Even a vigil for a shot baby can’t pause the violence

10/06/2013 5:12 PM

10/06/2013 10:21 PM

Some degenerate showed up and waved a gun near the end of a prayer vigil for Brooklyn Murff.

People ducked at shouts of, “He’s got a gun!” Cars screeched out of the parking lot, one nearly hitting a youngster who hadn’t moved fast enough with the scurrying crowd.

Brooklyn turned 11 months old last week in a hospital. She spent much of that week on a ventilator.

The abrupt way Friday night’s vigil nearly ended in more violence pretty much captures how Brooklyn got shot. A baby, seriously wounded in a drive-by, because of the adults around her.

Brooklyn was in her father’s arms when she was shot Sept. 30. One bullet pierced the back of her head and came out the front, said Alvin Brooks, longtime leader of the Ad Hoc Group Against Crime. Another struck her shoulder and exited her arm, he said.

Her father, Darius Murff, 21, took nine bullets, said his mother, who also attended the vigil. She said her son tried to shield Brooklyn. That’s probably true.

But so is this: Darius Murff was released from federal prison in September after serving a sentence for being a crack cocaine user in possession of a firearm. Court records say he admitted being a gang member in 2012. And he hadn’t fully cooperated in the shooting investigation, Brooks said.

Ad Hoc couldn’t hold the vigil at the scene of the shooting at 39th and Bellefontaine because of continuing tensions. Organizers feared an incident like what nearly occurred anyway.

Minutes before the crowd scattered, more than 50 people had been gathered in a circle outside the Ad Hoc offices. Heads bowed, candles were lit and prayers were said for Brooklyn, beseeching God to let her live.

There were pleas for anyone with information to see themselves as a “witness,” not a “snitch.”

Brooks addressed young men, telling them not to bring violence home to their families. He said it is believed that Brooklyn’s father got into an altercation and that the gunman was targeting him.

Brooks conceded that it would be difficult to know whether the gun-waving man at the vigil had anything to do with the shooting of Brooklyn and her father. It’s possible he was just another fool with the twisted mentality that equates street stature with such stupidity.

Either way, it was a ridiculous assault on a community. Some people aren’t even allowed to pray in peace.

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