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 Shots Fired!

By Sid Vanderpool

It was a scene straight out of the television show Cops, and we were in it. On the evening of day one of NAMM, my roommate and I were making our way back to the Comfort Inn on 7th, approximately a mile from the LA convention Center, when reality hit me in the face. We saw police lights ahead and as we approached, saw that the block our hotel was in was completely taped off and forty officers in riot gear, four helicopters and three dog units were in the parking lot.

It was a gang related shooting right outside the hotel and the clump of what I thought was clothes in the road, was really a young gang member that had his life taken from him in a hail of bullets. I realize that people living in the city see this all the time and are numb to it, but I was stunned. One moment I was at NAMM, and the next I was wading through police to get to my room. This must have been "old hat" for the officers because like a fine military group, they deployed in search of the shooter. With the helicoptor blairing, "This is the LAPD, surrender or we will release the dogs", I felt like I had woke up in another country, not another city.

When I checked in, I knew I was in a bad neighborhood, but I had no idea it was this bad. The manager told me after the shooting he would understand if I wanted to checkout and find lodging elsewhere. That would have been a little hard considering all the rooms in the area were full with NAMM. To think that a stray bullet could come flying through my hotel window at anytime during the night made my nights long and drawn-out. With each passing day I drove by were the boy had been gunned down and what started as a small alter with a few candles, slowly turned into a huge alter at the side of the road. This NAMM show will be a memory that with stay with me for rest of my life and makes me glad I live where I do.



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