It was an ordinary day at Abdul’s Somalian shop, on a Wednesday evening, just two days before Halloween. Business was running slow as usual but he knew that by 9.30pm, his store would be filled with customers and students from the nearby varsity. He knew that they’d be desperate for something to eat and since he was the only one normally open at that time of the night, he would be able to bump up the prices to whatever prices he felt like and the students wouldn’t have much of a choice.

The store wasn’t that busy. There was only Abdul behind the counter and a single customer: a girl of about 16 years, just browsing through the shelves. It didn’t seem like she was interested in purchasing anything in particular. Maybe she was one of the Art students from the nearby high school, who browse through the shelves and end up buying yogurt, or maybe she was a shoplifter like many girls of her age.

Abdul was observing the girl, when suddenly a boy of about 17 years came into the store holding a revolver and demanded that Abdul stand up and get behind the counter. Abdul did as the teenage boy commanded and hopped behind the counter. Before he could receive further instructions, another teenage boy stormed in, brandishing a steel baseball bat with barbed wire tied at its tip. He went straight for the teenage girl. He grabbed her by her neck and dragged her across the floor by her hair. He threw her over the counter. She landed on top of Abdul and they both hit the ground, really hard.

While Abdul stumbled to get to his feet, the 17-year-old took off his backpack and commanded Abdul to empty the contents of the register. Abdul was taking too long, so the second teenager bashed him over the head with the steel bat and blood splattered everywhere, but the register had already been opened by that time. When Abdul’s body hit the floor, the first teenager picked up the whole register and emptied the contents into his backpack. To his surprise, he found more hidden money rolled up under the register, with a 9mm pistol concealed at the back. He took the hidden money and pistol and placed them both in his backpack.

The teenage girl had just recovered from her dazed and confused state, when at the corner of her eye she saw flashing red and blue lights. She felt the sudden need to scream for help as loud as she could. She did this and the police patrol car that was passing by stopped, but the policemen never stepped out, as they noticed two teenage boys of about 16 years of age standing outside Abdul’s shop with Halloween masks on. They didn’t think much of the teenagers, so they told them to stop loitering and move along. One of the policemen was about to exit the vehicle to go and buy a packet of cigarettes but the teenagers stopped him right before he went in and asked him if they could get a ride, since they lived on the other side of town. The policeman said “fine” and went back into the police car, with the two teenage boys still wearing their Halloween masks. They drove off with them, without ever having gone inside Abdul’s shop.

Inside the shop, the other two boys had been quiet as mice while their friends dealt with the police. After the coast had been cleared, the 17-year-old was eager to shoot the girl with Abdul’s gun for yelling out to the police but his friend calmed him down. Instead, they beat her over the head with the steel bat, until you couldn’t make out her face and hair. She was left twitching, lying in her own pool of blood. The two teenage boys ran off into the night, never to be seen or heard from again.

Tell us: Have you experienced crime such as the one in the story?