Saturday, July 26, 2008

A scary reminder life can change in an instant

A story from our area made national news yesterday.

There was a fatal shooting at a radio station.

A mentally ill man showed up at an auto dealer, laid a shotgun on the counter and told the owners he needed money and wanted to broadcast things that were going wrong in his life. When he left, the owners immediately called police.

Officers showed up at Jerry's building as his morning show was ending. Everyone was ordered into the few rooms without any windows. They were allowed to leave when the gunman was dead.

He had targeted a nearby Christian radio station, not theirs.

But the incident without a doubt put things into perspective for us and made me appreciate everything I have on a daily basis that much more.

The story is pretty sensational as far as police shootouts go. The man was driving his white Ford Bronco erratically on the lawn and shot at officers through his window. Witnesses say he targeted the police, who were there when he arrived, and rammed into two cruisers throughout the ordeal.

He died in a hail of bullets when police fired back.

Many have been speculating about his motive. One local attorney said he thought it was "suicide by police" and pointed out the shooter, a 50-year-old man who recently resided in Wyoming, could've driven away instead of continually looping through the area.

The shooter's ex-wife said he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder a few years ago and could become violent when he didn't take his medication.

A tragedy, for sure, but I'm so greatful it ended without anyone else getting hurt.

Especially Jerry.

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The driver unsuccessfully attempts to run over police officers. (AP photos)


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Officers cover the scene from view before the coroner arrives.

9 comments:

Timberly said...

Thank goodness he's okay. I didn't even know he worked near there.

Candi said...

It's scary when it hits close to home. I'm so glad to hear Jerry was fine.

It makes me have more respect for the police officers who stand in harms way to protect the innocent. I'm sure they would have preferred not to shoot him, but they didn't falter when it was crunch time.

ajandmac said...

Oh my goodness, my heart sank when I saw "radio station". What a tragic and scary ordeal. I am thankful you are both alright...

What a reminder of life...

Anonymous said...

wow. that is so crazy. it's so strange too. i think a mixture of drugs and mental disorder were probably going on. there's no point to this plan.

i forget how brave our police and people in service are. i wouldn't want to be close to that truck with it coming at me.

what's up with getting the white bronco? ironic?

Anonymous said...

That is so scary. I am glad Jerry and his co-workers are all okay.

~Kirs

Ray said...

Wow. That is scary. THANK GOD Jerry and everyone else involved wasn't harmed! <3

Chelsea said...

It is amazing to hear no bystanders' lives were taken.

the_plainsman@xanga.com said...

Scary when someone "runs amok" and behaves irrationally. Now we see the term "going postal" but "runs amok" used to be a favorite of the NYC Tabliods. Looked it up:

--The term originated in Southeast Asia, where 'amok' meant 'a murderous frenzy or rage'. This derived from the state of mind of the Amuco - a class of 'death or glory' warriors who were employed in local power struggles in Java and Malaysia.--

OK, enough of the word business, good to hear all at both radio stations and the police were all safe and unharmed.

A time to pause and give thanks. And hugs.

Naomi said...

So glad to hear Jerry was safe! Oy!

I have to wonder how many times these kinds of things have to happen before we start taking a serious look at our mental health system. I have a brother who is in a Pennsylvania prison right now, but is scared about what will happen when he gets out. He's been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and--without the right meds and guidance--is a danger to himself and others. He knows he needs to be in a structured environment when he gets out, but the PA mental health system (like so many around the country) has a revolving door that does not serve people with chronic conditions.

It's so tragic--for the ill, for their families, and for the many, many people who might be in the wrong place at the wrong time.