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Residents Want Riverside Violence to Cease

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Commentary - By Hilary Lake

Riversider’s are again left with shattered hearts and fear as many of us weep for another young victim of a senseless crime.

Saturday, October 5th in broad daylight an energetic, polite, respectful, adorable 13-year-old was gunned down on one of Riverside’s main streets, Central Avenue. He was going to watch a football game with his brother and a friend.
The police and Press-Enterprise reported that “hard stares” were the cause of this child’s shooting and subsequent death. The articles in the dailies and some people at the hospital witnessed the police’s treatment of the victim’s brother and friends reported that there was more interest in falsely declaring these people as “gang-related” than finding the shooter and his accomplices.
Over the years, I remember seeing this boy as a younger child with his mother at Reid Park events, North High School activities and Pop Warner football games throughout the city of Riverside. I remember once they got up from the bleachers to offer an elderly gentleman their seat.
It’s sadly ironic that a dog shooting, or a mother hitting her child or someone saving a tree gets repeated nationwide media attention, however, when a human being makes the decision to shoot a bullet from a high profile truck into the chest of a small framed, 5 foot child in broad daylight because he felt someone looked at him -- very few seem to care.
Imagine the fear, pain, and confusion this child felt as the hot, piercing bullet exploded and shattered in his pre-adolescent chest. He was only trying to quench his thirst with the drink his brother had bought him at the market on Grand and Jurupa. Imagine how he felt as his suddenly struggling heart pounded and poured his blood from his soon to be lifeless body. Instead of arriving at the game at Nichols Park, his brother frantically raced through our downtown streets to the hospital. Imagine what it felt like as the images of his short life faded away as the team of doctors took extreme measures to undo this horrible act and save this boy to help him live again. Imagine the sheet being pulled over his face as this “sunshine and joy” in so many people’s lives is silenced. Alive thirteen years -- dead forever.
If you haven’t felt the pain, or the sadness of this loss yet, finally imagine this child is White, or Hispanic, or Asian, or Black. Imagine that this can happen to any child.
It happened to Markess Lancaster.

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