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Tragedy Strikes

Posted by Necee on 11/12/03 at 19:17 (137295)

As I was peacefully enjoying my first cup of coffee this morning, a special news report came across the radio....a gunman had barricaded himself in an apartment along with his 3 kids and his exwife.

I decided to turn on the TV and see what was being reported there, to my shock I recognized the face on the screen, it was my neighbors son! Apparently he was angry about his divorce, and had broke into his exwifes appartment for revenge. There was a 9 hour standoff, with 4 police officers being shot, thank goodness their injuries are not life threatening, they were trying to rescue the children when the gunman opened fire with a shotgun.
The children were finally released along with the exwife, but sadly 2 adults in the apartment were killed along with the gunman.

This young man had a history of violence, many years ago he pointed a shotgun at my husband, and then attacked him from behind, hitting him over the head with a iron bar. My husband was annoyed with the loud music this young man was playing, and politely asked him to turn it down....well, I guess that was the wrong thing to do, because he got very angry, and attacked him. Thank goodness my husband was not seriously injured...it could have been much worse than it was.

The gunmans parents live across the street, and we have seen a steady stream of family and friends coming to console the devastated parents.
A convoy of tv news crews have been in and out of the area all afternoon.
This is such a shock, but in todays society it's something we hear about all too often.

I just wanted to share this with ya'll....I'm just so thankful that those precious children were not harmed, even though they were a witness to the whole thing.


Re: Tragedy Strikes

JudyS on 11/12/03 at 19:43 (137300)

Oh Necee here we go again, huh? This is so much like what we experienced here a couple of months ago with a family friend. Where, oh where does it end?
I know that right now you and your family cannot comprehend this tragedy but can be grateful that the children are ok. Isn't it amazing that you saw this tendancy towards violence years ago? I wonder how many responsible adults in his life, parents, teachers, etc. saw it also but felt powerless to do anything about it?
I'm so very glad that your husband wasn't seriously injured - I suspect that gunman intimidated many others in your neighborhood too.

Re: Tragedy Strikes

nancy s. on 11/12/03 at 19:45 (137301)

how very sad. i'm so sorry for everyone involved. these things hurt everyone, close up and far away.


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wendyn on 11/12/03 at 20:10 (137305)

I was going to say, that sounds a lot like what Judy went through. How awful!

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Suzanne D. on 11/12/03 at 21:04 (137311)

I am so sorry, Necee. What a shock to see someone you knew in that situation on the news this morning!

Unfortunately, this type incident is getting more common, I am afraid. Two weeks ago, someone in our small community killed his ex-wife, shot his son, then killed himself. The three year old son is still seriously injured, but he is improving. Some of their relatives go to our church, and so my husband was called to go try to help the evening it happened.

I will be remembering those children...


Re: Tragedy Strikes

Lari S. on 11/13/03 at 18:57 (137429)

I agree, Suzanne, it is so sad that these types of events are a common occurances these days. It makes you wonder what is happening in our world and when this type of thing will be the exception in the news instead of the norm.

Re: Tragedy Strikes

marie on 11/13/03 at 19:19 (137438)


I'm so sad to hear of your neighbor's plight. It's hard to understand why some people snap...but they do. Young men often have the need to define their masculinity by being willing to use violence to show that they are men. They often get confused about what being a man is. All of the male teens who have successfully killed someone at school in the past few years complained of being called a 'fag' or teased about their small size. I didn't realize the relation until I read about all of them at the same time. Many were quoted as saying they were so angry that they felt the best way to prove their masculinity was to kill someone. Somehow they have confused masculinity with violence. It's so sad that with all of our wonderful modern conviences that we still haven't figured this one out yet. I am truely sorry for what you have had to go through.

best wishes marie

Re: Tragedy Strikes

Dorothy on 11/13/03 at 20:09 (137440)

I'm sure you're trying to make sense of the senseless, but I don't think it is a question of defining or proving masculinity, from anybody's perspective. It is utter self-centeredness, sociopathic narcissism. It's part of the same continuum, with different degrees along it, that gives us 'road rage', drunk driving, child abuse, sexual exploitation, and all of the rest of the depravity that plagues our society wherein all of these people say: 'I and what I want is all that matters. I WILL have my way and if I feel thwarted, you will pay'..... that kind of mentality. It's people for whom the only importance is their own.

