Sunday, September 12, 2010

From West Sacramento, CA - Sunday, September 12, 2010

From West Sacramento, CA - Sunday, September 12, 2010

I drove up yesterday from Daly City with my youngest son, Jeremy, and his girlfriend,
Katie for a reunion with my other two sons - Shawn, just home from four months of
active duty with his Air Force reserve unit in Germany, and Alex, the middle son who
became a bridegroom in May.  Many of you saw my blogposts and shared my elation
at finally having a girl in the family.  The 100+ mile drive was really tedious - a great
deal of traffic, for some reason but it was a spectacular day.

When we turned off into the main street into Alex's subdivision, there was a sight that
brought tears to my eyes.  Before us, the normally vacant field was filled with about two
hundred American flags flying in the breeze and a huge sign, emblazoned with the words,
"We must never forget those who lost their lives in the terrorist acts of 9-11-2001.  Please
remember them, and their families, in your prayers today and everyday."  It really touched
me and I thought frequently the rest of the day about those victims and their families,
especially as I was feeling so much joy at being with my sons and the girls in their lives.
I feel for the families of the 9-11 victims, who had no idea what was to transpire that
day and who were, in no way, prepared for the loss of their loved ones.  We just don't
know when our last breath will come so we need to cherish the time we do have and
to think before we utter a harsh word or say something that we can't take back.

After dinner last night, I stayed home with my granddogs while the kids went out to have
a couple of drinks at a Sacramento club.  Alex came home early since he had to go to
work at 3AM but the others were still out.  I had told them to call me and I would pick
them up.  About 12:30AM, my youngest, Jeremy phoned to ask if I was still awake and
wanted to drive to downtown Sacramento to get them.  All of a sudden I heard a
terrible commotion and yelling on the phone.  I felt this terrible sense of dread, then
Jeremy said, "I'll call you back," and hung up.  Fifteen minutes later, Shawn, Laura, and
Katie walked in but there was no Jeremy.  I freaked out.  Laura said, "Carmen, there's
been a shooting but Jeremy's o.k." 

I cannot even begin to tell you the terror I felt.  It seems they had come out of the club
to find the street completely cordoned off and police everywhere.  A young man was on
the ground with a couple of police officers, no paramedics yet on the scene.  The
police were asking for help.  Jeremy is a certified EMT, though he hasn't worked
actively in the field.  The police thought the man was dead but they weren't exactly
sure.  Apparently Jeremy felt he just couldn't walk by.  After donning gloves, he felt
for the young man's carotid pulse and there wasn't any doubt then when blood gushed
from his nose, mouth, and fluid poured from his eyes.  Jeremy lifted up the man's
shirt and there was no gunshot wound on his chest or stomach so he must have been
in the head.  The details weren't known to Jeremy.  What was so sad is that the man's
friends kept asking, "Please do something for him."

When Jeremy got home about 2:30AM, we talked about it.  At one time, he wanted to
join the military as a paramedic.  I am really glad he didn't because this would have
been an everyday scene, where young men and women die and one is absolutely
helpless to do anything about it.  I'm sure he felt this way last night.

This morning's Sacramento paper had this to say:


J Street was shut down following the shooting in a large group of people just after Second Saturday.

Police spokesman Sgt. Norm Leong says officers heard multiple gunshots shortly after midnight. When they reached the scene they found a Hispanic male in his 20s dead, another male in serious condition, and a female and another male with non-life threatening gunshot wounds.

The shooting occurred on J Street between 17th and 19th streets in heart of the city as hundreds of young people were still milling about following the Second Saturday art festival earlier in the evening.

He says details are still sketchy and police still don't have a suspect, a solid motive, or a clear idea what led up to the violence.
 But he says they're investigating if the gunfire was linked to a fight a little bit earlier nearby between two large groups of people."

Every weekend, Jeremy and his friends go out in San Francisco to the clubs and I always
worry and caution him to be careful.  There is so much violence on the streets these days
and, in the United States at least, people carry guns at a younger and younger age.  It
seems like disputes are settled with a lethal firearm rather than by rational discussion.  I
can't bear the thought of being one of those mothers who is informed, early one morning,
that one of her beloved sons won't be coming home.


  1. Anonymous3:38 PM

    May time and life continue to treat you all kind. Much respect upon your effort writing and sharing this surely felt entry of yours. Indeed a oh! so true mean to measure nowadays way of life. Please have you all a safe and good start into the new week.

  2. Are these type of shootings common in the US? I have been hearing a lot about gunmen going on a rampage. I liked your previous post on the 9-11 incident. I was reading Esquire Magazine's archives when I found the story - "The Falling Man". You can read it here

  3. ρομπερτ -
    Thank you for the kind wishes. I treasure your friendship.

    Shiju Sugunan -
    Very sadly, gun violence is a way of life in our country. On a daily basis almost, in San
    Francisco and Oakland, there are fatal shootings, many times of young adults and teens,
    for no reason at all. It is senseless. We
    have a problem with gangs, of course, but much
    of it is not even gang related.

    Thank you for the link to the Esquire article. It was excellent - how it brought back the cold
    reality of 9-11 to me. I had forgotten all the people who jumped to their deaths from the falling towers and the infernos within. Can you imagine the trauma to the families of those who had loved ones at that site on that day? I
    don't think all the therapy in the world could really eradicate the pain. I, also, cannot imagine anyone feeling enough hatred for another to be able to conceive that kind of act. I just pray for all of us, that we can cease this kind of cruelty.

  4. So sorry,Carmen! You must be at the edge of your seat right now, but you cannot worry about your children. It is a fact of life that many young people may be skirting danger, one way or another. There is no way to have an absolute safe environment. And, they know more about what's safe and what's not than we could at our age, with our habits.

    We can worry, but it won't help. What we can do, is what you did, provide a safe haven for them, be available to pick them up if they are having that extra drink. Mostly, we are there for them to call on us whenever they need us.

  5. This story gave me goosebumps, and not of the good sort :(. I fear for the safety and well being of my kids now, and I suppose that only intensifies as they get older and more independent. I am grateful that Jeremey was safe.

  6. OMG! that is really scary. i could feel your worry as a mother. glad that your children were safe.

  7. I feel the same way every time my sons walks out the door. Even down the street, to a friend's house, but what can I do, he has to go out sometimes. Yes, the streets are very scary now a day, and it's a good thing to be super cautious.