When it Happens at Home: A Perspective From Kalamazoo

We had a party on Saturday night. Thirteen adults and 11 children gathered in our home in Kalamazoo county to eat dinner and hang out. We ate well and sat around our long table as the kids yelled and played in the background.

The evening ended rather early when the happy chaos was interrupted by whiney voices and tired cries. I put our boys to bed. And when I came out at 9:30 p.m., everyone had left.

I went to bed early, and my husband stayed up to watch the recorded Ohio State game. We didn’t turn on the news or look at our phones. We were exhausted and invigorated from a great night with some of our best friends.

Sunday morning, I opened Facebook where I read two ominous posts about loss and unity. Neither mentioned Kalamazoo. A third post asked about a press conference. I feared the worst. Another bombing? It was Sunday — a church shooting? What was going on? My husband had gone to church — was he safe?

It took less than 30 seconds to find out. The trending news story on Facebook was the shooting “rampage” that had happened the night before in Kalamazoo. My city. It happened here.

***

As our friends placed their dishes for our potluck on the table, a Kalamazoo man shot a random woman in front of her three children. As we were enjoying our company, the Uber driver was allegedly cruising Kalamazoo with a gun, possibly picking up unaware passengers and delivering them to their destinations.

“Kalamazoo is a place with a funny name and a rich history, and one man with a gun will not change that.”

As I settled into my bed after a long day, this man, who neighbors described as “a nice guy,” shot and killed a father and son, then reportedly picked up another group of people, dropped them off at a hotel, and drove next door to the Cracker Barrel where he emptied his weapon, shooting and killing four women. The hows and whys are baffling. The timeline makes no sense… read more.

This article was featured on the front page of The Huffington Post.

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