I remember when I was in 3rd grade and I saw a show that had kids go shopping by themselves in Japan. Mind you that Japan is very safe and kids go to school by themselves all of the time. Parents send out their kids to get them things from the grocery stores if they are too busy to themselves. Not only is Japan really safe but everything is so close together therefore the nearest grocery store is usually less than 10 minutes from where they are living. After seeing multiple episodes where these kids go buy cakes or deliver lunch to their dads and etc., I wanted to go out shopping by myself too. Even though Japan is very safe, these kids on the show (without them knowing) had cameramen following them and making sure that they were okay. I, on the other hand, not knowing any of that decided that I wanted to go buy some cheese for my mom. So off I went with my little purse and my favorite shoes and dress on to the nearest King Soopers which was at least 20 minutes away walking. My mom obviously stopped me but I didn’t understand why she did. I obviously hadn’t been exposed to any danger growing up and always felt safe in Boulder. I never really had to worry about being shot or attacked. I was never told to watch out for stray bullets or for someone who might want to rob me. I would read about shootings or other attacks in different cities and it always felt like something that was happening far away from me. Pretty ignorant, right? But I think that it was because I grew up in this “Boulder Bubble” and just never had to worry which is such a blessing but also makes me even more rattled when things like yesterday’s incident happens.
I woke up still half asleep to my roommate saying “Oh my gosh did you hear about the guy with the machete on campus?!” and my still groggy self didn’t really understand what she could possibly be talking about. As I look at my email I read:
In my head I still don’t really understand what is going on and questions were just flooding my head. A guy with a machete? Near Folsom? On campus? Why? Who? Are my friends close? What did that guy do? Did he hurt anyone? What are they going to do about him? Can I not go to my class near there today? What should I do? This 13 word email did not provide enough information to answer all of my questions which was a bit frustrating that I felt so unsure about what was happening so close to me. 10 minutes later I get this email:
The way that this email is worded here is that everything was taken under control and the man was arrested or is not a threat anymore. Later I find out that he was shot and killed. What?! He was shot?! At first the feeling of there not being a threat anymore was a bit more comforting but then it made me realize, “Why did he have to be shot?!” Then I learned that he was apparently resisting and that they killed him. WHAT?! They killed this person for refusing to put his weapon down. I personally just cannot agree that that is the best way to handle these situations. Obviously I know that he was a threat and a direct threat towards a woman that he was apparently following but his consequence of that is death?! After talking to my friend whose stepdad is a cop, she told me that in an intent to take the person who is threatening to other people down, they just have to shoot them….but can’t they just shoot them in the leg or arms? Why do they even have to use guns? There are so many other countries that keep threatening people under control. Mind you that this person didn’t even have a gun. It wasn’t as if he was going to shoot any second. He had a knife that he would have had to either throw or directly attack someone with and yet they shot him. They had an upper hand in terms of the weapon that they had and I feel like they abused their power. What is even scarier is that they don’t know if the person with the machete was a student.
There is just so much uncertainty with everything and it is frustrating that no one has made clear what exactly happened, especially with the possible shooter at the UMC, the hacker, the guy with the van that said “I’m still here” who apparently turned out to be unaffiliated with everything but is he really?! I am just very confused as to what happened yesterday and it was overall just very overwhelming. I wish that CU would be more clear as to what is happening. This relates to when we learned that humans want to know what is happening around them. I wish there were minute-by-minute updates or at least hourly updates as to what exactly was happening with the situation. CU, please take a more journalistic approach as to how you deal with the communication between you and the students.
Your Worried Students