I know that a lot of you may not know, or might not even care, but I feel the need to share with you the tragedy that happened in the town where I live over the past few days.
On Wednesday morning, a man named Kurt Meyer intentionally set fire to his home, and then proceeded to drive to a barber shop in the town of Mohawk NY and then to a car wash a mile away in Herkimer NY, shooting six people and killing four.
He then barricaded himself inside an abandoned bar in Herkimer for roughly 15 hours, where the standoff finally ended when Meyer was shot to death after killing the K9 Police Unit, Ape, on Thursday morning.
This tragedy was incredibly close to me, as I live in the town of Herkimer - our community is very small, with only a few thousand people living in the two towns, and this kind of thing never happens. The senseless violence is disgusting to me, and is very traumatizing not only to me, but to all of the people who live in these small towns in Upstate NY. The car wash where two people were murdered was a half mile from my house, and the bar in which the standoff occurred was only a block away from the place in which I work. I personally knew Michael Renshaw, one of the victims, and he was the kindest, most outgoing and caring person you could imagine. The thought that he, as well as the three other people who were killed, are now gone - for no justifiable reason other than a man’s mindless rage - is really… upsetting, for lack of a more eloquent word. It will take me a long time to recover from this incident, and I can’t imagine how terrible it is for the families of those directly affected.
Please keep this tragedy in your hearts, and remember that life is precious. For no reason at all, your time here, or the time of your loved ones, or even acquaintances, could end in a second. Always be kind, always be caring, and try to find some beauty in every day. Because one day you won’t have time.
RIP Michael Renshaw, Thomas Stefka, Michael Ransear, Harry Montgomery, and Ape, the german shepherd who gave his life.