Re: Tragedy Strikes

Sher A on 11/13/03 at 21:19 (137452)

Oh how awful that had to be, I believe CNN had an article about that. I hate to say it but around here (northern VA) that kind of thing is practically commonplace. The more they cram us in here and build thousands of new homes and townhouses almost overnight, the worse it gets. 2 months ago a wonderful Latina lady who worked at Country Buffet (always liked serving my husband and was teaching him Spanish) was slashed to death by her soon to be ex. maniac husband. The guy got off on bail. Last summer two seemingly normal families went beserk near our farm and killed their kids. Not to mention the kids that died around here last summer because their parents forgot about them in their minivans. And then we had to live through the terror that the 'DC snipers' put us through last fall. What gets me is that people actually feel sorry for these creeps. We're used to seeing yellow roped off places. The DC area is the current murder and road rage capital and number 2 traffic hellhole.. boy it's a blast living around here. So much so that I can't wait to leave one of these days when everything comes together.

Re: Tragedy Strikes

marie on 11/13/03 at 21:50 (137459)

I think it's simply a matter of perseption. I currently have 26 eighth grade boys in one class.....feel free to drop in if you want any examples. We did have a fight yesterday in my room. Myself and another young man broke it up. Let's see what was that about..... oh yeah one kid called another kid a fag. Hmmmmmmm........? Divorce and custody can and is often a threat to masculinity. Violent behavior is often confused as a masculine trait and a way of defining it. You may or may not agree with me and of course that is your perception.....and that's cool.


Re: Tragedy Strikes

Julie on 11/14/03 at 02:19 (137466)

But Marie, you didn't read about ALL of them. You read what some journalist decided you should read, and who grouped together a bunch of stories to prove a point. I don't think 'maleness' is the explanation. I think, like Dorothy, that the extreme violence that more and more often expresses itself in murder is, as she says, 'utter self-centredness, sociopathic narcissism'. I, and what I want, or what I happen to feel like doing, are all that matters to me. This is now endemic in our culture and expresses itself all around us, by women as well as men (it's true that women don't murder people quite as often, but we may see that changing before long) in much less harmful but equally revealing ways - littering, for example. Mindless defacing of property, e.g. graffiti. And we can't board a train here any more without every empty seat having someone's feet on it. I don't think this is an unrelated observation - it's part of the same sociopathic behaviour spectrum.

The other aspects which surely have their effect on teenage and adult violence are bad/neglectful parenting and TV violence. Children grow up unsocialised due to the former, and believing that blood, pain and death aren't really real due to the latter. The combination, plus the easy availability of weapons, must make it relatively easy to pull a trigger or strike a blow when rage gets out of control.

Re: Tragedy Strikes

marie on 11/14/03 at 12:18 (137499)

I find it interesting that you assumed that I read the information written by a journalist. As I have said before my grad work evolves around human behavior. The author's name is Jessie Klein he is a professor of the New-York-Lehman in the department of Sociiology and Social Work. I mostly read statistical research. As I said your perception is your own.....and that's cool by me.

Re: Tragedy Strikes

Julie on 11/14/03 at 13:10 (137502)

Well, newspapers and books are where most people (including me) get their information, hence my wrong assumption, for which I'm sorry, Marie. I did not mean to upset you. Seriously, though, in my observation, statistical research is quite as selective as journalism, if not quite as ephemeral, and its conclusions are often skewed. So I'll stick by my perceptions (necessarily simplistic as they may have sounded in a brief post) of sociopathic violent behaviour.

Whatever the reason or the cause, it's awful when tragedy strikes close to home, as it has for Necee and Suzanne and Judy.

Re: Tragedy Strikes

marie on 11/14/03 at 14:05 (137507)


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marie on 11/14/03 at 14:11 (137509)

It's been pretty bad here too. We lost two students and a parent in a car accident yesterday. The two in the other students in the other car were life flighted to fort wayne. Tragedies are just plain upsetting no matter what the circumstances. It's been a really tough couple of days.


Re: Tragedy Strikes

Dorothy on 11/14/03 at 15:21 (137520)

Hear! Hear!

Re: Tragedy Strikes

Dorothy on 11/14/03 at 15:23 (137521)

Nicely said, Julie.