I had no hint that the day before Good Friday would be "no ordinary day" for me. My list of errands was long and I was ready to roll on through it. My first stop was at Office Depot. No sooner had I entered the store I heard a loud pop which sounded like someone had jumped on bubble wrap. The employees began running and shouted at me to get out of the store. I ran with them and hid behind a pillar. Several feet to my right a man lay face down with his hands cuffed. One of the employees began to shake and I put my arm around her. Within two minutes policemen, SWAT team members, and cameramen surrounded the area.
Several of us were taken to safety at a nearby bank where we waited. I took a selfie and sent it to Dale detailing what was happening. Then I waited and waited until finally it seemed I could exit and talk to a nearby policeman. On the way out, I was interviewed by two newsmen before making my way over to my car. The crime scene tape just missed it and I was told that I could back out.
I was ready to get out of there. I zipped around another part of town and got all of my errands done. Then I went home where my hubby gave me a BIG hug.
I didn't know what had happened after I left until I saw myself on the nightly news. Apparently a young man intended to harm his girlfriend (a manager at Office Depot) after she broke up with him. They escaped out the back door of Office Depot and he held her hostage for more than 3 hours while the negotiator tried to get him to let her go. He made a motion that led the SWAT team to think he was going to shoot her and in her defense, he was shot. At present, she is in serious condition and he is dead.
I felt grateful to have been protected but sad that this 27 year old man made a very bad choice about how to handle his anger. Please join Dale and I in prayer for this situation—ask for healing for his ex-girlfriend's body and soul and that the Lord would use this sad situation for His glory. Already I have gotten to witness to a friend from another major world religion that I was not afraid. Why? Because I know that I belong to the Lord Jesus and will be with Him when I die.
And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
— 1 John 5:11–12