Friday, March 16, 2007

Why Would He Do That?

I knew something was wrong the other night when I heard the helicopters circling overhead for hours. Then I saw the news as the story unfolded.

The surveillance video of the Greenwich Village shootings comes from a camera positioned just above the nursery school that Sweet M attended for three years.

It's hard to convey the sense of vulnerability and sadness that something like this evokes. Hard to think about the parents of the four men killed — two auxillary police officers, one an NYU student and the other an aspiring writer; the bartender at the pizzeria two blocks from here, and the gunman himself. Family members of the dead shooter said he'd been acting increasingly paranoid in the days before the shooting.

Yesterday Sweet M learned about the shootings in the neighborhood.

"Why would he do that?" she asked.

I said, "I don't know, honey."

"It's a mystery," she said.

"Yes, it's a mystery. He was probably very angry about something."

"You mean like he wanted a toy or something?"

"Well, probably not a toy. He probably wanted something else. And he probably had something wrong with his brain. He was probably crazy."

"You mean he was loco," she said.

She's been watching and reading Dora the Explorer. Who knew the vocabulary would extend to neighborhood shooting rampage?

May the victims of this shooting rest in peace, may their families abide in peace, and may our neighborhood recover some sense of peace.


b said...

Very sad that his family, the ones who noticed his increasing paranoia, were unable or unwilling to do anything to help him before he slipped completely off the edge of sanity.

Yes, loco, indeed, and a real tragedy.

Mom said...

This is very sad. Whenever I read about these things I think that with my son, the one who is schizophrenic, we were a heartbeat away from this. He was 16 and had been very withdrawn. We didn't know what was wrong, but thought it was just "teenaged angst". Fortunately he came to us, he told us he was hearing voices, seeing visions (and they were not nice things - they were very scary) and we got him right to the hospital. It took nearly three years, but he is "stable" now. At least as stable as he can ever really hope to be.

I can say this, there are a lot of untreated people walking around out there, more than anyone would think, and it scares me to death.