Sunday, July 06, 2003

Unsettling neighborhood news

In January of this year, an execution-style murder happened on my block. We live in a row of 10 townhouses, and the shooting took place at the far end house. I heard the shots that night, and to me it sounded like a short string of firecrackers going off. That's what I told my wife (she heard it too), and that's what I told the police. The victim was sitting in the living room in front of the TV when someone walked up to the window and started blasting away, hitting him in the head.

In today's paper is an article announcing the capture of the shooter. The case against him looks pretty solid, and this guy should go to prison for a long long time.

Good deal, eh?

Well, yeah... kinda. It turns out that the reason for the shooting was an earlier argument between two groups of people. According to the story, one man who lived in the house down the street (we'll call him 'Daddy') punched the shooter and split his lip, hence the return that evening for revenge.

The man who was killed was NOT the one who threw the punch! It was his roomie. In fact, he was sitting in the living room playing a video game with the young daughter of the guy who punched out the shooter. So daughter got to see up close and personal what Daddy had caused by losing his temper. Daddy had run to the store and wasn't home.

The other night, there was another fight at their house. This time, two women were trading punches in the front yard and street when the cops showed up. Daddy was outside with them, egging them on. Everyone involved was noticably high. The fun didn't end with the arrival of the police. They called for a female officer to do searches and wound up practically hogtying one of the women to keep her still. The subsequent search was interesting, as this woman is apparently a dealer, and they found a whole drugstore in her purse and in her car. Meanwhile, Daddy just kept being an asshole and instigating for all he was worth.

Here's the chilling part. The drug dealer, in front of the cops and everyone else, yells at Daddy that "next time they won't miss".

So now the whole neighborhood is uptight, and with damn good reason. Parents are afraid to let their kids outside, because if there's a real 'drive-by' next time, the bad guys won't be worrying about a kid on a bike, or someone walking the dog if they get in the way. It's a real shame too, because except for that one house (and resident idiots), and one other (best buds with the idiots), the neighborhood is pretty darned nice. I like my neighborhood. I like my neighbors.

I'm waiting for the cops to come out again. Apparently the owner has put the house up for sale (Daddy doesn't own it, but he's a relative of the owner - long story), and Daddy keeps taking the sign down. The realtor comes by and puts it back up. On and on, around and around.

Please God, let the house sell quickly. Please get those nitwits out of here before someone else loses their life. Not that I give a rat's ass about Daddy, but it always seems to be the innocent bystander that gets it too.

For those of you who look for silver linings, when the roomie died in January his mother recieved his kidneys and ended a decade of dialysis for her. Now that is a helluva silver lining.