I was in the middle of a post that I had hoped to finish in time for this morning’s post, but I was interrupted and since I cannot corral my thoughts tonight, I am going with a post of a more personal nature.
Sometime between 4:00 and 5:00 this evening (Monday) I happened to walk by the living room windows that face our street, and saw not one, not two, but three Sheriff’s vehicles on the street. Curious of course, I stepped out onto the sidewalk and saw that there was a fourth Sheriff’s car parked further down the street. The officers seemed to have congregated around the apartment two doors down from mine.
Now, the sight of police here in da hood is nothing unusual, but that many is a bit concerning. The next time I looked out, perhaps 15 minutes later, there were seven Sheriff’s vehicles and an unmarked SUV into which police were loading a dog … a police dog, I presume.
Those of you who know me know that I have little tolerance for drama and chaos, so around 7:00 I stepped out back on my patio and yelled at the police who were standing around their vehicles parked in the grassy backyard, “Hey … I’d like to know what the hell is going on! I live here, I have a right to some information!” Yeah, okay, maybe not the brightest thing, but in my defense, I hadn’t noticed the big guns they were holding. Luckily, a very kind deputy came to my patio, calmly told me that there was a ‘very dangerous hostage situation’ and urged me to please go back inside. I did. I may not be the brightest bulb in the pack, but by this time my brain had engaged.
Checked the local news, but there was nothing to be found.
Below is a picture of my ‘quiet’ little street at about 9:00 p.m.
By this time, there were more than ten Sheriff’s vehicles surrounding our building, front-to-back and the street was closed off on both ends (it is a single block street with two buildings of attached townhouses on either side.) An hour or so later, a SWAT team had been called in and spotlights were all over the place.
Finally, around 9:30, there was news on a local Fox channel saying it had begun as a domestic violence situation and escalated when the police showed up. The man had a gun and had barricaded himself in his apartment. Just before 11:00, daughter Chris went to bed (she gets up at 5:00 a.m. for her job), and granddaughter Natasha, aka Miss Goose, went upstairs to shower. At last … a moment of quiet to sit down and work on my post! Until …
BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM …
Rapid gunfire … a searing pain from chest to back made me wonder briefly if I had been shot, but I was out of my chair and halfway up the stairs, so I figured I wasn’t the one they shot. Checked on both girls, they were fine. I returned to my ‘office’ at the kitchen table, but by that time, shaking like a leaf, I knew my post for this morning just wasn’t going to happen.
Sheriff’s deputies were walking up and down the street, between buildings, and through yards, so my first thought was that despite there being at least 50 cops, all with big guns, they had somehow missed, and this guy was on the loose. Double-checked that both exterior doors were locked. Checked the news … no updates. I wanted to go out and ask one of the deputies, but Miss Goose was prepared to forcibly wrestle me to the ground … she may be little at barely 5’, but she’s got youth on her side!
At 11:58, I received a text message from my beautiful Iraqi friend Maha, who lives next door, saying …
“Juju everything is good. He is die. Police they killed him.”
And thus ends my exciting evening, although as of this writing, 1:17 a.m., there are still a SWAT van and at least six Sheriff’s vehicles on the street, with crime scene tape cordoning off the area.
But the events of the last 8 hours or so have made me think. This was terrifying … and angering. But there are people in the inner cities, people in other countries, who live through this scenario on a routine basis. DAMN! We complain over the smallest things … lately I have been bitching because my dishwasher is not working, and the apartment management has been slow to repair it. But … wow … at least I’m alive to wash those dishes by hand. We complain because we cannot go out and enjoy a Saturday night dinner at our favourite restaurant, because we must wear a mask to the grocery store. You know what, folks? We … most of us, anyway … have it so easy compared to so many people around the globe. We take for granted things like being able to step outside our door without fear of being shot. Tonight, I got just a small taste of what some people live through daily …
DAMN the gun culture in this country, and in fact DAMN the person who invented guns in the first place. DAMN those people who think their ‘rights’ matter more than other people’s and who think that violence is the answer to their problems. And on that note, I shall try to catch up on some emails, for da hood is still swarming with police and there will be no sleep for Filosofa tonight.