My view is of the wipers across the curved windshield as the rain pounds across the glass and each drop sounds like a bullet shot on my thin tin car roof. The sounds distract me as I begin seeing the flashing lights up ahead. As I get closer, I slowly prepare for what is next. Then I look over and I see him. I wish that I didnt, that I could close the door and drive away.
He was only six years old. The paramedics are working on him on the ground, his mother is being looked at by another ambulance person. I am trying to focus on my job, looking at the faces in the crowd to find the one, the one who did this terrible thing. Is he here? Is he looking at his handiwork as they try to save the child’s life?
I try to wrap my head around the scene that unfolded before me. I arrived to see them doing CPR, I had seen it so very many times before. These people are amazing warriors, they don’t take death lightly and fight it as if the enemy were there standing over them trying to steal away this precious young life. When it is a child we are all there to fight, it is even more important.
The window of the white SUV is shattered with the speckled shards of broken glass all over the inside of the car. This is what we call a clue. The window to the driver was closed. So many times we see the window open and begin to ask, was there more to this than meets the eye? Was this some poor drug addicted mother, with her vulnerable child sitting in the back seat, helpless to help Mommy fight her addiction as she purchased her sins on the corner?
No, she cares and she was driving home. Macaroni and cheese, she said. That’s what the conversation was in the car, he wanted macaroni and cheese she begins to wail again as she watched. They are taking the stretcher now and putting it into the blinding light of the ambulance. The siren will soon start to wail as they rush to the trauma center, life hanging on every tick of the clock.
The bullets struck him in the head. One moment sharing what joy a mother and son share when talking about a family dinner with mother, father, son and older brother. Then in a flash, their life changes forever. Not because they wished it upon themselves, only because on this night, in this town, they pulled down the wrong street and drove in between a violent representative of the devil and his intended victim. The child did nothing wrong but get in the way of a bullet intended to end yet another life.
I look at them and wonder if any will talk to us. So many times they tell us that they are afraid, but when do we draw the line and push fear away to fight? When will they fight for their own freedom? This innocent child is the victim of this war, what will they say?
The next morning I was surprised and elated. Three people had come forward in the night. They were afraid but said they needed to give this fallen angel justice. We will find him, we must find and bring him to justice and off of our streets. We will win this battle, but will they help us fight the war?
I am hopeful on this rainy day looking out on my city. Hope emerged in the darkness and I pray that others can learn and follow on their path of bravery. Behind the clouds I can see the sun and I cannot wait. My view is one of renewed hope in those on the other side of my window.