Driving through some of this city’s neighborhoods is like driving through an alternate, horrifying universe, a place where no one thinks it’s safe to be a child.
You follow a map in which the coordinates are laid out in blood. Over there, in front of that convenience store, is where Fred Couch, 16, was shot to death last December. The Couch boy went to the same school, Christian Fenger Academy, as Derrion Albert, an honor student who was beaten with wooden planks and kicked to death three months earlier in a broad daylight attack that was recorded on a cellphone by an onlooker.
Right there, on South Manistee Avenue, is where a 7-year-old girl riding her scooter was shot in the head and critically injured a few weeks ago.
And here, on East 92nd Street, is where a toddler, just 20 months old, was shot in the head and killed in the back seat of her father’s car.