Regarding My Experience on October 31st, 2017

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Screeches and then a loud bang. Car crash, was my first thought. I moved from my group of costumed friends to the staircase to see what the commotion was. Smoke from the crushed front of the pickup truck. Black oil spilled all over. I waited, pensively. All traffic on the West Side Highway had slowed to a crawl. A group of ten or so middle schoolers had gathered on the other side of the street.

Why was no one going to help the person inside get out? I kept thinking. I waited, expecting the person to stagger out or some altruistic individual to step up. Suddenly, the door banged open, and the man inside leaped out. I vividly remembered his golden handgun being the only thing I could focus on. He looked all around with his handguns pointed, looking for a target, wildly turning. I was frozen. Holy [expletive], I thought, he’s going to kill somebody. Someone behind me screamed, “He’s got a gun,” and I heard shrieks and footsteps taking off back into the school. I was still glued watching. He looked at the group of kids at the other side of the street, and strode towards them. I wish I could say I did something heroic, like turn his attention away from the kids, or that I threw something at him, but I just turned around towards Stuyvesant, and sprinted through the metal doors back into school.

I was herded by Mr. Tillman and the school police officers into the Student Union room. I went to the windows and watched as the police cars swarmed around the crashed truck. After several minutes of craning my neck to see, someone pointed out the two bodies on the bike pathway and the crumpled, strewn Citi Bikes. Police officers crowded over the bodies. Everyone was asking where the ambulance was. When the police officers brought out the white plastic covers, the questions stopped.

I live by Stuy, and the next night, as I was walking home, I decided to check out the deathbeds of those lost on that day. There was a police officer every 10 steps. There was a police officer stationed at the bloodstain of the biker. The police officer, a 35-year-old man with dark eyes, nodded at me and looked away. I sat down on the side, staring at the darker part of the concrete. The closest I had been to death before was with my great-grandparents, and that was when I was much younger. I don’t know how I feel. I’m still stuck with a lot of questions. I don’t think many of them will be answered anytime soon.