too close to home

I’ve had my head down most of the afternoon after a very nonproductive, distracted morning due to continued Fogg health problems.  (She’s better).  When I finally logged off and checked my social accounts, I read something about a shooting in Downtown Denver.

I noticed 15th and Wynkoop was trending on Twitter, so I clicked and found this:

One woman in critical condition, gunman dead after shooting at 15th & Wynkoop in Denver

The building on the corner that’s pictured is where my roommate spent about 2 years working.  The targeted building is next door.  I used to wait for him in their parking lot most Friday evenings.  I think I parked in one of the targeted office’s spots.  I myself worked around the corner for four years, on the mall.  And a few years back, I interviewed for a job in the targeted building.  I turned down the offer because the pay was ridiculously low.  The building is basically all nonprofits.

While one death and one major injury is unbearably tragic, this honestly could have been catastrophic.  This happened right before the start of rush hour, and this particular stretch of LoDo is always busy.  It’s just half a block from Tattered Cover and the Mall.  And literally down the street from Union Station.  There are always dozens of people driving and walking all the time.  The buildings in the area are full of office workers.  There is very little police presence and most buildings don’t even have security guards on duty.  So, it’s not surprising this guy got in and the only thing that really saved us this time was he appeared to be after a particular woman.  It’s scary.

Basically, everyone I know is stunned and relieved that no one else got hurt physically.  We’ve had so many shootings in this state, but it’s rare for this level of violence to happen smack dab in the heart of LoDo.  It’s usually pretty safe. The closest I can remember to this kind of thing is when a guy living a block from us started shooting out from his apartment a couple years ago.  Our entire block was locked down, and cops were everywhere.  The man shot himself and I can remember wondering if he was one of the guys I passed on the street that morning.

Denver, despite all its aspirations of big city living, is still very much a small place where everyone knows everyone kinda like six degrees of separation.  It’s scary to think I might know one of the people involved or that my friends do–but I’m just bracing myself for the names.

I guess the only good thing about this is that–by all accounts–everyone I know is shocked by this–not jaded and complacent about it.  We’re all heartbroken that this happened in the heart of our city where we’ve all been at some point or another–and that it could have been any one of us rushed to the ER today.

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