Friday, July 08, 2011


This has been in my drafts folder since July.  I'm publishing it in hopes that it shows up in the July archives.  I don't want to relive the day, and don't want to make others either.  I hope this just quietly slips into the archives.  Someday, I'll want to reflect on the awfulness.

Yesterday, during the time that most of our sidewalks are filled with kids doing chalk or bubbles or ridding their bikes, our street was silent. We heard sirens and helicopters outside. Inside, I had the kids in the basement for a while, and the news anchors were trying to make sense of a man killing 7 people he knew in two different homes. He drove downtown and opened fire. He drove on the highway with police chasing him. He took his car to the other side of the highway, endangering drivers there. He kicked his way into a random house and took three hostages. Eventually he let them all go and shot himself in his head. You can read a summary here.

It was chaos, and it was terrifying, it was maddening. He had the whole city hostage when we didn't know where he was. And then the whole city glued to reports when we knew he was trading the life of a hostage for Gatorade. "How will this end?" I asked my self, wringing my hands.

It's so senseless.

He was bi-polar, friends said, and not taking his medication. He had a significant criminal history.

My city, which recently made world-wide news from the lip dub was now on CNN for a very different scene on the street.

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