Earlier this week, we heard that a dangerous crime scene had formed just a couple blocks north of our condo. One of our neighbors called to ask if she could hang out at our place until the police allowed people back in their homes.
She was on her way home from work and the roads around her house were shut down. And she was scared to go home until the coast was clear.
Word on the street was it was a hostage situation. Fact was, no one knew exactly what was happening. There were mixed reports.
The trains were shut down, and blogs and news agencies were telling locals to stay home and stay safe.
Out of curiosity, I walked up to the crime scene barricades where I took some photos. A perimeter was set around the scene, and there were SWAT teams visibly inside the zone.
You can see a well-armed group of men in the shot above headed for the apartment in question.
Outside stretched yellow police tape were swarms of police cars and armed officers keeping a large group of onlookers and press from entering the zone.
I stood there with my longest lens taking photos, which to most people is impressive. But there were press guys around me with much longer better lenses. My lens was fun, because I could take photos of the people around me. Which I did. And it was the most interesting thing I saw that night.
Occasionally someone would walk up to the mob of onlookers and ask, “What’s going on?” And one of us would turn and say his/her version of the event.
One would say, “There’s a fugitive situation up there with several very armed murderers holed up inside an apartment.”
Another would say, “There’s been a shooting, and the killer went into a residence up there and took innocent people hostage. Some of the older people have been released.”
These people answering were news media. Reputable sources for information, right? We were all there at the scene of the crime. Police officers were within arms length. They could hear one person telling another person what was happening.
When I answered a few of the questions thrown out, I said, “All I know are the rumors, and that’s …”
Later in the week, Tina read me an article that explained the events. Apparently, there were four people wanted for murder in South Bend who fled here. They were in an apartment that is a known arms distributer.
One guy escaped on foot and was running, but was picked up. The other three were thought to be armed, but not sure how heavily. They were holed up in that apartment.
The three others holed up, but the police were proceeding with great caution.
When I got home that night, I told Tina about the onlookers and all the questions for people who didn’t know what was going on. I told her about the different answers from different mouths.
“Which is freaking why I can’t believe anyone takes the whole ‘eye witness’ thing in the bible seriously!” I abruptly changed the subject. “We were all there standing near by the scene and even the news kids couldn’t get the story right.”
Tina looked at me and said, “It always goes back to that, huh?”
“I guess,” I said.