BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Travel back in time with me. What were your dreams and aspirations growing up? Did you want to be an astronaut, professional athlete, movie star or a rock star? We all had those big dreams at one point. Didn't we?
Many of us carry those dreams with us into adulthood and chase them down. That's what Matthew Lee was doing … at least until he was gunned down and killed.
Aug. 8, 2009 was a warm summer night and dreams were about to come to a crashing halt in the 1900 block of 69th Street in north Baton Rouge.
"When we got here, he was next to the car where his mom had attempted to get him in the car and take him to the hospital," said Det. Belford Johnson with the Baton Rouge Police Department.
Lee, a budding musician who was beginning to catch on in the local scene, was now part of a crime scene. Somebody shot him just a couple blocks away from his own house. It happened right near 70th Avenue and Goode Street. Police said Lee ran home, looking for help. They added he got as far as the front door where his mother tried to get him back down into the car, but that's as far as he made it. All his dreams, he, himself, died right there. There was no more music career and no more dreams.
There are now just plenty of what ifs and whys. For many people in the neighborhood, this is not an unusual scene and many who have lived there for decades say the neighborhood is changing and not for the better.
"For the worse, it's all the violence," said Alderaine George, a neighbor in the area. "These youngsters on the streets don't want to get an education, but they need an education, to do something with themselves."
Once again, police say they're not getting a lot of community help when it comes to solving this shooting. One witness did report seeing a green Ford Expedition leaving the scene in a hurry that night, but that's all investigators have right now.
It is time to step up and, as Mrs. George said, do something. It's a story that speaks to much of what our community is going through right now - the ability to have a conversation to help solve our problems. There needs to be no more secrets, not if change for the better is the ultimate goal.