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All photos ©2018 Dorinda Duclos All Rights Reserved
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All Photos ©Dorinda Duclos All Rights Reserved
The shooting at the Garden State Plaza in Paramus, NJ, had everyone buzzing yesterday. A question about our safety when shopping or even leaving your own home, led to a discussion over gun control. Now let me make myself clear. I have no problem with people who choose to own or carry a gun, under the proper laws (permits, training, etc). That being said, several gun owners came out in defense of their 2nd Amendment rights. But this wasn’t really about gun control, other than the fact that his brother allegedly owned the gun, so questions were raised as to where it was kept and how the shooter was able to get hold of it. No, this was about 20 year old Richard Shoop, of Teaneck, NJ, a young man who couldn’t cope with whatever was happening in his life, eventually taking his own life in a secluded area of the mall.
We can be grateful that his intention was to harm only himself and no one else. He fired off shots at the ceiling, escalator, but never directly at anyone. Nevertheless, he caused a major panic among hundreds of people and he got law enforcement officials and the media to take notice.
This young man had a history of drug use but he also held a job at a local pizza parlor. Interviews with his boss depict him as a “nice kid”. What was also brought up during the conversation on my Facebook wall was mental illness. This has not been mentioned in the media, nor has his family made any statement regarding the matter. His brother, Kevin, had this to say, “”We’re not sure exactly what caused him to do this, and we’re all devastated. My brother intended to harm nobody else but himself. He just, sadly, decided to make … an act of self-indulgence by taking his own life publicly. And it’s a tragedy to us all,” he said. Kevin denies the gun belonged to him. When asked he replied, “no comment” <regarding drugs & the gun>.
Drug use among young adults has skyrocketed. In the past year, my daughter has lost high school friends to overdoses. The heroin epidemic is horrific. In the coming weeks, I’ll be meeting with some of the people who have been directly affected by this. I know it won’t stop the rampage but at least others will know there really is help out there. Stay tuned.
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conflicting reports, Facebook, garden state plaza, gunman, Laurie Romanelli, LAX, mall shooting, media, NBC News, New Jersey, nj, Nordstrom, paramus, police, Richard O'Malley, security, shooter, shots fired, SWAT, TSA, White House
Once again we were faced with the madness. A man, in a helmet with the visor down, dressed in combat clothing, and carrying a rifle, was able to walk into the Garden State Plaza in Paramus, NJ and start shooting. Witnesses say between two to five shots were fired. How was this man able to enter the mall? Where was security?!
Most police activity took place outside the entrance to Nordstrom. As of midnight, EST, officials are reporting one shell casing found at the scene and the shooter has not been located.
My status on Facebook regarding the shooting had several people commenting. Richard O’Malley, a New Jersey resident, had this to say, “You aren’t ever safe, anywhere. You are always a potential victim. The question is always, “Is there someone easier than you to attack?”. And in NJ, the law has made us all fair game.” Laurie Romanelli, another New Jersey native said, “The worlds gone nuts! I had to go to willow brook the other night ( tho I prefer GSPlaza) it’s nothing but kids hanging out getting in trouble!!! My kids were never allowed to do that!!!”
The information surrounding this event is all over the place. The shooter’s in the mall, the shooter’s long gone, there were two shots fired, there were five shots fired. Of course in all the chaos there are bound to be conflicting reports. NBC News is reporting that only one shot was fired. This shooting comes on the heels of the shooting at LAX airport last week, where a New Jersey man is accused of killing a TSA agent and injuring 4 others. He also, was able to get by security, before he was wounded and taken into custody. Are Americans in such dire straights that they feel the only way out is to take others with them?
This brings me back to a discussion several of my friends and I have been having regarding the amount of information that is told to us by the media. People who have an axe to grind find they can get their ten minutes of fame because the news agencies will give them that moment.
Do you think the media tells too much or do you feel you need to know everything that’s happening during a given event? So why, then, does the local news make the rounds, for hours at a time, while the White House gets to sit back and tell tales?