Too Soon

A 13-year-old girl lost her life yesterday because a man with the temperament of a rabies-inflicted dog lost his cool over his own stupid mistake.

After 24-year-old Richard Calderon hit the car of Alexis Wiley’s mother and drove off, Waley’s mother – a police officer at Texas Southern University – drove after him hoping to get his plates.

That’s when Calderon pulled his gun out and immediately started shooting.

A bullet went through the back of Alexis’ head and went straight through her eye.

Her mother frantically called 911 and waited for ambulances to show.

While they were able to piece together her eye and put her on life support that nite, the following morning she died.

Among the students who left campus and subsequently went home was my 11-year-old niece.

If it were me at her age dealing with this I wouldn’t be as worried. Without soiling this blog with another sob story about my upbringing, I’ll just say I grew up a lot faster than my niece did.

I always smiled when I thought about how different she grew up from me. When I think of her I think of nothing but purity. She is my angel and that’s all there is to it. I hate the fact while she’s still going to be a much happier child than most, this experience will never leave her.

When my mom told me what happened I knew that innocence was gone. No matter how many curse words she didn’t say, the Disney shows that she watched religiously, or the naïveté you could always hear in her voice, Richard Calderon’s bullet has altered the way she looks at the world.

It happens to us all, but I didn’t want it to happen to her now.

I am not good with dealing with tragedy. When I called my mom in the middle of the night to tell her someone put a gun in my face, I said it with no emotion and simply told her where she could find all of the bills I left back at home so I could cancel my credit cards.

When my grandfather cried two weeks before graduation, I called the one I still adore most and talked about everything but. I did cry while speaking at the funeral, and I hated myself a little for it afterwards. When my grandmother died six months to the day later, I focused on another emotion – anger – towards someone else and tried not to focus on it.

And then it really hit me and the only way I really managed was by writing about it.

But I had to call my niece yesterday. We’re close – so close that I look to her like she’s my daughter.

Every time I try to comfort someone I feel like a bumbling idiot.

I worry that yesterday was no different.

I talked to my niece as many times as I could yesterday and I almost slipped and cried on the phone (a quality I hate) while speaking to her.

I found out that my niece saw the girl a few hours before she was shot. They ran into each other while at McDonalds. Alexis waved at my niece. My niece’s younger sister loved her big sister’s friend. So much that she would always go up and play with her.

The first time I spoke with my niece she thought her friend was alive. She was told that she was in a coma.

I asked her if she had prayed for her friend yet. Then I told her that it’s OK to cry (yes, I hate it, but not for everyone else — we all have our double standards) and that if nothing else she ought to be alone and talk to God. Say how you feel, speak on behalf of your friend.

I told her I would call her back. I couldn’t wait so I called back about 15 minutes later. I had to say I hope I didn’t make her feel worse.

A couple of hours ago she called me back and let me know about her friend. I could hear the hurt in her voice and it made me feel so small. I just wanted to hug her.

My heart actually jumped when she told me that her friends from other schools had called to check on her. Because my niece and Alexis share the same name, a few of them worried that it was my niece who had been killed.

I know that unfortunately these sort of senseless tragedies happen more times than we’d like. And as sad as I am now for my niece I know that ultimately she’ll be better.

Her friend isn’t so lucky and it irritates the shit out of me how stupid, selfish, and pathetic some people are.

Why would you shoot at a car because they wanted you to pay for your mistakes?

Why are these sorts of people consistently allowed to have access to guns?

Why are so many evil pieces of shit like Richard Calderon forcing children to grow up too fast?


  1. sunshyne84 says:

    I saw this on the news today shortly after you posting about it on twitter. I can’t even fathom something like that happening to anyone around me at that age. I knew about the drug dealers and all the shootings that happened in the neighborhood, but they never directly affected me so I guess I still had some innocence. I tell people all the time that I don’t want kids and I never really go into detail, but shit like this is exactly why. There is no explanation for why someone would do some shit like that. No matter what you teach your child, you can’t protect them from the evils around them and that just terrifies me.

  2. sunshyne84 says:

    I just wanna know was it worth it? How dare he say that was self-defense. He shouldn’t have hit them and fled the scene in the first place. Unbelievable!!

  3. boogie says:

    i saw when you posted it on twitter. this is such a sad situation for all parties involved. my heart goes out to your niece and for you to share something so personal about yourself. Thank you for such a touching (yet terribly sad) post.

  4. Amazed at absurdity says:

    Maybe you should grow up and realize that human children have been dealing with this for thousands of years. Guns and cars didn’t exist 4,000 years ago, but swords and axes did. And other weapons before that.

  5. erica says:

    ^^^^^ jackass

    anywho, michael im so hurt by this story. the sheer absurdity is unfathomable. its like u knew this stuff happens but it hurts so bad when its reality. i pray alexis’s mother finds peace & some form of understanding of all this. and i pray that richard calderon lives the rest of his life in a prison cell staring at a picture of the beautiful girl, whose life he took so selfishly.

    keep being there for your niece & keep ms. randle & her family in your prayers, as will i.

  6. misstee says:

    Awwww wow Michael…I read this last night & posted on my FB. Today while searching for another story I came across the headline “13-Year-Old Shot in Road Rage Incident”

    Initially I was going to keep it moving on that article because sad to say, incidents like this are a bit too common place ALL over, but then I wondered, “Hmmmm, I wonder if this is what Sinick was talkin’ about?” And sure enough, damn. I was touched by the post yesterday, but to have faces to go along with the heartbreak???? Just, damn. THANK GOD you are there for your niece…she will need everyone who is willing to be there, if only just to listen, to be on deck.

    “Every time I try to comfort someone I feel like a bumbling idiot.” Me too…I know I’m sincere in the things I say, but still it all just sounds so empty and cliche`…no matter what, TRUST the person you are bumbling to appreciates it all the same.

    I’m sorry this has occured, but I think the most important lesson to be learned for everyone is how important it is to be good to one another NOW for tomorrow is not promised.

  7. Loved_By_Him says:

    What is wrong with this world? It’s scary that people have no conscious. Was it that serious that an innocent person had to loose her life. I am so sorry for your loss.

    @Amazed At Absurdity: After reading what you wrote I see you fit your screen name. SMH.