On mid-morning Friday, Saipan witnessed a horrific tragedy. A lone Chinese man, a former shooting range worker, shot and killed a local family (2 adults, 2 young children) and then sprayed Korean tourists with bullets with an AK-47 rifle. He injured many and some of the victims lay in critical condition. The killer then took his own life near Banzai cliff by shooting himself. We still don't know the reason behind the murders.
There was panic on the island that day with rumors flying about the number of gunmen, the location of the shootings and the number of victims. In our office, we couldn't imagine that it was actually happening on Saipan, our little "rock" of an island. It seemed more like news from downtown LA or other metropolitan city with gangs, drugs and loads of criminals.
Needless to say, we were beyond shock. What would compel someone to kill young children, execution style?
Tonight, we attended the Candlelight Vigil at American Memorial Park where hundreds of others united as a community to pray for peace, comfort and eventually forgiveness. It was a strong showing of community bonding and support for the victims and their families. We pray that those injured will heal physically and emotionally.
And, we hope that everyone will remember to live each day to the fullest and love their families because life is short. As they say in ME (Marriage Encounter), "Love One Another".