Thursday, July 30, 2009

Another F-ing Shooting at Franklin and Dean

A familiar sight on the Avenue: flashing lights, caution tape, and worried residents milling about.

As usual, Zachary Goelman of Epichorus has the straight take (here's his Daily News article):

Lin Jun, 25, a deliveryman at Sushi Tatsu, was shot in the abdomen at approximately 9:00 p.m. Thursday [editor's. note: some reports place the shooting closer to 7pm]. He was at the payphone outside the restaurant patio. Police at the scene believe the four rounds fired were meant for others. Jun ran inside the restaurant and collapsed on the floor bleeding. The manager of the restaurant said she waited 15 minutes for the ambulance, while an off-duty paramedic performed CPR on Jun. An officer said the victim was taken to KCH in critical condition. [Officers at the scene around 10pm said they were getting reports that the victim had stabilized and would survive the incident].

Now, see, I've tried to make my posts about these unfortunate events as straightforward and news-y as possible, out of respect for the gravity of the situation and the victims. But this one hit a little closer to home, for two reasons: my lady was walking a block away when the gun went off around 7:30 pm, and the victim was a delivery guy from Sushi Tatsu II on the corner of Franklin and Dean. It's not hard to put two and two together here: if the 4 train had run a minute earlier, it could have been her. No excuses, none of this "most violent crime takes place between people who know each other" stuff, nothing to gloss it over or treat it as a part of the scenery: this could have been the end of my world as I know it. It's knocked me on my ass in more ways than one, forcing me to realize how cavalier I've become about shootings that I don't think involve or really affect me and how shockingly quickly this little life I'm trying to build could get blasted into oblivion.

So seriously, what on earth is going on? Who sprays a gun around in broad daylight, with a Skywatch visible up the street? More importantly, what do we do to keep people from doing this? I realize I'm a gentrifier and I've got a laundry list of various guilt complexes about claiming this neighborhood as my own (though I do, and I'm proud to), but I think avoiding death on your sidewalk transcends social, cultural, and economic status. I'll partner with almost anybody and do almost anything if it will guarantee (hell, statistically reduce the chances) that I'm going to find a stray bullet in my skull.

I was proud of my earlier post about the spice guys (even hoped Brownstoner would pick it up for their blogwrap and I'd get a spike on the ol' Google analytics page). I'm out for the weekend, and I was going to let that one lead the page for a few days. Now it's this, and I added the "F-ing" only because the text-remembering function of Firefox recognized the subject line "Another Shooting on Franklin Ave" and this furthered my impotent frustration. People, put the damn guns away!


  1. This is really sad, I hope the guy is OK. I don't remember so many shootings last summer, I wonder what's different this year.

  2. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars... Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
    Martin Luther King Jr.

    I love this neighborhood and hope we do not have to endure more of this senseless violence.

  3. Like everyone, I'm sad and disturbed to hear this news. We live on Franklin & St. John's and while we feel somewhat comforted by the ubiquitous Skywatch, it doesn't appear to be having much effect on certain individuals' tendency toward futile violence.

    Also, I completely relate to your feelings on being gentrifiers. I've had my own guilty feelings about "taking over" the neighborhood, though many people I've met who've lived here for decades say it's gotten exponentially better in the last 2-3 years--before that, it was dangerous walking down any side street off Franklin Av. after dark.

    Lastly, thanks so much for your in-depth piece on the Golombecks. We at The Pour Gourmet hope to develop a relationship with them and would never have known about them if it weren't for you. So, thanks again for keeping your neighbors up on everything Crown Heights.

    Hope to see you out at the Franklin & Sterling Flea Market again!

    Have a great weekend!

  4. One more thing: would you mind adding to your "Local Flavor" links? We'd appreciate it!

  5. I understand fully what you feel about the whole 'my lady was walking a block away'. I just walked passed that corner five minutes before it happened. My husband and I were shocked how close I was to getting caught up in that incident. And what about all those those kids that were playing on the sidewalk that I passed at Franklin and Pacific walking home from the C train? I hope they didn't see anything, but that's probably wishful thinking.

    You know, the police are a funny organization. They show up after incidences like this, plant themselves on the corner for about a week, then after they feel like they paid their dues they leave and the next time they show up is when someone gets shot again. What gives?

  6. First, I commend your blog and your attempt to highlight what's great about this neighborhood.

    Re: your post - The annual spate of violence that resurrects every damn summer (I've been here since 2006) has made me wonder and ask is there something that I can do.

    I am glad that you are asking yourself this because there's more to loving a community than digging all its cool, new restaurants. Asking what can be done and how is taking a further step to really engage.

    Here are some suggestions that might be a place to begin, assuming you haven't done these things already: check out the local community district meetings where equally concerned and invested residents go and plan, same for the local precinct community meetings.

    This might be a stretch if you don't have kids, but the local school board meetings are worth checking out too bc after all, notice the perps of all this violence are usually barely legal drinking age. What's happening, or not happening at the education level? Same goes for social services-- how are they serving or not serving people.

    And on the education tip, you seem to have a deal of savvy about blogging and self-publishing as citizen journalist. Maybe you can get involved with a school program and give a few pointers to some youngsters-- some who might be equally bewildered or frustrated that this sh*t is happening around them.

    In a round-about way, this is the point I'm trying to make, and TRYING to emulate in my own behavior: seeing yourself as separate from the people in this neighborhood - whether it's racial, economic, educational, cultural, etc.- will keep making you feel like a guilty gentrifier, which is not a very constructive mindset.

    That is, unless you allow it to motivate you. I suggest trying to see yourself not as separate from these problems or people, roll your sleeves up and engage in a way that's meaningful and real.

    Yes, it's a lot of work... and who's to say that all will engage with equal sincerity and openness... this sounds very idealistic... etc.

    But, very few things that are really worth it are easy...

  7. I had jury duty last year-that area is a HUGE DRUG trafficking ring! Huge, mafia huge, the cops know about it but I guess it's hard to nab.