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Bill Rosendahl - Council District 11

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Tragedy in Our Community

Yesterday was a day like any other day. Most of us were all doing what we normally do as we meet the activities of our daily lives, when the word came out that shots were fired at Venice High School, with a student from the school being the victim of a possible fatality.

As I left the office to go to the campus, I called the councilman to notify him, who, at the same time, was calling me to see what was going on. He also heard about the shooting, had canceled his scheduled meeting, and was on his way to the scene. I briefed Bill on what little I knew at the time and told him I would give hm more details when I arrived on the campus.

As I turned the corner off of Walgrove and onto Venice Boulevard, I pulled into a scene right out of any one a the many crime dramas that are a part of our television culture; except this was real.

I called Bill and he, with his sense of the journalist, wanted to know the basic questions of who, what, when, where, why and how. The difference here, though, was that this was not a journalist asking these questions. It was a man concerned about the welfare of his community. It was a neighbor wondering how could this happen in his community. It was a leader asking about the promptness of the response from the police department. And it was a fellow human being inquiring about the condition of the victim.

There was tension in his voice and frustration accompanying his words, as he negotiated the traffic along the 10 Freeway in his race to get to the scene. When he finally arrived, he immediately met with Captain Williams, whose briefing realized Bill's worst fears; the victim, who had just turned 17, had been mortally wounded.

Bill spoke to the public, through the lens of the news cameras, and expressed his outrage of the act and his sadness at the result. There would be an investigation; we continue to hope there will be an apprehension and an arrest. But none of that would bring this child back to life; and that was what was weighing so heavily on his mind and so deep within his heart.

A town hall meeting had already been scheduled to address racial tensions within the Oakwood Community. Bill wanted the town hall meeting to serve as a forum for healing. It was set for Tuesday, June 6. No one ever thought that Monday, June 5, would provide a tragic prologue.

-Mark Grant, Venice Field Deputy

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