Sometimes the stories about shootings in poor neighborhoods in Syracuse start to blur together in the news business. It may not be right, but it's the truth. Sadly, the repetition of one bad guy killing another stops seeming like news after a while especially when the victim and the accused both have police mug shots on file. Then there was the shooting of a 20 month old boy and now the murder of 19 year old Kihary Blue.
Kihary Blue. I first noticed him when his name started popping up on our newscasts as a star basketball player for Henninger High School. He was the point guard feeding big Ben Cronin while Henninger was beating up on most of its opponents a few years ago. Kihary's name stood out, but so did his play, his composure under pressure and his bright smile. I never met him, but I remembered him.
When I heard he'd been shot it came as a surprise. There was no mug shot. There were sports highlights. Police say he wasn't in a gang. He was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time which happened to be Friday night at the interchange of Routes 81 and 690 when someone fired a gun into the car. He and a friend drove themselves to the hospital, but it wasn't good for Blue from the start. All week long we waited for the news that had passed.
His death reminded me of another I covered nearly twenty years ago. His name was Steven Jamison. He was a football player at Fowler High School. I was in the Emergency Room at University Hospital when he came in with a gun shot wound. We were there taping his last breath. I later interviewed his mother who asked me to show on the air the final moments of her son's life. She hoped it would teach a lesson about the dangers of getting involved with the wrong people.
A generation later that lesson seems lost. So is the potential of Kihary Blue and all the other Kihary's out there.
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