We New Yorkers are an exceptionally talented bunch, and 23 year-old Angel Alvarez of Harlem yet again proves the old adage true: If you can get shot here, you can get shot — *BAM BAM* — anywhere!
Alvarez was involved in a massive shooting overnight in Harlem on Lenox Ave. between 143rd and 144th Street at a house party that resulted in the death of one young man, Luis Soto of The Bronx, as well as the shooting of two cops and three civilians. Alvarez was in an argument with Soto when gunshots rang out between both men, who were armed. It’s hard to tell who shot him: Soto, the cops, or, uh, himself, maybe? The doctors pulled 21 slugs out of Alvarez’s body, which the NY Daily News got someone to tell them must be some kind of record.
“I would say more than 20 gunshot wounds is a record,” said Dr. Vincent DiMaio, 69, a forensic pathologist and author of “Gunshot Wounds: Practical Aspects of Firearms, Ballistics, and Forensic Techniques.”
He was hit in the abs, legs, and jaws, and if this isn’t a perfect segue into a rap career, really, what is? There’s nothing at the Guinness Book of World Records in the way of “getting shot” and the Universal Record Database has nothing on file, either (which means Alvarez is in the perfect position to accept his his certification in person at one of URDB’s Joe’s Pub shows at some point!). The situation sounds like it was absolute chaos: a reported 200 people at this party, with conflicting accounts from cops and friends of the two men involved in the dispute so wildly different, getting who shot what into who might take a while to sort out. But 21 shots? Maybe after that much hot lead in one’s body, one might be inclined to put themselves out of situations that might attract it. But really: the only thing that’s actually exceptional about some guy being shot 21 times and living is if he lived a life here on out dedicated to curbing gun violence. Which he probably won’t, because that just isn’t how the world works. Maybe he will. He probably won’t, though. It’s hard not to be pessimistic about situations like these when you read things like this:
“[The crowd was] gathered for a barbecue in honor of Tujuan Ford, a Harlem man nicknamed “Twizzy,” who was killed last week.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 9, 2010