Today I want to take a moment and reflect. I live in Southern California. In fact, I live and work 20 minutes from the attack that happened last week. But let me tell you exactly how scary that was…
I usually do my runs in the mornings before it gets too warm. But one week ago, I decided to leave around 10:45 in the morning for my run. I typically run around the school in the neighborhoods. CSUSB is in a nice neighborhood in San Bernardino, so I like to run around that part. Once you get too far removed, it’s a whole different story. So I go out on my run and I remember being upset because there was a headwind. All my runners know how annoying a headwind is. It slows you down and makes your run a bit harder. Well as I was heading north, there was a fairly decent headwind that made me want to cut my run short. But I didn’t. I wasn’t running particularly fast because I was super sore from the previous day.
I get back from my run around 11:20 am and head for a shower in the locker room. When I got back from my shower, I entered my office where my phone was ringing. I recognized the prefix and realized it was from the school so I answered it. It was an automated message indicating that campus police had been dispatched to an active shooter situation. I was so confused, but more than anything, I was scared out of my mind. I don’t know the area well, but assumed that the situation was close as campus police responded. As I get off the phone, I see I have 6 text messages all asking if I was ok. Even more confusion.
Well we all know what happened. There was a mass shooting. And the shooting occurred while I was out running. Now, thankfully it was on the other side of town about 20 minutes away, but the thought that I could have been in danger still blows my mind. Reports say the shooting happened around 11 am. I was out running at 11 am. The suspects could have easily made their way to campus during my run and I would have been in danger. That thought, scared me like no other.
You never quite know how you will respond to these situations if they were close, but that whole day I was scared. They did a ‘soft’ lockdown on campus with police at every entrance/exit. They advised us to stay on campus as long as possible, but they ultimately shut down campus early (not super early but cancelled some night classes). The suspects were not apprehended yet. They could have been anywhere.
I guess at the end of the day, i can only be thankful that campus was not closer or that they did not make their way to campus. One of the shooters was a CSUSB alum. Any vendetta against an old professor could have led them here. It was a definite wake up call remembering that I work in academia and I work on a college campus. College campuses have seen tragedies. Scary? You bet.
I was potentially in harms way. I potentially am in harms way all the time. Guess I shouldn’t be out running in the city ;)
PS. I’m not making fun of the situation. Please do not get upset.