Fear & Powerless: The Aftermath of a Neighborhood Shooting

I don’t even know where to begin.

I am sitting here at my computer, thinking about the events of yesterday and finally tears are falling but they are tears of fear. My safety was violated yesterday and the reality that I live in a dangerous world once again slapped me in the face.

Compounded by my trauma, it brings Freeze Mode to the surface as I counter the pull to shut down and tune out.

5am Wake Up

I don’t know why I woke up so early yesterday, but I did. It isn’t too out of my norm to be up before the house and I always relish my time alone in the quiet. Now I wonder if the shooting pulled me out of my sleep but I didn’t fully realize.

I was coming into my kitchen from the other side of the house when I heard the car race around the corner on the side of my house out of the mobile home park (which surrounds my house)  but thought nothing of it because people speed through the park all the time.

I went back to making my coffee and made my way to the table.

Within minutes everything I knew to be true about my quiet little neighborhood of 12 years turned on its head.

Sirens & Lights

Normally when police or emergency vehicles come into the mobile home park they cut their sirens at the entrance before driving through.

That was my first sign that something was different this morning.

As I listened to the sirens get closer and closer they never turned off – next thing I know I am watching four police cars race around my home down the park road off my back yard and stop just past my home.

Within minutes three more squads barrel around my home and I can hear additional cars entering the park from the other side entrance.

What the fuck is going on????

So I grabbed my shoes and went to take a look.

The Crime Scene

I learned quickly from my neighbors what happened and as the morning progressed the shock continued to set in.

A car with multiple gunmen came into the park, went to a targeted trailer, and fired off dozens of rounds into the mobile home that sits approximately 150 yards from my house, also hitting surrounding homes with the spray of bullets.

As the sun rose yesterday morning police marked bullet casings all over the road, they spray painted circles around all of the bullet holes in the home, and they canvassed the neighborhood looking for camera footage.

A woman was taken to the hospital with multiple wounds and later succumbed to her injuries. 

Processing in the Aftermath

My neighbors and I have all been left to pick up the pieces.

Many are afraid to speak up or share their video footage for fear of retaliation. Everyone has their own stories of who and how it all went down. My daughter’s friend’s grandmother woke to police at her door wanting her ring doorbell footage only to find she captured it all, video and audio – what a traumatic thing to have to watch with police.

Many of us gathered in the streets in pjs with our coffee; fear and confusion running through us as we nervously talked about the same things and shared the same details over and over again trying to process events that our brains and bodies were still taking in.

Yesterday morning all the plans I had made for the day felt like distant memories and my body wanted to shut down and stop functioning completely. I wanted to sit at the table and stare blankly into my kitchen.

My quiet little neighborhood was no longer safe; instead, it is now a taped off crime scene.

Coping With the Help of Family & Friends

Almost immediately I (unintentionally) dumped the morning’s events into a chat with a couple friends, bless their hearts for having and creating the space. I postponed an evening commitment and I immediately called my family.

A friend told me to do as much normal stuff as I could and to consider leaving the neighborhood for a while so I packed up my kiddo and we went to visit a friend for a playdate while hubby worked. Later in the evening my family and I ordered dinner and then curled up to watch Pinocchio.

I haven’t told my 7 year old what happened, as far as she knows there was just a really bad accident. She hasn’t asked about all the paint on the home yet so I am not offering up the details. I know I can’t protect her from the world forever, but if I can shelter her innocence just a little while longer – I will.

This morning I feel scared.
I feel powerless.

Which means I am finally feeling my feelings. The shock is wearing off and I can begin to work through my emotions.

On goes the journey 💪🔥

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