Peter Cooper filmmaker takes aim at gun violence

Jamie Kirkpatrick

Jamie Kirkpatrick

By Sabina Mollot

Jamie Kirkpatrick, a Peter Cooper Village dad and an editor and filmmaker, was a college student in Boston when he and a group of friends were held up at gunpoint.

The perps were a pair of teenagers who demanded cash from Kirkpatrick and his friends as they had walked down the street. Seeing the gun in the older teen’s hand, which looked more like a toy or, as Kirkpatrick put it “a fake Hollywood gun,” the students initially ignored the muggers’ demand and kept walking. That’s when they heard the deafening blast of a warning shot being fired into the air. The gun, Kirkpatrick would later learn, was a semi-automatic assault pistol, “not your typical street gun.”

But, he added, “Part of the problem is that it looked like such a toy.”

No one in the group was hit, but at that point, they stopped in their tracks and were subsequently robbed.

The teens were later caught, however. The younger one, who was 15, did some time in a juvenile detention center and was later transferred to an adult jail, while his partner, who was 17 and had a previous gun conviction, was tried as an adult and sentenced to eight years.

“It was really sad. They were just two young kids,” said Kirkpatrick, who, two decades later, plans on making a short film about the lax gun laws in many areas of the country as well as irresponsible gun use.

The film, titled “Squeeze,” isn’t a documentary but rather a fictional story on the consequences of the aforementioned issues. It focuses on how a gun that’s owned by a convicted felon and father winds up in the hands of all the different members of his family.

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