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(12 Year Old) Camden boy living on his own is killed
The Philadelphia Inquirer ^ | July 6, 2007 | Dwight Ott and Sam Wood

Posted on 07/06/2007 5:13:08 PM PDT by grjr21

A 12-year-old Camden boy, shot dead in a fusillade of gunfire on the Fourth of July, was described by police yesterday as "a temporarily lost soul," left to find his own way on the streets.

James "Pee Wee" Coleman, whose birthday was three weeks ago, was hit in the head and left leg. Police arrived shortly after 11 p.m. to find the boy slumped in the back seat of a beat-up Oldsmobile, which was riddled with bullet holes and parked at the Branch Village housing project. More than 20 shell casings, most likely fired from an AK-47 assault rifle, were found nearby.

Robbery apparently was not the motive. Coleman's pockets were stuffed with cash - more than $500 - when investigators arrived.

Less than 18 hours later, another Camden youth was killed a mile away as he and a child passenger rode a motor scooter through the city's Morgan Village section.

Saad Brittingham, 17, was riding west on Morgan Avenue about 2:30 p.m. when a gunman stepped out and unleashed several shots. Brittingham was struck twice in the chest. An 8-year-old boy riding on the back of the scooter narrowly escaped injury, neighbors said. The gunman then ran up an alley.

The two killings marked the city's 18th and 19th homicides of the year, compared with 13 at this point last year.

Last night, South Camden was seething with despair as neighbors tried to make sense of the killings.

"Where . . . is God!" yelled one teen, sobbing near 10th and Morgan.

"R.I.P. Pee-Wee" was scrawled in fresh black spray paint on a wall less than a block from where the 12-year-old was killed. On another corner, in oversized letters, was older graffiti that hinted Coleman may have aspired to be a drug-slinging gangster.

"GUN BOYZ. Pee-Wee-10th Street," it reads in weathered script.

Coleman had his first encounter with police about a month ago, when he was still 11 years old, authorities said. Investigators suspected him and two other young boys of drug dealing in the housing project. They spoke with Coleman, but the boy was not arrested.

Late on Independence Day, Annie Griffin, 35, said she was watching fireworks on television when she heard a series of loud pops in front of her Branch Village apartment.

Griffin scurried out front to chase away the noisemakers. The pops were not fireworks - they were gunshots.

Elisa Foster, 41, was also drawn by the noise. As she emerged from her home, she spotted the boy slouched in the back seat of the Oldsmobile.

Foster ran to the car and tried to "awake him," she said. His arm fell away lifelessly as she vigorously shook the boy. Only then did she see the bullet hole in his skull.

Investigators wouldn't say who owned the car, which was towed from the scene. They also were looking for at least two other boys who may have been in the car at the time of the shooting. They checked local hospitals for gunshot victims related to Coleman's homicide, to no avail.

Some neighbors suspected that Coleman had been selling drugs from the vehicle. Myeisha Still, 25, who lives in the housing complex, said the boy's uncle had called police to scare the boy straight.

Others swore that Coleman had no part of the drug trade and had been forced to live in the car, which he cleaned meticulously, because of a rocky relationship with his 26-year-old mother.

Some said he lived with an uncle. Other said he lived with another boy and his family.

"We used to take care of him. We gave him food," said Elisa Rodriguez, 53. "Everybody needs to get together to stop this. Our kids can be safe, but we got to get together to take these kids out of the street."

Law enforcement officials weren't sure where the boy slept, but he hadn't lived with his mother for some time, possibly months, they said. Camden school officials could not confirm whether he attended school, and the state Division of Youth and Family Services had never encountered him.

"This was a kid with no supervision," said Capt. Joseph Bowen of the Camden County Prosector's Office.

Some neighbors described Coleman as having been generous. Hours before he was killed, Coleman bought six frozen treats for younger children who were riding their bicycles on the street, neighbors said.

