Saturday, December 06, 2008

Double Homicide

Apparently there was a double homicide in the apartment next to mine this morning ("next to mine" being a relative phrase as the way the building is arranged it's actually across three garage bays from mine since mine is on the end of the building).

Don't know any details yet, I'm currently up at the Armory because it literally just happened a few hours ago...I drove up around 0245 from driving a friend home and the cops were just putting up crime scene tape. Talked to a cop who was going to let me park in an adjacent lot and sneak in a back way but figured I wasn't going to screw with dealing with the crime scene in the morning when I could just sleep up at the Armory. Anyway, I'll be posting more details as I get them.

Three thoughts, though. First, I'm not sure what this means but I don't really feel too bad about it and I'm apparently supposed to. (I have my suspicions about why this is and what it means, but I'm going to think on that some more.) Don't get me wrong, it's a tragedy (especially if, as I'm guessing based on the apartment the police seemed to be investigating, children were involved), but I don't feel particularly sick about it like the few people I've talked to about it apparently feel. The adrenaline didn't even really start pumping until I realized driving up to the Armory that, depending on the time (+/- an hour or so), it is somewhat probable that had I not given that friend a ride home I would have been coming home around the time the murders occurred, which brings me to my next point.

It is a damn travesty that simply because I am a resident of the state of Nebraska I am unable to arm myself while living in the state of Iowa. Iowa conceal carry law regarding non-residents is extremely restrictive in that they do not honor any other states' permits and that the only non-resident ones they grant are to either a) people for who it is necessary for their job (corrections officers, private investigators, etc.) or b) people who can demonstrate they have a pressing need for a weapon (being stalked, credible threats made against, etc.) For the rest of us there's the 911 "option," I guess (either you or whoever happens across your body), unless you happen to be assaulted in your own residence, which brings me to my third point.

Keeping my defensive gun unloaded and locked up ends now. (As an aside, at the moment that gun is my M-1 Carbine...not the best over-penetration and handling wise but it'll have to do until I get a suitable handgun. Only good thing is that coming out of my room heading towards the front door there isn't much to worry about with over-penetration, given the direction of the hallway, layout of the apartment and subsequent fields of fire, and the fact that we have an open field on one side and a garage bay on the other. But that's a topic for a different post.) There's more than a few what-ifs that I've played out in my head, all of which are purely speculative since I know nothing about what happened, but there's two that are particularly relevant. What if this was a random act of violence, what if I'd been home, and what if instead of my neighbor's door that got kicked in it was mine? At best I'm a fucking idiot for having the means to defend myself locked away and unusable for any sort of reaction to that sort of situation, but at least I'm alive. At worst I'm a dead fucking idiot. The other is what if it was my neighbor that got assaulted, but what if I was home and heard it happen? Instead of being able to react in the amount of time it takes me to grab my gun and charge it, I would be at least 30 seconds away for the time it takes me to unlock the gun, fill a magazine, and load my gun. Maybe that's the difference between double homicide and just a homicide or attempted murder. Probably not. But the fact remains that in one situation I at least have the capability to react. The other I don't. That's unacceptable, and it ends now.

One final thought: I think this incident should serve as a wake-up call to anyone who relies on the argument of "that sort of thing doesn't happen here." My apartment complex is a mix of college students and lower middle class workers with some teachers mixed in (Ames Middle School is right next door), not super nice but by no means a bad neighborhood. The people who I think had the double homicide happen to were not college students but were by no means sketchy gang bangers or anything like that (given what I know about them, I've got a few theories about what happened, but I'll wait to find out more details before I share those). The point is that while it is highly statistically unlikely that this sort of thing will happen if you live in a "good" neighborhood, blind hope in the odds is not a particularly effective strategy, especially when those odds come up short.

UPDATE: Here's a link to a story about the case. Haven't been back to my apartment yet but it sounds like the deceased male was found on the road in front of my complex while the deceased female was found in an apartment next to mine with a trail of bloody footprints leading up to it. The material witness is a 33 year old ISU student. It appears at the moment that a knife was involved in the murders.