There was a shooting, but you are still safe
April 4, 2012
It’s easy to go into panic mode when violence occurs in a community.
A North Bend man shot and killed an intruder, a stranger, after the guy broke through his sliding glass door and threatened to kill him and his girlfriend March 30.
We panic because our homes are our sanctuaries, our safe places. It’s where we conduct rather mundane, routine activities. We wake up, race to get ready for work and feed the kids before school. We watch TV, play video games, mow the lawn, host barbecues, relax by the fireplace or Facebook our friends. And then we settle in for a good night’s rest so we can do it all over again the next day.
We don’t expect to wake up at midnight to the sound of shattering glass and a stranger in our home threatening to kill us.
The thought that the suspect could have chosen our house rather than the one on Southeast Orchard Drive is terrifying, and shakes the foundation of feeling safe in a small town.
North Bend Police Chief Mark Toner points out in a press release that this is an unusual situation for the city.
“This was a random event that could not have been predicted,” he said.
And it is the randomness of the event that is so frightening.
But the chief also highlights that the town has not had a murder since 2004. And that is a good point.
According to NeighborhoodScout, which compiles crime rates from FBI data, the chance of a North Bend resident becoming a victim of a violent crime, such as rape, murder or armed robbery, is one in 944, compared to state numbers, which are one in 318.
In Snoqualmie, those chances go down even more — one in 1,524.
So yes, the randomness of the break-in and the shooting is scary. But the truth is, violent episodes in our community are rare.
You don’t need to panic, but you do need to be smart about eliminating opportunities for becoming a victim. And sometimes, sadly, like last Friday, there is nothing you can do to stop it.