Denise Gay had 13 minutes to live when the four men ambled past the matriarch's customary stoop-top perch.
Surveillance videos in police possession and shown to me Wednesday suggest Gay may have been killed by a stray bullet from a cop's gun.
The clear, color footage also shows beyond any doubt that cops began firing only after the gunman fired directly at them. He fired at the cops again a full 40 seconds after he went down.
The time on the screen was 7:48 p.m., Monday, Sept. 5. The four men stopped outside the iron fence two doors up Park Place. Two of them entered. One wore a white sport shirt, the other a black top. The one in white was 29-year-old Eusi Johnson.
A camera in the first-floor hallway recorded them disappearing up the stairs. The remaining two men entered and followed them up after a pause.
All four came downstairs at 7:54 p.m., along with four other men, including 32-year-old Leroy Webster in a red cap and white T-shirt. His mother lives on the second floor. He is said to be with the Gucci Bloods gang.
The two groups faced each other in the hallway, seeming to continue a verbal dispute that had begun upstairs. Webster at one point lifted his T-shirt, clearly to show he was not carrying a gun. The beef appeared settled when the two sides shook hands.
The footage from the exterior camera shows the people then on the sidewalk outside included Denise Gay's daughter, Tashmaya. The daughter smiled and waved in the direction where her mother was sitting.
Back inside, the dispute flared. Eusi shoved a Webster buddy. Eusi's buddy in black headed for the street, looking very much like he was fetching a weapon.
Webster briefly blocked the man's way before letting him out through a gate. Webster then threw two punches over the fence, striking the man.
"Murder! Gucci murder!" Webster was heard to shout.
Tashmaya ran to join her mother two doors down. Webster charged back inside and pushed past the others on the way upstairs to his own mother.
"Ma, I tried! I tried, Ma!" he was heard to shout.
Eusi and his remaining two buddies were bolting out the door when Webster came back down, a 9-mm. Ruger in hand. He fired as he hurried down the hallway and again as he came out on the stoop. The time on the screen was 8:00 p.m. and 40 seconds.
Eusi was mortally wounded in the neck, but ran on with his buddies in the direction they had come, passing Gay's stoop.
Webster did not fire after them. He instead turned back into the building. He was just reaching the door when he heard something that made him turn his head away from where Gay was sitting.
The police were ordering him to drop his gun. He was unable to open the door and whirled toward the cops, firing repeatedly. The air around him filled with dust and debris from the impacts of the return fire.
For 40 seconds it seemed to be over, but then Webster raised his gun and fired again at the police. His arm finally slumped.
From two doors down came Tashmaya's cries. Her 56-year-old mother had been hit in the head by a bullet while pushing her to safety.
Police now say Webster's gun did not fire the bullet that killed Gay. Cops would later say that two male witnesses saw a muzzle flash from a gun in Eusi's hand.
In the videos, I did not see Eusi with a gun, but I was focused on Webster. A close examination of the footage might or might not show otherwise.
The police should release the footage, as they often have with other videos. Let everybody see for himself.