I am sitting in mis.sion con.trol manning my console and a neighboring colleague receives a phone call. There is a gunman in building 44 and 5 shots have been fired. I assumed security detained the gunman almost immediately so I didn’t think much more of it. Other than…are you freakin kidding me!
The same colleague receives another phone call and evidently there is a hostage situation, this is before the story breaks on the news. Shortly thereafter, on the loud speaker, a voice tells us to stay put and no one is aloud to leave the building. The building is not on official lockdown but we are not to leave until further notice. I immediately call the hubby to let him know what is going on and in the wake of the Vir.ginia Te.ch tragedy he is VERY concerned. I try to let him know I am fine and in no danger.
The news brakes nationally and the phone calls start coming in. I receive a phone call from a frantic mom that lives in Ohio, her daughter is to relieve me within an hour. I assure her that her daughter is ok and I make a phone call back to the office to make sure she calls her mom, they were all in the conference room watching the news.
At about 4 O’clock “the voice” comes back on the loud speaker and tells us we can now leave the building. So…I’m walking out to my car helicopters are in mass overhead and police are blocking off the parking lot that my car just happens to be in…adjacent to building 44. Because I had a clear view of the building from where I was standing, with many others, and there was something about being in proximity to a building that may or may not still have a gunman inside that didn’t sit well with me so I went the other direction and headed back to my office on the other side of campus. I made a couple more phone calls along the way to pass on info that I was fine.
I make it to my building and it was decided that I take my friend Jodie’s car home…since I live 45 minutes away it takes more of an effort to “borrow” a car. I’m about halfway home and the new reports the gunman has taken his life and the “real story” starts in unfold.
One of my neighbors came to check on me to see if I was ok.
Did I know the shooter…no.
Did I know the victim? Only in name and I attended a few meetings that he attended also.
How do I feel about what happened? It is hard to say. This world scares me. People scare me. The unknown scares me. But I have faith on my side. That faith is what allows me to get out of bed each morning, send my son to school, see the hubby off to work and finally have the courage to pull out of the driveway every morning. If I live my life in fear then “they”, “it” or whomever will have won and dadgummit…I choose to live.