I guess you can never tell these days. The neighborhood I moved into was safe (relatively) a few years ago. Well recently it's been going downhill. Last year we had someone shot on our block, I got home about 1/2 hour after it happened and the other 1/2 of the block was cordoned off with yellow police tape. Then the other block adjacent to us had a shooting about 5 months ago. Now some Hispanic people moved into the rear apartment, and I don't want to generalize and sound racist because I'm not. My roommate and very good friend is Mexican. But these new tenants were obviously gang members' families. There were kids in the apt. but the people who came to visit more and more were very obviously 'of the lifestyle'. Anyway, today we were coming home and pulled into the garage. There were 4 latinos sitting/standing on the steps leading up to my apt. of which I am one of the front units. They looked at us hard, like they were looking for someone. I looked back, not wanting to seem like I was avoiding them, but also not wanting to look like I was trying to intimidate them in any way. My S.O. simply looked away nonchalantly. The garage finally opens and we go inside. I park in my spot and do something I never do. I straighten my car out. I don't know why I was concerned about it today because I never have been before. There was also something I heard in my trunk, and I knew it was my umbrella, but I opened my trunk just to check--another thing I never do--and sure enough, it was the umbrella. The final thing is that I had an uneasy feeling about the guys out in front so I motion to my S.O. that we should take the back stairs--another thing we never do. Well as I'm shutting the trunk, I hear POW! POW! POW! POW! POW!. Five shots, we'll never forget that. We hear running and we hit the concrete. I turn to the front and then to the back stairs, thinking we can make it there. Luckily we do not go towards the stairs as one guy who was out front ran out the back way and tried to hop the wall into the other apt. complex. He turns around and I guess he sees that the shooters had run/driven away and he goes back up the stairs into our apartment. I moved my girl back into the car and we huddled out of sight in the backseat for about 2 minutes. We try to call 911 on her cell phone (the only use I approve of for the damned things) and it rings like 12 times and no one picks up!!! By this time I can see out the front garage gate and I see people start walking towards the building. I tell her to sit tight and go out to investigate. The four guys are gone, no one was hit, but there were bullet holes in the railing leading up to my building, and one bullet grazed the wooden front door of the complex not 5 feet from my apartment's front door. The cops arrived in a minute, we only live about 3 blocks away from a station. They interview everyone and shake down the building. They took two of the guys people ID'd as being in front of the building but couldn't find the other two. They could not hold the two they did find as they were technically "victims" and not "suspects"--but the officer said they kept their IDs on file because today's victims will surely be tomorrow's suspects whenever the retaliation occurs. We were down at the station looking at mug shots but none looked familiar. The cops were here for about an hour and questioned everyone and their mother. As far as I know the two they had detained were released to god knows where, hopefully not into the back unit of my apt. building but that's where they probably are. Tons of people saw them before and after the shooting, although none really saw the event take place. The cops said that although they got a look at me (and it wasn't the first time, I'd seen these guys congregate at the steps several times before) they said that gangs don't generally go after non-gang members. The cops also said that all the stuff we told them would be 100% confidential. We have several new numbers and business cards on our refrigerator. I won't hesitate to call at the slightest bit of suspicious activity. Aside from that, nothing much happened today. How are you guys doing?