Monday, March 09, 2009

Thursday Night

It's been a long, happening filled weekend here. I'm going to break it up into a few different posts though, starting with Thursday night, because that's where the weekend's events really started. It's crazy how much life can change in just a day and how much you can realize about how your life has changed in that amount of time as well. So, I'll start from Thursday night.

Most of this is taken from my Facebook status updates, so it's honestly written as it happened, for the most part. (Facebook and Twitter - the new mini-blogs)

I joined a mom's meetup group based on suggestions from a few friends, and my first meetup was scheduled for Friday morning. Everyone was supposed to bring something to share. Generally, my go-to item is cupcakes, but since someone else had already said they were bringing muffins, I decided to go with cookies instead. The weather is really nice here right now so we had all the windows open as well as the kitchen blinds. I had just settled in for my quiet evening of decorating cookies at my kitchen table when we heard a woman saying "No. No. No." over and over again really loudly. I was joking with my husband that the previous neighbor used to say "Yes yes yes!" (they did it with the doors and windows open during the day. apartment living is FUN).

Well this went on for almost a minute, which we thought was odd. Then she started shouting her "no" in a more frantic manner. I'm thinking, okay, her cat has a bug, maybe a giant roach that it's trying to bring into the house or something. That's what I would sound like if that happened, anyway. All of a sudden, there was a loud bang and a woman screamed. From where I was in at the kitchen table and facing the window, I could see the shadow of one person being thrown by another up against the french door on their patio. To me, that's time to call the cops.

My husband asked me if I thought that was a gunshot, and I told him no, it wasn't loud enough to be a gunshot. I grew up in south Phoenix, after all, and in a pretty rough neighborhood, so that's a sound with which I figured I was pretty familiar. So of course, when I couldn't see the apartment number because it was dark and I had to run downstairs to get it while calling 911, I didn't think a thing about it. I was more concerned that some angry person was going to come out and catch me out there, you know?

So I was running while on the phone, and I'm super out of shape so I was panting a bit. The operator asked me if I was okay, and I told her why I was breathing heavy. She was like, GET BACK INSIDE! I told her I was GOING back inside, I just needed to check the apartment number so they'd know where to go!

While I was down there, I did notice that their front door was open a bit, and their upstairs neighbor was coming down the stairs. As I was going back up the stairs into my own apartment I could see him running back out from the apartment where all the commotion was happening, start up his stairs, then go back down again. He was acting really freaked out.

I didn't know what happened, but after I got off the phone with the 911 operator I saw the girl came outside. The police had not arrived yet. She was crying on her cell phone and telling someone to hurry. The paramedics showed up right after the police did, so I'm guessing she had called 911 too. I thought I saw them carry a stretcher inside, but they didn't bring anyone out though.

I couldn't hear everything that was being said from my apartment, but I did hear her say that he had hit her, and she kept saying "It was horrible, it was so horrible." I saw the paramedics leave after a while, but the police stayed longer with her and the guy from upstairs outside. When I finally went to bed at 1:45 in the morning the police were still here.

(They watched me while I shut my blinds. In my underwear. Lovely.)

I didn't think anything about it again until the next afternoon, when I got a phone call from a detective with the local police department. He asked me if I knew why he was calling, so I told him it was probably because I had called 911 the night before. He verified that was the reason why, and asked me to tell him what I saw and what I had heard. I pretty much told him exactly what I have written here. He asked if I could see the people, and I told him no, because the blinds were closed. I only saw the shadows when the one person got thrown up against the French door to the patio. He asked if I was sure it was two shadows. I told him I was pretty sure, because of the force with which the one had been thrown. Finally, he asked me what the loud bang had sounded like. I told him like a gunshot, but not as loud.

To finish up, he asked me if anyone had told me what had really happened there last night. I told him no, I didn't really talk to the neighbors, except in passing. It turned out, that loud bang was a gunshot. The guy who lived there shot himself in front of his girlfriend. When she kept telling someone "no," it was because he was waving a gun around and threatening to kill himself. When it went off and a woman screamed, it was her screaming because he actually did it. When I saw someone get thrown against the door, it was the force of the gunshot that threw him there, not another person. When I noticed that the upstairs neighbor looked freaked out, it was because he had gone inside the opened door and saw what happened.

I asked if the guy had died. The detective said "Oh yeah. Most definitely."

This is the second time in a month that I've seen, but not really seen, someone die. The first time was close to home, the second time was closer, and all I can think is that death comes in threes, and how much closer to home can it get? I'm pretty shaken up about it, but above all, I can't help to think about that poor girl. How do recover from something like that? Is there any coming back from something like that?

I honestly don't feel anything for the guy. It's sad, what happened, but he's done. For him, it's over. God will sort him out. The people he left behind though - they have to live with what he's done. That poor girl, above all, who had to WATCH it happen. My heart goes out to her.

All weekend she was here with an older couple who I presume were her parents, and some friends, and they were packing things and moving them out. She must have incredible strength to be able to come back after just a day and a half to start trying to sort everything and figure out where her life was going to go now. Her entire life was turned upside down in just the space of a day.

So sad.


Blogger Susanne P. said...

that is so freaky. i don't know how she was in that apartment after that either. i hope it was her stuff she was packing and getting out of there.

that happened to a friend of a friend except he let his 4 year old watch as well. asshole.

even just thinking it was a fight, it was great of you to call 911.

7:04 AM  
Blogger Zee said...

That's scary and sad, and I feel for that poor girl who now has to go from here. I can't imagine how you find the strength to work through that and move on, but people do and I hope she is able as well.

9:49 AM  
Blogger em said...

Oh wow this is awful. So sad. Sorry sorry you had to be witness to this.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Hooptee said...

Holy crap girl! You have been going through some awful stuff lately. So sorry you had to witness that. I hope that poor girl is able to cope and move on.

1:43 PM  
Blogger mademoisellechitchat said...

It's only 6:50AM, and I already need a drink after reading this post. SWEET LORD!!!!!!!!!! Indeed, people need Jesus.

I apologize for not responding to your message. I have been BUSY with unpacking, having my Mom here, etc. . . .I'll respond either today or tomorrow.

6:50 AM  
Blogger mademoisellechitchat said...

Sarah: I was there 2 months ago. I dreamed that a cousin had died. I had the dream on a Friday nite; he died that Sunday.

6:56 AM  
Blogger AZAnjanette said...

oh geez i bet you were so freaked out. I know I would have been. Especially to know a gun had went off anywhere NEAR my babies. That's just awful. If it's not possible to move to a house/townhouse or somewhere a little more separated living environment, you may want to review your apartment building and search for an apartment that is somewhat more isolated than the rest. That way you don't have to contend with so many other residents. i know that there are many houses for rent in these economic times and the house rental is comparable to apartment rent. Maybe moving could be an option for you (if you had thought about it). Prayers to you and so glad you're ok.

4:15 PM  
Blogger Samara Link said...

That's some heavy shit, lady. Damn! Yes, next time. Do stay inside. You're a mama now. You have to be careful.

5:48 PM  

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