Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Volume 2, Number 1: A deadly start to 2007

(Note: This is a re-posting of an entry I made in 2007 on a Yahoo! GeoCities blog.)

The new year wasn't even two hours old when Denver Broncos defensive back Darrent Williams was shot to death. He was gunned down in a limo, apparently after an altercation that took place earlier during a birthday party (for Denver Nuggets PF Kenyon Martin). That just goes to show that no matter how rich you are or how much you make, it can all end in a matter of hours.

On January 2, when many of us went back to work after either a long holiday weekend or a longer vacation, two people were found stabbed to death at Cheli's Chili Bar, a restaurant near Comerica Park that is owned by Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios. It has taken a few days for many of the details to come out, but the killer, 17-year-old Justin Blackshear, had been fired in November from the busboy job he had there due to poor work habits. His girlfriend, who had also been fired from Cheli's (she was a dishwasher), was pregnant. Blackshear wanted to get his job back, and apparently snapped when he was rebuffed by Mark Barnard, 52. Manager Megan Soroka, 49, was on the phone with restaurant owner Chris Chelios (a defenseman with the Red Wings) when she heard Blackshear attack Barnard, and was herself killed when she tried to intervene. To top it all off, Blackshear stole $10,000 from the restaurant. Blackshear was arrested and has been arrainged on two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of felony murder. It's such a shocking crime because Blackshear could have probably gotten another job at another restaurant, and after all, he was 17 with plenty of life ahead of him, and other people have recovered from losing jobs like that. (For example, I know of someone who lost a job cooking at a Big Boy restaurant when he was 21, but today, he's selling mortgages for Quicken Loans in Cleveland.)

The next day, one student shot another dead at a high school in Tacoma, Washington. Even now, it's shocking to read about a school shooting. It brings back memories of watching live news coverage of the Columbine High School shootings on April 20, 1999 (I was between jobs at that time, which is why I was at home, and I remember seeing students flee the building).

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