Those of us who work on Gay Street have been dealing with the aftermath of the stabbing and shooting incident that happened on our street on Wednesday.
We’ve learned about the heroism of one of the workers in the office where the madman attacked. The worker fought the assailant, helped to save a fellow employee, and was stabbed in the commission of his good deed; he remains in critical condition in a local hospital. We’ve also heard about friends and colleagues who were in the building when the attack occurred. Two of the people at our firm were eating at the deli in the lobby when they heard a scream, saw the melee, and ran for their lives. And all of us who work in the area and eat lunch at local establishments like that deli have thought, uneasily: It could have been me.
The most frightening aspect of the awful incident is that it apparently was utterly random. The lunatic was new to Columbus and had lived here, with his aunt, for only a month. He had a history of mental health problems and a criminal record. His aunt told him to move out, and that might have been what set him off. So, a paranoid, deeply disturbed individual armed with two knives found himself in downtown Columbus and went on a rampage for no rational reason, at a location that probably was chosen solely by his inner demons. It’s troubling to think that those demons could easily have selected our building instead.