Friday, August 25, 2006

The Essex Shootings

Needless to say, yesterday was not a good day in our community. The shootings yesterday in Essex have the area, and myself in a total state of shock. This is something that just doesn't happen in our area, but now it has.

I heard about the shootings while doing my usual prep work for the Ice Storm game, and my Sox show down in Middlebury. When I heard about them, reporter mode kicked in and I booked it down to the scene to do reports for WVAA. The scene itself was chaos, but organized chaos. The police had the situation under control, but there was still so much confusion, and so much information coming in, it was just staggering. This was my first shooting as a reporter, and I never want to have to cover another one for as long as I live.

What still has me in shock was when one of the witnesses to the shooting found out her sister in law was one of the dead. We were all talking to this woman before she found out, just trying to get some information as to what happened, and found out that she had not heard word on her. The police pulled her aside, we thought to get her away from us, but the reality was that she was being told her sister in law was one of the dead. When we heard the screams, we knew exactly what she was told, no one had to tell us. When I say that every hair on my body was standing up straight would be an understatement. Those are screams I think I will be hearing for a long, long time to come.

As a reporter you have to keep your professional distance so you can be objective about a situation. When you leave the scene of an incident like this, the reality of what you have seen kicks in. This was a horrible incident, something I hope no one ever has to go through. I haven't gotten those images out of my head yet, and I don't think I will for awhile.

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