Friday, February 11, 2011

Bang! Bang! You're Dead!

Last night, as events unfolded of a very local bank robbery, I shared it step by step on face book. It looked like it had the makings of a hilarious blog! This morning, I could no longer see the humour in it!
yesterday an armed man entered the local bank. At I went to the local supermarket 200 yards away to return a DVD. I saw three police cars. I thought this a little unusual because you normally only see them in the central reservation (median here – and you can’t pass your driving test unless you call it that!!!) having an afternoon snooze! You have to call the police if you are involved in a car accident with more than $1000 of damage. When I saw three I assumed it was a ‘write off’! I just missed been part of the community ‘lock down’ at where all shops and schools are locked – no one can enter or leave! I vaguely wondered what the helicopter was doing above my house!
Waiting for the kids at the bus stop I learned that there was a bank robbery taking place with a hostage situation. The kids were not coming home yet! The Gun man didn’t just have 7 hostages in the bank, he had several schools too! Someone at the bus stop who knew all about it (there is always one) said the armed man had talked about looking for Jesus. I knew then it was not going to be a good outcome. It is easy to give into the demands of a robber wanting money… but Jesus? He’s gonna be disappointed… armed… and clearly mad!
The school was on ‘code yellow’ which means ‘there there is something in the community that poses a threat to the school’. The school is ½ mile away. Luckily it wasn’t a code red – they would have had to sit under the desks! I suppose I should be glad they have procedures but it just seemed tragic to me! There was NO communication from the school. The school hostages were finally released and I picked the kids up at 6.45pm 3 hours late! I knew they were safe but I was worried they would be upset. My five year old son was very afraid – they had been told something was happening in the community. He thought I had been in danger.
The neighbour who took hubby shooting said it was a pity hubby was away as he was a ‘crack shot’ (at least I think that’s what he said). He said it would be just like the movies, they could go down there and when the suspect came out dragging a hostage by gunpoint they could shoot him down. As it turns out, that is exactly what happened, 3 hours into the hostage situation. It wasn’t hubby firing the gun though; it was a SWAT team…just like the movies.
The ‘robber’ had been a 19 year old black teenager with mental health issues. They said he had recently spent some time in a hospital. I listened to a radio programme yesterday which talked of research into mental health being 100 years behind that of physical health.  I wondered if his stay in ‘hospital’ and his treatment had been compromised by financial status (or lack of it). He had recently got back on his feet according to a ‘friend’ and had re-enrolled in high school as a 9th grader. Here, if you don’t make the grade it doesn’t matter how old you are – you don’t have special help and lessons with the correct year grade – he was 19 and being taught with 14 year olds.  What does that do to self esteem? This too is the place where you have the right to bear arms, and with that brings easy access to AK47’s for angry young men.
Neighbours spoke today about how awful it must have been for the hostages. I agree but my thoughts were somewhere else. This morning, on the wrong side of Wisteria Lane a mother is grieving for her dead son and I’m left wondering – what is The American Dream?


  1. The only place i want to see or hear things like that is definatly in the movies.I know you was'nt in any danger but i was still worried.With guns so easily available it is no wonder that things like that happen.S you said , looking for jesus, well he sure was'nt going to find him .

  2. I should have added poor boy. He did'nt stand much of a chance

  3. Tragic ...............Deb.S

  4. Information released today is saying he asked for the police to be called straight away.
    Paper says when he was shot 'a plastic green bottle lay near his feet, which were shoeless'. The police did not find a weapon!
    The 'gun' hidden inside a hat was the bottle! they are saying it is 'Suicide by cop' where someone induces police to shoot. only in America!