The Night I Didn’t Get Shot (prank edition)

Adrian Broadway

Adrian Broadway, 15 years old.

I didn’t have the ego available to me to say no, so I sat in the truck. Swept along by a desire to seem cool enough to be brought home to meet the friends, I sat in the truck.  Nervous to upset the facade of seeming nice enough to meet the parents, I sat in the truck. Mortified, ashamed, disgusted at myself and the people around me, I sat in the truck.

I didn’t throw any eggs that night. I didn’t hand any eggs to the eighteen year olds surrounding me. I didn’t laugh when one young woman, dressed for a dinner out and holding hands with a young man in a suit jacket, was hit on the side of her head, yolk running down her face. I didn’t cheer when one of my boyfriend’s buddies hit the local cafe’s front door in the middle of the waffle logo. And yet, I was there. I sat in the truck.

I sat in the passenger side of the cab of a pick-up truck carrying five guys throwing eggs at unsuspecting targets for over two hours. I was embarrassed about my companions, ashamed at my doormat behavior, angry with my boyfriend, guilty of being an accessory to vandalism and assault. But I didn’t get shot.

I thought about that long ago and faded night while my stomach turned over, slowly, with no threat of rebellion, as I read about the murder of Adrian Broadway in Arkansas. She was in a car with six friends, ages 14 to 18, and apparently took part in egging a home. The resident of the home came out and shot at the car as they were leaving, killing 15-year-old Adrian with a gunshot to the head, and wounding another teenager.

I thought about that night as my neck tensed, reading about how Adrian and her friends were egging someone’s house who had played a prank on them months earlier. Pranks. Toilet papering a tree. Dumping trash on a car. Ding-dong-ditch. Egging a door. Stupid stuff. Teenage stuff.

Except that Adrian Broadway received a death sentence for being involved in stupid teenage stuff. And I doubt that any of us has never been involved in stupid teenage stuff.

When firearms are the first choice in conflict instead of a last resort, bad things happen. Not stupid teenage stuff – bad things, dead and maimed and traumatized humans bad things. Killing people should not be the fall back — is that so unreasonable? Our lives, our children’s lives, are worth more than wounded pride or resentment about teenage behavior.


I’ve written about similar tragedies here, here, here, and here. And sadly, I’m confident there will be more. I’ve been relatively quiet on this blog about the infuriating Jordan Davis murder, mainly because his mother, Lucy McBath, is a spokesperson with Moms Demand Action. Her words and actions have raised awareness in a way I certainly could not. This story, coming on the heels of the mistrial for Jordan Davis’ killer, emphasizes that we must ALL stand up and declare: #Enough.

About That Unique* Weblog

Adjusting to car culture, dealing with leaving a career I loved, and spouting off along the way. Do The Most Good.
This entry was posted in Activism, People are Good, People do silly things and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to The Night I Didn’t Get Shot (prank edition)

  1. outlawmama says:

    I read about that this afternoon. It sounds like the Wild West– shooting people on your property. Why would a gun be the first choice? In law school, I’ll never forget the day we discussed Katko v. Briney, which stands for the proposition that you may not rig your empty house with a spring gun because there is a difference between property and fatal wounds, such that the “protection” was too great for the threat. SOmething like that. I’m glad you keep writing about this.

    • Frankly, it’s terrifying to me. Trigger happy folks mean we can’t walk home in the rain, ask for help after a car crash, take out the garbage, play loud music, take out the garbage, cut in line at a fast food joint, and much more without being shot. Terrifying and infuriating.

  2. mamarific says:

    The Adrian Broadway incident is sickening, as they all are. Thank you for continuing to address this issue, and you did a great job of incorporating your own personal story to prove your point.

    • Thank you so much for stopping in and commenting. There are so many teenage antics (annoying, aggravating, sometimes fury-inducing) like this — to think that the first response is a willingness to kill for them is more horrifying than any of those.

