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‘A car drove up next to us. The cocaine made me bold. I gestured our gang sign. They immediately shot me 5 times.’: Paraplegic, ex-gang member urges ‘choose your friends wisely, don’t let them choose you’

“By the age of 15, I was living a reckless lifestyle. I had already failed at everything and let so many people down. The acceptance and sense of self-worth gangs offered was appealing. I was lost and out of control. Not once did I think about my family and what I was doing to them. When the parademics arrived, I was pronounced dead on arrival. ‘We need a body bag.’ I was drenched in blood, no longer breathing. I died for 6 minutes.”

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