Crazy night here last night!!
Our 6-year-old, Samantha was up late, and since she was the only one of our 4 kids still awake, we decided to spend some ‘just parents with Sammie’ time and play a game. Dad had sunk one of our ships in Battleship when we heard a series of pops from outside. Following our instincts to take cover, we went into the interior of the house away from windows, where we discussed what we heard. Had we spaced on the date, was it New Year’s already and someone was lighting off fireworks in celebration? No, my husband said, there is only one thing that sounds like that, and when he put it that way, I had to agree – it was gunfire. After we decided that it couldn’t really have been anything else, we called the police, who told us there were already officers on scene. We got our police scanner hooked up (who said I don’t need a police scanner to keep tabs on small town action?), and we continued to sit in the hallway and listen to it. Soon we heard the unmistakable churning of the LifeFlight helicopter (we live blocks from the hospital), and we wondered if it was related – we would have more info in the morning. The police scanner just had mild chatter about officers responding and trying to find the “suspect’s ID”. They found his cell phone, and an officer was told to see who the suspect had called. Not getting any useful info, we went to bed, and my husband woke me this morning with the info that he had heard on the big city Toledo news – a shootout had occurred in our small town, only blocks from our house, mere feet from our friends’ house.
Turns out, a man had shot at the police station and then drove down to the park, where he shot at the police who chased him. The police returned fire, which explains the series of 6-8 pops we heard. The man was then LifeFlighted to a bigger hospital with life-threatening injuries. That was all the info in the newspaper, but when I did a google search this morning on the man’s name, something interesting came up: a memory page for his daughter who died in a motorcycle accident in our town (this family was from a town 25 miles away) last spring. I remember that case: a man was driving a speeding motorcycle, and when police tried to pull him over, he gave chase. He eventually lost control of the motorcycle, and it crashed, killing his passenger when she was ejected from the motorcycle. From the research I did on the internet this morning, it seems that the suspect from last night’s shooting incident was the father of the victim in the motorcycle chase case. Perhaps he was upset with the way police handled things last spring, so he shot up the police station and led them back to where his daughter was killed – the shootout took place at the same scene.
Tragic case all around, and we are reeling from yet another so-called ‘big city’ incident that seems quite out of place here in our small Utopian town. I went to the shooting suspect’s Facebook page, and there are several Christian activities on it. Perhaps in his grief for his daughter, the man lost faith in letting God handle things, and that is another aspect of the tragedy. Thank God that no officers or bystanders were injured, and I’m going to pray for the recovery and physical and emotional healing of the man and his family.