Saturday, February 23, 2008

Snow... and a Shooting

What a weird week. Yesterday I almost got shot. That is to say, I was near someone who did. I saw it. Well, almost all of it. Enough of it to never want to again. Here's what happened. For some reason, my friend M. and I decided to pick Friday, February 22 to have lunch in midtown. By noon, there was a good six inches of snow on the ground. I gamely got on the subway uptown and had a delightful lunch with M. at Oceana (hamachi appetizer with candied ginger was a highlight.

A lowlight was M. telling me I got fat. Well, he said "gained a lot of weight since high school." Well, duh. And this after LOSING a good ten pounds (with a few more to follow) recently. Note: I was a perfect size 2 in high school. So there. He also said I looked attractive, which almost helps.) But I digress.

After lunch, feeling chilly and melancholy, I walked toward 57th Street as M. had suggested, to see the new Chanel store and other shiny, new (to me) establishments along the high-end block between Sixth and Seventh Avenues. Naturally, I accidently turned onto 56th Street and had started up the slight incline when I heard a shot. While wondering if it was a gunshot or a car backfiring I kept going without breaking stride, as any normal New Yorker would.

A few seconds later I could feel something in the air, see people on the other side of the street staring and pointing at a spot in front of me by 20 yards or so and then pointing slowly toward me. Then I saw a young man running right at me, dressed all in black and lugging a large duffel bag. I had plenty of time to contemplate tripping him. It would've been so easy, either with a quick leg out or by jumping out and down in front of him. I'll always regret simply stepping aside, and shielding my face with my little polka-dotted umbrella.

(In a parallel universe I did trip him. The gun flew out of his hand and I grabbed it, turning it on him and shouting "Stay down, motherfucker!" Then I grabbed the bag full of cash, disappeared into the after-lunch rush and ended up at the Apple Store where I bought several MacBook Airs. Oh -- and an iPhone.)

In reality, I turned to watch the perp get to the end of the block (with the bag) and turn right, at the same time noting a black car moving down the block in the same direction, ominously sounding a steady horn.

I kept walking and a few yards away saw a man on the sidewalk bleeding from the head. My heart stopped. I was certain he was dead. It was so Law & Order, except the police hadn't arrived. I stood around with the other gawkers, open-mouthed, horrified... looking/not looking. The police arrived pretty quickly -- within probably two minutes -- and I gave one the perp's description and told them he had turned right on Sixth. Then I left. I got in a cab, finally, and shook uncontrollably all the way home.

Update: the guy got away with around $150,000 that the victim inexplicably (so far) had just withdrawn from a bank. The victim is supposedly in stable condition at the hospital. I'm glad.

My favorite witness statement: "You don't expect this. Not on 56th Street. Especially in front of Starbucks.'' Brilliant.

Read all about it:

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/02/22/man-is-shot-at-midtown-starbucks-police-say/#comment-207213

1 comments:

Anonymous said...

no one was shot, the robber's gun discharged but did not hit anyone. The victim was pistol whipped.

 
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