A long sad night ended in the wee hours this morning but it might have been ever so much worse.
Neighbors behind -- with whom I’d had words earlier this week over their constantly barking dog -- had a dispute last night. Chilly evening with all doors and windows closed and sitting in my room at the front of the house, the first I knew was hearing a few “chirps” from a passing police car’s siren and then, shortly after 9 PM -- and I had just been reading shockwave’s comment in Night Owls about FBI agents in their apartment building -- two police officers arrived at the door responding to a report of shots fired from the house behind and asking permission to come through the house to check from our backyard.
Housemate and I agreed, turned off lights, and officers remained there in the backyard on alert for about three hours while others in front of the neighbor’s house made continuous attempts to contact the man inside via loudspeakers but there was no response and no observable movement. Meantime, we had been told the wife and children had managed to leave the house prior to the officers’ originally appearing on scene. About 11, the officers reported that a SWAT team, trained to effect as safe an entry as possible into a house where it was known shots had been fired, had been called. Four of the team, in body armor and carrying shields, arrived at our door about midnight, coming through and relieving the officers in our backyard.
For about three hours, members of the team in front attempted a variety of maneuvers, including ongoing attempts to make verbal contact, and were able to introduce a robot into the neighbor’s backyard via the side yard and to finally break out the bedroom window, where the camera operator ascertained the man was dead.
So, six hours of minor inconvenience for us, death for one man and perhaps a lifetime of traumatic memories for his wife and six children.
More than an hour has now gone by. I don't know when, or if, I'll sleep. Don't really know why I'm posting this here, now. Except I have no one else to talk with and yet must somehow speak.
Guns in the home.
Yeah, I hate the ease with which people get ‘em ... and use 'em.