The drama of the day was intensified by the fact that David Dinkins, then mayor of New York City, was on his way to the school. A heightened level of security was in place, and several security guards and police officers were within yards of the site of the killings. In all, 25 security personnel and police officers were on the school grounds.31 The association of the murders and the mayor was burned into people’s minds. In the course of our interviews and conversations, dozens of people, when asked if they remembered the events, began their comments by noting that the mayor was on his way to the school when it happened. That the day had meaning for people was underscored by the comments of one expatriate New Yorker who commented, “Of course I remember that day. That’s the day I decided to leave New York. Not because of those murders, but because of another murder near my son’s school which went unnoticed because everyone was so preoccupied by what had happened with Mayor Dinkins.”32

The mayor was briefed about the murders by Inspector Patrick Carroll, who was then the commander of the 75th Precinct. On his arrival at the school, Dinkins joined Principal Beck for a school assembly. He urged students to choose nonviolence as a way of life. Newsday reported that he told students, “If you know that somebody’s got a weapon, you make sure that you pass that information on. You might think that that’s being a snitch. Well, you consider the alternatives. We’ve got two young people lying dead today and it might not have happened had it not been for that gun.”33

The horrors of the day did not end with the Sumpter shootings. That evening, Marlon Smith, a friend of the two young men who had been killed, shot himself. He died two days later at Brookdale Hospital.34 Marlon was eulogized on March 4, one day after Ian, and two days after Tyrone Sinkler.35 A Thomas Jefferson teacher shared with us that there were actually five funerals that week for Jefferson students. In addition to Ian, Tyrone, and Marlon, he recalled that two others had died in unrelated events.36

The funeral of Ian Moore, held at St. Paul Community Baptist Church, seems to have received the most attention of the five.37 By contrast with the obsequies of Daryl Sharpe, a host of luminaries joined the 1,000 mourners gathered at the church. At the service, a poem written by Ian Moore was read:

What I fear began when my grandmother died

Obviously, it was the fear of death

Death is something I just can’t handle

When she died, it was so unbelievable

I fear death because I don’t know

What will happen when I go



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