Pop Pop Pop
March 28, 2008

It's is 2:22 a.m. early Friday morning. It's been a long week for me despite the fact that for some people, it was a short week following a 3 or 4 day weekend.

I couldn't go to sleep at first because I was kinda hyped up from choir practice. Then, there was the fire truck that crawled by with the sirens going full blast around 11. I finally started to get sleepy around 1.

When I heard gun shots.

I live in a nice neighborhood. But in South Bend, the neighborhoods go "bad" very quickly. A half dozen blocks in one direction and you're in gang territory, four blocks the other direction and you're in the area where Frank Lloyd Wright built some houses. (By which you can assume that the first set of houses are small and run-down and the second set of houses are huge, ritzy - places in which I can only dream of living.)

I used to live in a really bad part of town. It was good for a while, but by the time the crack dudes moved in across the street and the whorehouse opened shop behind us (less than 100 feet from an elementary school), things were not good. I heard sporadic gunfire when I lived there - though most of it was several blocks to the west of us. Probably at least 12 blocks, a mile. But on cold, winter nights, especially, the sound travels much further than you think it should.

I am one of those dumbasses who will go to the window when I hear things like this. I once reported a wreck when I lived in the 'hood - only to discover, as I watched with my face against the glass high up on my front door - that it was actually a drug deal gone wrong. I was still on the phone with the dispatcher when one man tried to run over the other one with his car. Only the timely appearance of a "random" dude on a bicycle kept me from witnessing a vehicular murder. When a police officer was shot and killed within a mile of my home and the entire police department put my neighborhood under a net, I had to be told to get back in the house.

Yeah. I'm one of those idiots.

Well, to be honest, I didn't leave the house. I opened my window and talked to the cop on the corner. But he was a bit annoyed with me even though we all knew we were on the edges of the net and not where the shooter was supposed to be.

So, around one this morning, I hear the pop pop pop of gunfire. I would have sworn it was twelve or more.

I go to the window and look out. Nothing unusual. I watch for a minute or more, trying to be unobtrusive in my surveillance. I go sit down at my computer. Surely I am exaggerating. I did not hear gunfire. This is a nice neighborhood. I am prone to getting alarmed.

Maybe someone's old shed broke up under the icy snow we received tonight. The pops keep coming. I wonder if a string of electric transformers are blowing up. But I've heard that sound many times in many neighborhoods - that sound is deeper, closer to the sound of a shotgun.

I can't help it. I know I heard gunfire. I certainly can't go to sleep now. Should I call the police? I've no idea where the sound came from other than north of my house and probably to the west. Blocks? a mile? I don't know. Sound travels funny at night in the cold.

By the time I've settled down enough to be tired and ready for bed again, it's about 2:30 a.m. My other half has to get up for work in an hour. If I lay down now, I'll probably turn off the alarms in my sleep and she'll miss work. Considering how anal her workplace is about even a tardy, this can't happen. So, I stay up, troll through the local paper online looking to see if it was my imagination or not.

It was NOT my imagination. There were at least four shootings in town overnight. The second was the one I heard.

a family told police they were asleep inside the home when they heard a car drive down the alley and six shots fired just after 1 a.m. Police sent to the scene found shell casings and bullet fragments in the home.

The next shooting happened about 20 minutes and perhaps 10-12 blocks away from the first. The final one happened just five minutes and perhaps a half dozen blocks from the previous one. These last three shootings were all drive-bys and supposedly only the first two are related.

It's a quiet neighborhood and I know the area to the north and west of us - where the shootings all occurred, get more and more rough. But three shootings within about a mile or two of the house is just ...

Especially after writing about Merrily Melson the other day.

It's nearly 6 a.m. now. Wonder if I'll get any sleep at all.

Posted by Red Monkey at March 28, 2008 2:22 AM | Struggles | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |


Nola said:

Wow. That's really scary. Hope you get time to rest today. Quietly.

March 28, 2008 7:01 AM


Heidi said:

I am such a wimp I would have passed out. Great post though I was totally entranced. You should write a crime novel.

March 28, 2008 10:12 PM


Alan said:

yikes. reading this makes me feel much better about the crappy neighborhood I live in ;)

March 29, 2008 9:04 PM
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