It was the biggest mass killing in the city's history. But that doesn't begin to tell the story of what happened that night in West Philadelphia.
Among Long's childhood friends was George Porter, whom he met when they were seven or eight. A few years later, both boys befriended CJ Helton, who'd moved back to the projects with his mother.
They all went to the same elementary school.
Across the street from the house where the murders took place, Martha Washington School was where the neighborhood children bonded.
Shawn Crews--the dealer who met with the four alleged gunmen just minutes before the Lex Street shootings--went to school there with Guy Long's older sister.
They did what most children do. They played sports, fought with each other, went to the movies.
"And fixed bikes," Andrea Watson says. "They could take a bike apart and put it together from scratch."
"We grew up like regular little kids," says Randolph Henry, 19, an aspiring rapper who spent his childhood in the projects with Porter, Helton and Long. "We just had that shit around us and it never went nowhere."
Some members of Helton's immediate family were drug users. At least one is now in recovery. Conyers says her son CJ didn't remember the drug use much. "If he was affected," she says, "he never showed me."
Guy Long's aunt, Yvette Long, and at least two other family members who asked not to be named, were addicted to crack.
Conyers and Watson say they did all they could to keep their children away from the drugs. For a time, it seemed to work.
Seated in her kitchen just weeks after her son's death, Andrea Watson vacillates between laughter and grief as she recalls her son's glib sense of humor and love for childhood games.
"They were all on the same baseball team," she says. "It was Maurice, CJ, Stunt, the little boy who lived around the corner. It was a crew, and they all played baseball, football or basketball."
One of Guy Long's trophies on his mother's mantelpiece is topped with a metallic baseball player poised to swing at a pitch.
"If he woulda continued on that road," she says, "it woulda probably been more trophies than that."
But as Guy Long and his friends moved away from sports and toward the streets, their lives changed.
"If you not playing some type of sport and you not good in school," says Randolph Henry, the aspiring rapper, "you gonna start dibblin' and dabblin'."
Guy Long's life with drugs began the way it ended--with a blunt.
PW's Taste of Philly 2014
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