Shootout in Florence

Well, such as is the way of the universe, yesterday’s really short post went on to be within the top ten of my longest posts ever. I would like to attribute that all to my crack writing ability, as well as a good subject to write about, unfortunately, neither of those were actually the case. It seems that I am just a lot better at bitching about past experiences than current ones. I really don’t think that anyone out there is a bit different than me in that respect; it takes you years of thinking about an experience to get it etched into your long term memory.

Whether that experience was good or bad, it ceratinly left a mark on me. Do you remember what you got for your birthday in 1983? If you do, I would certainly like to know why, which is why I put the ’email me’ link on the bottom of the page in the first place.

Now, on to other stuff.

• It turns out that really freaky, weird news can happen right where you live…Even if you live in an extremely small town. I am going to quote the entire article from the Arizona Republic Web Site , as it might not be there tomorrow.

70-year-old dies after 12-hour police standoff in Florence
Liikely died of self-inflicted wound, authorities say
Dec. 14, 2004 02:40 PM:
Schools and several businesses in Florence were shut down Tuesday morning as a 70-year-old man held police at bay in a 12-hour standoff before he was fatally wounded by what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said.

At one point in the standoff, around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, Robert Schultz allegedly used an AK47-like weapon to fire 50 to 60 rounds at an armored vehicle with SWAT team members from the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office inside, said Cmdr. Jerald Monahan.

Deputies returned fire but it was unclear whether they hit Schultz. None of the deputies was injured.

Schultz barricaded himself after a conflict with his son escalated, authorities said.

The standoff forced the evacuation of a number of homes in an area south of the center of town near the residence on Circle Drive where the conflict took place.

Robert Schultz barricaded himself inside a bus-like RV in his back yard shortly after 8 p.m. Monday night and was pulled out by police shortly after 8 on Tuesday morning.

Following sunrise, police could see Schultz lying down inside the RV from which he fired at the armored vehicle. Police took Schultz into custody and he was flown to Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn, where he died around 11:30 a.m., Monahan said.

Florence High School along with the town’s middle school and elementary school canceled classes.

Florence police Chief Robert Ingulli said a number of students travel through the area where the standoff took place to get to the schools.

“The fear was that they would be in danger if gun fire erupted,” Monahan said.

The Florence Unified School District administrative office, located on the other side of a parking lot behind Schultz’s residence, was shut down along with four main roadways encompassing the evacuated sector of town.

After Schultz barricaded himself inside the RV, Schultz’s wife called 911, Monahan said. She told police that Schultz had a number of weapons inside, and when authorities contacted Schultz on a cellphone, he threatened to harm police, Monahan said.

The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team responded and later called in the Chandler Police Department’s SWAT team to provide relief for its deputies.

Now, I do know the guy involved, it is a very small town. While I would like to think that there is some way to keep Assault Rifles out of the little town, I guess this is pretty much proof that anyone, anywhere can gain access to one. While you wouldn’t think that the guy, who is 70 years old would have one, I think this proves that he just might.

My question is, what did his son say to piss him off so much that he was ready to kill the world, or die trying? I suppose they will uncover more of what actually transpired during the standoff as time moves on, but, still, I really think it must have been something ‘earth-shattering’ to send him over the edge.

I really don’t know what happened to make him snap, I am not even sure if I want to know. What I do know is that I don’t want to piss off anyone in the family, or the in-laws for a very long time. Funny how I have become so attached to this life.

I guess that is pretty much normal logic though; Sure you hate your life, but, would you trade it for your death? Me, I have only x amount of years to be on this earth, and I plan to live every damn one of them! As far as going senile when I am seventy, talk to me in forty years…At which point I might bludgeon your children when you are not looking, then snap and start doing really hostile things. Only time will tell.

The most unfortunate part of this whole thing is that there is now a widow, the wife of the guy that died, who has no husband, no guns, no ammunition, but, a laundry list of things to be taken care of. I feel for her far more than I try to feel for him. Imagine being elderly, then having to pay for an unsuspected funeral, though if you have a ‘cache’ of weapons (which inludes an AK-47), I suppose you would be foolish to think that ‘natural causes’ would be the killer…..Yet,I guess the police probably did steal (I mean remove from the home) anything that had a hole in one end of it.

I seem to be a bit too upset about this issue to get involved.

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