Wednesday, January 7, 2015

What a Way to Do Research!

I made the mistake of posting this week in the InkSpot blog, the blog for Midnight Ink Writers where I post on the first Monday of each month, that: "So far [this year] things haven't been great and inspiring, but neither have they been horrible."  I wrote that blog on Sunday and it posted first thing on Monday morning.

And then Monday occurred. 

I mentioned what happened on Facebook and my blog sister Betty Hechtman mentioned I should post about it on Killer Hobbies.  Good call, Betty!  I'd already planned to. 

What was it?  Well, I live on a small, narrow street in the Hollywood Hills where things are usually fairly calm.  Until Monday.  That was when a major police standoff, including an LAPD SWAT team, occurred in the house directly across the street from me.

I saw some cops outside around 8:30 in the morning when I left for my workout.  I wonder now if the cop who waved me on was actually trying to get me to go back inside.  Anyway, as it turned out, I couldn't get back home for hours.  When I tried to get back up the nearest hill from the main street it was blocked off by the police.  The officers there were too busy to talk to me so I didn't really know what was going on except that someone with a gun was involved and was in the vacant house across the street from ours that was up for lease. 

I was able to talk to my husband by cell phone.  He remained at the house and could see the cops outside but didn't really know what was happening either.  I went shopping for a while, bought a book to read, and ate lunch.  Then, on a call with my husband, he said he'd seen one of our backyard neighbors drive into his garage so despite it appearing that everything was blocked off another direction might not be.  He spoke with the neighbor and we worked out my getting home... by climbing over the back fence on two ladders.  

And then we were both trapped at home for hours.  On the other hand, when I started an email to some friends we planned to join to see a movie that night to tell them to go without us, I gave them a link to an online story about what was happening and it had been updated.  The gunman had been caught.  We were free!  And, even more important, safe. 

Later I talked to one of the SWAT officers and learned that the gunman had fled the house across the street and there'd been a confrontation at another neighbor's home, where the guy had gone into a shed.  There were shots fired, no one was hurt, and the guy surrendered after tear gas was shot into the shed.

Surprisingly, there wasn't a lot of media attention.  The police remained around for hours doing their investigation.  Neighbors in our Neighborhood Watch exchanged emails about what they'd seen and heard.  And the LAPD was nice enough to hold a meeting the next night to let us all know what had really happened.

So... well, now my 2015 is off to a far different start than not great or inspiring or horrible.  I've made lots of notes and hope to use the experience in a story sometime. 

I just wonder now what else is going to happen in this New Year! 

Okay, now, can you top that for your year's beginning?


Patricia Gligor said...

Wow! What a way to start the year. I hope you get a really great story out of what happened. We never know where the next idea will come from, do we?

Linda O. Johnston said...

That's for sure, Patricia! Thanks.

Betty Hechtman said...

Wow!! It is amazing there was nothing on the news about it. With all the trivial stuff they stick in, you'd think they want a real story.

About a week ago, They had Ventura Blvd blocked off, along with the cross street Corbin. And again nothing on the news or even online that I could find.

It really was an adventure for you having to climb over two ladders to get home.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Yes, I was surprised about the lack of media attention, too, Betty, especially since it wasn't too far from Universal Studios where NBC News is now located. CBS Studios aren't far away, either, in Studio City.