Friday, December 5, 2008

Gun victim died after neighbors delayed 911 call

For nearly an hour, neighbors watched a man lying in a parking lot outside their windows, but during that time no one called 911. Now that man is Kansas City's latest homicide victim.

Police said Amir Muhammad died of a gunshot wound to the head. Police said he laid in the parking lot of Friendship Village, gagging on his own blood. A woman who wants to be known only as Sybil said people nearby saw him in the parking lot. "They apparently thought he was drunk, or on drugs, whatever. But it's none of my business," she said.

Others in Friendship Village said as horrible as it sounds, they aren't surprised that no one was willing to call police, and instead watched Muhammad lay on the pavement in plain sight. "They live in fear of getting involved. They're afraid to get involved because it connects them in some kind of way," neighbor Crystal Knickerbocker said.

But community activists say such fear is not justified. They believe the unwillingness of ordinary citizens to help police by simply calling 911 shows why Kansas City is expected to have more homicides this year than any other time this decade.

"It says a bad thing about this village of people here. We should have citizens that at least be good samaritans," anti-crime activist Ron MacMillian said. "A call to police to say, 'Hey, somebody's out there bleeding to death,' is not snitching if that's what you're worried about. It's showing concern for your brother."

Muhammad was rushed to the hospital Monday night, but died Tuesday morning. Some wonder if that hour he lay in the parking lot could have meant the difference between life and death. (info from Fox TV)

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