Simi Valley Shooting – October 9, 2007

Spent most of today out on a Chaplain call out to the shooting that occurred at 7:30 this morning. I was called in at 8:30 and arrived at the Police Station at about 8:45. From there, I was dispatched to the hospital, where the owner of Tire Pros and an employee were taken after being shot.

The 20 year old was shot in the abdomen and the owner was shot in both forearms. The owner of the store had surgery tonight to repair a shattered bone in his right forearm. The 20 year old had surgery earlier in the day and came through it well.

Most sad is that the shooting at this point looks completely random, and a 53 year old woman waiting for her care to be repaired took the brunt of it with her life. Imagine just sitting and waiting for your car when someone walks up and shoots you! Unbelievable!

After shooting the 20 year old and the owner, the shooter took his own life. By the time police arrived, the whole ordeal was over.

The surviving victims both attend Blessed Hope Chapel, where my friend, Joe Schimmel, is Pastor. A wonderful man! He and MANY of their church family stayed at the hospital throughout the day. I was there until about 11:30 am.

From there, I went to the scene and spent about an hour or so chatting with involved officers and Detectives. What I get to do as a Chaplain is an amazing thing to me. We call it a “ministry of presence”. Just being there in some of life’s most tense moments is an honor and privilege as people open up about some pretty deep things. Some of it seems or sounds superficial, but it can quickly turn pretty deep, and almost always does.

I went back to the hospital to hear the good news of the 20 year old’s surgery and spent time with his family. Got back to the office around 1:30 pm.

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