Everyone has heard of the Hatfields and the McCoys.
The two families, who lived by the Big Sandy River along the modern-day border of Kentucky and West Virginia, engaged in a bloody 19th-century feud that lasted almost thirty years.
This feud is a well-known part of American folklore, and has become synonymous with internecine, interfamily hillbilly warfare. It ended with dozens killed and wounded on both sides of the affair.
It’s the kind of thing that you read about and think “Stupid hillbillies! I’m so glad we’ve evolved beyond that as a culture.”
Not in Florida, baby!
Florida has its own modern-day Hatfield-McCoy Feud, and while it takes place in an urban setting, the Northwest and Southwest neighborhoods in Delray Beach, it is just as bloody and just as stupid as the original.
Partisans siding with three longstanding Delray Beach families have been fighting since a 2009 nightclub dust-up, the cause of which no one even remembers any more, except for the vague recollection that there was a diss involved.
Specifically, members of the Johnson and Durham families are aligned against a third family that police have declined to name.
Up until May 2014, the feud was confined to smack-talking and fisticuffs. That all changed on May 8, 2014, when 23-year-old Pernell Devon “Poppa” James was shot; he would die shortly after. That’s when all hell broke loose.
Within hours, a Johnson family house just a block away was shot up. Three people were injured: a 54-year-old woman was shot in the hip, a 33-year-old man was cut by glass fragments, and a 5-year-old girl caught a bullet graze.
By the beginning of November 2014, there had been at least 10 shootings linked to the feud, one of which included a fatality. Two more kids were hurt; a 15-year-old boy was shot in the “upper leg” (usually a euphemism for the ass) and a six-year-old girl caught a slug in her foot.
Most of the shootings involved idiots firing into occupied houses.
Pastors, the police and community groups did everything they could to get the two sides to squash the beef. No dice. Victims wouldn’t even cooperate in most cases.
Things have continued to develop apace. At this point, the feud has been responsible for 46 shootings that have caused five fatalities and untold injuries. In 2018 alone, there have been seven victims.
Unlucky number seven for the year was shot on July 18th. It was another kid, this time a 10-year-old boy who was shot in the thigh when a typically-inaccurate drive-by missed two men standing in the front yard of a house and a slug punched through the front door, striking him.
His luck wasn’t all bad, though, as he was treated and released. He needs to go play the lottery.
Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers is soliciting tips regarding the most recent shooting. That seems to be about all they can do, since this passel of morons is hell-bent on destroying each other, and don’t give the first good goddamn about innocent bystanders.
All we DD dwellers can do is signal our disapprobation.
Fuckheaded feuding Florida families, we salute you!
With one finger.