Sometimes, you should trust your instincts

Kyla Harris

Who would’ve thought a fun night out could become a traumatizing memory. Janaisjah Williams, Joshua Johnson, and I were attending a backyard party during the summer. It was such a coincidence that prior to the shooting we actually had a discussion about leaving before anything dangerous could even happen, but had ultimately made the decision to stay and enjoy the last hour of the party.
After going back into the party for thirty minutes and enjoying the music and dancing, someone came up to us and said, “They are about to start shooting, y’all better go home.”
Right after deciding to walk out and leave, the shooter let off multiple shots right in my face. The shots missed me and struck my two friends, and in that moment I realized that anyone could be affected by gun violence.
Johnson and Williams recall how everything happened that night, and express how the event ultimately affected their lives.
“What I thought appeared to be fireworks wasn’t fireworks. It wasn’t until after I felt a ringing, vibrating sensation in my arm that I realized I had been shot,” said Johnson.
Johnson continues to reflect on how that night affected him as well as how his perspective on life changed afterwards.
“I take life more serious now. I was taking life for granted, I never knew something like that could happen to me,” said Johnson.
Gun violence doesn’t change the way Williams moves around in her own city because it happens anywhere but it changes what type of events she attends and the type of people she chooses to hang around.
“Now I’m not traumatized but at first I was scared to go outside. I used to have panic attacks and that’s something that never used to happen. Not being able to walk properly for that period of time just hurt me,” said Williams.
She continues to reflect on the aftermath of the situation and how it changed her way of living.
“People still ask me if I’m okay but I don’t say much because I still can’t believe it happened myself. The situation calmed me down and made me become more affectionate because now I give out more hugs and “ I love yous” because the situation could’ve been worse,” said Williams.
Senior Keith Bracey has experienced the effects of gun violence in his community first hand through the loss of his friends, which led him to make big changes in his own life.
“I feel like there’s a lot of people that died that weren’t supposed to. It just wasn’t their time. I had to stay out of the way and cut some people off because I didn’t want to become a victim to that,” said Bracey.
Gun violence is a prevalent issue in our community, and it’s something that continues to affect us on all levels. A fun night out can turn to tragedy in the blink of an eye. Be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts, it can be the difference between life and death.

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