Saturday, January 25, 2014


Earlier today, I stood on a spot near where I live.
The sun shown bright in a clear, blue sky as a 
strong wind blew snow across the landscape,
very much like sand across barren desert dunes.
Last winter, an entire section of townhomes was burned 
to the ground due to the carelessness of a tenant.
The remains were recently torn down, leaving
an empty scar in this poor neighborhood.
I've walked that stretch of the neighborhood 
too many times to count over the years and, 
seeing the chain link fence surrounding 
the site is disappointing, to say the least.

Most disheartening, though, was to know that 
on Wednesday night, a sixteen-year-old boy had been 
shot twice in the chest, and left to die in the dirty, 
frozen slush in the gutter across the street 
from the barren lot. Sayyid Abdul-Haqq was a
sophomore at Speedway High School. He took his 
schoolwork seriously and, when not in the
SHS library, could most often be found at the
town's library. His young nephew looked up to him,
saying he wanted to be like his uncle, to go to
school. Here was a boy with a goal, 
who inspired his family, but who met 
his death alone in the cold gutter.

He was on his way home from the store.
Given the weather, he was probably returning from 
the convenience store a couple blocks away.
This is a poor neighborhood, where people often 
have to juggle between which bills will be
paid - heat? Phone? Electric? Will there be money
for food? Gas for the car? If he went to the store
for milk, did the person who shot him see
he got change from a $10 bill?
Indeed, did he even have that much?
This is not a neighborhood of people who have
money, but one where a bit of small change
can seem like a windfall.
Nor is this a unique story, but it sure as hell
is new to Sayyid's family, whose hearts are broken.
The temperatures are dropping and it will be very cold
during the coming week, but right now
 the only colder place on Earth is the heart 
of whoever pulled the trigger.

Anyone with information related
to the murder of Sayyid Abdul-Haqq
can contact Crime Stoppers at 262-TIPS, 
or text INDYCS with their tip. 
You may also contact the 
Speedway Police Department 
directly at 246-4300. 
All information will remain anonymous.


Anonymous said...

Truely sad

lin said...

the photo could be the arctic-- the writing, as always, superb and touching and choking-- so sorry for that family, and human beings who choose to kill mystify me.

William Kendall said...

That is a powerful pic.

A disturbing story... and no parent should ever have to bury their own child.