Thursday, March 29, 2012

Shift in Perspective

Last month an innocent teenager was killed.  It is a horrible situation.

I hadn't been following the story very closely, but had gathered the basic facts of the case.  Including the name of the shooter. 

I thought it was weird because I knew of someone with that same name growing up.  After hearing a snippet of a news report on my commute home, I actually thought about how it would suck for him if he was looking for a job.  I thought about how he'd have to change the name on his resume to give him any hope of getting an interview.  And how he could only reveal the name he really goes by after he already got the job to prevent the assumptions that he was the shooter that tragic night.

I figured there's no way the guy I knew could be the same guy that is being demonized in the media.  What are the chances that our paths had once crossed?  Surely, there are plenty of people with that name.  And it is hard to reconcile the memories I have with someone who could be the shooter in a fatal tragedy.

Until I found out they were one in the same.

It's weird having crossed paths with someone who is on the wrong side of the headlines. 

Now I should clarify that I didn't know him very well at all.  Our paths crossed a few times.  But that's it really.  So I am no help in giving a full character analysis to suddenly make this situation make sense. 

But those brief encounters do shift my perspective slightly. 

Enough that now I struggle to reconcile those memories with the reality of his role on that night.

Enough that I feel torn.  Should there be some allegiance to the person I once knew?  But then my initial feelings of injustice flood back even stronger.

Enough to realize that there are two families grieving.  The victim's.  But also the shooter's.   Both lost the son they knew that night.

Despite the perspective, it is still a horrible situation.  But now it feels more real.  More raw.  More painful.  More heartbreaking. 

My only hope is that our legal system will guarantee that justice will prevail.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, yes, and yes - to all of the above. (My other immediate response was: "I know, right?"
    Blew my mind.