My husband and I bought our first house in D.C., on Capitol Hill, in what we didn’t know at the time was front and center in an area dominated by an organized and dangerous drug gang. The year was 1990. We are both veterans of the Army, but our first experience of gun violence nevertheless shook us to the core. It was a gun fight across the street from our home.
My husband who was outside, watering the front plantings, hit the ground. I looked out the window, seeing him on the ground, and immediately prayed he was there due to his training. He was. A few years later, I was returning home late in the evening when a young man jumped out of the shadows close to our house and stuck a gun in my face. Agitated and yelling, he demanded that I and a friend with me kneel and that we give him our valuables, jewelry, money, etc. My friend tried to talk him out of what he was doing. He was very agitated and excited, and I thought for sure he would shoot us as my friend continued to tell him he did not want to do this. But he did not. He robbed us and ran. I can still see his face.
A month or so later, I saw him outside a corner store in the neighborhood and called the police. They wanted me to come with them to identify him. I would not because it was clear he was in a gang, and I feared retribution.