Salt Lake City, UT – 2006
I was living with my friend Matt in a shitty apartment in Salt Lake City. I was on my home from jujitsu when I pulled into our apartment complex to find it totally surrounded by police. No one was allowed in or out. I called Matt to find out the scoop.
He had been sitting home with his brother watching TV when they heard a loud bang. To Matt, who was fresh out of the Marines, it sounded like a gunshot. Within seconds they heard another. This time he was sure.
The police were there almost immediately. Several neighbors called 911 and the police had pinpointed the origin of the sound in the apartment directly above ours. Cops lined the stairs outside our apartment. They attempted to negotiate entry with our upstairs neighbors for several hours.
Finally they gave up on negotiations and stormed the apartment. Inside they found the man and his wife dead in a murder suicide. These were friendly people who we saw on a daily basis. We had no reason to suspect this kind of ending lay in store for them. We never heard them argue and they never seemed depressed. Matt’s girlfriend would often chat with them about their cats, and they always wave to us from their balcony as we came and went. We were shocked by the whole situation. There was no indicator about the catalyst to the incident.
I was unable to enter my apartment that evening and had to make other arrangements for the night. Matt and I were surprised by the whole occurrence but didn’t feel endangered. It was simply another bizarre situation that occurred in our proximity.
The situation left of mindful of how thin the line of violence can be and how easy it can be to cross. Some people live in obvious suffering for a long time and never change; others keep up appearances and end it all without a warning. The most startling part is thinking you know someone before an action changes your mind about them. It was tragic. I’m sure they could have worked it out another way.