If you ask me, I bet Corey Hall couldn’t wait to see his friends and family at Ballpark Village on Sunday night.
He was turning 38 years old, had a lawnmower business getting ready to hit its busy season, and was a newlywed. A hard-working father, Hall was going to kick back and enjoy in downtown St. Louis at an event perfectly titled, “Eat, drink, chill.”
Hall never left Ballpark Village. He was an innocent bystander caught in the crossfire of a scuffle between two other people, resulting in gunshots being fired his way. Corey Hall was shot in the head and died at 2 a.m. early Monday morning. A birthday party gone terribly wrong.
Quite frankly, I’m beside myself right now. I’m angry. Pissed off in the worst way.
Let me get this out of the way before you jump to assumptions or roll your eyes: I didn’t know Corey or any of his family members. We were two regular dudes abiding the law in a city that is getting ripped to shreds by senseless violence. There’s no cure or simple way to stop it either. I didn’t know Corey, but I feel I like do today sadly.
I am father, husband. and 36 years old. I spend way too much time around Ballpark Village driving for Uber. Last Tuesday, I was a matter of yards away from where Hall was, watching a game in the AT&T Rooftop Deck. It could have been me if those two people had ran into each other a different night.
You see, that’s what you do when tragedy happens to someone that you don’t know. The first thing you do is attach it to your own life and wonder what if. It’s too scary to focus on for too long, so you shift your focus to the family and friends torn apart by the tragedy. I can’t imagine Hall’s parents or his wife. The idea of his kid growing up without a dad, not knowing the reason why his dad was taken so soon.
A father shouldn’t bury his kid, but the kid shouldn’t bury his old man without knowing why he died. Hall died for no reason other than someone feeling tough and protected by carrying a gun on their person. I wonder why you can’t get into a baseball game across the street with a gun, but you can walk into a place of business right across the street. A simple metal detector would have stopped this. Well, maybe.
I don’t have answers. I’m simply mad and sad about an innocent man dying. In September, an innocent family man died in Philadelphia, and I wrote about it here. It pissed me off and I made a comment on Facebook that I regretted. I won’t do that here because there are no real answers.
I won’t say ban guns. That doesn’t work. Taking away guns doesn’t help hard-working people who like to own a weapon to protect their own or just feel safe. A gun in the right hands isn’t a bad thing.
I also don’t think it should be incredibly easy to acquire a gun. A tighter more complex protocol wouldn’t be too invasive and may weed out some of the mad souls who shouldn’t own a weapon. Such as, if you get an assault charge or domestic battery or anything having to do with violence, your ability to carry should be restricted. Start somewhere and go from there.
Honestly, I don’t know what the true answer is. The Ballpark Village shooting is a sad occurrence that places another black eye on the city of St. Louis, and that’s a shame, because most nights, the venue lights up like a Christmas tree, bringing revenue and good times to the city.
One would think it was a safe place to enjoy a birthday. Corey Hall thought it would be on Sunday. He was 38 years old, married, a father to two kids, and had a good local business. Anytime a proud STL native dies in the name of senseless violence, it’s a tragedy.
This violence isn’t limited to St. Louis though. It’s a common event all over the globe. Everywhere. People shoot others for no reason other than rage, jealousy, and ignorance. How can you stop something that’s spreading every single day? When the higher-up authority decides to truly take a look and alter old rules.
I wouldn’t want their job. It surely won’t be easy to figure out.
I’m just a writer who took to the keyboard to write about a good soul lost too soon. A proud South City native who hates seeing violence rip his city apart.
I’m not at a loss for words, but I sit here without a solution. I’m powerless.
That’s all I got.