ARTSY: A Picture Worth Thousands Of Words

[“Mattress Flip” by ZOE STRAUSS]

PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY: On the day that Boo was shot, a group of older male family members went to Dorney Park in Allentown. Boo [pictured above, right] stayed behind. Richards remembers that morning and her son’s last words to her. “My mom was cooking for Father’s Day. He came in and said, ‘Mom, I’m getting ready to be a dad.’” “I said, ‘You better leave something behind!’” Boo loved kids. He babysat family members often. His cousin Robyn, 25, was pregnant at the time. “He wanted to be the godfather,” says Robyn. “Every time he’d see me, he just kept asking about the baby.”Richards recalls teasing him playfully. ‘I was just going, ‘You’re gonna be a father? Yeah, right Boo, who are going to get pregnant?’”

“A half an hour later, he got shot.”

Boo’s sister Sumayya recalls that day. “He had a girl he was interested in [and he had] a thin piece of suede with a seashell on it, and he said to me, ‘Hold this,’” says Sumayaa. It was a necklace. “This was my brother’s exact words right before he got shot: ‘Hold this because where I’m going I don’t need it.’ I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’” He was just heading to the corner store with a friend, but Sumayya sees the spiritual significance of her brother’s last words to her. “He didn’t know what was going to happen, but you feel it,” she says. “You can’t prevent it, but you feel it.”

There are three stores within two blocks of Gloria’s house. In terms of turf, two “belong” to Fifth Street, and the other one belongs to Seventh Street. The family says Boo went to the wrong store. “I guess they didn’t want to walk to Fifth and Mifflin or Fifth and Pierce,” Sumayya says. “Boo went to Seventh and Mifflin. You walk into the store in somebody else’s neighborhood, that’s what is going to happen.” The store is less than two blocks from Gloria’s house. Ceron heard the gunshots. “I was around the corner where my aunt lives and someone came and said, ‘Your brother got shot!’” she says. MORE

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