So last week my work week was book-ended by two tragedies. It started before I even walked into the KMOV newsroom for my shift. On the drive back from Branson the news broke that police shot a 14 year old after he had allegedly engaged in a shootout with officers. It breaks my heart that 14 year olds in our city are carrying guns for either protection or because they think its cool. I don't know what happened in those moments leading up to the shooting, and because there are no body cameras or video footage we know of, the only people who will truly know are the two officers and that teenage boy. And then my work week ended with an 18 year old shooting and killing a young police officer. Two families are now broken. Plus an entire family of law enforcement and a community of people deeply troubled by the violence in our city and county.
My task was attempting to talk to the family of Officer Blake Snyder. A task that no journalist wants, but we know there are families who want to share the story of their loved one. For some its cathartic. For others, they want their privacy and they deserve it. We respect that. But doing my job, I spoke with Officer Snyder's sister-in-law and spent the day reading social media posts from his friends and family members. This young officer, with a young wife and a two-year old son. It broke my heart that his life was taken for no reason. He went to work the night before, called his wife to say goodnight and his family woke up to the worst reality one could imagine.
It's the same reality faced by too many families in our city. Their sons or daughters wake up, go about their lives and too many of them end their day and their lives surrounded by crime scene tape. I don't know what we can do to end the violence. I don't have those answers, but I do know that I can work each day to help find the people who do have answers. Share their stories in the hopes that it reaches one person, touches one life, helps one person.
In the meantime, during weeks like this, finding those moments to make me smile, help me find the good in my city, are even more vital. So here's a look at just a few things that helped get me through a tough week.