This paper explores the events that happened on the 5th of September in 1994. The research of the New York Times archives revealed three particularly worrying articles. All of them described murders and injuries of three different people, and all of them had one feature in common – the suspects charged with murders were under age.
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The first article follows the case of an argument between two friends which had a lethal outcome, one of the boys shot the other one. The second article is a description of a tragic accident that happened between two cousins one of which found a gun and, thinking, it was a toy, shot his cousin. Finally, the last article depicts a cold-blooded planned murder of an elderly woman by a teenager.
The article called “Mischievous Boys, a Stolen Gun and the Loss of a Life” by Robert D. McFadden discusses a tragic result of a fight between two friends of 13 and 11 years old. The older child, Adam, was “a troubled boy from a broken home, a blusterer with a wiry arm who befriended younger, smaller boys he could dominate” (McFadden par. 1).
The younger friend, Jacob, is described as a quiet, shy and police child, who was the follower in this boyhood relationship. A while before the tragic fight the two boys together with a couple more teenage friends committed a planned mischief together, they broke in to some private property and stole a number of things among which there were guns.
Days after that, when the four children gathered for a game, a fight occurred. Jacob fought with one of the boys, called Jamie. As a leader of the group, Adam broke the fight off, telling Jamie to apologize, which he did. Jacob was ordered to give an apology too, yet, he refused; to maintain his authority, Adam pointed a gun at his younger peer’s chest and ordered once again, Jacob kept refusing and Adam pulled the trigger.
Shocked, screaming and bleeding, the 11-year old ran out of the house, where he collapsed and was found by a construction worker, who called 911 (McFadden par. 29). Jacob was picked up by a helicopter and moved to the hospital, but did not survive; the murderer called the police and surrendered the same day.
The next article is by John T. McQuiston and it is called “In a ‘Game,’ Boy Shoots His Cousin Handgun Seemed Just Like a Toy”, this piece informs about a bad accident that happened when two cousins, an 8-year old Kashif and a 3-year old Lorenzo were left alone in a room with a loaded pistol.
Thinking that the gun was a toy, the older boy took a shot at the toddler and hit him in the head, which put him in critical condition. Kashif’s mother, Karen, ran into the room after she heard a shot, she called the ambulance right away. The owner of the gun was also in the house at that moment, it was Karen’s friend Robert.
The man grabbed the weapon and stormed out, but soon was caught by the police and arrested as an illegal owner of a pistol. Robert was “charged with first-degree reckless endangerment, a felony, and criminal possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child” (McQuiston par. 9).
Lorenzo’s parents agreed that his 8-year old cousin could not be held responsible for what happened, Robert was the one at fault in this accident, he should not have brought the gun and left it in the place where the children could reach it (McQuiston, par. 14).
The last article is “Another Slaying in Chicago, Another 11-Year-Old Suspect” by Don Terry, the author tells a story of a cold-blooded murder of an elderly woman committed by an 11-year old child. The 84-year old Mrs. Gilvis was found dead in her bathroom, her hands were tied up, her throat was slip and there were marks of beating up on her body.
Investigating this crime the police interrogated the victim’s neighbors, among whom there was a boy nicknamed Frog. He kept naming suspects, who proved not to be the murderers, so after all, the detectives agreed that the boy might have had something to do with the crime. After Frog was arrested, his mother revealed the details of the relationship between him and Mrs. Gilvis, she stated that the victim was hateful towards the boy based on his ethnicity (Terry, par. 13).
The boy confirmed that hated the neighbor back, which makes his motive to kill “older than the nation” (Terry, par. 12). The described crimes happened in New Jersey, New York and Illinois accordingly. They were only a small part of all accidents that occurred all around the United States territory resulting from misplacement and reckless handling of weapons, allowing the children to reach them.
In most cases such situations are the consequences of irresponsible parenting and the indifference of the communities towards the youth growing up in dysfunctional families and dangerous districts.
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McFadden, Robert D. “Mischievous Boys, a Stolen Gun and the Loss of a Life.” Nytimes.com. New York Times, 5 Sep. 1994. Web.
McQuiston , John T. “In a ‘Game,’ Boy Shoots His Cousin Handgun Seemed Just Like a Toy.” Nytimes.com. New York Times, 5 Sep. 1994. Web.
Terry, Don. “Another Slaying in Chicago, Another 11-Year-Old Suspect.”Nytimes.com. New York Times, 5 Sep. 1994. Web.