As Carolyn Jones walked out of her church in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant on the evening of September 26, 1996, she unwittingly stepped into a shooting. A bullet left the chamber of a gun nearly two blocks away and struck her in the head.
“I heard some shooting started, and everybody went down on the ground,” Jones said, “but everybody got up except me.”
Twenty-five years later, Jones still suffers from traumatic damage to her brain. She can’t drive, and she has difficulty walking. She can go only as far as her corner store. “I want to go to Broadway, and I want to walk around the stores there, but I can’t do that,” she said “I feel deprived.”
“One Bullet” is the final installment of The Damage Done, a documentary series exploring the nuances of gun violence in Brooklyn by BRIC TV and The Trace. Each of the four installments show how individual people and their communities are coping with loss and disruption, and also how they’re catalyzing efforts to make their city safer.
This episode explores the damage wrought by a single bullet — not just to Jones’s life but to the two men who served time in prison for the shooting. One remains incarcerated, and the other served 21 years before receiving clemency, thanks in part to Jones’ advocacy for his release.
You can watch the final documentary, which includes a conversation between Jones and one of the men convicted of shooting her, here: