“Hospital days, reflectin’ when my man laid up/ On the Uptown high block he got his side spayed up/I saw his life slippin’, this is a minor set back/ Yo, still in all we livin, just dream about the get back/ That made him smile through his eyes said, “Pray for me”/ I’ll do you one better and slay these niggaz faithfully/ Murder is a tough thing to digest, it’s a slow process/ And I ain’t got nothin but time” – Jay-Z “Dead Presidents 2”
Jigga is of course speaking about the struggles that one has when one commits a murder, and I am talking about the murder of a dear friend of mine, but the basic sentiment is the same. This is the story of a great man, named Rick, who died was killed trying to stand up for the honor of me, my husband, and my sister.
Rick was murdered on December 28, 2006. He was trying to set the record straight to drug dealers who had nearly killed my husband, sister, and close friend. The story is a little complicated, so stay with me.
First let me tell you a little about Rick. He was in the Navy and fought in the Gulf War. I met him as most addicts meet other addicts, in a round about way through other people.
One day, Aaron and I were at the pawn shop doing something, when he ran into a guy, let’s call him Pooh Bear, with whom he had been locked up with about a year before. We gave Pooh our number and went on our way.
He called the next day, and he paid us to take him boosting, to cash in, and to cop. This became a regular thing. (On a side note, one day when Pooh was not available I went into the stores and started boosting. It was a piece of cake and thus started the couple- long since past- years of boosting pharmaceuticals as opposed to our normal hustle). One day he called and said that he had money and could we pick him and his cousin Rick up. In typical Pooh fashion, he didn’t have hardly any money, but Rick did. Rick got us well.
We started hanging out with Rick daily. The three off us made a great team. Aaron at the wheel, Rick and I going into stores. We would pull off team gigs, were one of us would draw attention while the other boosted.
Ok, fast forward to summer of 2006. By this time, an old friend of mine since elementary school was living with us. We will call him R. R is crazy. I mean for real. Escape attempts, pulling knives on security, didn’t give a fuck.
One day we introduced R to a guy we hung out with sometimes, Jarred. We would all get high together.
One hot July day, we were all (all being me, Aaron, R, Jared, and the couple who stayed at the abando that we hung out with) getting high. Jared had another $100, and needed a ride to cop. R said he would take him. R had just shot some coke and had no more money.
So, R takes him to cop, but see Jared is too scared to get out of the car and run up in the hole (alleyway, abandoned building, whatever) to get the shit, so R does. He comes back and on the way home starts shaking the wheel slightly. “You feel that?”, he asks Jarred. Jared agrees that he does, so R pulls in to the gas station and hands him a dollar. “Go get me some change for the air machine, we must be flat.” Jared hops out and R pulls off.
Understandably Jarred was pissed. Karma has a strange way of coming back around though because R was one of the only ones that wasn’t really affected by this.
You should know that it just so happened that about two days prior to this, we had gone to our normal spot to get some coke, but they were not out. We went down the street. Their shit was bigger and better and we ceased going to our original coke spot. We had mentioned this to jarred when he commented how big the dimes of coke were.
Now, I guess Jarred knew who did it, because I know he didn’t have the balls to do it, but some one stole a pack of coke from the first coke dealers. Jarred then, in an act of retribution, tells those dealers that WE stole their coke, and that is why we hadn’t been up there lately.
Ok, following me? I swear that this is all going to tie in.
By now, it is December of 2006. I have four warrants, Aaron has three, and R has one. We couldn’t live at the house because the police came by too much, so we lived in a Ramada in Baltimore.
One night when Aaron and R were out boosting with a guy who we will call M, R got arrested. He had lied about his name, so he was being held with out bail. The police took all of what they had stolen. Aaron and M stopped at one more store just to get a couple hundred dollars worth of stuff. Buy the time they cashed in it was late. R had just been arrested, everyone was tired and no one was out. My friend T was waiting at the room with my sister and I. Aaron and M came back to the room, while Aaron, T and my sister went to cop. To add to the night that had been so fucked up already, was that no one was out with dope. Aaron called me and had me call this guy who had been blowing my phone up about his good dope. We were desperate, so we figured we would just get $100 worth from him, and save the rest of the money.
I call him and tell him that they just pulled up. He tells me he sees them. He proceeded to walk over to the SUV and shine his phone in. He looked at everyone in the car, pulled out a revolver and said, “you know what time it is.” He put the gun at point blank range and fired, but the gun jammed! Twice the gun jammed! This gave my husband enough time to put the car in drive a pull off, but not before the dealer pistol whipped my sister a couple times cracking her teeth and busting her mouth open. At the time we had no idea why he did this.
The next day, I checked my messages and the dealer told me that he would make us pay yet for stealing hi shit. We were dumbfounded. We hadn’t taken anything.
Aaron got locked up like a week later in Baltimore, and I was arrested a couple days before Christmas on the warrants. One day, on December 28, I called home. M and Rick were there with my sister. I talked to both of them on the phone. M and Rick had just dropped my sister off at were going back in town to cop. I told Rick to be careful and he told me to keep my head up in jail.
Rick got out of the car, while M waited. And waited. It was Rick’s car, and M was sitting in it with no keys. Eventually he called my sister and got picked up. They told me about this the next day when I called collect. A couple of days later, my mom told me what had happened. Rick had been murdered.
We pieced together what happened from a couple of friends that love where it happened. Rick went up the same street where they thought we stole the coke. He confronted them about it, saying that we didn’t take it and asked why they thought that. They explained that Jarred told them. Then they killed him.
Technically, his case is unsolved although we all know who did it. The guy is serving life in prison for two other murders.
The police did their “investigation”, if you want to call it that. In reality though Rick was just another drug murder in a city that was the murder capital of the US that year. They didn’t really care.
Rick paid for Jarred making shit up. He paid for R ripping off Jarred. He paid for all our sins. He had a daughter who was nine at the time of his death.
Rick was a good man, with a bright smile. He was always willing to help someone out. He wasn’t stingy, and he didn’t hold a grudge. It is such a cruel twist of fate that he was killed because Jarred and the dealer couldn’t let go of their grudges.
We never saw Jarred after R ripped him off, so I don’t know if he is even aware of the consequences of his actions.
I do know that Rick was a really good person, and is in Heaven now.
Murder IS a tough thing to digest. I have yet to fully digest his death. Hopefully, I have enough time to comprehend such a loss.