On Janna’s way to work this morning, she snapped this image with her iPhone and emailed it to me.  She’s done that in the past with a copper moon, and a Steve Jobs memorial, but these flowers, and this mourning this morning was different.

This shrine was filled with hurt and rage and you can find it all right now at the Barnes & Noble bookstore on the corner of West 8th Street and the Avenue of the Americas; for this is the spot where Mark Carson, a 32-year-old Gay man, was gunned down a few days ago — shot in the face by an impromptu stalker just for being who he was — and so the latest Greenwich Village New York City hate crime is now on the police blotter, written in blood on a public sidewalk.

After a few minutes, Mr. Carson and his friend continued on their way, assuming the exchange was over. The two men walked along West Eighth Street, but the gunman apparently did not want to let the matter drop. One of the gunman’s companions tried to talk him out of following Mr. Carson, according to the police. That companion left, the police said.

The gunman caught up with Mr. Carson outside of a building at 60 West Eighth Street, and began shouting at him.  “Do you want to die here?” he asked Mr. Carson, according to Mr. Kelly, before pulling out the revolver and shooting Mr. Carson once in the cheek.

We know life is cheap — $6.66 is the going rate for the value of a person on the street — but this sort of madness is confounding.  Two men wanted to be left alone on an evening together, but because they were together, they were targeted for a killing.  They confronted the assassin.  They stood up to him.  They walked away.  Yet, in the end, one of them was shot dead in the face.

The random cheapness of life never stoops to conquer me — be it walking down the street and having your ponytail grabbed, or the spontaneous, but inchoate, ambush of a police office in Orange, or even murder at Ivy Hill — because we are all still inextricably bound together and tied to a final, shredded, shared end.

One death resolves into another, one life dominoes into the falling other — and in the end we only have ourselves, alone, and still yearning for obedience of body and comprehension of mind — while, in the final count, we all end up piled on top of each other just hoping to face the sky again.

14 Comments

  1. I cannot fathom what would possess a person to commit such a heinous crime, knowing that it will more than likely get them life in prison — if not the death penalty itself. Quite upsetting.

  2. It really is chilling to think about the randomness of life and death and the possibility that on any given day, you might happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.This man was murdered just for being himself in an area that has struggled its way to gay liberation– he didn’t worry that he was in the wrong place. He shouldn’t have had to.

  3. I find this tyoe of random opportunistic violence beyond my comprehension.

    I am not sure what I find more ditressing – the fact that it happened , or the fact it happened where it did – in the capital in the most “civilised” country in the world. What good did being “civilised” do for this poor man and how can a country claim to be civilised when things like this happen?

    1. I agree this is distressing. There are some that will argue this is the price we pay for living in a free society. There will be bad actors that will be outliers and throw the rest of society in chaos. We can’t let these people trouble the rest of us. They’ll do their damage, and we’ll deal with them.

      Others will take the view that these sorts of killers are clearly mentally ill, and should be hospitalized and medicated. We instead put them on the street or in jail where they only get worse and act out on the innocents in society.

      The sad part about this is the killer was on a bit of an emotional rampage all night. He wanted trouble. He threatened a bartender with death if he called the police. People were watching the bad guy and were wary of him — but when you have a gun and a quick trigger — no good Samaritan can step in that fast and avoid this sort of killing. Perhaps if the police had been called after his first death threat, this could have all been avoided…

    1. Right! I want to know how that guy got a gun. When he threatened the bartender with the gun, and a killing if he called the police, SOMEBODY should’ve had the guts to make a call to 911 when the creep left. There would have been a bit of hope before the final shooting — perhaps a 10 minute lead on the guy until he found, and then stalked, his victim.

      I do think there’s a certain niche of Americans who love this sort of story. It propels their argument that we should all have guns, and I think they secretly love seeing the power of the weapon on instant display in the street to prove their point — since they’re not the ones in front of the bullet.

      1. I suspect illegally …………….. if it was legally – questions need to be asked about the process.

        I cannot believe nobody had the guts to report him AFTER he left ……….. that is almost as shocking .

        it could be them ……… this is what is so maddening – gun is not dangerous until it is put in a persons hands. The person with the gun has to be responisible, sober, calm, dispassionate, and balanced and if possible skilled enough to shoot through the knee so as to disable not kill.