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A Bullet’s Shockwave

Local News
One shot.
 
One life.
 
A tragic but seemingly simple equation that played out outside this convenience store on Lake Ave in Rochester in the summer of 2015.
 
A 14-year-old boy with a gun and two friends tried to rob Jit Mongar of his car. They stole so much more…  
 
“For three days I lost [my] mind, I was out of control for three days,” said Mongar’s wife Renuka Mongar through a translator.
 
Renuka Mongar received the call while in her home in Northwest Rochester. It came from a fellow Nepali refugee the one who found Mongar’s body in the parking lot.
 
“Then my sisters and relatives, they advised me to control myself and look at my children,” Renuka remembered.
 
Seven.
 
Seven children.
 
Some not even school age when it happened, all to this day living at home.
 
“Living life is very hard right now,” Renuka said. “I don’t have any source of income, I don’t have a car in my family and no one is working and I have small children and one son who is going to college and I’m asking him not to go to college because we have to pay college fee and I’m not being able to afford his college tuition fee, I have to ask him not to go to college.”
 
Meanwhile, the whole family still goes to their church on Clifford Avenue.
 
There, the tight-knit Nepali and Bhutanese communities pray for peace.
 
The murder followed a string of violent incidents that appeared to target them.  
 
“In the refugee camp, we literally had no home, it was very hard for us to survive after coming to this place. We at least have something, but the biggest thing is fear is what our people are experiencing in these days, fears and insecurity, so many people they don’t feel secure to go out no the street,” said fellow congregant Bijaya Khadka.
 
Over on St. Paul Street, Jeewan Gurung connects refugees with resources offered through the Department of Human Services —  resources Mongar’s family desperately needed.
 
“He was the head of the family and he’s not there and now the family that depended on him and now there’s no one who can help them so they are now… they don’t have any options but to apply for the food stamps from DHS,” said Jeewan Gurung of RochesterWorks!, who is also working to eliminate an  English test for some refugees.
 
We’ll step over now to the courthouse.
 
Assistant District Attorney Julie Hahn prosecuted the three teenagers. All of them pleaded guilty to murder and are entering adulthood in prison.
 
It’s really so unfortunate because all the way around these young men, they made a very, very, very bad choice and it resulted in a loss of life that had a profound impact on many, many, many people. The ripple effect, it just keeps going and now their families are affected, their brothers and sisters, their extended family. They’re going to prison for a crime, it’s just destructive, there’s no good part about it, Hahn said.
 
The ripple effect takes us finally to Brockport, to Sunnking, the recycling plant where Mongar worked with fellow Nepali and Bhutanese refugees. The folks here raised $20,000 for Mongar’s family a reflection of who Jit Mongar was.
 
Jit was a nice guy, he was nice to family, everyone’s friend, Ambar Gurrun said.
 
One shot.
 
One life.
 
Or should we say two lives, or nine, or 40, or a 100, or 1,000?
 
That one bullet killed Mongar, but its shockwave shot out far and wide spreading rot and ruin until its work was done.
 
Here are a few links to organizations created to help refugees:
 
 
 

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