11/13/06 — Family tries to handle shooting

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Family tries to handle shooting

By Lee Williams
Published in News on November 13, 2006 1:45 PM

Jose Enriquez III was just another name to many -- another crime victim caught in a world of violence and drugs.

No one knows yet what sparked the incident that took him to an emergency room with stab wounds Nov. 4.

He was one of four victims that day, but the only one who died.

His name might not mean anything to those who read about the crime, but his parents, Jose and Faye Enriquez Jr., want those who hear his story to remember -- he was someone's son.

And they say there are lessons to be learned from the life he chose.

They say they tried to get their son away from the destructive behaviors and mental illness that had become patterns in his life.

But the lure of drugs, and the violent life that comes with addiction, was too strong.

And Nov. 4, those demons cost Jose Enriquez III his life.

Enriquez's son died in a cold hospital emergency room from wounds he received earlier that morning during a knife attack. The assault took place at Enriquez's home.

Wayne County sheriff's officials responded to 105 Tindale Place about 12:30 a.m. and discovered four people had been assaulted. Wayne County Emergency Medical Services transported the four victims to Wayne Memorial Hospital.

Enriquez, 45, who many called Joey, was the only one who did not survive the attack. The names of the other victims and the circumstances surrounding the attacks have not been released.

Wayne County sheriff's officials are working to determine a motive and unravel the mystery that led to Joey's murder while his parents struggle to cope with their loss.

Joey's father said he and his wife, Faye, 63, were "crushed" when they learned the news, but admitted they weren't surprised. Enriquez said Joey was sad and depressed on the days leading up to his death.

"We knew it was going to happen, it was just a matter of when," the 65-year-old Enriquez said.

The Enriquezes sensed Joey was headed for a one-way collision course with death, but the knowledge still didn't prepare them for the unbearable grief they feel now that he's gone.

"We are torn up about it," said Enriquez, who owns a well-known eatery called the Seafood Shack on Berkeley Boulevard. "It's the worst thing we ever had to go through."

Joey suffered from bi-polarism, a mental disorder marked by sharp mood swings and depression. To worsen matters, Joey turned to alcohol -- a habit he beat with the help of friends and family, but Joey's drug addiction would prove harder to stop.

"We learned to cope with his bi-polar as long as he took his medication," Enriquez said. "Soon as he started self-medicating on drugs, he became a different person."

Enriquez occasionally engaged in reckless behavior and had a criminal past, authorities said. But the pain the Enriquez family endured over the years cannot erase the positive memories about Joey, a father of four.

"He always had to be the center of attention," Enriquez said with a chuckle in his voice.

Joey also had a great sense of humor, his father recalled.

"People would ask him if he was Hispanic how come he didn't speak Spanish and Joey would say, 'My daddy was Hispanic, but I was raised on collard greens and fried chicken.'"

Enriquez truly loved his son. Joey was a good son, father and brother. In spite of Joey's shortcomings, Enriquez would give anything to have him here on Earth, his father said.

"He caused a lot of heartaches, a lot of sleepless nights, but he was worth every one of them," his father said while choking back his tears. "He will fondly be remembered."