17 September 2013

Too Close to Home: Navy Yard Shooting

In the aftermath of any tragedy that takes place in our country, especially one as violent and random as a mass shooting, I think everyone experiences thoughts of, "What if that were me in the wrong place at the wrong time?" "What if it were a loved one of mine?"

It's easy to imagine you or someone you know could have been a victim, considering how common they are and the places where most tragedies took place. Shopping malls, movies theaters, schools, etc.

Yesterday morning while I was getting ready for the day, Matt yelled up to me from downstairs, "My dad left me a voice mail saying there was a shooting at Bobby's job." (Bobby is Matt's older brother, and only sibling.) He works at the Navy Yard in D.C. Luckily for us we found out that Bobby was okay at the same time we learned about the shooting. Still, the rest of the day carried on feeling a bit surreal and strange.

I saw endless updates online and on the news, wondering what could drive someone to do such a thing. I ached for those who lost their lives, and I feared how differently the scenario could have played out for my family.

Bobby was on the first floor in the building while the shooting took place. The gunman started shooting on the third floor down into the cafeteria (the building is open like an atrium) and then worked his way up to the fourth floor and shot more people. Someone pulled the fire alarm, and people started to evacuated.

I'm unsure if my brother in law knew about the shooting before he fled the building due to the fire alarm (I don't think he did) but the next Matt talked to him he said they were all on lock down and SWAT teams were surrounding the buildings.

Eventually that evening Bobby made it home after his soon to be bride, Stephanie, (they're getting married October 13th) picked him up at a designated area for family members to greet loved one's.

It was fate and luck on our side that my husband didn't lose a brother, my in laws didn't lose a son and my daughter didn't lose an uncle (her favorite one at that), and I am so grateful.

My heart is with all the loved one's of those who lost a family member. I wish there were more words I could offer on that. I wish I could say something uplifting and meaningful but I know I can't. Just know my heart is with you.

Bobby and Stephanie embracing once being reunited (Steph's dad, Harry, is in the background). Pictures via The Washington Post. 

6 Thoughts :

Fiona September 17, 2013 at 7:12 AM  

Oh sean, I am so sorry to hear that this happened 'so close to home'... but so so glad to know that your brother-in-law is okay. So much saddness for those families who did lose loved ones in this horrible tragic event.

Stephanie September 17, 2013 at 8:36 AM  

So scary. Thankful that your BIL was safe and stayed out of harms way.

Venassa September 17, 2013 at 9:51 AM  

I'm so glad to hear he made it out safely! I can't imagine how scary that must've been for all of you, especially Bobby. I would never be able to step foot in that place again without thinking about it.

Mama September 17, 2013 at 2:36 PM  

Your brother in law must work with my Uncle. He had to hide under his desk and there are bullet holes through his office walls. He was one of the near misses that is thankfully alive to tell the scary tale. So glad Bobby is okay. Hugs.

Sean Marie September 17, 2013 at 5:26 PM  

Oh my gosh! I am so glad your uncle is okay, THAT is horrifying. Xoxo.

Krista September 19, 2013 at 3:55 PM  

Wow Sean, that is WAY to close to home! So glad your family was spared. My heart goes out not only to those affected by a direct loss but for people like your BIL, simply for having to experience such an act of violence. Prayers for everyone.