Wednesday, February 20, 2008

What ... Me Worry?

I keep my cell phone silenced and tucked in a cabinet during the school day. My crew knows I'm essentially incommunicado from 8:00 am until 2:30 pm. Emergency calls can go through the school phone system and ring my classroom phone if needed.

At 3:00 pm yesterday, I remembered my cell phone and went to retrieve it from the cabinet. I flipped it open to see if there were any missed calls, and sure enough there were 3 ... which is pretty unusual.

The most recent one was from a teacher I work next door to, which was odd. I returned the call.

"Hey, did you call me?"

"Yeah, did you hear there was a gunman on Katie's college campus today? I'm down in the office and everybody is buzzing about it."

"Nooooo...." my throat tightened. " What do you know?"

She told me she only knew a few details, but apparently there was a man with a gun on the college campus and the campus was locked down presently. She's close to both my girls and wanted to be sure I knew what was going on.

I thanked her and called Katie immediately.

"Honey, what's going on?"

"I called you to tell you I'm okay, but I got your answering service Daddy. I don't have classes on Tuesday, so I wasn't at campus today. It's still going on, my roommate is locked in a classroom presently. She told me they should be released soon."

"Whew! Thank goodness you weren't at school today, sweetie. Now I can stop worrying."

I called Mrs. FC to let her know I knew about the situation, even though Katie had already called her with the same info. Then I called my teacher pal back, told her Katie was safe, and thanked her again for her concern.

I continued on my errand run into Gainesville. As I did, I tuned into breaking news reports on the radio about the ongoing manhunt on and around the campus. The spokesman said the police had many officers and K-9 units trying to locate a man who had apparently brandished a gun during an altercation in the college cafeteria earlier in the day.

After I finished my shopping, I hopped back into the JEEP and started driving home. Again my phone rang. It was Katie.

"Hey Dad, they caught the gunman."

"Great honey!"

"Yeah, he lives just below our apartment. They just arrested him. There's cops all over the place, but they are starting to thin out now. I just wanted you to know I am safe and all locked in so you can quit worrying."

Yeah, right.


Anonymous said...

Glad to hear Katie's okay! It's pretty spooky when it hits so close to someone you know so well!
Tell her and the rest of the FCers we said hello.

Cathy S. said...

Everytime there is a shooting on a campus, no matter what level, my stomach knots. When oldest was in middle school his campus was locked down after a boy shot another boy in the hall right outside the classroom where my son was. I am so glad that Katie is safe and sound.

pablo said...

That's terrifying every time it happens. My nephew had Northern Illinois University at the top of his college pick list. I don't know just what his plans are now.

There was a threat at the high school in western Kansas where my son teaches. The note said that the threat would materialize today. I'll be watching my phone too.

Anonymous said...

I'm very glad to hear Katie is safe. She's sounds pretty level-headed, but that must have been very scary for her, too.

I work on a campus myself, so everyone of these hits home a little. I can only imagine the intensity when someone you love is there.

Mark said...

" ... hostages given to fate."

Glad to hear it turned out OK.

threecollie said...

OMG, my heart is still pounding. I am glad she is okay, but this is still terrible. Every parent's nightmare. These things make you nervous every time you hear about a sorta anti-social, just-a-little-offbeat classmate at your children's school.

kathy a. said...

how terrifying. glad katie's ok and that no one was hurt.

SwampAngel65 said...

OMG! That is crazy that the guy lived that close to her!!! She may have been safer at school afterall. I've only had one scary moment like that with my son...not fun, not fun at all.

robin andrea said...

I'm so glad Katie is safe and the situation was resolved without injury to anyone.

Sharon said...

I got the sickest feeling in my chest reading that...I'm so glad she's ok and no one else was hurt.

(and I can't get Alfred E. Neuman out of my head)

Thunder Dave said...

Hey man, glad to hear that everything has turned out ok! Pretty freaky though!!

Trying to catch up again:

Awesome turtle pics and it sounds like a river I need to visit sometime (hint, hint)
Tell Mrs. FC Happy Birthday (late of course!)

Paintsmh said...

Poor FC family and Katie!!! That is so terrible. We had gun and bomb threats at our campus last year from one kid. He was immediately arrested before he had a chance to come onto the campus and carry any of them out thank fully. Hope everyone is really okay!!

Stacey063 said...

OMG! What an ending to your tale - glad all is well. At school or at home, especially at college, you gotta keep a look out.

crackercowlady said...

I was listening to the car radio on my way home from the wildlife park today and heard about the latest school campus threat. Lo and Behold, here I am checking my email and favorite sites and discover your Katie, FC, goes to that very school! YIKES! So happy to hear a happy ending to this story.

cinbad122 said...

I didn't know until this morning...and of course thought of KatyBug. I heard that J and K both knew the guy! What a scary world!

The Troll said...

Get her a carry license. I'm guessing you've already taught her to shoot. If the unaccountable freaks who make the rules at her School frown upon that, you can have a talk with her.

She's old enough to understand.

Floridacracker said...

Spooky is right!

Cathy S,
That's much worse!
This was resolved with no one getting hurt. Still creepy tho!

I hope it was just an empty threat. Most are, but it only takes that one ...

She is pretty level headed... definitely not a panicky person. I like to think that putting her in "demanding" situations as a little kid gave her some of that level headedness.

All okay, all good.

I might not have even posted this story if the ironic location of the bad guy had not occurred. Scary.

Kathy A,
Thanks. No one got hurt ... not even the bad guy.

Too close for comfort, but a good ending. Something to be thankful for.

Yes it was a good end. Whew!

I know, I read my share of MAD magazine too ... once upon a time.

About a year from now we should go canoeing. :)

All okay and resolved safely. Just what we want.

I almost had to pull the JEEP over when Kate told me the end location of the bad guy.
What are the odds?

Thank you. It was quite the event yesterday. It took up almost the whole day.

Definitely scary. He lived in a lower apartment. Weirrrrrd.
Don't forget Harry Potter tomorrow!

I carry (legally), but I don't think I'm ready for her to do so.
I totally understand your position tho.

Deb said...

Oh geez, glad she's OK but you just never know these days.

Yesterday there was a bad school bus accident in southwestern MN. Four students, ages 9-13, died. I thought about that this morning as I put my kids on the bus. You just never know.

ImagineMel said...

I finally posted a blog about randomnicity...this incident fits. I pray for L, Katy, and all the other grads every day. I'm so glad it ended well. We had a bomb threat yesterday.

"World is suddener than we fancy it.
World is crazier and more of it than we think" MacNeice said it well.

Floridacracker said...

I listened to reports of that accident today. Very sad.
You do never know, it's why we never part without, "I love you".

Randomnicity. I can relate.

Leslie said...

It is *so hard* being a parent and worrying about real dangers and threats when your child is away from your side. I know your stomach was tied in knots. Glad Katie is safe.

Lovely eclipse pics and MMmm, you can almost smell the cake from those photos!

Floridacracker said...

Thanks Leslie,
All true about parenting.
I ACTUALLY could smell the cake.