If you're in Los Angeles, and maybe even if you aren't, you've heard about the shooting near Sunset and Vine on Friday. At 10:30 am, a twenty-six year old man pulled out a gun and fired twenty bullets at innocent pedestrians and drivers with a motive that seems to be nothing more than depression after a bad break-up. Most bystanders walked away with emotional wounds, but fortunately, minimal physical ones.
Except for one man. A man who was just driving down the street on a Friday morning when he was shot in the face by someone he never met.
I called a new industry contact today to follow up on a coffee meeting we had scheduled this week. We won't be able to keep the meeting because he has been sitting in the hospital for the last three days by the side of his good friend... the man who was at the wrong place and wrong time on a Friday morning. A man who
is now in a coma lost his life with bullets lodged in his brain. Bullets that were fired by someone who released his anger on the world and destroyed more lives than just those walking on Sunset Boulevard that morning. Wives, children, mothers, fathers, siblings, friends... countless people who's lives will be permanently damaged because one man thought the answer to his pain was to create pain in the world.
I didn't know it happened until yesterday. And since then, I haven't stopped thanking my lucky stars that I took my family, who was visiting this weekend, to within two blocks of the crime Friday evening instead of Friday morning.
I will never understand why this type of random, pointless evil exists in the world. It is out there and it is very real. But despite it's presence, I refuse to live in fear of it. This awful tragedy reminds me to keep living with purpose and meaning. Each minute is a precious gift, and though it could be taken away merely because I decided to take Pico instead of Olympic, I won't lock myself in my apartment out of fear. If it is my fate to someday be at the wrong place at the wrong time, then so be it. I'd rather be somewhere, living my life, than nowhere, hiding from it.
My heart goes out to everyone affected. Be strong for yourself and for others.