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A MAN ABOUT A STRANGER

Former Assistant Pastor at St John Neumann Catholic Church

Miami, Florida

Former Pastor at Saint Phillip Neri

Opalocka in Miami, Florida


Craig Malzacher Caution: Lots of emotion and stream of conscious...need an outlet here... I stopped at the gas station located right behind my house. It's maybe 50 feet away. As I pull my wallet out of my pocket in order to begin payment for gas, I hear two gun shots. I look to my right, where, 20 feet away from my location, a man is plugging another man with bullets. I still have the scene in my head...the victim in a white undershirt, the assailant in a black t-shirt, the gun pressed out, the muzzle flash, the sound of shots fired, the victim drop to the ground. I knew what happened. I ran into the gas station and told the clerk to call 911, a man has just been shot. (My cell phone was on the charger at home) I go back outside, run to where the victim was and I began to pray the prayer of absolution over the victim, a man laying on his side and he knows and feels in his own mind and in his own heart that this is the end. He knows he is going to die in a few minutes after bleeding out. He knows that even if EMTs arrive before he breathes his last, he will die at the hospital. I knew it. He knew it. We knew death was imminent. Another man is standing over us and he's speaking to dispatch. I hear dispatch tell him to apply pressure to the chest wounds. The man on the phone takes off his shirt and hands it to me. I apply pressure to the man's wounds. Caressing his hair, I tell him I'm the pastor of this church. Telling him to breathe, caressing his hair, I told this man i've never seen in my life that I loved him. The first squad car arrives. I check for a pulse and there's nothing. The man is no longer breathing. He is dead. For my safety and security, that is all I will say about the incident. But with what is happening in the world today, with what happened (today) in France, you'd think people would stop being shitheads for a day. This was black on black crime/murder. This will probably not even make the news. This wasn't racially charged. No cops were involved. This was a black on black murder and only the victims loved ones will really care. This man could have been the worst of criminals or the gentlest of men. At this moment of his death, that didn't matter, for he was a dying man. What happened today was an act of disorder and chaos. Our God is a God of order and grace. But God's order, God's will was rejected today. Our world needs God. Without Him, there will only be more disorder. I saw a man shot today. I saw a man die today. I was his last human touch. To the man whose name I know not, may you rest in peace. Pray for me.

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