This week, I interviewed the friend of a 20-year-old man who was shot and killed on the street, in the middle of the afternoon, in our city's West End.
Police have said that Nigel Dixon was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
And I am so very sad about this story.
I'm sad because it's happened before.
I'm sad because we aren't outraged.
I'm sad because every time another random shooting happens, it means that one more person who might have given the inner city a chance will cross it off their list and stay in suburbia.
And perhaps you can't blame them.
I grew up going to the North End. My grandparents lived on Dufferin Avenue.
I remember learning about growing tomatoes in my grandfather's back garden and sitting on the front step with Joe, the neighbour who lived upstairs.
My grandfather was so proud of that house.
You might have thought it was the Taj Mahal instead of a white and brown side-by-side on a busy main road. But it was his, and it was loved.
I remember the last time he saw it.
He was living in a seniors' complex and we picked him up and went for a drive to see the old place.
He looked out the window and cried.
He waved his hand forward in silence, signalling my father to just move on.
The front fence was falling over, with the paint peeling. The front window was broken and replaced by a piece of plywood. Black graffiti and gang tags were all over the front door.
It must have been around 1987.
I suppose you could call it a simple sign that the times had changed. But I think it tells a bit of a story.
I accidentally saw the house again in 2010.
It was a dark morning in October, after a weekend shooting spree that left two men dead and a 13-year-old girl injured. At the time, she was walking with friends.
I remember standing on Dufferin doing live interviews with guys who were ex-gang members. They told me how they were scared for their families who lived in the neighbourhood, how guns were too easy to get.
I remember they appealed to the shooter to turn himself in.
Police never did make an arrest.
When my interviews were over, the sun was coming up.
Cops were all over the place for the manhunt, and I was more than ready to get out of there. My mind wandered into being "in the wrong place at the wrong time."
As I quickly loaded my gear into the CBC jeep, I glanced across the street and realized I was standing right in front of my grandparents' home.
I honestly started to cry.
It looked beautiful. The fence was repaired. The house was repainted. The windows looked new. Clearly, it was loved again.
The irony was palpable.
I felt that house screaming at me, as I longed to return to my "safe" home in River Heights.
I felt that house challenging me to think about what makes a city safe.
And more than anything, I felt myself wondering what it means to be in the "wrong place."
Later that day, someone suggested to me that there was nothing to worry about, that many other cities had lots of areas that you "just don't go to."
He said Winnipeg was just growing into a big city where you accept that kind of thing.
For my part, I don't want our city to be that city — a place where we just let neighbourhoods go one by one.
I realize that areas improve and decline based on changing populations, poverty trends and home ownership.
But the people who bring life back to those old houses deserve a chance to be part of our larger community.
And they won't get that chance … if we just drive by.