Reading news reports about the 79-year-old who was shot dead in the neck by a stray bullet is like reading the stories of two different men. Some report that the 79-year-old had a live-in girlfriend, others report that the 79-year-old man was married. Some report that the 79-year-old was a church-going man with no criminal record while others report that the 79-year-old had a police record for drugs and forgery. The one thing that all news reports agree on is that the man who was shot in the neck by a mysterious bullet was a 79-year-old man.
On Feb. 25, 2013, the Wall Street Journal reported that,
“Police were called to James Jackson’s home in Bedford-Stuyvesant at about 2:15 a.m. after his wife found him unresponsive, the official said. Several neighbors told police they heard what they thought was a gunshot or a loud bang at about 1 a.m. … Police were trying to determine whether Mr. Jackson was the target of the shooting or was hit by a stray bullet, the official said. His wife, Diana Gayles, 69 years old, is not considered a suspect. … Ms. Gayles, who is legally blind and hard of hearing, told police she was in bed in the couple’s first-story apartment when she was woken up by her husband’s alarm clock, the official said. Noticing her husband was not in bed, she called out to him, but received no response, the official said. She made her way to the living room and attempted to wake him and when she could not called a neighbor to help. The neighbor noticed Mr. Jackson was bleeding and instructed Ms. Gayles to call 911. On Sunday, several family members gathered at the five-story apartment building and tried to figure out what happened. Two of Mr. Jackson’s sons recalled him as a church-going man and a father who enjoyed hosting family cookouts.”
In addition to the above information, the Wall Street Journal also informs that 79-year-old James Jackson was known to family, friends, and neighbors as Tyrone, or Ty, which was James Jackson’s middle name. After paramedics had taken James Tyrone Jackson to Woodhull Hospital, he was pronounced dead “at about 3 a.m.”
“blind girlfriend had called to him from the bedroom, then phoned a neighbor for help when he didn’t respond. ‘She said she couldn't wake him up,’ said the neighbor, Joyce, who declined to give her last name. ‘He was lying on the couch slumped over. It’s horrible.’ … The 79-year-old was shot in the neck inside his Bushwick apartment. His live-in girlfriend is not a suspect, police sources said. … Jackson had nine prior arrests, most from the 1990s, for charges including drugs and forgery, police said. He would sit on his building’s front stoop in warmer weather, and he often sold cigarettes to neighbors, pals said.”
Was the 79-year-old man who was shot in the neck by a mysterious stray bullet living with his wife or his live-in girlfriend? Did he live in a five-story apartment building in Bedford-Stuyvesant? Was James Jackson a church-going father who enjoyed hosting family cookouts or was he a man with a prior police record who’d sit on the front stoops selling cigarettes to neighbors?
Or was James Jackson both?
No matter how James Jackson is being represented in different news reports, everyone appears to agree that he was a very nice man, a good person, and always helpful to those around him. One of the 79-year-old’s neighbor’s said that “He was a good person. If you needed something, he'd always give it to you.”
According to police reports, there were no signs of forced entry into the 79-year-old’s apartment. Police sources also say that they are unsure where the shot was fired from and if James Jackson was the intended target.
The office of the New York city medical examiner has scheduled an autopsy for Monday. Maybe an autopsy will not only provide more insights into the mystery of the bullet but also into the mystery of the 79-year-old man.