He spent the next 15 years talking tough and shooting people as he rose through the ranks to become a leader of a gang engaging in the illegal sales of gasoline and marijuana.
Then one evening, several friends were chatting on the porch of Andrew’s house, and one of them accidentally fired an automatic weapon into the roof. Nobody was injured, but the incident scared Andrew’s girlfriend, Annette, who fell out of the bed in fright. She pleaded with Andrew to move to her uncle’s house in another town.
Around that time, Andrew’s brother, who was in the same gang, was arrested for murder and received a 20-year sentence. He later died in prison.
Andrew decided to start a new life.
“I gave it all up when my brother went to prison,” Andrew said in an interview.
Andrew and his girlfriend moved to the uncle’s house, and Andrew began to work as a security guard. Several years passed, and Annette left Andrew to marry a man in the United States. Andrew could no longer stay in the uncle’s house, so he moved across the island to another town where several relatives lived. He found a new job as a security guard.
Consequences From the Past
His quiet life was shattered in December 2015 when a cousin, speaking in a conversation with friends, inadvertently blurted out his history with gangsters.
“Andrew isn’t who he seems to be,” the cousin said. “He used to be a gangster and shoot people.”
The news quickly spread through the town. Thirteen armed men marched over to Andrew’s house, scared and determined to kill him. Andrew disdainfully looked out the window at them.
“They were simple country people, and I had grown up in a tough, concrete ghetto,” he said.
He went to get his guns to shoot them.
But Andrew’s sister heard about the standoff, and she rushed over to her brother’s house. She saw the guns and begged him not to shoot anyone.
“If you shoot them, then I and your other relatives won’t be able to live here,” she said. “It would be best if you left instead.”
Andrew wanted to protect his family, so he threw some clothes into a backpack and boldly walked out the front door. He wasn’t afraid of the armed men in the street.
“From when I was 14, I was taught to hold and shoot weapons,” he said. “So, I wasn’t afraid.”
The armed men watched silently as Andrew walked past. Andrew didn’t say a word to them, either.
Homeless in Kingston
He had nowhere to go, so he returned to his birthplace, Kingston. Unable to find work, he slept at a bus station for 2 ½ months.
Then one day, another homeless man told him about a place called the Good Samaritan Inn. The man said the community center was run by the Seventh-day Adventist Church and offered free hot meals, a place to bathe and do laundry, and beds to sleep.
Andrew couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw a crowd of 300 people lined up to eat at the Good Samaritan Inn.
“This is the first time that I had seen people fed like that,” he said.
He received a bed at the Good Samaritan Inn, and soon he began working there as a security guard. Later, he took Bible studies, and he was baptized in 2016.
Andrew loves working at the Good Samaritan Inn.
“I want to help as much as I can,” he said. “I’m very happy that I’m alive and happier than I ever dreamed possible. It gives me a lot of joy to be able to give to others.”
Andrew has reconnected with his relatives, including a sister and brother who are Adventist. He learned that his mother was baptized into the Adventist Church before dying in 2011. He is now 51 and preparing to get married for the first time.
“I am trying to be very faithful and put my trust and faith in God,” he said.
Part of the 2015 Thirteenth Sabbath Offering went to refurbish the Good Samaritan Inn in Kingston, Jamaica, and to expand its work to include a free medical and dental center for the homeless. Thank you for helping the Good Samaritan Inn reach out to people like Andrew.
Wow! Of all the getaway options, a party bus?
Police received a call shortly after 11 p.m. on Jan. 7 about a large group of people who went into a 7-Eleven in the 700 block of Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach and reportedly stole items from the store and assaulted the clerk, according to the Huntington Beach Police Department.
The group then boarded a party bus and headed north, officials said.
Soon after getting the call, officers pulled over a party bus on Pacific Coast Highway near the 7-Eleven. Investigators questioned all 80 people aboard and found seven loaded handguns on the bus, authorities said.
Check out the entire story on LA Times
Chicago’s 500th homicide of the year happened over Labor Day weekend, according to the Chicago Tribune.
That number carries a lot of weight for the city — not just in quantity, but in meaning: 2016 is now the deadliest year in two decades.
CHICAGO VS. OTHER CITIES
When you compare Chicago’s homicide rate to that of other big cities in the country — New York and Los Angeles, for example — it tops the list.
But Chicago is not the homicide capital of the United States.
New Orleans, St. Louis, Detroit, Baltimore and Newark all have higher rates when you drill down the data per capita.
However, this doesn’t tell the entire story of Chicago’s bloodshed. There’s another statistic that points to a disturbing trend the city is facing: a surge.
WHAT 500 MEANS
In the early 2000s, the homicide rate in Chicago held steady, but it began an upward tick in 2014 and has been increasing ever since.
But 2016 is the deadliest year in two decades when it comes to homicide rates.
Chicago hit 500 homicides before the end of the summer. In 2015, the city had 480 homicides total.
The day-to-day breakdown of those figures is alarming. For example, there were 12 murders on Father’s Day weekend alone. The youngest victim was just 16.
THE GUN PROBLEM
A lot of the homicides in Chicago are gun-related. There are nearly 82 shootings per week. In just one weekend in August, there were eight gun-related homicides and 64 non-fatal shootings.
Chicago has strict gun laws, which is why many gun rights advocates point to it as evidence that tighter regulation doesn’t equal less crime. But Chicago’s gun violence problem is more complicated. Sixty percent of the guns used in shootings were purchased out of state.
Illinois governor Bruce Rauner recently signed a new gun control law that imposes harsher penalties on those who bring in guns from out of state to sell and do not have gun-owner ID cards.
WHO’S TO BLAME?
There’s a deeply rooted distrust of Chicago’s police force.
The city’s police department has been under review for months in the wake of high-profile officer-involved shootings, including that of Laquan McDonald.
That independent task force has accused the police of institutional racism, saying they “have no regard for the sanctity of life when it comes to people of color.”
But the other side of this battle is the street crime in Chicago, which has led to the killing of innocent bystanders and kept residents shut inside their homes out of fear.
Englewood resident Stephanie Armas, 43, said she taught her kids from a very young age what to do when they hear gunshots.
“If you live in a society where (your children) have to learn to duck and dodge bullets, you have to teach them how to duck a dodge bullets,” Armas said on September 1. “That’s all you can do.”
Some Chicagoans partly blame the violence on economic struggles and lack of jobs. However, Chicago’s unemployment rate fell from 6.1% in 2015 to 5.5% in 2016.
We often point to Chicago’s alarming homicide numbers, but the real tragedy in this city are the victims and the families left behind.
They are the ones who face this violence every day, the ones who stand over gravestones, the ones who’ve lost hundreds of sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers.
Originally posted on FOX 5 San Diego.
Check it out:
In all fairness, if you’ve lived long enough you know that ex friends/lovers will say anything, especially if there was any kind of falling out.
Do YOU believe this ex bodyguard’s claim? With Suge sitting in jail currently fighting murder charges, this accusation definetly won’t help his case. And the Suge Knight plots just keeps getting thicker…
Join the discussion.