Special Sauce

A mish-mash of twisted thoughts from a fevered ego. Updated when the spirit moves me, contents vary and may have settled during shipping. Do not open towards eyes. Caution: Ingestion of Special Sauce may cause hair loss, halitosis, and a burning sensation while urinating.


The call

Came in midmorning. Hostage situation, Southern End. 10 gunshot victims- we don't know how many are coming in. 27 hostages.
Then more calls in rapid succession-

"This is the operator: Condition green, second level response"
Shit, what does 2nd level mean. Shit, what do I do?"OK great- I'll spread the word, thanks."
"Is this for real?"
"Yes, this is not a drill. Follow the instructions in your emergency plan."
"Is this a drill?"
"No, It's not a drill. Potential for 10 traumas from a hostage situation."
"I know!"
I had the above conversations ad nauseum this morning. And then you heard it- Trauma Alerts in rapid succession. And the first helicopter came in. And I think we all started praying.

Gradually bits of information filtered in- just barely ahead of the news- then the pendulum shifted- all our information came from the news.
It wasn't the regular school.
It wasn't the mennonite school.
Where the hell could they get 27 hostages in the middle of nowhere in the Southern End?

Oh. Shit.

Amish school.

The local newsstation went live, flying by the seat of their pants, MSNBC got choppers up, and I can hear helicopters going overhead, one down, then out, down, then out- at least three times they're in and gone. The folks from our hallway wander in and out of our office- the news is on- we're desperate for information. It's funny, we're just above what's happening, but we're watching it on TV. Though right now, the newscasters now about as much as we do... Everyone's a bit numb until the press conference starts.

And when it does, it's when the bewilderment and shock set in. We finally learn what really happened. The man dropped his kids off at the bus stop after getting off night shift. He loaded up a borrowed truck with lumber to barricade the doors of the school. He showed up at the school with a semi-automatic handgun and a shotgun, and assumed control of the building. He let several adult females leave (one who was pregnant, and several with infant children with them) and dismissed the school-aged boys. He zip-tied the feet of the remaining girls, and at some point, received a phonecall from his wife- who had discovered the suicide notes he had left for his children. By now, the police had arrived- summoned by one of the individuals who had escaped. He told his wife he wasn't coming home again. He called 911 and told them that if the state troopers didn't leave in 10 seconds, he was opening fire. The cops tried to call him back, (to negotiate) and he shot & killed 3 girls execution style, wounded 7 more (at least 3 of them critically), before killing himself.

The reason? Apparently he's harboring a 20 year old grudge, but nobody knows why. So we're all stuck wondering. At last I had heard, parents were still wondering the fates of their daughters- the ones that were airlifted out are in hospitals that will take Amish families some doing to get to, the dead are still in the schoolhouse. A wife is wondering how to tell her children, parents wonder what they did to raise a monster, and friends are wondering if they could have prevented this from happening.

Sometimes, though, there just are no words.

Edited to add: I just saw the latest briefing: This guy was, for all intents, a normal, average guy. The quintessential working guy who took his kids to the bus stop, did his job well, and did what he was supposed to. Except part of what he thought he was supposed to do included show up at a school with 600 rounds of ammo, reloading powder, smokeless powder, a hacksaw, a stun gun, a ruger, a 9 mil, and a shotgun, wire cutters, I-bolts, wire, and screw eyes. Oh, and a change of clothes, a bucket and TP.

This normal, average, everyday guy was laying in for a long haul. Some of the boards they found on the doors had I bolts screwed into them. I shudder to think what he was going to do with them. It just gets stranger, and more sad as the evening progresses.


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