, , , , , , , , , ,

I heard gunshots yesterday morning at about 9. I got down on the floor and stayed there for a while. After several minutes of silence and sirens I made my way to the window. I could see the police blocking off the streets. My neighbors were outside beneath my window. I heard more sirens.

I called my husband at work and said, “I don’t know what is happening but I am okay. There were gunshots and now the police are blocking off the street.”  We talked for a minute and then we hung up.

I looked out the window again, and my neighbors were gathered and talking on the street. I decided to put on some jeans, go downstairs, and ask my neighbors what was going on. I headed out my condo door.

On the street, I joined a group of my neighbors. “Did that wake you up?” One of my neighbors asked.

“No, I’ve been up for hours.” I said.

“There is a shooter somewhere.” One of my neighbors said.

“I am going back in. It probably isn’t safe on the street.” I said and headed back toward the front door.

When I got back upstairs I heard the police tell everyone to get inside, “Now!”

I heard more gunfire.

I went into the back bathroom of my house with my tablet and cellphone. I called my husband. I told him I was hiding in the bathroom. He looked up the news and told me there was an active shooter in our neighborhood. While I was talking to him I could hear rapid gunfire. I told my husband the neighborhood was blocked off completely and not to come home. I said, “It is dangerous here, don’t come.”

My husband had to go to a meeting, so I called my mom and then my dad. While I was talking to my mom I heard men on the roof of my building. I heard loud voices and banging. I hung up the phone and walked into the closest to see if I could hear what the people somewhere in my building were saying.

The banging got louder. I heard people yelling, “Police! Open up!”

I crept into the front room and went to the front door. I opened it slightly, and there were about ten to fifteen officers in my hallway. One of them said, “Come here, right now.”

“Can I lock my door? Can I get my keys?” I asked.

They told me no, so I went down the hall to them in my bare feet and with my door open. I was terrified. I told one of the officers, “I have a mental illness.”

The officer shouted, “Wait, we have someone here with a mental illness!”

My neighbor, who was also in the hallway said, “Who has a mental illness?”

The officer and I didn’t say anything.

They put us in the elevator and told us to push the button for floor 1 and go to apartment 3. They told us officers would be waiting. We went to the 1st floor, and made our way to apartment 3 where several officers escorted us outside and down the street.

I borrowed my neighbor’s cell phone and called my husband. I told him I had been evacuated and I didn’t have shoes. My husband left his meeting, and started to run from downtown toward home. When he arrived several blocks away, the officers told him to go back. He finally talked to an officer and told him that his wife was close to the incident and that he could see me in a black t-shirt standing in a group of people. The officer started to escort him down the street, and I saw him and started walking toward him. Once the officer saw me coming toward them, he let my husband continue on his own.

At one point I told a female officer that I had paranoid schizophrenia and that I would need my medication by 5. The officer took my name, my apartment number, and where I kept my medication. She came back twice during the ordeal to update me on getting my medication. She was truly compassionate, took my illness and needs seriously and was more than willing to help me try and get what I needed.

We learned that the original call to police was a domestic disturbance and when the police arrived the man in the apartment building next to ours shot at the police barely missing an officer.

We spent the next 4-5 hours standing on the street, waiting for the stand-off between the shooter and the police to be over. The police were eventually able to take the shooter into custody. Thankfully, no one got hurt.

We were let back in our home at approximately 3. My feet were sore and dirty, my face was sunburnt, my back hurt, and I was on the verge of tears.