The young woman was outside her home having a water balloon fight with some friends last Saturday night when a young man came running up and opened fire on the group. The 20-year-old was shot through the head and heart and died almost instantly. The assailant ran a few houses down, where a car pulled up and quickly whisked him away. No one has been apprehended, and he was apparently unknown to anyone there.
My coworker says that this family was not the sort to have any gang involvement, and that everyone’s best guess at this point is that this was a gang initiation hit. If you’re not familiar with the practice, this is a common means of “proving one’s self” to some of the more violent gangs – to kill someone. My question is this: Just what the hell has this guy proven? That he can attack a normal, law-abiding citizen who’s armed with nothing more dangerous than a water balloon? This is supposed to be an act of courage? I don’t mean to sound flippant or turn this into any sort of punch line, but how about having to shoot an armed member of a rival gang to “prove” yourself? That might at least require an ounce of courage. But this? It’s nothing but pathetic, and on so many levels.
The families and friends touched by this have my sympathy. As for the assailant, he should receive nothing of value – no respect and no mercy. It would be fine by me if the next shot he fired were into his own brain. If I sound a little bitter right now, it’s because I am. I never met the victim or her family, but even at this distance, I can’t help but be disgusted and a bit upset.