I have some sad news to share.
As many of you know, I worked and lived in the city of Richmond for many years. This city is notorious for its high crime rate and ungodly number of homicides. I drove through the roughest parts of Richmond and North Richmond on a daily basis to take youths home, and I've always felt safe because I trusted God to look out for me. Even after I moved out of the legendary 5824 house, I didn't end all the relationships I had in Richmond.
Every time there is a report about a shooting in Richmond at this street and intersection, I think about who I know that lives there (I knew a lot of kids) and pray that he/she and their family were okay. I just found out that one of my friends was killed in a shooting this past weekend. He wasn't an NFL player, so his death probably won't get as much publicity, but it's just as tragic.
This was the one young man that I had spent the most time with outside of the King's Club. He wasn't the smartest kid and he had gotten kicked out of just about every high school in the district. He used to constantly get in fights and acted really tough when I first met him. I always liked the bad kids, so I was the King's Club staff member who worked with him the most. We played basketball and Madden. We went out to eat and talk. He really wasn't a bad kid at heart, but he just didn't know how to act any other way. I could tell he really liked hanging out with me because he didn't have to pretend he was all big and bad. He soon became one of the more popular kids at King's Club.
He was working on staying out of trouble and getting away from all the stupid stuff he did as a juvenile. He got a lot more mature when he became a father at 18. I saw him get a GED at adult school. I remember taking him around to different places looking for jobs. He even wanted to work at King's Club so he could help teach other kids some things. It was about this time that I moved to Daly City, but every two months or so, he'd give me a call just to let me know what he was up to.
I got a call from a former co-worker who relayed the sad news to me today. It sucks that the nonstop nonsensical violence in Richmond has continued to claim lives. The only bright spot is that I know I will see my pal again someday.