Google The Unplanned Homeschooler: When chaos hits too close to home

Friday, February 27, 2015

When chaos hits too close to home

Last night, my 13-year-old son had a traumatic experience I hoped none of my kids would have to endure. He took our new puppy outside to potty before bedtime and after just a minute came running back in through the back door, his head down, eyes full of terror and clutching the puppy in his arms.

"Oh my God!" he cried out! "I heard gunshots and someone was screaming to call the police!"

https://www.flickr.com/photos/special-fx/5276548704

I hadn't heard the shots or the screams, because I was running the
sweeper while the puppy was out of the room. "Where did they come from?" I asked, instinctively moving him further toward the center of the house and away from the outside walls.

He pointed behind the house, toward one of the rent houses on the street behind ours. Just a few minutes later, police cars and an ambulance were on the scene. They took one person away in the ambulance, but we couldn't tell much about what else was going on.

Today we learned that following an altercation, the man living in the rent house had shot another man in the back and head right in the front yard. The shooting was less than half a block from where my son had been standing. The shooter was arrested and according to reports from the community online, the victim was removed from life support and died in the afternoon.

I live in a small town, on a nice street populated mostly with older couples who take great care of their homes, within less than four blocks from a nice elementary school and just down the block from a church. This isn't supposed to happen here.

But it does, and from what I can tell, it's happening in more and more small towns as drug abuse, theft and other miscreant behavior wreak havoc on the lives of not only the criminals who too frequently occupy the rental properties such as the ones on the next block, but of the decent people who are unfortunate enough to be stuck living next to them.

In the several years that we've owned this house, there have been different occupants on an average of every three to five months in the house where the shooting occurred. It's a revolving door of people no one in our neighborhood knows. Some have been decent. But many have literally trashed the place and left in the middle of the night after weeks of noise and disruption. And now this.

I can't stand the thought that my son heard a man getting shot and ultimately killed last night, right from our own back yard. It's just too close to home.