Saturday, September 6, 2008
Today is the first day of the festival and it started on a very somber note—a police officer was gunned down trying to protect the lives of six people trapped in a house with a gunman who was intent on killing. The officer had responded to a domestic violence call at a place of business. The gunman had gone looking for his wife and when he did not find her (she had hidden in a bathroom), he followed her cousin (who also worked at the same place) to her friend’s house. Inside the house were six people including three very frightened children. The gunman then shot and killed his wife’s cousin before killing the police officer. It was a very sad day and it was made more mournful by a Messianic Jew playing taps on his Shofar (ram’s horn blown during Yom Kippur-Day of Atonement and Rosh Hashanah-Jewish New Year). The last officer killed in the line of duty in my town was in 1973. The police unit in my town is very close knit and the neighboring cities were very helpful in covering their shifts as they mourn the loss of a colleague. The crazy thing is that all this was happening less than a quarter mile from church where we were having a meeting and totally oblivious to the tragedy unfolding. It was not until we were at the People Festival that the Vice-Mayor informed us what had transpired that morning. Please pray for the police officer’s family—he lives behind a wife and three young children. Please also pray for his other victim’s family—she leaves behind two children.