Friday, April 30, 2010

Crowd Shots - instant terror creating mayhem


Part One

Twenty-two is a killer. I will not use his name because I do not want this to be about his name in my files. I will use his age; I feel he does not deserve to have his name used by me or any other person.

April 20 is a date that many already recognize as a tragic one due to the Columbine shootings 11 years ago. And, too, it’s also Hitler’s birthday.

When I received an email with breaking news of a shooting in Wichita Falls, Texas, I immediately opened it and began reading. Of course the first email was the basic information of the possibility of several wounded in a shooting at local business. I opened a link with their local newspaper and waited for more information, praying as I did that no one had been killed. But, immediate response of the locals with comments was that a female at the bookstore was dead, and a couple posters making comments gave a name. Thankfully, those reports were false. Four women were shot but none at the store that night died because of Twenty-Two’s violence.

Eileen Levy was sitting at a table with a friend discussing God’s impact on their lives when she saw a man with a gun in the store. The man was Twenty-two and he was talking to a female near the door, he raised his gun and pointed it at the woman’s head. Gunfire sounded, people screamed and the woman went down; Eileen and her friend dove to the floor. Eileen injured her knee as she went down but thankfully didn’t sustain any bullet wounds; her friend, Leanna Duran, age 27, sustained gunshot wounds to her left arm and leg as the shooter walked around firing his weapon and spouting the words ‘white power.’ I am hopeful Leanna and Eileen’s belief in God and His love strengthened that night. Eileen is as much an innocent victim of the violence on April 20, 2010 as Leanna. We should remember Leanna Duran and Eileen Levy’s names.

Jade Henderson is a 33-year-old woman; she is from the Aerospace Medical Services at Shepard Air Force Base. Jade sustained bullet wounds to her head and hand. Jade’s choice of career shows she obviously cares for others and is a true American. Her name as an innocent victim of a violent shooter with an irrational idea that patriotism is ‘white power’ domination should be remembered.

Deondra Sauls is a 24-year-old also from Aerospace Medical Services at Shepard Air Force Base and sustained bullet wounds to her right leg. We should remember Deondra as an innocent victim of Twenty-Two’s night of terror. She, too, is obviously someone who cares about the well-being of others and didn’t deserve to become a victim of a lost soul’s violence. No one deserves to be a victim of another person’s fantasy as it becomes reality.

Mia Gant is an employee of the coffee shop and the only Hastings employee wounded that fateful night. Mia is also 22-years-old and sustained bullet wounds in her right hand and shoulder. Mia is the smile customers see as they’re served coffee and we should remember her as an innocent victim of a power trip executed in an act of terror.

The shootings happened quickly, they always do, but for all those who were there, dropping to the floor and trying to protect themselves, it likely felt a lifetime. Each person inside this store will remember this night. Each of the wounded, either from bullet wounds or while diving to safety, will have a road ahead of them with moments of terror still vivid in their minds.

Twenty-two does not need remembering; of course, they have written down his name on police reports and court records of this tragic event but, hopefully, in time people will forget him. Hopefully, we will only remember those who were shot, and the others who were at Hastings Store on April 20, 2010.

1 comment:

  1. People are going crazy these days. We hear of so many of these shootings in crowded places, inside and outside businesses and residences.

    The ones who were there will have moments of terror as they go about their daily life. People say, 'this is so sad' in these situations and that is true. But sad can't describe how tragic these shooting are to people's feelings of being safe when they go outside their homes afterward.