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I won’t go into too much detail. I can’t even say exactly what happened as rumors are still flying around. But I will give you my point-of-view as to my first experience being near a shooting.

It was after my old high school’s homecoming. There was an after-party at a local club. Not considering this club’s egregious reputation of violence and shootings and against my better judgment, I went down there to check it out. I figured two years ago, nothing happened at the after-party I went to then or the year after. So, I went.

In mere minutes of my arrival, a fight broke out where a young man jumped another young man outside of the building. The victim left in a huff. Moments later, two young women threw down. This also happened out in the open. I heard one of them was pepper sprayed. They two ended up leaving the club. So far, this looks like it will be a fun night.

Soon after, cops arrived to make sure nothing else went down. I never thought I would be glad to see them considering the overall tumultuous relationship with the black community, especially in recent weeks. Still, I should’ve left as I had a sinking feeling in my stomach that the worst was yet to come. Unresolved fights don’t always go away quietly. But no. I had to stick around. So, I did.

All seemed cool for about a half-hour. I chilled and talked to some friends. I listened to the music blasting in the back room. But that wouldn’t be the only thing blasting that night.

Suddenly, shots rang out. Naturally, everyone panicked and ran like hell, myself included to keep from getting trampled to death. I took cover through an open door that led to the woman’s restroom.

After a few minutes, I walked out into the open room where there was a dance platform. Glass bottle shards were scattered all over the floor. There were puddles of beer and liquor here and there. A couple of chairs were turned over. The front door was locked. So, I went out the back way where several people were. There, I was told that the shots came from outside. However, over the weekend, my cousin – who was also at the club – told me that he dodged a bullet. Literally. A shot penetrated the wall and whizzed through his shirt grazing him. Luckily, he’s fine, but I’m sure he won’t forget his brush with (possible) death.

It was revealed that the young man who was jumped earlier came back for revenge. But the guy who jumped him left. That didn’t matter. It also didn’t matter that were were cops present. Somebody had to pay, and pay dearly.

Rumors abound that at anywhere from one to five people were hit. Some say one person died. Some say the victims were the young man’s relatives. More will be revealed in this week’s local newspaper, that I will pleasantly avoid.

I admit that after I got home, I was still shaken. It was my first time being close to an actual shooting. Even now, I’m still in disbelief and still a little anxious.

The young man was obviously pissed off enough to take his rage out on someone or as many people as possible. It’s nonsense, but that is the dark side of humanity, and he succumbed to it. It’s a testament to the toxicity of this nation’s affection for guns that want to deny its true existence.

This is by NO MEANS an exclusive part of black culture that’s constantly excused in order to continue oppressive law enforcement against the black community. Black folks do not ‘worship’ violence, nor do they ignore it. We’ve been fighting to stop violence in our neighborhoods for years, and even though violent crime has decreased in recent years, we’re still out on the front lines, because the job is still far from over.

The shooter felt disrespected which meant a lot to him. When he lost it, he lost it. If he wasn’t going to get respect, what makes anyone else deserving of theirs?

That Friday night reminded me that gun violence can happen anytime, anywhere. The incident shows that power, protection, fear and respect is falsely but overly forced through the means of a loaded barrel with the finger on the trigger aimed at human beings.

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