On Tuesday, July 12th, I traveled to the courthouse to sit and listen to hearings as a member of the public. I sat next to law enforcement officers as we all waited for the judge. Some of our pre-court banter was interrupted by gunshots, which sounded like they were extremely close to the courthouse. The majority of the law enforcement presence in the courthouse rushed outside to investigate the disturbance. I followed behind the group of law enforcement as we all ran a little past Zona Hospital. The crime scene was at the large intersection between the areas of Los Santos Customs #1, Maze Bank Parking, and Zona Hospital. Once we all arrived on scene, it was clear that the shooter had already successfully fled. Law enforcement immediately administered life-saving medical treatment to a victim.
I was able to ask the victim a few questions after he had been further treated at Zona hospital. The victim, Paul Smith, explained that he was driving his scooter around the Zona hospital area when a vehicle bumped into him. According to Smith, the people in the vehicle started yelling obscene things at him. Smith attempted to avoid the entire situation but was followed and harassed. Shortly after exchanging words between the two parties, the vehicle’s occupants dismounted and fired their weapons at Smith. Smith was struck in multiple places by bullets before the heroes from the courthouse arrived on scene. I also had the opportunity to interview detective Collins who confirmed some details of the victim’s story.
This type of crime should be very concerning to law-abiding citizens. It seems as if this citizen was randomly targeted by criminals with little motive. It is scary that criminals are beginning to disregard their proximity to hospitals and courthouses while committing violent and ruthless crimes like this. To our knowledge, no arrests have been made in connection with this shooting and the aggressor is still freely roaming our city.
I interviewed Sergeant Tommy Morrison on Thursday, July 14th. He confirmed that, although the frequency of crime is regular, the motives behind the crimes have changed. He explained that many recent crimes appear to have been committed for almost no reason.
As many of New York’s residents know, the federal government has recently shortened the process of becoming a citizen. This has resulted in an influx of visitors and new residents in our city. I suggested to Sergeant Morrison that these new laws may have something to do with the irregular crime motives. Morrison quickly agreed.
Although the changing border rules may be correlated with the increase in these crime changes, Sergeant Morrison and I concluded that we supported the new laws. We both agreed that the positive effects of the law changes ultimately outweigh the negative effects. Our city experienced historic records of population decreases in the past month, but is starting to see rising populations once again.