I remember the first time I heard a gunshot that left a person dead.
I had been living in the east end of Richmond for nearly a year, and in my new home in the Fairmount neighborhood for nearly 3 months. It was around 10:30pm on January 4th, 2009, and my housemate and I were between episodes of “The Wire”. Maybe it was the aforementioned novelty, or desensitization from hearing so many shots in the last episode, but when we heard the single shot coming from down the block, I have a memory of softly laughing and likely saying something like, “Welcome to Church Hill.”
A day later, I found on a local news blog that the single shot had taken the life of David Earl Boyd, Jr., only a block and a half from where we were starting another episode of the show.
I didn’t know David, but he only lived 3 blocks away. There is a good chance I had said “hi” to him on the sidewalk at some point. And yet, I had so casually dismissed the gunshot that took his life.