Today I saw my life flash before my eyes

There are moments in your life when you think: “wow I really could have just died.” Luckily/hopefully they are far and few between. Today, I had one of those moments. I came within 30 feet of an intense shootout that killed one person and the suspect.

Here are all the crazy details of the hostage/shootout/carjacking/murder:

How did I come so close? My coworker and I were driving to grab some lunch. I saw cop car after cop car fly by. A van pulled out into the street and a man jumped out. He started directing traffic. No idea what was going on. I turn around and see the entire police force of the city speeding to where we were located. Cop after cop got out of their vehicle, guns ready, taking defense positions behind their car doors. Then a prius or a taurus pulled up and a undercover cop runs out, kevlar on, and AK-47 ready. There must have been at least 30 cars that swarmed around us. We became trapped. Finally we were able to get out of there, but after the guy directing traffic tells us it is a shootout. We get to the side street and a cop is blocking the way, I roll down the window and tell him we can’t get through with him in the middle of the street. He tells us to just hit his car and keep going…!

We get back to work, turn on the TV in the conference room and the entire office watches as the story unfolds. We watch the SWAT team turtle towards the truck and pull the suspects arms out of the car. I see on TV the unmarked SUV that was pulled right in front of us. We were about 30-50ft from the armed suspect. He had been firing on police.

I have never been so close to a crime scene before (but strangely I was right next to the Holocaust Museum when the crazy Neo-Nazi started firing on people).
I never want to go through that again.

But one good thing did come out of this experience. It was a real eye-opener. Life is short. Don’t wait to do the stuff you want to. You never know when something may happen. Accomplishing life-long goals, like joining the Peace Corps, take on new resolve.
It also helps put things into perspective, I don’t think I will complain about having a bad day again (at least for a while). No bad day at work compares to losing your life. I am still alive, I am still here. And that’s a lot to be happy about.


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