Dating a gang member

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Murray drove out to the scene, a sloping, tree-lined block of apartments and houses with wide front porches and brick columns that climbed to the second floor.His eyes fell to 21 scattered shell casings, shimmering in the sun. There was one victim, a 31-year-old named Lawrence Downs, who by then had been raced in the back of a police cruiser to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.etective Joe Murray lumbered toward the Justice Juanita Kidd Stout Center for Criminal Justice on a steamy mid-August morning in 2015.The 17-story building, planted a few blocks from City Hall, practically oozed misery from its cheerless gray exterior.

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The danger and excitement of the drug gang’s bubble in West Philly faded as Michael headed home to a quiet stretch of Nicholas Street in North Philly, not far from the Martin Luther King Recreation Center. Foster’s panic deepened when he fielded a phone call from one of Brooks’ top lieutenants, who said he wanted to stop by to retrieve his boss’s firearms.

Lawrence Downs hadn’t become another entry in the city’s murder tally. But then Foster announced he had a secret to share, and that grabbed Michael’s attention. Jerry “Boog” Brooks, the head of a small drug gang on 55th Street, had asked Foster to hide three of his guns.

A minor, accidental neighborhood shooting had attracted the cops’ attention, and Brooks, pragmatic as a banker, worried that his stash houses might get raided.

When Murray reached an official at the hospital, he was told that Downs was lost in a coma. Philly’s trauma centers work miracles every day, but it didn’t seem like Downs would be one of them.

Murray figured the case would soon end up in the hands of a Homicide detective.

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