  3. Natalie DeYoung says:

    Exactly. “Killing people should not be the fall back.” How you tied this in to your own story about teenage pranks made it all the more effective. I’ve been so upset over this.

  4. aishasoasis says:

    Ooh I like that: Avoid rather than React. This is a very timely piece and really well written. I definitely agree #Enough!

  5. oh God, to think that a child would get shot for a teenaged prank. Terrifying is right.

  6. Vanessa D. says:

    I am a former foolish teenager and a parent to two. Teenagers, especially groups of teenagers, are capable of being complete jerks but almost all of them grow into wonderful adults. How sad that Adrian will never get her chance.

  7. I am so glad that you keep on writing about this. As I read this I kept thinking back at all the stupid stuff I did when I was in high school. I got yelled at, grounded, and had many, many moments of feeling awful and guilty, but I never got shot, and got to have the chance to grow up and out of all that teenage nonsense. Adrian should have had that chance too.

    • Too many ridiculous situations, and it won’t be the last. We CAN act — demand that SYG is repealed, demand that background checks be universal, demand that child access protection holds gun owners responsible. These are not radical asks. Our legislators can do better.

      Thank you for reading!

  8. Marcy says:

    It’s so mind numbingly crazy out there these days! I did a lot of stupid stuff myself; I was lucky to make it through, but I worry about my children.

    • We all did stupid stuff. And I an honestly say it never occurred to me that my ding dong ditch obnoxiousness would be met with firepower. A call home maybe. Even a call to police. But shot in the head? Never.

  9. Kate says:

    I was a good kid that hardly ever got in trouble. I waited until I was 17 to go to an “R” rated movie. Even I went TPing while at a slumber party. I am sure the guy who did the shooting did things he is not proud of today, but luckily for him, he grew up in an age that still had reason and restraint. I had not heard this story, and it saddens me beyond belief.

    • I feel reasonably sure that the man who killed Adrian Broadway didn’t actually MEAN to, but he did. I feel reasonably sure that he is a father who was defending his child and was angry — I’d be angry too if kids put junk all over my car or threw eggs at my house. I don’t know, but I believe he’s not a “bad guy” – but now he’s a murderer. When we choose to reach for a gun instead of the phone or instead of grumbling about “Kids these days” bad things happen.

      Thank you so much for commenting.

  10. ranu802 says:

    Yes I agree with you.

  11. TT&NB says:

    Please tell me if this is out of bounds, but I edit a street paper that supports the homeless in Detroit. Our paper features articles about race issues, mental health issues, current events, etc. Anyway, I loved this piece and was wondering if you would be OK with it being published in our paper. our website is it is also sold on the streets, by homeless or near homeless individuals, as a micro-enterprise to help them earn an income and change their circumstances.

  12. Linda Roy says:

    Things are so out of control and so scary. I’ve done things like this too. And I remember the neighbor whose house we TP’d came running after us. We ran to our friend’s house, locked the door and it was over. The worst we expected at the time was a firm knock on the door and being ratted out to my friend’s parents. Somehow the stakes have been raised so far out of proportion it’s mind boggling. People are being shot for playing loud music, egging houses, looking suspicious, texting in movie theaters. What is it that’s making people snap?

    • Statistics show that access makes it easy. As we’ve infused more firearms into our society, it makes sense that incidents like this would be more common. It’s not unheard of, however, in the 70’s, friends were pranking a man’s house and he ran out and shot at them with buckshot. One boy was hit on the rear end, but luckily it was far enough away and just a few projectiles. Still, SCARY!

  13. Angela Ryan says:

    Yes, just yes. Agreed, agreed, agreed.

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  15. Abdul says:

    In my opinion, high level of tolerance is required. Tolerance is what, it creates difference between human and an animal. -the best. 🙂

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  17. outlawmama says:

    Yay!! VOTY!!!!! YAY YOU!

  18. Stacie says:

    YAY! I can’t believe I missed this post. My excuse was that I was on vacation. But glad to read it now. And I’m really glad you didn’t get shot. The whole gun thing just sucks so hard.

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