behind an ex-wife, Traci Lee-Warren, and a 10-year-old stepson, Jinho Warren. He would have graduated this spring from UC Berkeley with a degree in political science, family members said.

Before enrolling at UC Berkeley, Warren had dropped out of high school in ninth grade. He enlisted in the U.S. Army at the age of 17 and served in the Special Forces for eight years, during which time he learned Arabic and traveled through Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia.

Family members said they did not notice any signs of depression in Warren when he returned from overseas in 2005.

"Elijah was a good soldier, obeyed commands given to him," said Rev. Earl Hooker, assistant minister at Sweet Home Baptist Church in East Oakland. "We got to learn from Elijah how to be caring and helpful to one another."

Starting in 2005, Warren also took community college classes in Alameda.

"I don't come across a student like Elijah often, one in a million ... he was the younger brother I never had. It's hard, a void in my life, the pain is there," said Maurice Jones, Warren's English instructor at the community college.

After he transferred to UC Berkeley in 2007, Warren continued to pursue his passions for study and debate in the classroom.

"I was particularly impressed by his passion in class discussions," said Peter Ryan, Warren's Political Science 104 GSI, in an e-mail.

UC Berkeley senior Antonio Herrera, one of Warren's best friends, said that Warren possessed a unique intelligence.

"He was so smart, it didn't make sense," he said.

Warren, along with his brothers, also taught for a self-defense mentoring program at Berkeley Technology Academy. He trained high school students in a physically rigorous regimen and spoke to them about the importance of attending college, often drawing on his own personal experiences.

"They saw him at Berkeley, forcing them to sign up for college. And what could they say?" Geoff Warren said.

Another brother, Jinho Warren, said it is difficult to justly define Elijah's character.

"He was an activist, socialist, every adjective that you can think of (for) an intelligent black man," he said.

Warren's funeral will be held this Thursday at 11 a.m. at East Oakland Deliverance Center in Oakland.


Anonymous said...

Since I am typing this from my cell phone, I won't bother to sign in, but I am not anonymous by any means.

Obviously I'm delayed with seeing this post, but what I have to say is still relevant. Elijah's sister stated that he didn't have a brother Geoff. Blood brothers they are/were not, but brothers, in every sense of the word they will ALWAYS be. Nobody can change that. To add to it, he had a brother Jinho, Amir, and Ricky too...KINGZ is what they referred to themselves as. No one knew Elijah like we did. The same way people say his suicide was a shock, and that there were no signs of depression, they didn't know him. That couldn't be further from the truth.

Jemima is not his mother, Wanda Wayne is his mother and he has plenty of relatives in the Bay Area, contrary to what was stated.

He did/does have a stepson Jinho that he helped me to raise, and while we were only married for a short while we were together before the marriage and remained close and in constant contact even after our divorce.


Anonymous said...

Shannon S Warren is lying Wanda k Wayne is his mother,Shannon is her daughter she has expressed anger ,hatred and lies. He has a half brother David, however Robert Drummond is not his brother. Robert mom married my ex husband when he and I divorced many many years,ago. Traci and Elijah were married and trust me,my son loved their son like his own and raised him as grandson. TRACI brother Jinho and Geoff were my son's brother as if they were blood. It is very unfortunate that my son did not acknowledge his father as he should which saddens me because I'd always ask my talk to your dad ? My son would say know, I'd say you need to call your dad. I do not know what completely happened with them all I know is my son had some weird kind of feelings towards his dad. Granted he was a Mommy's boy to the core. Please check his Public Death Records and Military Records it will show you I am in fact his mother pefiod. Records don't lie People DO....Unfortunately. PLEASE REMOVE THE POST FROM SHANNON ABOUT MY SON...IT IS TOTALLY DISRESPECTFUL TO MY ONLY SON MEMORY. THANK YOU HIS MOTHER WANDA K. WAYNE.

Terri Rager-Campbell said...

It has been deleted, Ms. Wayne. Thank you.