This morning when I stepped out the front door to go for an early walk, there was a path of footprints across the front lawn. What kind of creature passed by? Where was it going? I suspect a neighborhood cat traipsed by in the wee hours, on its way home, perhaps, from a night of prowling.
I took a slightly different route for the walk today. I don't usually go down the hill -- choosing instead to go up and around in the neighborhood -- but I had a purpose this time: I went to check on the crime scene a quarter of a mile down the road at the entrance to the neighborhood. The ambulance was just leaving; a couple of police officers were starting to take down the yellow tape that crossed the road and ran through the park. The "Central Command" van was still there.
We're still not quite sure what happened.
When I arrived home yesterday evening, the police car was blocking off the road, and there was an ambulance and a fire truck. They were still there an hour later when I went to go get Offspring the Third from late band practice, and several more police cars had arrived.. I informed Offspring the Third on the way home about the emergency vehicles, so he would not be surprised by the flashing lights and police presence in the neighborhood. When we passed by, there was a congregation of people from the neighborhood on a corner adjacent to the scene, all staring, some with smartphone cameras held up. The police were standing about, too. No one was in a hurry.
"Maybe there's a dead body," commented Offspring the Third.
"Though that's not outside the realm of possibility, I think it's really, really unlikely," I replied.
Yet he was right.
The news reports are sparse right now. Apparently, what was initially called in as a "possible overdose" turned out, upon arrival of the paramedics, to be a young man dead from a gunshot wound, lying in the street/on the sidewalk in front of one of the houses nearest the small park at the bottom of the hill. None of the news outlets have mentioned anyone hearing a gun. It's all very strange.
Was this young man shot here? Dumped here? By whom? And why?
Who was it? The news outlets state "a young man in his late teens or early 20s." Is it someone that Offspring the Third knows from school? Or that Offspring the Second knows? Both of them are within that age group.
I asked them to stay home at night for a little while, until we know more. Just because.
Godspeed, young man, whoever you are. You passed through, another unknown creature leaving footprints across the neighborhood. I am sorry that your end was a violent neighborhood spectacle, instead of a quiet slipping away, holding the hand of someone you love, half a century from now. Rest easy, and may you find the peace that eluded you here on earth at the end.
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