273. A 29‐year‐old woman was driving her car in the wrong place at the wrong time. She was fatally wounded by a couple of stray bullets. The bullets were intended for a 20‐year‐old man, who was seriously wounded by two other bullets.

The shootings occurred an hour before sunset, a mile west of downtown Los Angeles. Two gang members had attempted to rob the 20‐year‐old man. The victim punched one of his attackers, knocking him down, and then took off running. As he ran, the gangsters fired several times and struck him in the back.

They also put a couple of errant shots into the head of the woman driver. Mortally wounded, she crashed through the big glass window of a salon, coming to a stop at the hair‐washing sinks.

Fortunately, the salon was closed because its owner was at a family funeral. His nephew had been stabbed to death by a gang member a week earlier. The gang member, who was robbing the nephew, got angry when all he found in the nephew's wallet was a dollar, an ID card, and a library card.

"A library card!" The gang member said angrily. "You think you're smarter than me? If you're so smart, why are you getting robbed?" He then stabbed the victim multiple times, ripped up the library card, spit on it, and ran away.

"This city's getting ridiculous," said a local neighborhood watch member. "Criminals are killing people almost every day. They laugh at us. They know that, even if convicted, they will get free housing, free meals, and free medical care. And they get to sit around in jail all day reading magazines! That's punishment? It sounds more like a reward! What do the rest of us get for being honest? We get to work hard all day so we can die tired and poor."

5.7, 76.0, 16%, 12.4, 310
Vocabulary: attempt bullet convict criminal errant fatally funeral gangster honest intend multiple nephew punch punishment ridiculous rip rob salon smart spit stab stray  take off  wallet wound


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