In One of Dallas' Roughest Neighborhoods, a Boy Shot Dead and No Explanation

Categories: Crime

forest_lane_strip_mall.jpg
Sky Chadde
The strip mall where Christopher Gordon was shot.
Fidel Akagbusu, a Lake Highlands gas station clerk, was talking to a customer late Monday night when the pop-pop of gun fire pierced the quiet. His head snapped to his right, across six lanes to the strip mall on the corner of Audelia Road and Forest Lane. He saw a group of kids running toward the intersection, passing the mall's dollar store, salon and food mart. Then he ducked.

A few minutes later, a man came into the gas station and asked Akagbusu to use his phone. He wanted to call 911. In the far east part of the strip mall's parking lot, close to the dollar store, 15-year-old Christopher Gordon lay dying. He had been shot through the head.

The clerk didn't see it, but according to police, a car carrying at least one shooter drove down Forest Lane, away from the parking lot and Gordon's body. Adjacent to the lot is Lake Highlands Landing, an apartment complex that sits tucked behind a gate. A thin wooden wall separates them.

See also: More DPD Surveillance Cams are Coming. And Here's a List of Where They're Needed.

Drugs and shootings are a problem here, tenant Janice Minniefield said when I visited on Tuesday, and she seems to be right: As soon as I got out of my car in the mall's parking lot, a man asked me if I was there to buy. In 2011, when The Dallas Morning News published a graphic on Dallas' crime hot spots, The Forest Lane-Audelia Road intersection was number two, out of 27.

"It's time for this block to be clean," Minniefield, a mother, said.

In the mall's parking lot, the blood stain from the dead teenager had been decorated with religious candles, a stuffed toy pig and cigarette packages. Shards of broken glass littered the area.

strip_mall_memorial.jpg
Sky Chadde
The memorial for Christopher Gordon. The blood stain is sizable.
On a hot Tuesday mid-afternoon, a woman in black jeans and a black tube top sat by the make-shift memorial. She said Gordon had been like a little brother to her. He had played football and kept out of trouble, she said. He laughed a lot.

Minniefield said she didn't personally know Gordon, but she would see him around the apartment complex. To her, Gordon seemed like a good kid. He would walk to the corner food mart, get what he needed and walk back, his head down, she said.

Police said Gordon was hanging out in the parking lot when he was shot multiple times. A tenant said she heard three shots, while a store owner said he heard four. Akagbusu, the clerk, said he heard three or four. It's unclear if the shooting was gang-related, police said.

Send your story tips to the author, Sky Chadde.


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29 comments
scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

not Lake Highlands, but Forest Lane (East) Lake Highlands is on the other side of 635


zewkini
zewkini

That used to be a fairly nice area to live in and around.  I lived there for a couple of years in the mid-80s and again for four years in 2008.  I couldn't believe the difference.

lindaeakes8257
lindaeakes8257

This makes me sick. So senseless. I feel for his family. They will never get over this. I had no idea that this part of Forest Lane had become so deadly.

everyoneisacritic
everyoneisacritic

not sure many folks call this Lake Highlands - craptastic apartment complex notwithstanding. 

do_youthink
do_youthink

HELLO EDITOR! COME IN EDITOR!!! Please clean up this disjointed mess of an article.

Does the DO even have an editor? It looks like the last paragraph is probably supposed to go after the third paragraph, which needs a period at the end too BTW, but then the article still reads like it is an incomplete mess.

do_youthink
do_youthink

All those Section 8 apartments really improved that area!

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

"It's unclear if the shooting was gang-related, police said."

Oh really now?

"I'm shocked, shocked to find out that gambling is going on here."  -- Inspector Rennau

do_youthink
do_youthink

Is there an editor in the house?

"A thin wooden wall separates them [sic]

Tenant Janice Minniefield thinks otherwise."

houston.carson74
houston.carson74

@scottindallas
Talking bout the ghetto...funky funky g

Trying to survive, trying to stay alive
Even though the streets are bumpy, lights burned out
Dope fiends die with a pipe in their mouths
Old school buddies not doing it right
Every day it's the same
And it's the same every night

I wouldn't shoot you bro but I'd shoot that fool
If he played me close and tried to test my cool

Every day I wonder just how I'll die
Only thing I know is how to survive
There's only one rule in the real world
And that's to take care of you, only you and yours

Keep dealing with the hard times day after day
Might deal me some dope but then crime don't pay
Black man tried to break into my house again
Thought he got off dope doing time in the pen

Even though my brothers do me just like that
I get a lot of love so I'm giving it back to the...
ghetto

So just peep the game and don't call it crap
Cause to me, life is one hard rap

Even though my sister smoked crack cocaine
She was nine months pregnant, ain't nothing changed

600 million on a footbal team
And her baby dies just like a dope fiend

The story I tell is so incomplete
Five kids in the house and no food to eat
Don't look at me and don't ask me why
Mama's next door getting high
Even though she's got five mouths to feed
She's rather spend her money on a H-I-T

I always tell the truth about things like this
I wonder if the mayor overlooked that list

Instead of adding to the task force send some help
Waiting on him I'd better help myself
Housing Authority and the D.P.D
All these guns just to handle me in the... ghetto

Even though they put us down and call us animals
We make real big banks and buy brand new clothes
Drive fancy cars, make love to stars
Never really saying just who we are

We use alias names like Wiley Price
Sell you stuff you might kill for
Young kids grow up and that's all they know
Didn't teach him in school now he's slangin dope
Only thing he knows is how to survive
But will he kill another brother before he dies?
In the ghetto, you keep one eye open
All day long, just hoping and hoping
You can pay your bills and not drink too much
Then the problems of life you'll be throwing up
Like me, but you don't see
Ten years from now, where will you be?

Blacks can't be white and whites can't be black
Why you wanna act like someone else?
All you gotta do is just be yourself

We're all the same color underneath
 in the house you'd better listen to me
Never be ashamed of what you are
Proud to be black stand tall at heart
Even though some people give you no respect
Be intelligent, when you put em in check

Cause when you're ignorant, you get treated that way
And when they throw you in jail you got nothing to say

So if you don't listen it's not my fault
I'll be getting paid while you'll be paying the cost
Sitting in the jailhouse running your mouth
While me and my peoples try to get out..... talkin bout tha ghetto

KnowThanking
KnowThanking

@do_youthink  Don't worry, it happens all the time.  People slid in thinking this is a professional site due to the Village Voice connection.  It is not.  It is owned and operated by foreigners who don't really give a shit and most of the people here are confined to nursing homes in Florida, Mississippi, and Alabama.  They can't read and just look for keywords so they can bash Obama. 

Please don't ask us to open our minds cuz we are askered our brains might done fall out.  Plus we aint got no one here named Editor.  BTW, what is a "paragrahph"?

do_youthink
do_youthink

Also, is a "thin wooden wall" anything like a "wooden fence"?

DerpDudeTX
DerpDudeTX

@eastside @everyoneisacritic I lived on Audelia near 635 when I first moved to Dallas 12 years ago and I can assure you nobody would consider than area Lake Highlands.

Threeboys
Threeboys

@eastside 


Since is anything outside of LBJ considered LH?

do_youthink
do_youthink

Yeah. It looks like someone has cleaned up the article a little bit since I posted my previous comments. You're welcome, Dallas Observer! Look for my invoice in the mail.

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Yes, that was Skye waxing understatedly sarcastic.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@do_youthink

It's a Rapier-thin wall.

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