Common Ground Mourns Loss Of “A Good Friend & Leader”
by Staff | Dec 31, 2013 10:36 am
Posted to: Schools
When a gunman shot 18-year-old Javier Martinez to death Saturday, he snatched a cherished life away not only from the young man’s immediate family, but from his wider family at Common Ground High School.
The school community plans to gather privately during the holiday break to share its despair over the loss of “a good friend and a leader,” in the words of the school’s director, Lizanne Cox.
Police Monday did not yet have a strong lead or explanation in their investigation of the fatal shooting at Hemingway Avenue and Russell Street, where Martinez was found lying in the road around 1 a.m. Saturday. Martinez, who was 18 years old, did not have a criminal record, police said; he was not known to be involved in trouble. (Anyone with information is asked to call detectives at (203) 946-6304.)
In the meantime, Cox sent in the following statement on behalf of the school; and following that is a poem that Martinez wrote at age 14 for a friend who was lost to gun violence. (His 8th grade language arts teacher, Tara Ehler, sent it in.):
Javier was a senior at Common Ground High School this year. He was a kind, big-hearted young man, who smiled a lot and talked quietly. He cared about his community and environment, and acted on that commitment—for instance, by planting trees with the New Haven Urban Resources Initiative all of last Spring.
Last summer, he interned with The Nature Conservancy on Block Island—helping restore habitat and protect engaged species there.
He pushed himself academically, and made big strides—bringing home papers on Oediupus Rex from his Western Lit class to share with his family this fall. He was a good friend and a leader in our small school community, who should be thinking about college and his bright future right now.
Common Ground is really shaken by the loss of a precious member of our family. We want to make sure that all members of the Common Ground community get the support they need over the coming days and weeks, and get the chance to honor and remember Javier.
We are committed to working alongside our all neighbors to end violence in our city. We know that lots of families have lost people they love, as our family has. We need to take time to heal, but we also need to act.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Javier’s family and loved ones, and with all of our community members who knew and cared about him.
* * * *
Like a star
He lived life
To the highest
Raw throb bless
Harmony for eternity
Javier Martinez, Age 14
Victim of gun violence at age 18
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posted by: William Kurtz on December 30, 2013 7:26pm
I can’t imagine the grief this young man’s friends and family are feeling right now. I wish them peace during this terrible time. What a shocking and senseless thing.
Words cannot express the sadness I am feeling right now. This young man seems to have had everything to live for. Let’s get these guns off the streets. This death is so wrong on so many levels. My prayers are with his family who has lost the joy of their lives. Poetic, kind, and a good student so unfair!