Was it really that bad?

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Often times when tragedy strikes any area; be it a small town or a large city, we all become overly engaged in what the media is telling us.  This story for some reason has been keeping me very interested.  As everyone knows, in a town north of me about seven to eight hours in Crandon, Wisconsin a 20-year old police officer went on a shooting rampage at a quiet house-pizza-party and killed six of his friends.  The next day, he was gunned down by police and killed as well.

The story caught my ear yesterday and touched personally for the ominous fact that I have traveled to that area of the country with some great friends here that go there regularly.  I remember the feeling you get when you are up there.  It’s all wooded, untouched, beautiful, quiet, peaceful, clean, and you truly regret having to come back to the Chicago area.  (Of course after too much of it, the city boy in me would get bored).  I suppose I’m a country boy at heart.

Tyler Peterson is described by fellow police officers as being “level-headed and polite.”  In the hours after the shooting, a close-friend also stated that he was very remorseful and had been hurt by his ex-girlfriend and attended the party where he had intended to patch-up a break up but became enraged when it escalated into an argument with the entire crowd verbally ridiculing him and calling him a “worthless pig.” 

While there is no excuse for what he did, it makes you wonder just how bad did this kid feel?  Had he never been angered before in his 20-years of life?  As a “level-headed and polite” public servant who protected the people of his area, was he extremely provoked? 

There is one survivor whose condition is getting better.  Perhaps he can provide us with answers on this.  But not one person is ridiculing this fella for what he did.  I am not trying to throw judgment here, because this is still a new case that I am sure will continue to be mulled by the media.  But every person including fellow officers, neighbors, friends, etc. all describe this kid as a decent person.  Even up to the very end, he allegedly wanted to turn himself in on his own terms. 

In a statement released by his parents, they seem as puzzled as everyone else.  I can’t even imagine the pain they must be feeling knowing that their son is never coming back while simultaneously not having a clue ever that he was that close to snapping.  The responsibility they must feel for all of these senseless deaths must be extremely overwhelming.

In such a peaceful area it really makes us think.  It also makes us wonder why things are turning out this way.  Why could such a promising young man who obviously was not a thug or a punk prior to this incident commit such unimaginable acts? 

I almost feel like I’m speaking in defense of him, but I’m not.  It is just a massive mystery and my quick-thoughts and conclusions are not coming through for me on this one. 

It’s just very sad that in a time our country is battling homicidal/suicidal nuts overseas that good-Americans in peaceful small mid-western towns act similarly in a moment of sadness and despair.

I’m really crying hard on the inside over this one.  Truly sad.

You can see more pics of the incident here temporarily.