I thought we learned our lesson after Lesane Parish Crooks, 25, was murdered in 1996. And I was sure we had learned our lesson after the fatal shooting of 24-year-old Christopher George Wallace just a year later.
But, the beat—and the killings—go on.
This weekend, a Valdosta radio DJ was shot to death and his killer remains on the loose, according to WALB TV in Valdosta and other regional news reports.
Stephon Edgerton, known as Juan Gatti on radio station V96, was gunned down just outside the door of the studio where he was working the night shift, according to WALB (I do not know the race or gender of the suspect in this case but his death was violent).
Editor's Note: A Monday evening report on WALB, said Edgerton was shot twice in the body and once in the head. According to the story, Edgerton called 9-1-1 and "said a man wearing a mask shot him."
Just over a month ago, the rapper Slim Dunkin (real name Mario Denzel) who was from Clayton County just south of the Cascade Patch area, was fatally shot at a music studio on Memorial Drive.
Atlanta rapper Yung Vito (real name Vinson Hardimon) later turned himself in and was officially charged with Dunkin's murder on Jan. 10, according to a detailed report on Hip Hop Enquirer Magazine's website. Police reports indicated that the altercation stemmed from an argument over candy.
It's happening everywhere and not just in the music industry.
According to federal crime and CDC figures, homicides are the leading cause of death among African-American males ages 15 to 24. Studies also show that close to 95 percent of black murder victims are killed by black offenders.
Why? Why are so many talented young black men dying in this way? Can we turn this around?
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We need answers and we need peace.