Yesterday morning, there were shots fired in the Columbia Mall, and three people were killed. People were hiding in the mall for hours yesterday, waiting to either be rescued or killed.
The Columbia Mall was a place where I grew up. I ended and began friendships there, and ended and began relationships. I picked out homecoming and prom dresses there. It’s scary that the sanctity of a place that holds so many childhood memories was destroyed yesterday morning with the sounds of five gunshots.
I also struggle with the knowledge that for three people, yesterday was just a normal Saturday. They went to the mall to do some routine shopping, or to go to work, and never came home. What should have been a normal Saturday became the last day of their life. That is very scary to think about.
My heart breaks for my community. Even though I don’t know the victims personally, I can feel the anxiety and terror my community must be experiencing in the aftermath of this tragedy. Every single person in that mall’s lives were changed yesterday afternoon. And that deeply hurts me to know. I love my community dearly, and I hope that we can heal from this.
It’s weird being so far away from things. I don’t experience events like this the way everyone back home does. Here, no one knows, or cares, about a small mall shooting in Maryland. It’s easier to forget about it. But I don’t want to. I want to mourn for my community.
I want to mourn for my home.