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Just a little too close for comfort
Are we vulnerable? You bet we are, just like everybody else.

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Date published: 10/13/2002


HOW CLOSE DID I come to that bullet that sailed across the Spot- sylvania Mall access road that Friday afternoon and into the Michaels store parking lot? Probably not that close, but certainly closer than I would like. Probably not close enough for some of my detractors.

I made that left-hand turn off State Route 3 at 2:30, give or take a minute, to run an errand at the mall. Between five and 10 minutes later, I was headed back out, and needed to pause for an ambulance turning left in front of me into the Michaels parking lot.

How oblivious we are to what is going on around us. I hadn't noticed anything out of the ordinary, and assumed the ambulance was headed to assist some unfortunate soul who had suffered a heart attack inside Michaels or Haverty's.

Besides, I had other things on my mind. I'd arranged with my wife to arrive home early, and at this rate I'd be there in time to greet the school bus at the corner. But I was headed back out onto Route 3 on a Friday afternoon--no telling how long it would take to get from Point A to Point B.

(Turns out that wasn't even the worst of it. Now that they're working in earnest on widening Leavells Road, well, let's just say things'll get worse along there before they get better.)

It wasn't until I encountered a neighbor mom at the bus stop that I learned there'd been a shooting at the Michaels store a short time earlier. I mean, I just drove by there, and I didn't see anything, no cops.

Wait a minute--there was that ambulance.

And it wasn't until I saw the diagram in the next morning's newspaper that I realized the shot had apparently been fired from near the Pizza Hut, across my path. Was I in the cluster of vehicles that the gunman waited to pass in order to get a clear shot into the Michaels parking lot?

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