Sorry, about using Train lyrics in the title. I just couldn't help myself. We finally got some answers about the shootings. Of course, this is just word on the street and has not been confirmed by the police but... Apparently we have been caught in the middle of a turf war between two rival gangs. Naturally upon learning this I went on Pinterest and found some funny photos about gangsters. :)
We lived there for two and a half years and never had any problems with gang violence. Then a rival gang moved in just down the block from us and the gang whose turf they are on put out an order that they be shot on sight. So I guess that is pretty good confirmation that our decision to move out was a good one because this war is just getting started.
Rumor has it that the first shooting that hit our house happened because they tried to take one of them out while he was waiting at the bus stop in front of our house (we can only assume that the second shooting happened for the same reason). When this first started no one knew what was going on yet so the police thought that it was just some kid wanting to shoot a gun at something. It happened just minutes after I had walked my son home from school - right past that bus stop - and after that I had anxiety attacks on the days that I had to walk him home. Everyone thought that I was crazy or over-reacting since it was supposedly a "random" incident and unlikely to ever happen again but it turns out that I was right to be afraid. Everyone in our neighborhood takes the bus and bus stops are a common spot for selling drugs (trust me, people at that bus stop have offered to sell us drugs on more than one occasion). Supposedly that is one of the big reasons gangs fight when they are in each other's neighborhoods - they don't want to loose drug sales to their rivals - so there is a very good chance that this will happen again in that exact same spot.
I still can't believe that this all really happened. Did I really have to pack up in the middle of the night and move to another state because of a turf war between two gangs and bullets coming through the walls? It sounds like something that I would see on TV not something that would actually happen to me personally. Up until now, this had been my Thug Story:
What's really crazy is that it was never THAT bad of a neighborhood. Sure it was a little run down and the other kids referred to my son as "the white boy" since he was the only one but there wasn't any violence and people were starting to buy some of the houses that had formerly been rentals and fix them up. Just a few blocks down the road there are million dollar mansions for Pete's sake! Shootings like this can happen anywhere in the city though even in areas where the gang members don't actually live themselves. It's just more likely to happen when you are living in the middle of the war zone.
I have pretty much gotten past crying over the whole situation. Now I'm just really pissed off. I'm angry that my FIVE-YEAR-OLD had to go through this! I'm angry that we were run out of our home that we put so much work into. I'm angry that I have to live apart from my husband. I'm angry when I have to hear about the amazing things that are happening in other people's lives while it feels like mine is falling apart. I'm angry that all of this happened over something so stupid.
All I can say is that there has got to be a way to BREAK THE CYCLE: