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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Winding Roads: Senseless act gets our attention

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Perhaps some of you know someone who was in the Omaha mall when the horrible mass shooting took place a few days ago. We had friends of ours call to share with us that their granddaughter was working in a jewelry store a couple of doors down from Von Maur, situated on the first floor.

The store had no restroom for its employees so on her break, their granddaughter would go upstairs to the third floor where it was located. She had always chosen that spot due to its neat environment. On that fateful day, she walked to the escalator to go up and as she put her foot forward to step on, a woman came down with fright in her eyes. The woman shared the fact that some man was shooting up there and she just shouldn't go up.

Quickly their granddaughter backed up and retraced her steps back to the store she worked in. She shared the news with a fellow employee and both tried to hide themselves. After a couple of minutes, she thought perhaps they should take the jewelry they usually put in a safe overnight and do that for safe keeping. They had just started when a member of the swat team stepped in and told her to come immediately with him. She responded that she needed to put the diamonds away.

He retorted, "You come with me or else I'll arrest you." Needless to say, she went with him and he escorted them to the lower level of Penny's store. She called her mother on a cell phone who in turn called her grandmother to tell her to listen to the TV to find out what was going on as she was heading to the mall to be there for her daughter. Eventually they relayed the messages to the girl to let her know everything will be alright.

All of them were stressed out. The granddaughter shared the fact that during the shooting, people were screaming and the gun shots mixed with Christmas music being played by Von Maur's automated piano. It was eerie. When the shots stopped, the whole building became very quiet. It is an experience that for those involved will not be forgotten.

Now we know some background about the shooter. It catches our attention. The whole situation is so senseless. It invades our sense of security. How could this happen? Many of us take trips to the cities and go to the malls with family without any thought that we could be in danger. My friend lives within 5-10 m