When a 12-year-old pre-teen in New Mexico and a 71-year old retired police officer in Florida opened fire at unsuspecting citizens of this country, their respective age was not the only unlikely factors shared by the two, who have now been “branded” shooters.
Both have been found to be “nice” people and do not fit into the usual shooter profiles. Accepting a 12-year-old as a heartless shooter would be just as difficult as to consider a friendly ever-smiling veteran cop to fatally shoot a fellow moviegoer at point-blank range.
The Unlikely Suspects
As news pour in about the pre-teen shooting incident, it is being reported that before entering the middle school gym he may have alerted some of his schoolmates against attending classes on the fateful day.
Fellow students were also of the opinion that they were not aware of any reason which may have triggered the pre-teen into going on a killing spree with a 20-gauge shotgun. They also have no recollection of any incident related to bullying of the shooter by other students.
Sadly, the shootout left two students wounded.
13-year-old Kendal Sanders, escaped with injuries to her right shoulder; however an 11-year-old boy remains in critical condition. He is recovering from two surgeries conducted to treat injuries on the side of his face and neck in a New Mexico hospital.
The Florida Shooter
Curtis Reeves, has been charged with second degree-murder in the Monday shootout which left 43-year-old Chad Oulson dead and his wife grievously injured. The background of Reeves is similarly leaving many who knew him, shocked at his action.
They find it increasingly unbelievable to accept that a devoted grandfather and good christian like Reeves could commit a felony, usually associated with sketchy individuals.
The neighbors and friends of Reeves were also of the opinion that he has an unlikely shooter profile as he has always been around with a helping hand and has never known to lose his temper easily. People remember him as a very cheerful person and not someone whom they would associate as volatile enough to shoot someone.
Reeves was also an outstanding officer with several letters of commendation received for his skills as a leader which ironically also includes the training sessions he supervised on gun safety for different agencies.
The incidents in New Mexico and Florida are not just about two unlikely shooters separated by age and time zones. It is also has its share of inspirational, heroic and brave people whose swift actions contained the situations before it escalated into something bigger.
A teacher, Jon Masterson, from the Berrendo Middle School in the city of Roswell has already been hailed for bravely stepping up and talking the student into dropping the gun which was pointed straight at him. The calmness with which Masterson handled the whole situation in the face of possible death is commendable.
At the Grove 16 theater complex in Florida, Alan Hamilton quickly lunched forward at Reeves moments after the fatal shot was fired. The deputy seated a couple of rows behind Reeve grabbed hold of the barrel of his .380 pistol and was able to wretch control of the gun after Reeve reportedly let go.
Also while everyone in the theater ran out in the chaos, two nurses bravely rushed in the opposite direction to the aid of the wounded without fearing for their lives.
But with repeated incidents being reported, more and more voices are being heard from different corners of the planet asking the same question again; is America reaping what it has sown?
New Mexico and Florida incidents are unlike any till today with its offbeat shooter profiles however it has again put focus back on the need for tighter gun control laws. As the mystery behind the motive of the preteen shooter continues to hound investigators and the Florida shooter faces the charges against him, America continues to debate on “guns over safety” ignoring the fear some parents and citizens of this nation is feeling at the moment.
By Daris Abraham