Sunday, February 11

Crime as a social experiment

Today was not a great day. I was sitting in my couch working on my home exam and suddenly I hear gun shots. I run to the window in my bedroom and see a man lying on the ground grabbing his leg and screaming:
- Call 911! Help me, I have been shot. There is blood everywhere. Come on then, come and help me to put pressure on the wounds.

I saw people standing outside on their balconies and a man was walking around him holding a phone. I assumed he was calling 911. Then a woman came running to help the guy and after that a few more gathered around him. After a while the police came. Two cars. They rushed towards him and helped him get his jacket off. Perhaps to check for furhter damages. Then they fetched an orange blanket that he could lie down on until the ambulance came. It took a very long time for the ambulance to arrive. Many people had already gathered at the scene. The police put up plastic straps around the trees surrounding the area. When the ambulance came they put him on a stretcher and carried him in. The policecars stayed and more arrived. The entrance to my house was cordoned and then they went knocking on all doors requesting testimonials.

I was standing there in my window wondering what I should do. If I should call 911 myself or run down to help him. I did neither. I was a silent bystander.  I assumed the guy with phone was already calling and other people has already gathered around to help the guy. But it took time before they dared to approach him. Which is why I considered running down. But the shooter was still at large and for what I knew could be standing outside my door. Instead I called my son. He was shopping for shoes.

I fetched my binoculars to get a closer look at the guy, but he kept his face hidden. All I saw was a short haircut and a grey hoodie. I just wanted to make sure it wasn't someone I knew, but I didn't look long enough to find out and he was not fatally injured either. They had shot him in the legs. Later in the evening a policeman came knocking on my door and I told him what I had seen.

When I was standing there in my window and looking I was wondering if it happened for real or if it was an enactment, a play or a stupid joke. Like a drill to test people, how they react. A social experiment. Very trendy apparently. Well, I hope this won't lead to more shootings. That whatever dispute this stemmed from is settled now. According to the local newspaper he victim was a known criminal and there was money lying on the ground beside him. Maybe he was about to make a deal and instead he got shot. Strange though, all of it.

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