No one said where the 12-year-old got his money, but neighbors deplored the violence and drugs.

"This is insane. I've never seen it this bad," said Naomi Williams, a 60-year-old Branch Village resident. "I've never been afraid to walk through Branch Village, but I am now. I told my son not to come visit me because it was too dangerous."


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: New Jersey
KEYWORDS: camden; camdencounty; gangs; stopsnitching

1 posted on 07/06/2007 5:13:09 PM PDT by grjr21
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To: grjr21
Coleman's pockets were stuffed with cash - more than $500 - when investigators arrived.


12 YO driving around at midnight with $500 in his pocket
2 posted on 07/06/2007 5:13:33 PM PDT by grjr21
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To: grjr21

.........”Where . . . is God!” yelled one teen, sobbing near 10th and Morgan.........

No need to say more.


3 posted on 07/06/2007 5:23:50 PM PDT by sodpoodle ( Despair - man's surrender. Laughter - God's redemption)
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To: grjr21

12 year old with a 26 year old mother, there you go.


4 posted on 07/06/2007 5:25:53 PM PDT by darkangel82 (Socialism is NOT an American value.)
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To: grjr21
Others swore that Coleman had no part of the drug trade and had been forced to live in the car, which he cleaned meticulously, because of a rocky relationship with his 26-year-old mother.

So she was 14 when she gave birth to this boy. Do you suppose she knew how to take of herself, not to mention a little boy?

5 posted on 07/06/2007 5:28:18 PM PDT by Logophile
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To: sodpoodle

12 year old with a 26 year old mother ...Great ....


6 posted on 07/06/2007 5:28:30 PM PDT by sushiman
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To: darkangel82

Great minds thinking alike?


7 posted on 07/06/2007 5:28:54 PM PDT by Logophile
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To: grjr21

Quagmire...redeploy!


8 posted on 07/06/2007 5:35:55 PM PDT by Trailerpark Badass
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To: grjr21
Some neighbors suspected that Coleman had been selling drugs from the vehicle.

Others swore that Coleman had no part of the drug trade and had been forced to live in the car, which he cleaned meticulously, because of a rocky relationship with his 26-year-old mother.

Sad business all the way around. He was 12 years old and his mother is 26 years old. My brain is refusing to connect the dots.

A 12 year old had $500 in his pocket? No point in asking where Mom and Dad were.

I just have a really hard time grasping this.

I had a 12 year old. He turned 13 on July 4th.

That is nothing but tragic............

9 posted on 07/06/2007 5:39:41 PM PDT by LasVegasMac (I've reached the age where happy hour is a nap.)
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To: grjr21

I dont have 500 in my pocket. Only one time in my life did I ever have more than 500 in my pocket. That was about 7 years ago when I went a a massive selling spree on eBay and sold 100 seperate items all in one week.


10 posted on 07/06/2007 5:41:06 PM PDT by lowbridge (If You’re Gonna Burn Our Flag, Wrap Yourself in It First /No Oil for Pacifists)
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To: grjr21

11 posted on 07/06/2007 5:47:52 PM PDT by Gritty (Parents are quite familiar with profiling-or as Dad put it, "don't hang around with losers."- AskMom)
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To: grjr21

RIP.


12 posted on 07/06/2007 6:06:31 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (~~~Jihad Fever -- Catch It !~~~ (Backup tag: "Live Fred or Die"))
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To: grjr21

Feral.


13 posted on 07/06/2007 6:10:24 PM PDT by Crawdad (I cried because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no class.)
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To: sodpoodle

God hasn’t abandoned them, they have abandoned God. They just don’t get it.


14 posted on 07/06/2007 6:26:34 PM PDT by Eagles6
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To: grjr21

Liberal big-gov’t socialist policies and the Drug War that’s behind this.


