The Mayflower Street neighborhood is, unfortunately, known as a crime-ridden area and the base for one of the City’s toughest gangs. As such, its residents are used to the threat of death even when not imminent.
Around 8 this morning, 27 year old Rafael Cruz had just left home to run an errand when he met trouble in the form of two gunmen on motorcycles. His father, Norman Middleton, describes what happened next.
“I run da back ya and seh, bway, I shot your son. When I get out deh, I stalk pan di street right?
Reporter: “What kind of condition was the man in?
Norman Middleton : “The condition, he still mih have eye open and e di hold e hand and so?”.
Reporter: “Did he manage to tell you anything?”
Norman Middleton: “No, nothing. All I hear da wa person pa one motorcycle haul up and one of the motorcycle man, dem come off and fire the shots, one eena e belly, I understand e get one eena e bac out like bout five shots. I know more or less how much shot e get”.
According to Middleton, this is the first time any family member has been directly targeted for violence although a relative was injured in the infamous May 2008 grenade attack that took one life. But Middleton insists that his son is no troublemaker and neither he nor they should fear anyone.
Norman Middleton: “He da no gang bang. When he done his work, he comes straight from his work to home, then keep around the gang bag persons. E only be frien with dem, but But he da noperson fuh say e awn hang out and dem look fuh chance people or doing by them nothing”.
Reporter: “So, is it a situation that you guys fear in a regular basis?”
Norman Middleton: “No, well we no scared a dat fu living thru ya because we live thru ya fan we bawn. So, we no scared a nobody at all”.
Reporter: “But I mean to be labeled as gang affiliate just because you live here?”
Norman Middleton: “Well, I no see no way fu scared a nobody, because you no do nobody nothing. I no mid if you do some body something, but the way life di go now, yu no have to do nothing abd dem do you something now. Dem just want care somebody weh eena the areas fu satisfy themselves, fu in case anyone a them next bway do something outside a this area”.
According to police, Cruz was shot in the abdomen and is in a stable condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.