Crackup on Lex Street

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.

By Solomon Jones
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 15 | Posted Feb. 14, 2001

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When her son got off the El at 46th Street, she says, Malik Harris met him and told him that George Porter had been arguing with someone earlier that day.

CJ rushed to the house to see if he could help, she says.

Later that evening, Quiante Perrin, one of the accused gunmen, left his mother's house.

"I don't even know what time it was he left my home," Perrin's mother, Cynthia Jordan, would later say. "But he's innocent."

Around 8 p.m., Perrin's next-door neighbor, 15-year-old Malik Harris and nine other people lay face down on the floor, waiting for a hail of bullets to be unleashed.

"I know what was in CJ's mind right then and there," says Heath, his surrogate father. "I know he was thinking ... 'Dag, my dad was right. Sometimes it's best to keep your friends there, and you be here, 'cause they're going to be there.'"

Lisa Nelson, Alfred Goodwin's cousin, thinks Goodwin was entertaining different thoughts as the gunmen stood over him in the crack house where his girlfriend, Yvette Long, rented a room.

"'I've gotten myself into something that I'm not going to be able to straighten out,'" she imagines him thinking. "'I'm not going to be able to justify or rationalize to my family.'"

"I've had nightmares about that," she says. "I've had nightmares thinking what his last moments were."

Andrea Watson didn't have time to think about her son's last moments. She got the call while she was coming home from work on the trolley.

"I cried on the trolley, 'cause I knew, I just had this feeling," she says. "Same as when my nephew got killed and they said, 'Did anybody tell you anything?' I just had this sinking feeling. And I just started having an anxiety attack right there on the trolley.

"[My friend] met me halfway up. I didn't even come to the house. We got right in the car. We drove to the crowd, and we didn't see anything. But then we seen a big truck with the antenna, and then when we got close to Lex Street, we seen the cops and they had it all taped off, and they was like, 'It's a lot of bodies in there.'"

As the families gathered outside, some of the dealers mingled with the crowd.

"Shawn Crews came back around [to Lex Street]," says a witness who was at the scene. "The dudes that was standing around there, they all came running over to him like he was some kind of big shot.

"He was driving a Jeep. He had his hands in his pockets, and he had one of them Avirex jackets. And they ran over to him like he was the Godfather. And he was like, 'Be cool, be cool. Don't draw a tip on me.'

"I hope it ain't him. Because he had the nerve to come back to the scene."

When Alfred Goodwin didn't come home that evening, his family didn't know what to think. They had no idea that he frequented Lex Street. Nor did they know that he was having an affair with Yvette Long.

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COMMENTS

Comments 1 - 15 of 15
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1. kimmi64 said... on Sep 3, 2008 at 12:22PM

“i could have been there too. i just happen to be at kirkbride rehab center in west philly at the time, not too far from the bottoms. i was that caught out, crack addict,hiv having prostitute that hung out at crack houses like that across the city. to think yhat i could have been laid out on that floor with the rest of them makes me feel unimagineably wonderful, being saved from that horrible death. whew”

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2. adeena said... on Dec 16, 2008 at 07:58AM

“as salaamu alaikum! masha'allah 4 the lives that weren't taken. Alhamdulillah”

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3. none yah said... on Feb 18, 2009 at 09:34AM

“yall dont know nothing about nothing...... ”

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4. Anonymous said... on Apr 28, 2009 at 02:19AM

“It is a damn shame those people lost their lives. I grew up playing ball at the Creek, playing football across from Sorrows and Sis Clara Mohammed, eating at Dwights and it makes me wanna cry for the families that lost loved ones. I've been to Iraq and Korea twice and its a damn shame that my neighborhood is still is disarray.”

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5. Anonymous said... on Jul 13, 2009 at 10:45PM

“There will be a movie about this compelling story sometime next year, and I guarantee the City of Philadelphia is gonna have a question or two to answer. It was indeed a shame that four young men were wrongfully accused, which leads me to believe they just strong-armed and chose those who allegedly "confessed" to the killings.

Tragic.”

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6. kishia hanible said... on Aug 18, 2010 at 01:43AM

“i have read the book watch the dvd listen to the case the youngest one that got killed was my cuzin sam i don't know what went down that night but who ever did the shit will pay rather it be in life or death they will pay and i tell you their is no system that can do what god won't do and beleave me they will suffer....r.i.p to all of them.”

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7. Steve Wright said... on Jul 24, 2011 at 10:42PM

“I left Philly in 1979 for the service to get far away from the violents in the Mill Creek section of town. I returned for a visit to family and friends in June 2011 and in hope to see that this city has improved over the years. Philly is basically the same as I left it which is a shame, When I was growing up there it was alot of shooting and killing like it is now. Growing up on June Street between Parrish and Brown I feelsf or those who lost there life on Lex St. Rest in peace Petey I remember many games of basketball we played at the courts of Mill Creek playground. R.I.P. Petey”

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8. Anonymous said... on Sep 11, 2011 at 04:39PM

“IT SADINS ME TO KNOW I WENT TO SCHOOL WITH A LOT OF THE PPL OF LEX ST... PPL PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE STOP THE VILOENCE THE ELDERLY ARE OUT LIVING THE YOUNG. IT MAKES NO SENSE AT ALL.......SIMPLY CRAZY!!! WHATS HAPPEN TO LETS SHAKE & MAKE UP!!!!”

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9. Anonymous said... on Jan 17, 2012 at 04:06PM

“SOMETHING JUST TOLD ME TO LOOK UP THIS CRIME.. AND ITS CRAZY HOW IT HAS BEEN TEN YRS AND THINGS HAVENT GOTTEN ANY BETTER..... LIKE SERIOUSLY THE YOUNGEST PERSON WOULD HAVE ONLY BEEN 25 LIKE MYSELF. WE WENT TO JAMES RHODES TOGETHER... PPL STOP KILLING OUR FUTURE OFF.. YALL DONT UNDERSTAND THAT, THAT IS WHAT IS GOING ON....”

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10. sexylady46 said... on Jan 21, 2012 at 08:43PM

“This sad that these seven ppl was killed over a fucking car”

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11. DownthewayJ said... on May 24, 2012 at 09:09PM

“Grew up in west Philly. Lived on Lancaster Ave. Shame how we continue to kill each other. When will we learn? As-salaamu-alaikum”

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12. mike war said... on Jul 20, 2012 at 07:51AM

“R.I.P JIG

46 street for life! all was senseless

r.i.p buzzy”

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13. ryan said... on Aug 31, 2012 at 12:25PM

“He said, 'This is a press conference, not a community meeting,'" Long recalls. "How can you say that as the mayor. you elected that clown and look where it got you. black people dont get the big picture thats why when you walk into a prison its made up of 65percent blacks. i recall abraham lincoln freed the slaves and yet you vote for democrats the blacks. because they want free money!”

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14. Anonymous said... on Dec 4, 2013 at 06:34PM

“this story needs to be updated. at least 4 other men were charged. the 1st 4 were aquitted.”

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15. Chuck said... on Oct 22, 2014 at 07:48PM

“This is a crazy senseless world we live in.I knew all of them the were my yong boys may god bless them and bless those who don't know no better.LOVE AND PEACE.46FOREVER.”

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