In "The Curse", our feature article which hits streets tomorrow, New Times tells the tragic story of Carol City High's Class of 2006, which has lost six of its members to arbitrary street deaths, including five to gunfire. These were "good" kids- none of them involved in gangs or the drug trade- and the most recent death happened just last May, when 21-year old graduate Brian Dupree, a father of two known for an incessant sense of humor, was killed in a driveby while sitting in his girlfriend's car outside of his family's Miami Gardens home.
In my reporting, I was moved by my conversation with Tim, Brian's best friend since their days at Carol City Middle. He's a hulking former defensive tackle, bovine head topped with a stickers-still-on Mets hat and chin adorned with a scraggly beard, who took a seat on a porch swing in front of his house on a December Saturday to chat with me. He's still very much in mourning- a fresh crucifix tattoo bearing Brian's name peels on his right forearm- and he told me what it's like to lose an inseparable pal, and have a very strong hunch who did it. In his own words, after the jump:
I'll never forget that night. I work at Home Depot, on the inventory
team- I work at the Pembroke Pines store, usually every night from 9 at
night to 6 AM- and I called B to ask, was he driving me to work. He
said he couldn't, he was going down South to a homeboy's house.
When I was at work, I look at my phone, and I see all these missed
calls. It's like 3 or 4 in the morning. I get a call from my friend,
who is Brian's cousin. I just think, "I'll check it."
She says, "Brian's house just got shot up." I say, "Did he get shot?" She said, "Yeah."
I tell her, come get me from work. When I get in the car, she says, "Brian got shot in the head."
I just went ballistic. I went crazy. We get to Brian's house, and
there's crackers- police- everywhere. They wouldn't let us past the
tape. I didn't know if he was still alive. They almost arrested me,
because I was determined to get past the tape. My homeboy's telling me,
"Just chill; just chill."
Next thing, we was on the way to the hospital, me and Brian's cousin
Horace, and Horace's sister Kiera, who everybody calls Niecey. At some
point, somebody heard that Brian was dead, because Niecey just bust out
screaming "NO!" Everybody bust out screaming.
That's the only way I knew he was dead. I didn't witness none of it. I
didn't get a chance to see none of it. At the hospital, Charles
[Brian's father] was saying, "My son. My son." He told me how he was
holding Brian's head, and listened to his heart beat. Felt his
I tried to go back to Home Depot the day after. Why? I don't know. I
was trying to pretend it didn't happen. I lasted fifteen minutes. I
told my manager, "My buddy just died. I gotta go."
It sunk in starting from the wake. To be honest with you, I didn't want
to go. I kept stalling. I knew my body was in for it. My body couldn't
I finally forced myself to go to the wake. I thought, 'I have to send
my homeboy off.' As I was driving to the funeral home, chills starting
coming toward me. I almost got into an accident, because I tried to
swerve towards a median to turn around. My body was going crazy. My
homeboy Jay stopped me from going into a pole.
Once I stepped foot in the room where he was at, I broke down. I'm just
sitting there in my chair, crying, for more than an hour. Brian's
cousin Terrence, he's a minister, he sat down next to me and was giving
me words of knowledge.
After the wake, they were playing music, trying to have a party. My
homeboys were saying, 'Get up, you gotta do it for B.' But I wasn't
feeling it. I was sitting there, just feeling sad.
We went to the cemetery- I don't know the name, it's off Broward
Boulevard- and watching the casket go down into the ground, that's when
I broke down again.
We go back all the time. I go with his baby mama, Christiana. We just
sit at his grave and talk to him, tell him what's going on. We sit
there for hours. One afternoon, it started showering, and a bunch of us
just sat there, talking to him, crying.
In the words of Plies, I'll rep the name of my homie 'til I die. Since
he died, I don't really go out. It's not the same without him at my
Brian's death, like all but one of the Carol City High murders,
remains unsolved. But informed rumors fly. The streets fingered one man
for the crime- a scrawny 21-year old neighborhood thug, one-half of an
identical twin duo with long and violent rap sheets. One of the rumored
motives had Brian, a notorious lady's man, hooking up with the
criminal's ex-girlfriend. Charles Dupree says the cops told him he was
their number one suspect, but with no witnesses coming forward, they
couldn't make the arrest. Tim told me how he struggled against the
temptation for payback.
I was beyond anger. If it wasn't God on my side, I would've done something crazy.
I knew the dude. I was at a party, and as I was mixing myself a
drink, he reached into my waistband and grabbed a pistol I had on me.
He put it in my face. No reason. He was laughing.
He was just one of those cats that wanted to be thug, tried to be ghetto.
I didn't know for sure it was him that killed Brian. There were so many rumors flying around. I would just sit in my room, cry, and talking to Brian. Saying, "Give me a sign to who did it."
All I would hear back is, "Don't worry about it; I'm good. Be there for my family."
So that's what I did. If I did something stupid, I could've been locked up or dead myself.
One morning, I woke up and saw about 40 missed calls on my phone. I
called my homeboy, and he says, "Where were you last night?" I tell
him, sleeping. He goes, "For sure?"
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He says, "_______ just got murked."
Two months after Brian's murder, the supposed number one suspect in
the case was killed in a driveby. He left behind a one-year old
daughter. Both killings remain unsolved.