Though all of the circumstances have yet to come out about this tragic story reported in the Sacramento Bee, and might invalidate the speculation given here, the point must continually be made; that when certain corrosive behaviors are encouraged, they can often turn deadly; and the long standing tolerance—and even invitation—that our fair city has generally shown to the down-and-out without a corresponding and vigorous encouragement to shape-up ones life rather than accepting the status quo of downward degradation will often lead to tragedy.
Transforming behavior that is self destructive comes from an internal decision on the individual’s part and it is not hastened when the major focus of a community’s help is un-tethered to any self reformation efforts and that is, sadly, the position of the major local organizations working with the homeless, who comprise a significant part of the panhandling community.
When, and if, our community’s major outreach to the homeless community is values-based and centered around the importance of the individual making the decision to begin to transform their life; and when the programs working with the homeless are being developed and managed by those who are themselves formerly homeless who have rediscovered the grit and determination to transform their life, we might begin to see a change upward rather than downward.
An excerpt from the latest story in the Bee regarding this case.
“A 47-year-old woman will face four felony charges, including attempted murder, for allegedly shooting a man while she was panhandling in downtown Sacramento.
“Audrey Ann Jackson, who has no known address, stood in Sacramento Superior Court Wednesday during an afternoon hearing, listening to the charges and sometimes smiling at the judge.
“The other three charges are weapons violations, including possessing a handgun not registered to her.
“Jackson is accused of shooting and seriously injuring a state worker as he sat waiting for a bus ride home at Sixth and J streets Monday afternoon.
“The injured man, 54-year-old Frank Perez, who has cerebral palsy and walks with a cane, has undergone surgery and faces more procedures for wounds to his abdomen.
“Witnesses told police that Jackson was hitting up people for money at the bus stop and when she approached Perez, he declined.
“After a verbal exchange, Jackson pulled out a gun and shot Perez while he was sitting on a bus-stop bench, according to police.
“Jackson was arrested while riding a bus near Riverside Boulevard and Broadway a short time later.
“In a jailhouse interview, Jackson said she got the gun for protection after she was assaulted a year ago.”