Wrong Place, Wrong Time …

One night a few years ago, Chris was out of town at a band function, and Miss Goose and I were in the living room each engaged in “doing our own thing”, when the front door opened, and a man walked in.  He was as startled as we were, for he thought he was entering his daughter’s apartment, so imagine his surprise to be greeted by my “WTF”!  It was an honest mistake, for this is a complex of some 200 attached townhomes and they all look exactly the same.  We all did an embarrassing chuckle, he apologized and left to find his daughter’s apartment, and we remembered to lock the door thereafter (though we still sometimes forget).

A similar mistake happened in Texas this week, only this one turned deadly.  Amber Guyger is a four-year veteran of the Dallas, Texas, police force. Ms. Guyger had just gotten off duty and was returning home, but perhaps tired or distracted, she entered the wrong apartment.apartmentBut instead of doing what our ‘intruder’ did, apologizing and leaving to find the correct apartment, Ms. Guyger pulled her gun and shot the resident of the apartment, Mr. Botham Shem Jean.  Only in America, I think, is the first response to a difficult situation to shoot first and ask questions later.  But oops … it’s rather difficult to ask questions of a dead man, isn’t it?  Mr. Jean, a 26-year-old accountant, died at the hospital a short time later.


Amber Guyger (left) and Botham Shem Jean

Daughter Chris is fond of all things British, and as such when she is home on weekends usually has some British television show on … not necessarily watching it … but it’s on.  I happened to glance up earlier this morning as she was watching a British police show, Scott & Bailey.  In that episode, a female with an ax to grind against a female police detective, ambushed the female detective and wrested her into a car, using … a kitchen knife.  Not a gun.  In the U.S., it would have been a gun, and likely the show would not have had the same ending as it did – the detective survived uninjured.

Gun advocates, of whom there are many in this country, argue that people are killed with knives, baseball bats and other implements as well.  I agree, however it is not a valid argument, for I can survive a knife wound or a bonk on the head with a baseball bat.  I cannot likely survive a gunshot wound.  What if the man who had entered my home had a gun in his waistband?  Or what if I had one on the table next to where I was working?  Would he have shot me or I, him?

I could offer many more examples of people dying because of a hasty decision when a gun was all too handy, but I won’t bother, for you’ve all heard them before.  The United States is the only nation on the globe where a gun is considered as necessary as a pencil or a pair of shoes.  Want to “make America great”?  Stand up to the NRA and the gun lobbyists.  Rally for more gun laws and fewer guns in the hands of people who are, after all, only human and don’t always think before acting.  Granted, Ms. Guyger was a police officer, entitled to carry a gun, but why did she still have it on her person after going off-duty?  And why, for Pete’s sake, did she instinctively fire her gun before looking around and realizing she wasn’t in her own home after all?

It is time for the U.S. to use some common sense.  In the current climate of political discord leading to a divisiveness such as has not been seen in this country since the end of the Civil War, the last thing we need is for people to be on the streets carrying firearms.  But yes, I realize my pleas will fall on deaf ears and by this time next year, nothing will have changed except thousands more people will be dead … some for no reason other than that they were in their own home, minding their own business.  Or in school, trying to get an education.  Think about it.

57 thoughts on “Wrong Place, Wrong Time …

  1. I read this and the first thing which struck me was. His door was unlocked? Maybe that’s just me, I have a thing about locking doors.
    Anyway, onto the young woman who was the shooter. Now I’m going to come at this from another angle. CCTV records her as crying after the event. I’m thinking about someone who should have been on sick-leave a while back, or whose behaviour should have been noticed a while back. We don’t know what was in her bloodstream at the time, we don’t know her state of mind, what her shift had been like, or the shifts before that. We don’t know the environment she had been in in the weeks prior to this.
    Am I making a case for her? Not really. I am thinking about a toxic and tense environment which is getting worse by the day and we’ve all discussed the causes for some time.
    A phrase from Michael Herr’s book ‘Despatches’ came into my mind. The context was how brutalised or high-strung the men serving in Vietnam became, how their perceptions became twisted. Something dreadful would happen and the response would be ‘The guy just flipped. That’s all,’ (even in one case when a fellow soldier was killed by a bobby trapped hand grenade… The ‘grunts’ response ‘Some guy just flipped. That’s all’). I just wonder how many veterans of that now far-off war might for one brief moment have heard that phrase when they heard this news.
    Poor chap, imagine. In the right place, his home. But at the wrong time.
    And the young woman?
    We wait….We wait.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Agreed on all counts. It is altogether too easy to jump to conclusions … much better to wait for facts. The problem, of course, being that the ‘facts’ may not be actual facts, but alternative facts, for police departments have a habit of covering up certain details in order to protect their own. You’ve heard, perhaps, of the “blue wall of silence”?

      Oh, and as for the locked doors … you are right that people ought to keep their doors locked, but we have a terrible habit of leaving ours unlocked until Chris gets home from work at night … 🙄 Hence, when Chris is out of town, we sometimes forget to lock them altogether, which is how the guy managed to walk right in. Luckily, he was only looking for his daughter and no guns were involved.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Wanted to add something I saw in a news report: when dispatchers asked where she was, Guyger returned to the front door and discovered she was at the wrong apartment

    She had to go to the front door to see where she was??!!?

    Like I said in a previous comment, IMO, there is most definitely something fishy going on in this case. Waaaay too many questions!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Jill, when a gun is present, simple disagreements, confusing situations, fearful situations, trepidations, etc. can too easily turn deadly. In the “blink” of an eye, the shots are fired. I fully understand the police have a dangerous job, but they cannot be trained enough to minimize the use of force. It must be a recurring process. Too many times, a gun is drawn when it is not needed. Keith

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Dear Jill and friends,

    There is more to this story than meets the eye. It just doesn’t pass the smell test.

