Growing up on the West Side of Chicago, there is gun violence, drugs, and gangs. It was a cold Saturday night. I was just getting out of the shower, and putting on some clothes to leave and meet up with some friends.
I was walking down Lockwood. The street lights were out from the storm, so it was dark. When I was further down the street, a black Ford Focus pulled up and someone in the car asked me If I had some weed.
I told him no, I do not sell weed, so they drove off. I continued walking down Lockwood to my friend’s house. About three to four minutes later, that same car circled the block. They were driving fast with the lights off up the block. Before I made it to my friend’s house, the window of the black Ford Focus came down. I immediately started to run for my life when shots were fired towards me. One bullet grazed my right arm after it bounced off the gate. I continued running to my friend’s house. When I made it there, I did not know I was hit and I bled all over his floor.
His parents thought I was shot multiple times due to the amount of blood. They rushed me to the hospital. When I got there, the nurses put me on a bed, took me into the room, and started to work on me.
The staff took off all my clothes to see where I was hit on my body. A few hours later, they wrapped my arm with bandages and kept me overnight. That whole night, I thought my life was almost taken.
On Sunday morning, at about 7:30 a.m. CT, I was released from the hospital. My friend’s mom and dad came to pick me up and take me home. My mom and siblings are screaming; asking what happened to me. I told them I was shot at and the bullet ricocheted off the gate, and then, hit my arm. It was Jul. 2, 2016, when this took place and I was scared for my life.
Twenty years of the life I lived was almost lost. I never thought something like this would happen to me. People who live in Chicago are scared to come outside because of gun violence every day.
I lost one of my friends to gun violence. The night it happened, I did not see it coming. Now, I cannot even go outside. It is sad to say Chicago is not the city I want live in for the rest of my life.
I realized the city of Chicago does not have love. I remember all those days dreaming about my life being almost taken. In Chicago, I could have been shot and killed.
It was heart breaking to just think about Chicago and what happened to me. It was not even about me. If I was shot and killed, I would leave a lot of people in Chicago behind.
I do not want to see those sad faces in Chicago because I have a lot of family here in the city. I am glad I made the best decision of my life.
Chicago was the best city to live in, but it is not safe any longer. People have to watch every move now. The word going around Chicago is “Keep your head up.” Downtown Chicago is safe to live in, but the west and south sides are not.
Written by Joshua Powell
Edited by Leigh Haugh
Personal Experiences and Observations of the Author
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of John’s Flickr Page- Creative Commons License