Monday, March 31, 2008

HAUNTED IN SAN PEDRO; ONE MORE CHILD DEAD. What does it mean to the woman who stumbled onto the shooting -- with a medical background and stops as a duty?

Dear Readers: This piece was written by a friend who was on her way home from work in the medical industry when she stumbled on another senseless shooting in our town. Miguel Osuna, 15, was killed last Wednesday around 5 p.m. while he stood outside on a porch in the 600 block of Sixth Street. This is what my friend wrote when she fell into the tragic event driving home from work. Because of her medical background, she stopped to help. Miguel is now the 189th murder in the last two decades in San Pedro -- an average of nine killings per year. Many of the homicides s are related to gangs and also remain unsolved. Whatever you can do to help the youngsters of today -- please do so. Diana

She wrote:
I am haunted by the death of yet another teenager in San Pedro.
I didn’t know Miguel but feel that I may have seen him since I work a block away from the house where he was killed.
Last week, I heard the shots and attempted to approach the scene. The police had not arrived yet. I was stopped by a few men who inquired as to where I was going? These men brought me back to reality by saying, “They are shooting down there. You shouldn’t go." At that moment, I saw a little girl standing on the sidewalk and my instincts took over. " Get to that little girl-remove her from this situation." There was no one (an adult) near her. Where was her mother? Was the mother the one that was shot? There were so many things that went through my head and I know that I needed to process things very quickly as a little girl's life was now at stake. At this point, I still did not know what happened. But I made the decision to grab the little girl and take her to a safe distance from the house.

As I approached, a man appeared and stayed next to her. I then became a bystander and watched as several women on the porch were obviously grief stricken and hysterical. I still didn’t know what had happened, but I knew whatever it was, it was really bad.

The police and paramedics arrived. I could tell by the demeanor of the paramedics that whomever was shot was in all likely hood deceased. Just a feeling. The next day I desperately needed to know if the little girl was okay. I was unable to focus at work. I had been told a boy was shot six times and was informed that the little girl was his sister. She was okay.

Miguel’s blood was still on the porch. Family and friends had erected a shrine which consisted of a basket ball jersey, several velas and a rosary. It was just very, very sad. I hugged his friends/hommies whom were obviously in shock and grieving for the loss. I hugged an older woman who came out of the house and I believe was his mother as she kept saying, “My son, my son” in Spanish. Several girls clung to me for support.

One individual that I spent some time with had on a T-Shirt of a cousin who died in a similar fashion. I couldn’t help thinking that the next time I see this individual he will have on a T-shirt with a picture of Miguel and the dates of his short life.

These people didn’t know me, and I didn’t know them. They received me as a person who was touched by the death of their loved one. It wasn’t a matter (for me) of being in a gang or not; it was about being a human being at that moment.

I’ve had some time to think about Miguel and the individual whom shot and killed him. I grieve for both families because ultimately whether it be via the police or “street justice” another family will lose a loved one. That’s just the way it is.

Haunted in San Pedro.