Talon News - Good Local News

By Debbie Israel



December 15, 2017

What can I even say about this horrible thing that happened in Aztec? I’ve been trying to process for several days now ... my editor/boss thinks I may never write again! I wonder about that too ... my brain is foggy (more than a normal day lol), I can’t focus, I can’t concentrate, and that horrible day just keeps running through my head like a bad movie ... no peace there! How did this happen in our town? It shouldn’t have happened here! We are all friends, community, neighbors, co-workers. But then again, a school shooting should never happen ANYWHERE!

I’m so scattered ... I go to the refrigerator for creamer and come back to my coffee cup with a piece of cheese. I’m kinda surprised I didn’t totally destroy our Sunday morning breakfast ... forgot I was cooking French toast and eggs at the same time! But before that, turned on the fire under the skillet and forgot to add the eggs!

I thought I was the only one feeling this fuzzy-brain thing, until a cousin posted on Facebook (which I can’t seem to walk away from) that she was having the same problems, and several of her friends said they were also! So it’s not just me ... maybe it’s everyone! Which means this whole place could fall down around us because we’re so scatter-brained!?

NO! We can’t let that happen! This person has already shattered our dream of safety in our little town, our children’s innocence ... we can’t let him take away our sanity too! We have to take back our community, our schools, our children! Our safety! Our brains!

That morning, I got a message from a friend ... “Shooting at Aztec High!” 8:29 AM - Worst message in my life! The hairs still stand up on the back of my neck when I think of it. I made my way to the school, where I found adults of all ages, parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles, all trying to make sense of the situation. The high school was swarming with first responders, people, and rumors ... where did those rumors come from and how did they get started so fast? Everyone was on their phone, trying to connect with their children.

I have grandsons at three different schools in Aztec, and thankfully, our high schooler goes to the college first thing in the morning. He parked his car at the high school, got on the bus to Farmington, and was trying to take his final exam when his phone started going off ... first a friend’s mom who said she was looking for him and needed to get him out of the high school fast! She’s the one who told him of the shooting. Then Mom, Dad, me, and all his friends! And, he managed to pass his welding final, even through all that distraction! SO SO thankful he was not on campus that morning!

He knew he was safe, but had trouble getting in contact with some of his friends, who, in the end were not physically harmed ... but mentally, that’s a whole different issue! Skylar said he deals with stress through humor and sarcasm (anyone who knows Skylar knows this to be so true!) and he wasn’t sure how he was going to even talk ... wondered how long it would be until humor would be appropriate again. He said he thought he’d give it a week! :)

Dec. 7 became the longest day ever! After we all retrieved our kid/grandkids, we at TALON tore our paper apart and re-built it at the last minute, begging for a later print deadline. I want you all to know that we are doing our best to get you the accurate information that you deserve. We aren’t printing rumors, we are trying to verify facts before printing them. We aren’t chasing kids down for interviews. We’re trying to bring you the news responsibly and accurately. Hopefully, the foggy brains will lift soon!

I love you all and we, all of Aztec, will get through this and return to some sort of normalcy! We just can’t let that be taken away from us! And I hope Skylar doesn’t wait too long to return to his funny, sarcastic self again ... we need some humor some days to take away the sadness that we are all feeling! :)


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