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“That’s My Mother! That’s My Mother!” was the Anguished Cry on Clifton Place

I was walking our dog Gray home from the Our Time Press offices Sunday evening, entering onto the south side of Clifton Place at about 9:25pm, when there was a burst of commotion with someone coming out of a ground floor of a white building. There was a woman who had also come out of the doorway and she was holding her hands to her head with what can truly be described as a stricken look of horror shrieking “he’s killing him! He’s killing him!”

Then there were others coming out and the activity moved a short distance up the block parallel to the direction I was walking, but out of the light and toward where the woman had been looking. Then there were people moving back toward the house, there was confusion and I became briefly aware of what appeared to be a woman running back toward the house with the light from a cell phone illuminating her face.

Gunfire on the street doesn’t sound like anything in the movies, there was only a pop, pop, but the sound carried a finality that is instantly understood, and I dropped to the ground like a stone, very thankful for the SUV between me and the madness happening directly across the street.

I pulled out my cell phone and called 911, and reported that shots had been fired on Clifton Place between Classon and Grand. The time recorded on my phone was 9:26:54pm


There was more screaming and I looked up and saw a man with a bloody head going to the door, pounding saying “Let me in!”

I was still on the phone when the first whiff of gunpowder came by and the operator was asking, “Was anyone shot?” At this point there was screaming and crying across the street and I said I thought someone had been shot.

The operator had to connect me to the ambulance operator for routing and despite my anxiety, she assured me that the police were on their way, and they arrived probably within 2 minutes of my call. In fact, the whole call lasted only 3:47 secs, during which the police had arrived and I was still talking to the operator and had walked up and down the block.

As the police cars came into the block and officers began opening trunks and pulling out the crime scene tape, a young man had to be restrained as he screamed, “That’s my mother! That’s my mother!” while looking down at the dark area under the tree. As the police began to cordon off the area, I walked across the street and looked over and saw the legs and back of 51-year-old Audrey Carrie Johnson facedown beneath the tree. It was a heart-breaking walk home that night.



(Michelle Etwaroo, Events and Communications Manager at Pratt Area Community Council, informs us that Ms. Johnson’s brother works at PACC and that in an effort to help the family deal with the expenses of the aftermath of the tragic shooting, they are requesting that donations be made out to Carrie Johnson, Audrey Carrie Johnson’s mother.   Please send the donations to the PACC Office at 201 Dekalb Avenue Brooklyn NY 11205.) 

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