By: Heather Hale
My interview with West Side Buffalo native Teresa Sepulveda gave definition to what a dreaded phone call really is. Five days before her 20th birthday, Teresa was going to speak at a conference through the organization Puerto Rican Youth Development and Resource Center, and within this organization she works as a suicide prevention worker. Right before getting on stage to give her presentation she received a phone call from her boyfriend of seven years that he had been shot, he was still back home in Buffalo and had not gone to the conference. One of the young ladies in the youth group with Teresa at this conference was her boyfriend’s sister who was receiving a similar call about her brother at the same time. Both were obviously very upset by this news and immediately left the conference. The trip from Syracuse back to Buffalo took an hour and that trip in normal not wanting the cops chasing you speeds would take at least 2 hours. Thoughts of the worst possibilities were running through Teresa’s head during that trip and all she wanted was to be back to Buffalo and by her boyfriend’s side. It ended up that her boyfriend had been shot once in the face and once in the chest as the result of what appeared to be a robbery gone very wrong. During the five days following the incident, Teresa only left the hospital once. Her boyfriend apologized to Teresa for putting her through all of this. He apologized in spite of the fact that it was not his fault and he was the one in physical pain and laying in the hospital bed. Since the shooting Teresa and her boyfriend have moved away from the sight of the shooting as it also became rumored that the shooting/robbery was a targeted one stemming from jealousy. Hopefully this is the last incident of this nature that they will need to endure, but overall their relationship has become stronger as a result of it.