In a D.C. neighborhood that a resident likened to "hell," an urban cowboy tries to improve things by bringing horses to the community.
Gregory Lea and his girlfriend rode up to a double-shooting scene in southeast Washington on horseback Friday. Lea said it's so city kids, and even adults, who have never seen a horse can encounter a positive distraction in the midst of all of the violence.
"It’s just crazy that people don’t have no regards for human life at all," Lea said at the scene of the double shooting. "When we bring the horses out, we get people to at least smile for a minute."
Late Friday morning, a man was shot outside an apartment complex on Hartford Street, in southeast Washington. Inside the complex, a stray bullet grazed a woman. Both are expected to be OK.
Residents said violence and crime in the neighborhood are too common. Arline Mobley said it’s the worst neighborhood she’s ever lived in and thought it was "hell" when she first moved.
"It's always shooting," she said. "There was a little girl that got shot right here. Right here. Her parents drug her past there. I fell out when I saw that."
Lea almost lost his life when he suffered a massive heart attack a few years ago. He said he was hospitalized and bedridden for a year. He bought the horses as a form of therapy.
Now he's trying to use them to keep the peace.
The crime scene tape kept Lea and his horses away Friday, but he said he’ll return another day.