At around 1:25 p.m. on April 7, while interviewing a man inside of a grocery store on the corner of Central Avenue and West Corcoran Place in Austin, just blocks from the Oak Park border, a drive-by shooting broke out. 

We were four journalists — myself, staff photographer William Camargo and two college journalism students who had been shadowing us as we worked that day — but we immediately became subjects within our own reporting for our sister paper, the Austin Weekly News. 

William saw a young man, who appeared to be in his late teens or early 20s, walk in with his music blaring, shop and walk out. That’s when the shooting started; what sounded like at least eight rounds fired in quick, random succession.  

We ducked for cover and waited some seconds before walking out of the store into a nightmare. The young man who had been shopping just moments earlier lay gasping for air on the sidewalk in front of the store. 

Apparently, he had tried running south on Central Avenue after the bullets started flying. Not long into his escape attempt, the young man dropped on the sidewalk, his body limp near a CTA bus stop, where shards of glass met blood.

We were the lucky ones, standing up, shaken but alive, as he lay dying. There are gradations of fortune. Several people, all bystanders (including a teenager), were wounded but they survived. One woman who said she was standing right next to the murdered man when the shooting broke out thanked God she wasn’t hit. 

Another woman, who hadn’t even been at the scene of the crime when it happened, was sitting at the glassless bus stop the morning after the drive-by. She was even more fortunate, but not more fortunate than the four of us, who could at least escape, successfully, to less violent places. 

The woman sitting in the shot-out bus shelter, waiting feet away from where a man was murdered in the middle of the afternoon less than 24 hours ago, had no choice in the matter. She had to get to work. 

Read full coverage of this story, and listen to audio captured of the shooting here.

Michael Romain 

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