15 posted on 07/06/2007 6:30:18 PM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist
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To: grjr21

there is no hope for camden, it’s the epitome of an urban wasteland. incidentally, thier state senator, wayne bryant, esq., will not seek reelection because of disgrace amid a federal kickback and corruption probe

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/front_page/20070310_Bryant_says_he_wont_seek_reelection.html

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1703770/posts

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/keyword?k=umdnj


16 posted on 07/06/2007 6:37:29 PM PDT by Coleus (God gave us the right to life & self preservation & a right to defend ourselves, family & property)
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To: Eagles6

The article cites that quote to a teen. Do you suppose said teen abandoned God? I think it more likely that said teen’s 20-something mom and never-present daddy never bothered to introduce him to God.


17 posted on 07/06/2007 7:00:57 PM PDT by grellis (Femininists for Fred!)
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To: grjr21

“Where . . . is God!” yelled one teen, sobbing near 10th and Morgan

WHERE ARE THE PARENTS ?


18 posted on 07/06/2007 7:08:03 PM PDT by Dov in Houston (The word Amnesty invokes a passion in me. Illegal immigrants are criminals. Supporters Aid & Abet)
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To: grellis

You’re probably right. I was referring to the community as a whole. It takes a village donchano?


19 posted on 07/06/2007 7:12:06 PM PDT by Eagles6
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To: LasVegasMac
I had a son turn 7 on July 4th. This story is breaking my heart.

Too many stories are.

6-year-old raped to death. Famous wrestler strangling his 7-year-old. 12-year-old forced to have sex with his mother. Al Qaeda cooking 11-year-olds.

I may have to get off of FR for a while... sometimes it just gets to be too much.

20 posted on 07/06/2007 7:15:13 PM PDT by AnnaZ (I keep 2 magnums in my desk.One's a gun and I keep it loaded.Other's a bottle and it keeps me loaded)
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To: Coleus; Calpernia; grjr21
Camden is, without a doubt, the WORST city east of the appalachian mountains. I would say east of the Mississippi, but believe that East St. Louis, IL holds that title.

BTW: You can't blame the conditions in Camden on "il-LAY-gals" either...

21 posted on 07/06/2007 7:16:47 PM PDT by Clemenza (Rudy Giuliani, like Pesto and Seattle, belongs in the scrap heap of '90s Culture)
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To: Eagles6

That’s life when Democrats gain total control of a City: Crime ,drugs, murders, corruption,poverty ,run down housing, run down inner cities, welfare, state hospitals,medicaid , public housing. No Republican even runs in this city I’m in. And it’s just like Detroit , New Orleans, and other inner cities and cities all run by Democrats , with not a Republican in sight.

This is what Democrats want to do to the whole country. I know I live in one of those cities.

With that Amnesty bill they wanted to give the vote to 20 million 3rd world foreigners so that Democrats could gain total control of the whole country like they have of the inner cities and turn the U.S. into an inner city then a 3rd world socialist hell hole.


22 posted on 07/06/2007 7:17:21 PM PDT by Democrat_media (If there is a need the free market will produce it. So what do we need gov for(only 3 things))
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To: Dov in Houston

This is Camden. The kid is lucky he knows who his mother is, let along his father.


23 posted on 07/06/2007 7:17:23 PM PDT by Clemenza (Rudy Giuliani, like Pesto and Seattle, belongs in the scrap heap of '90s Culture)
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To: Democrat_media

Yep. You got it.


24 posted on 07/06/2007 7:21:00 PM PDT by Eagles6
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To: lowbridge
I had 6K in my pocket once...when I bought a used harley one time from a private seller. I brought cold cash and my own notary to the negotiating table. I left with a harley and a title. And the semi cute notary I came with.

I tried the same thing once with a dealership. Not only would they not accept my notary, they didn’t want cold cash on the premises...AND, they didn’t have any titles for any of their used bikes on the premises either. What’s the world coming to?

25 posted on 07/06/2007 7:30:29 PM PDT by mamelukesabre
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