    If I make an error like getting into the wrong car because it looks like mine, I don’t pull out a gun ready to shoot. I just say oops! Isn’t that the normal, reasonable, expected reaction.

    I’m waiting to hear that Paul Harvey line, “And here’s the rest of the story.”

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 3 people

      • Yes heard that this morning…after reading more and more details have come to light…like his door was unlocked and the lights out, I can see how a purely terrible accident could happen…just so tragic!

        Liked by 2 people

        • Her story of the door ajar and the apartment all dark doesn’t make sense. No one sits in the total dark in their own home unless they are going to bed, and if he was going to bed he would have checked the door. I heard today that other people in the building heard things that change the story. They claim the police officer was banging in the mans door yelling “let me in”. I wonder if there was either a love interest between them or some argument that escalated. Hugs

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    THIS SHOULD HAVE NEVER HAPPENED!! … ‘But yes, I realize my pleas will fall on deaf ears and by this time next year, nothing will have changed except thousands more people will be dead … some for no reason other than that they were in their own home, minding their own business. Or in school, trying to get an education. Think about it.’

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I notice the news report said the killer “just” got off work, but I wonder how “just” that was in reality? Was this 10 minutes, or two hours, or what. Was there time for her to have stopped off gor a few drinks on her way? Or time for her to go shopping or something? What was her mood when she left work? And why was she so quick to use lethal force in an unexpected situation? Before I am going to find her guilty of second degree murder, I would like to know more.
    But in my mind she is definitely guilty of murder, even if she had been in the right apartment. It was her duty to be aware of her surroundings, if she was going to use her police-issue firearm as she did.
    But my guess, she’ll get off with a misdemeanor discharging a firearm in a public place, or some such piece of crap charge. After all, everyone knows a black male wants to rape a white woman, especially when she walks in his front door by mistake. She was just defending herself…

    Liked by 4 people

    • In truth, I never considered the questions you ask, but they are certainly valid questions. The one that I asked is the one the young man’s mother asked: If he had been white, would she have shot him. According to the news stories, they are “trying to piece together” what happened. I suspect they are trying to find a way to spin it so that she walks away free as a lark. I won’t be surprised if they say he assaulted her or something … he’s no longer here to tell his side of the story. Convenient, huh?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Very. But a very unnecessary death, no matter how you spin it. I know in many states you can use deadly force to defend your territory, but does that extend to when you are in someone else’s territory. A lawyer will argue it does, too bad the victim was at home when it happened.
        But we shall see.

        Liked by 1 person

    • My first thought … she’d been drinking. Of course, there are various and sundry other scenarios being presented, but to me, most of them don’t ring true. The only other one offered that might be possible is the two of them were in a relationship and she thought/found out he was cheating on her.

      To me, there are simply too many “hmmm”s to think it was all just an unfortunate “accident.”

      Liked by 2 people

      • We agree wholeheartedly, Nan. Nothing adds up to what is being presented to us. I like your idea they were an item, and she caught him cheating, but even that slanders the victim. I don’t think we should go there without something more to go on. For now, I’ll just stick with outright murder, with no extenuating circumdtances other than stupidity.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I live in a adult mobile home park with an attached RV section for all ages. We are mostly older people retirement age or close to it. It is peaceful and other than local kids coming around at 2 in the morning to try a few car doors for some lose change, we are crime free. Yet almost everyone, and everyone I know lock their doors even when home. We do. It is weird because we did not do this when we lived in West Palm Beach, which was a much bigger and busier city. I talked to Ron this morning, and we tried to find a situation where the officer should have shot. Nothing I have read said the man was aggressive nor moved toward her in any menacing manner. He may have yelled as most of us would have. We couldn’t find any possible scenario that fit the facts where she should have pull and used her gun. She must have been trained in non-lethal tactics like the taser or baton. What I want to know is what are the leaders of the police force and prosecutors office saying? Hugs

    Liked by 5 people

    • I have lots of questions about this too. Was it reported that his door was open? I can see a visitor getting the wrong apartment but was she trying to use her key and he came to the door thinking someone was trying to get in? I agree with your line of thinking rawgod. Did she stop for drinks and was so out of it you couldn’t recognize your neighbor? usually one gets to recognized neighbors in the stairwell or elevator, in the parking lot. Yes she will likely get away with murder. So bizarre though.

      Liked by 3 people

    • No, from everything I’ve read, he was a quiet, friendly and intelligent young man. His mother asks the question I think we are all asking: If he had been white, would she have shot him? We’ll never know, but it is certainly the first thought that crossed my mind. So far, they are still trying to put the pieces together, from the last I read. I wonder if that actually translates into … they are trying to figure out how to spin this to get her off the hook? Sigh. Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Please, think about it. I don’t want to be reading in the near future that I’ve lost one of my friends or worse still one of their grandchildren because someone found it too easy to pull a trigger than question something.

    Liked by 3 people

      • Your last line recalls to me a discussion I had with my son who said that his daughters are stressed out because they have to return to school — not because they don’t want to go to school, but because they have heard about so many school shootings. It’s something you and I never had to deal with and it’s something that is indeed worrisome!

        Liked by 3 people

        • You are so right … we never had to deal with that, and I wish todays kids didn’t have to. The worst we had was having to crouch under our desks during air raid drills! Now, I figure … what matter? That cheap wooden desk wasn’t going to save us from nuclear attack anymore than armed teachers are going to keep today’s kids safe. Might as well just give each kid a box of band-aids at the beginning of the school year and say, “whatever happens, use one of these … it’ll fix everything”. Sorry … my cynicism plays a loud tune these days, with a madman at the helm and 90% of the nation willing to sacrifice our young people just so long as they keep their bloomin’ guns.

          Liked by 1 person

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