Aug 4, 2009

"Please Don't Let Me Die": The Senseless Death of Colin Fisher

It seems like this blog has lately evolved into a virtual obituary site, but when tragedy strikes, people have to deal with grief in the manner to which they are accustomed. In my case, it is through writing that I best process difficult emotions, such as those I experienced today upon learning of the shooting death of 23-year-old Colin Fisher.

Colin has been a member of my extended family for about 15 years, and I think I first met him when he was a second-grader at Gesu School in Toledo. I used to be a regular volunteer for lunchtime playground duties, and I recall playing basketball with Colin and his friends many times.

Always that good-natured smack talk on the court, that kid.

When I was a retail business owner, Colin and his brothers used to deliver flyers for me door-to-door in the neighborhood in which they lived. I tried to be as much of a role model as I could for Colin and his brothers, though in retrospect I wish I had found more time to spend with him. He spent quite a few nights at our house, including a few days during a rough stretch when he was having some family troubles that a short break helped solve.

Colin's mom Jeannine and his dad Mike split up many years ago, and while the family had its share of struggles, there was a lot of love in that home on Willys Parkway. I had a special fondness for the fun-loving Colin, who shared my passion for sports and who always seemed to be smiling.

Over the past few years I saw less of Colin as he ventured out into the adult world. Yet whenever our paths crossed at a family function, he always greeted me with a firm handshake, that infectious grin, and a "Hey, Mr. Brooks!" It is difficult to reconcile my recent memories of the grown-up Colin with the fact that he died from gunshot wounds this morning.

"Please don't let me die."

These are among Colin's last words as he lay bleeding on the front porch of a Springfield Township man. It was quite painful for me to read the account of Colin stumbling to the door asking for help from a stranger.

More than anything I wish I could have crossed paths with Colin yesterday, somehow altering the date with death to which he traveled. Woulda, coulda, shoulda, as they say, and none of this matters now.

I hope to one day shoot hoops with you again, Colin. You may have a great jump shot, but I will always be able to block any bricks you heave up there, kid. Remember, I am 6'5" tall, and you are just a 12-year-old with dreams of the NBA, and I will swat your shots like they were one-legged gnats.

At least that's the image in my head. Goodbye, Colin Fisher, and may you rest in eternal peace until we get a rematch on the Parquet Floor in the Sky.


Anonymous said...

That's awful, I went to school with Colin. Rest in peace, bro.

historymike said...

According to WTOL , two suspects have been arrested:

Twenty-eight-year-old Scott Schoch and 29-year-old James Ellis III have been charged with involuntary manslaughter and carrying a concealed weapon, respectively.

gabriella said...

Scoch and Ellis are lowlife punks!!!!

Debbie G said...

How sad.

mud_rake said...

With the NRA's over-arching influence in Congress, and it's single-minded mantra of 'no gun control,' America can expect a continuation of stories such as these for decades to come.

I am sorry for your loss, Mike.

Mad Jack said...

I'm very sorry to hear of your loss, Mike.

microdot said...

It is the availability of guns on our streets by punks like Schach and Ellis that is the biggest crime.
That's indirectly the real cause of Colin's death.
I tell people that if I was in NYC right now, a city that has very strict gun control laws, I could get ahold of what ever weaponry I thought I needed in less than 24 hours.
That is a fact.
I know who to call and who would want to do it just because I'm a friend...
I have never owned a gun in my life, but I have had guns offered to me in gestures of some kind of mis directed solidarity by people I have had to befriend in my 25 years in the East Village.
Guns are out there and pretty easy for anyone to get a hold of iof they have the desire to do so.
It may not be the gun laws of your state, but the loop holes in the laws in other states and the sheer greed of an industry to take advantage of the loop holes.
The regulations binding a private dealer at a "gun show" are much looser and easily bent than those binding a professional arms dealer.

There are always going to be guns on America's streets.
Somewtimes the biggest problems you have in your life are the ones you make and seem to want....

Rich said...

I had a neighbor (12 at the time) who was accidentally shot by his younger brother (were playing with a gun belonging to the father). No one else was home. He stumbled to the door of another neighbor asking for help. "Please don't let me die" were his exact same words. Events like that nhaunt the living forever.