sadness around here.

Two of our police officers were murdered this past weekend (between 7 and 8 on Sunday evening) while answering a suspicious vehicle call. I say murdered because that is exactly what it was. Violent and unnecessary. One of the officers, Dave Gogian, was the father of a guy I have known since high school, Brandon, who also happens to be a police officer on the Topeka Police Department. Xander, Brandon’s best friend, is also an officer. I could keep listing friends who serve, but I’ll just say that when I heard that 2 officers were shot, my heart sank. The likelihood that I knew one or both of them was pretty good.

I heard who they were before the news had released names (news travels fast in this circle), and that fear that I knew them was confirmed. I knew it wasn’t good. I knew that with the wounds I heard they had, that the probability of them pulling through was scarce. Bulletproof vests wouldn’t have mattered in this case for either of them. It knew all of that, but the news that Dave had died still hit me hard and physically ached.

I have needed a few days to process the incredible sadness that I feel about it – for Brandon and his family, the other officer’s family, and our community. These were men who served us, protected us, and helped us. Their families sent them to work that night, never imagining that they would be burying them six days later. It’s just so sad. I have cried, and now I’m angry. The man who shot them was later found (after 3 houses were raided), and 12 hours after he shot two men dead, he was dead also. Bad things shouldn’t happen to good people, and bad people shouldn’t be able to take good people from us.

The past few months have been trying, with too many deaths to people we know and care about. Too many of us asking “why?”

Here’s to hoping 2013 is better for us.

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