Neighbors in the Dunbar Heights area are healing physically and emotionally after three people were shot when an argument spiraled into violence. The three people seriously injured were 82-year-old Johnnie Taylor, 44-year-old Cary Taylor, and a 10-year-old child. All were taken to the hospital for treatment. As of Monday all but Cary Taylor had been discharged.
The altercation happened Saturday night at around 10:30 p.m. Lubbock Police reported that the disagreement started when a group of children were playing late at night on Johnnie Taylor’s lawn. Taylor confronted the children and a physical altercation ensued, police said. The children left, then returned with a group of around 8 adults. Next, LPD said that 22-year-old Kenneth Davis approached the group and fired a gun. Police said that Johnnie Taylor also pulled out a gun and returned fire. In the exchange of gunshots both Johnnie Taylor, his son Cary, and the 10-year-old were wounded.
“It is the most scariest thing I’ve ever been through with my kids,” said Meandra Moses, the mother of the boy who was shot. “I wouldn’t want no father, no mother to have to go through that.”
Moses said that her son went to UMC to be treated for a bullet wound in his upper thigh. With the bullet now removed, her son has been recovering at home, drifting in and out of sleep. The details of Saturday night are still jarring and surreal for her.
“I panicked, because his finger tip also got grazed [by a bullet] and he had his finger in his mouth and blood coming out,” Moses said.
She disputes many of the details of the police account of what happened, such as the statement that eight adults were on scene during the confrontation. Moses said that she walked over to speak with Taylor with one other adult and a group of children. Moses explained that Kenneth Davis is her brother and she doesn’t believe he fired the first shot, she has questions about how the exchange of gunfire occurred.
She said when the shots were fired, tensions were escalating between her brother and the Taylors. She was close by, but had turned around with her children to call the police.
“Three seconds after we heard nothing but gunshots, so we all ran down here and I notice my son wasn’t accounted for,” Moses said. She was horrified to find him wounded and wishes the conflict had been resolved with words rather than gunfire.
“I don’t think it was fair to the kids, now my son isn’t gonna want to run around this neighborhood and play, my girls won’t either,” Moses said.
EverythingLubbock.com spoke Monday with both families involved and both dispute police accounts of what happened.
Pastor J.T. Cotton of One Way Church of God in Christ also visited the homes of both families to spread prayer. Cotton said that he wanted to share his concern and offer comfort for the families impacted by the shootings. Johnnie Taylor’s daughter Sheila Andrews said that Cotton’s visit was greatly appreciated.
Cotton said that as a neighbor and new president of the Dunbar Manhattan Heights Neighborhood Association, he is hoping the area rebuilds a stronger sense of community and safer neighborhoods. In the nearly two decades he’s lived in the area, Cotton believes he’s seen an increase in violence and crime.
“It’s a sad thing to see something like that or hear of something like that happening in your own neighborhood, it affects us everywhere, that could’ve been my home, that could’ve been my family,” Cotton said of the shootings.
“I think the most important thing is that we learn to get along,” Cotton said. “I think violence is not the answer and we have to communicate and talk with each other, and I think when we can communicate with each other as brothers and sisters and put aside our differences, then we can have a better community. “
He hopes the families throughout the neighborhood who’ve experienced violence work toward forgiving one another.
The residents on E 30th Street may have already begun building bridges. Johnnie Taylor’s family wished a speedy recovery to Moses’ son on Sunday and Moses said that she is sorry for what happened and wishes the Taylor family members a healthy recovery. Moses added that she went over to speak with Taylor’s family Sunday after her son came home from the hospital.
Pastor Cotton is working with the neighborhood to prevent future incidents like this. He has several programs planned including the National Night out in which neighbors can hang out, meet one another, and get to know local law enforcement. He said that event will be held August 2.
Cotton also believes faith can help to unify the community, he welcomes any residents who want to join him for worship to drop in to the One Way Church of God in Christ.
For Moses future changes in the neighborhood may come too late. After the shootings she’s taking new measures to keep her kids safe.
“I do plan on moving because a lot has been going on since I moved here, to the point where I’m not comfortable with my kids being in this neighborhood,” she said.