Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Howards First Homicide of 2008

Bryan Antoine Adams Jr. was gunned down today. Just before noon, in broad daylight, along Twin Rivers Road, right in front of the Wilde Lake Village Center, he was shot four or five times and later died at Howard County General Hospital.

He was a 2005 graduate of my alma mater, Wilde Lake High School. My thoughts go out to his family and his friends.

This is very familiar ground for me. I grew up in that neighborhood. I have walked this sidewalk and ridden my bicycle down this sidewalk. I have driven by this spot innumerable times.

The thought that strikes me is that Columbia today is a far different place from the Columbia of forty years ago.

Thank you to Columbia Talk for giving me the heads up on this.


Anonymous said...

What happened yesterday was horrific and tragic, but Wordbones I fear your post is reactionary. Yes, it never should have happened. But the answer is not staying in and keeping our kids in, the answer is the opposite - keep Wilde Lake vibrant, keep going to the Village Center, have more traffic. Fear does more damage than the danger itself.

wordbones said...

Anon 10:55 AM,

My post was not meant to be reactionary and if if that is the way it was received then I suppose I need to elaborate.

My post was partly an emotional reaction to such a violent event event occurring in the middle of the day in my old stomping grounds.

When I was growing up in Bryant Woods we had the occasional fight at the village center between young men. Back then someone may have ended up with a black eye but nobody ever was ever killed.

I wholeheartedly agree that fear does more damage in the long run. This tragic event will not keep me from patronizing Wilde Lake Village Green. In fact I plan to stop by Feet First this weekend to pick out some new running shoes. I had already planned to do that before the shooting and see no reason why I would change my plans.


Anonymous said...

Most homicides in Howard County are not random killings. They seem to be, more often than not, related to domestic violence, drug activity, or the culmination of ongoing arguments.

Odd that we are safer among strangers in public than with our spouses or friends at home.

Anonymous said...

I don't want to suggest that the young man who died did anything wrong, but anon # 2 you're absolutely right. The vast, vast majority of killings, EVERYWHERE, are domestic violence and unlawful "contract disputes" (drugs, other illicit activity, etc). There's very little random violence in hoco - the majority is robbings of young hispanic men and women on the paths who are biking and walking to jobs, who are paid in cash, and who are likely to be illegal immigrants and (thanks to the Patriot Act) can't have bank accounts. Of course, since HoCo police thinks its INS these crimes are highly unreported and go unchecked - it's the easiest score out there, since the victims don't report and are scared to fight back.

Wordbones - I think you might have a slightly rosier view of the past than may exist. I don't know how old you are, but if you were in high school in the 70s, well, crime was pretty darn high. Yes, I think drugs and guns have made things worse, but overall crime is down per capita. What is different, however, is the 24 hour citizen and professional media cycle.

wordbones said...

What struck me was not that this was random but that it was brazen.

It was the middle of the day at a commercial center with residences accross the street. A policeman was approximately 150 yards away.

The shooter was not even trying to be discreet and nobody saw him.


Anonymous said...

Wordbones, come out and say exactly what you mean - and for what it's worth I agree - what's shocking is that the shooting was so brazen *and no one SAW it*. You and I know exactly what that means - that the Village Center is a ghost town during the day (well, it's actually a ghost town almost all the time).

Crazies will always exist. If there was someone around the crazy would not have gotten away - and if this was a sane shooting, it may have been deterred.

Now, before everyone decides Kimco pulled the trigger and Ken Ullman is somehow the anti-Christ who made them do it, let's consider the demographic shifts and lack of viability of the old village center model. This is a very real structural problem that needs a solution.