A rough weekend; 3 injured, 2 killed.
19-year old Dejuan was killed about a mile from our house. The killer [25-year old man] was captured immediately while hiding in an apartment across the street from the shooting. This evening we spent time with the family, praying and holding them -- a whole pile of FR-ers. A church was next to the murder site and a number of their members came to let the family know they would pay for the funeral and support the family any way possible. I was able to hug and pray for his mom, Teresa. We blessed each other, kissing cheeks.
NOW, the other one. This one was a heartbreaker. It was a few miles from our house and I've been in that neighborhood 2 other times this year after killings, always guys in late teens who were shot while walking down the streets, no particular reason.
Etienne was 14-years old. The killer has not been found. When I heard about it I was both spiritually and physically furious... as a grandma with three 14-year old grandchildren, this really slapped me.
Many family members and friends were there, many FRs, and a few policemen. I actually saw a policeman touch a child, showing real concern and sympathy, another standing to the side, but looking prayerful and caring. They are not usually allowed to even consider doing these "caring" bits; they are just allowed to focus on protection ... It is obvious that Etienne touched their hearts, too.
While we were praying over the family, one of the leaders grabbed my hand and pulled me away and told me I needed to pray for a girl; she was Etienne's 12-year old sister. She was standing at the end of a car and I popped next to her and put my arm around her shoulders and cuddled her. She was teary, but I'd say even more that she was ANGRY and ready to scream. Her grandma arrived and stood by her. Then a young cousin-- a little girl about 6 years old -- ran past me to the other side of grandma and grabbed her. The girls began crying ... sobbing. A couple of other ladies came to pray for them, too, and we all just held hands and shared love. [Before I left, I asked if I could take a photo of Brooklynn so I could look at it and remember to pray for her.]
I also was able to hold Etienne's dad's neck and just tell him how much he is on our hearts. He happens to be about the same age as my son who has one of my g-kids that fits into this situation.
Sometimes I wish I could be posting "sweetness and light" bits, and it does occur, but most of the time, especially in the past few months, I'm buried in seriosity. Maybe some day ...