A son watches his mother die, then waits in fear for killer to be caught

STEVEN M. FALK / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Abigail Medina Young , whose sister Carmen Medina was shot and killed inside a car last month.
STEVEN M. FALK / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Abigail Medina Young , whose sister Carmen Medina was shot and killed inside a car last month.
Posted: May 08, 2013

SOMEONE knows something. Someone always knows something. Someone knows who gunned down a woman and her boyfriend in front of her 11-year-old son last month. But because they haven't given the guy up, a young boy out there is scared for his life.

You OK with that, Philly?

Carmen Medina and her boyfriend, Thomas Gorman, were shot on Gurney Street on April 23 after a man with whom she had just argued followed her to the car she was driving, opened the driver-side door and shot her multiple times. He pointed the gun at her son in the backseat. But Gorman shielded the boy and was shot instead. Medina, 31, and Gorman, 39, were pronounced dead at the scene.

Medina's sister, Abigail Medina Young, 22, who is seven months' pregnant, hasn't asked her nephew for details. She knows everything she needs to. The sister who was more like a mother to her after their mother died is gone. Her nephew will grow up without his mother. Young will name her baby girl after the aunt she will never meet.

But the other night, Young noticed that her nephew wasn't sleeping. "I can't close my eyes," he told her. And then he told her how his own screams rang in his ears, how when his mother was struggling for air, he put his hand over one of the bullet holes to try to stop the bleeding. " 'Like they do on TV,' " she said he told her.

He said something else, too. He's afraid.

Young wanted to tell him that she knew what he was going through, that he's safe. She was the same age as he is when her mother died of kidney failure. But she couldn't imagine what her nephew witnessed. And she can't say for sure that he or anyone in her family is safe until the man who killed her sister is arrested.

Yesterday, police said no arrests have been made. They also did not have a motive. After the shooting, the man was seen running away. Police think he is in hiding, and are asking anyone with information to come forward.

Young knows people are saying the brazen double homicide had to be drug-related.

"You know how it is, when someone does something in their past and then people just assume," she said.

Court records show Medina and Gorman had histories of drug arrests. But Young doesn't believe it. She had gotten her sister a job at the pizza place where she works. "She was an excellent worker," she said.

"My sister was getting herself together for her kids. She missed so much with her kids and she didn't want to miss anymore."

But whatever the circumstances around her sister's death, Young wondered how people in the neighborhood they grew up in, and that know her family, could possibly keep quiet. "Even if they are scared, how could they feel safer with someone who does this being out there?"

Young has other worries. Her sister didn't have insurance and with a baby on the way, Young doesn't have the money to pay for her funeral. She looked into a state fund to help family members of homicide victims, but it could take months to get assistance, and the circumstances surrounding her sister's death might make them ineligible.

Days after the shooting, the family was trying to raise money by selling $5 plates of chicken and rice on the street near where Medina and Gorman were killed. The funeral won't be a fancy affair. The tombstone will have to wait, Young said. But she at least wants to bury the sister she nicknamed "Metchie" near their mom at Greenmount Cemetery.

"We didn't have a lot growing up, but Metchie would always come up with these games," Young said, crying. "For Christmas, she'd always give me the biggest toy. My sister was everything to me, and I just want to do right by her."

And she has a plea. "If you saw something, say something. Regardless of anything, the man who killed my sister is dangerous. He can't just kill people for respect. What are we all going to do, walk around scared?"


 


Email: ubinas@phillynews.com

Phone: 215-854-5943

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