I grew up in Milwaukee as a young girl. I’ve experienced many different forms of gun violence, which still stick with me today. Even popping sounds startle me now.
I remember we were walking to the bus stop with my dad, seeing two cars start shooting at each other, and being scared out of my mind. I was around 8 or 9 at that time. The saddest part is that wasn’t the only time I would have to be around that trauma.
Growing up, my family on my father’s side was full of gang members, and, of course, rival gangs are a result. One day at my granny’s house, my father and I were sitting and talking with my granny when all of a sudden we heard yelling, then POP POP POP. All I remember is my dad screaming “Get down!” and pushing me and my granny to the floor, I was around 5 or 6.
The last shooting I was in, I was around 13, and I was visiting my father. We went to dinner at Popeye’s while it was being robbed.
I know my stories aren’t as bad as some, but it still affects me.