Monday, January 23, 2006

a little more explicit

If you're wondering what that last post was about...

I saw a man fire a gun Friday night. I was standing outside Mona's, a bar on Amsterdam Avenue between 108th and 109th, smoking a cigarette when I heard a loud crack. It was very loud--I felt it as much as I heard it. I looked across the street and saw a man in profile. He had his arms straight out at a downward angle. The gun looked like a 9mm. I saw and heard three or four more shots in quick succession. With each report, a skinny flame arose from the back of the gun. This, apparently, is the muzzle flash.

It was difficult to perceive this as it was happening. One, I had never seen anything like it. Two, it happened very quickly. Three, fear.

He almost seemed to be jumping up and down as he shot. I could sense his adrenaline, like he had been psyching himself up to do something for a long time and suddenly found himself doing it. You know how some people get when Bob Barker calls them down to play on The Price is Right? That's how this guy seemed to feel about the fact that he was trying to kill someone.

When he finished shooting, his eyes were wild. He jumped and turned. So much adrenaline he could hardly keep himself from falling over. He ran up Amsterdam, across 109th, then bumped into someone on the sidewalk and fell down. I couldn't tell if this was his accomplice, a stranger, or someone trying to stop him. He stood up and sprinted east on 109th. I had forgotten my phone, so I asked my friend, who had also seen this, to call 911.

I immediately filled with disgust for the shooter and concern for the victim. However, I couldn't tell if there was a victim. I had seen the shooter between two parked cars, and I couldn't see who he was shooting at. My jaw hung, and I walked into the street, intending to check on the victim. Then I looked behind me, and saw lots of people lying flat on the ground behind a van. (The thought that the shooter would have wanted to shoot me for witnessing everything didn't cross my mind until two days later. He didn't notice me, though.)

About 30 seconds after the shooting, a police car tore down Amsterdam Avenue toward 109th. I walked across the street and found no one and nothing. No victim, no blood, no shells. It was as if nothing had happened.

I was really pissed off that someone would do that. And with such apparent glee. I wrote the last post when I got home about 8 hours later after staying up all night.

Anyway, from what I could piece together from talking to the cops afterward, someone--possibly a bystander--took a bullet in the side and was not hurt too badly. Whatever happened before the shooting resulted in someone getting stabbed in or around the eye, and there may have been a carjacking.

I saw Cronenberg's A History of Violence the next night.


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