Why do some young men end up at red lights trading gunfire through open car windows?
We’re talking about someone’s son, or brother – how did they get to that point?
Jon McComb sat down with a man who is involved with a gang, and wants to get out.
In order to protect his identity, we have disguised his voice and withheld his name.
He says he live a sheltered life as a child; he grew up in the Lower Mainland, was a Boy Scout, and while not a great student, he wasn’t anything more serious than a class clown throughout elementary.
“I’d never known anything about the gang life until my early teens. You know, I hit the street pretty young, it began pretty small potatoes, thefts, things of that nature.”
It quickly snowballed into hanging with the wrong crowd and drug dealing.
So what happened?
It started when he found out his sister had been sexually abused for years.
I was really confused, I’d gone through great trauma around that time…When I found that out I was just so broken, right? I ran.
He says he got involved with the wrong crowd.
“It all just started happening really quick, before you know it when you’re selling drugs, I’d become addicted to drugs.”
Also something that escalated really quickly, eh says, from weed to heroine, and he was only 14-years-old.
“That was life for me everyday right, and I became really addicted and in order to feed those habits crime just went through went the roof.”
Then is was stealing anything and everything that wasn’t tied down to supply his habit.
“In and out of jail now. In and out of jail three or four years, you you to jail for a year for a high speed chase – you get back out and it’s right back to the drugs, right back to the gangs and right back to all the negative things in my life. Fifteen, sixteen , eighteen (years of age), then you start going to adult jail.”
At 19 he end up in a Federal Penitentiary.
“Now you’re with killers and rapists and just bad people surrounding you.”
“Before you know it you start to fit in”
He says he become institutionalized and fit in to survive.
“You take on that mentality, that chicken coop mentality, that drug subculture mentality, that gangster mentality.”