This particular part of my life took place when I was 14 years old. The setting is the
neighborhood I grew up in, Atwater Village-California. Ironic as it may seem it was Good Friday .
Good Friday (from the senses pious, holy of the word “good”) is a religious holiday observed primarily by Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Friday
I was attending a public school and it was not mandatory to attend on this particular Friday if you were religious. I obviously took them up on the offer and opted out of going to school that day. My best buddy and I hit the swap-meet early that morning to get some “gangsta” apparel to match our gang banging lifestyle. We both walked out of there G’d Up from the shoes up.
Just to give you an idea I had on leather Nike Cortez, freshly pressed Ben Davis pants and a Charlie Brown
CholoPolo shirt to complete the outfit.
My buddy and I were chilling with some
hainas girls from the neighborhood when two cars pull up. It was two fellow gang members that were headed to the high school to pick a fight with the rival gang. With testosterone levels at their max. I hopped in one of the cars and my buddy in the other and off we went to the school to look for some trouble.
Upon arriving at the school we decided to both go opposite directions with the idea in mind of one of the two cars will catch someone slipping or off guard. Two minutes later we did just that. The driver of the vehicle I was in spotted some familiar rival faces and pulled up right next to their car. He proceeded to whip on his 9mm and point it at the driver of the other car. There were four passengers in that car and I’m sure all of them peed themselves that day. After waving his gun around for a few seconds and belittling them he yelled out “chale”(mexican for “Nah”) and we drove off.
Little did I know they would later that day come back for revenge.
We got back to the neighborhood and I reunited with my buddy that was in the other car. Turns out he was boxing with a member of the same gang we saw earlier at the school. They were supposedly both hanging out of the window of a car while swinging at one another.
We decided to walk about 4 blocks down to his girlfriends house. As we were making our way to her house we ran across some pot heads from the neighborhood that were sitting on the porch. One of them was a good friend of the family named Eddie. Eddie had recently been paralyzed from the waste down after a bad car accident. Eddie took one look at me and said “I’m gonna kick your ass when I get out of this wheelchair for being a little gang banger. You’re gonna get shot one of these days!”. I replied with “Fuck you Eddie! You don’t know what your talking about!!”.
We finally made it to his girlfriend’s house and they were doing their whole lovey dovey, making out session. I was in a rush to get home because I was anxious to meet my dad’s girlfriend’s daughter. She was visiting from Michigan. So we began to walk back to my house.
As we are walking down the sidewalk I see a Ford Bronco full of bald heads aka gang members headed in our direction. I say to my buddy “Just keep walking with your head down and maybe they wont see us”. I’m 6’2 and at that time 250lbs. So it’s pretty hard NOT to see me. Can’t beat wishful thinking.
I hear them scream “that’s them” as the engine roars. We begin to run and moments later my right leg is pinned between a truck parked in the driveway and the bumper of the Bronco. In a blink of an eye I punch his hood and pull my leg out to start running. As I’m struggling to free my leg I look up to see a Regal full of MORE bald heads!! I turn to my friend and say “RUN!!! I’LL MEET WITH YOU LATER”.
In all the confusion I run towards the backyard of a house. I can’t seem to get the gate open so I say to myself “FUCK IT!! IT’S ON!!!”. I turned around and, as my granpa would say, I put my dukes up. I punched the first one and knocked him out cold same with the second and third (It’s amazing what adrenaline can do for you). To my unpleasant surprise behind the third assailant was the fourth crouched down with a MagLite. The next thing I see is little stars after he hit me over the head. I don’t know if you have ever seen Kill Bill but I was spraying blood from my head very similar to that movie. I put my arm over my head while I was walking disoriented in circles trying to figure out what was going on. In all the commotion I catch, out of the corner of my eye, someone running up with a gun. I fix my blurred vision on him as he fires three rounds at my friend who escaped by climbing onto the roof. I think to myself “I made it out of here alive”. I hadn’t even finished the thought when he turns the gun to me. Mind you he is only 4 feet away from me. I crouched into the fetal position while screaming “DON’T SHOOT ME!!! PLEASE DON’T SHOOT ME!!!”. He proceeded to empty the cylinder of bullets in my direction. I heard three shot and an eery “click” “click” “click” and at the same time felt like some one stuck a piece of hot coal in my left arm that was protecting my head.
They retreated while yelling out the name of their gang and I gathered all my strength to yell: “FUCK YOU PUTOS!!!” Once they were gone I began to search frantically for my buddy. I had not yet realized what had just occurred. I just wanted to find him and know he was alright.
He came down from the roof and was OK. I on the other hand was just about to realize what happened to me. I still had my arm on my head to sooth the pain a bit. I asked my friend if I had been shot in the head because I could feel the blood and it was really hurting. He asked me to move my arm so he could take a look and I did. When I removed my arm from my head it was like my arm had a mind of it’s own. My arm was just dangling around and I had no control of it. Apparently one of the bullets had fractured my arm. The ambulance came and I was taken to the emergency room of Los Angeles General Hospital. After a very painful examination by the nurse I was given 150mg of Demerol and set asail to la la land.
All said and done I was shot twice. One bullet shattered my arm and the other hitched a ride on my shoulder bone and exited my neck. The third bullet whizzed by me and was lodged in the house where I was shot. The even scarier part is if you calculate where the shooter was and where my arm was placed you will find that he was aiming for my head. By the grace of God and God alone I was saved that day. I was shot with a 32 caliber gun. If it would have been a 38 caliber or a 9mm I would not be here today to tell this story.
A few months later I was shipped out to live with my mom in Costa Rica. I hated it for the first year but it later grew on me. Now that I look back, it was the BEST thing my dad could ever have done!!!
Stay tuned for my crazy Costa Rica stories…