Three Buffalo families’ lives changed differently by same burst of gunfire

Local News

BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) On National Gun Violence Awareness Day, Friday, News 4 showed a unique perspective on the survivors of gun violence from a shooting that occurred ten years ago this weekend.

Desmond Green recalled that moment on June 9, 2009 at the corner of West Delavan and Grant Street where he and two friends were simply walking home from a store on a sunny afternoon, much like Friday, when shots rang out.

News Four cameras were there that day as first responders carried Desmond into an ambulance. He’s been paraplegic ever since. “Certain jobs that I probably did back then, I can’t do right now, you know,” said Green. “Only thing that changed is me being in a wheelchair, that’s it. I take care of my son, I take care of my apartment, my billls, all that.”

His friend, John T. Rockmore was killed that day, leaving behind a daughter Jonnaya, who was only five at the time. “That day, I remember getting off the school bus and my grandmother on the phone with my Mom and their saying ‘John died’ and I kept asking was it my father.”

A third friend, named Jesus, completely recovered from his gun shot wound that day. The shots lasted only a few seconds, but by fate or luck, the way those bullets hit each victim had three completely different results.

“God works in mysterious ways, ” said Green. “So if this is how God wanted me to be, I’m fine with that, but I wish my man John T. was still here to see his daughter grow up to be a fine young lady.”

“It’s been hard but it taught me to be stronger,” said Jonnaya Rockmore, 15. “It makes me want to try harder at school and succeed my dreams and just find every way I know would’ve made him happy he was still here. I just think everybody should bring peace and stop using guns. I just don’t think it’s right.”

“People say guns is bad. It’s people WITH guns that make it bad for the world to have guns,” said Green. “It could’ve been anybody. If we wasn’t there it could have been somebody else.These streets is not for everybody. Either you survive or you don’t.”

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