|How much more of this are we going to take before Black America just gets fed up and starts shutting the thug culture down, from hip-hop to gun lore to gangs?
Twelve people were shot shortly after midnight Monday when gunfire erupted at a birthday party in Overtown.
Several people are now in the hospital, some barely clinging to life, as Miami police search for three shooters responsible for the mayhem that occurred at 12:45 a.m. outside a home in the 500 block of Northwest Fifth Street.
Some at the block party were gunned down as they ran. Others were shot as they sipped their drinks and listened to rap music. Most were teenagers.
Four people were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center in critical condition and six others were taken to Jackson, according to Miami Fire Rescue spokesman Ignatius Carroll. Two people remained in critical condition Monday morning, police reported.
Kedricka Hughes, a 16-year-old who attended the party, said there was a peaceful atmosphere all evening. More than 200 people were at the block party, put together for Lawrence Smith's 20th birthday, according to several friends. He had advertised it on MySpace and had even hired a disc jockey.
Miami police officers had stopped by the house early in the evening, responding to a ''loud music'' complaint, and everything seemed calm.
But as the night progressed, things got out of hand.
A 19-year-old woman, who withheld her name out of fear, said she saw a big boy in a white T-shirt and jeans light a TNT bomb. Another man, maybe in his 20s, was holding an assault rifle, she said.
Two sisters, who also wished to remain anonymous, said that more than a dozen teenage boys from two different gangs convened near the disc jockey just before 1 a.m. They were huddled around an AK-47 that was leaning against the home's wall, the barrel pointing up.
When one sister saw that, she slowly walked away from the home.
''Everything was fine,'' Hughes said. ``And then they just started shooting.''
And lest you think this was merely a collection of assorted gang bangers and lowlifes:
Almost 10 people were sprayed with bullets and one person was hit by a car, according to police.
One of those shot was Michelle Coleman, 23, a business administration student at Florida A&M University, according to her family. Larry Coleman, her uncle, walked out of Ryder Trauma Center on Monday morning with a somber look on his face.
''She's not going to make it,'' he told reporters.
Michelle was shot in the chest, kidney and liver, he said. Doctors told him the chances for her survival were slim.
''It's a tough day, I tell you,'' he said. ``A tough, tough day.''
He said his niece had returned from college in the spring to help her mother, who was struggling financially.
Barking dogs and bursts of gunfire alerted Rose Godbolt McFarlane to the shooting. Several kids ran to her porch, begging to come in.
''They rushed in, about eight kids, teenagers,'' she said. 'They said, `Thank you, thank you.' ''
The teens were crying, she said.
''It was like we were in Vietnam,'' said McFarlane, 58, who has lived in the neighborhood for 25 years.
McFarlane said she held the hands of one of the shooting victims, who was bleeding and lying by a truck. She tried to calm him down until rescue workers got there.
'I said, `If you're alert, squeeze my hand.' He was struggling. I said, 'God will give you a second chance.' ''
Investigators believe the shooters had a specific target, according to Miami police Chief John Timoney. But that person was not among those sprayed by bullets. He was interviewed by detectives Monday.
Have we had enough yet? By the way, despite this and other horror stories, including the fact that the U.S. is THE gun shop for the hemisphere's ragtag assortment gangsters, kidnap rings and drug cartels, don't look to the Big 60 Democratic caucus in the Senate to bring back the assault weapons ban. Democrats are creatures of fear -- in this case, fear of the gun lobby. They leave it to the rest of us to fear our own neighborhoods.
Labels: Black America, crime, gun crimes, murder