News out of North Dakota could hardly get much worse today. Four members of the same family were killed on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation this past weekend, three of them young kids ages 13 and under. Even the good news -- the fact that Martha Johnson's 12-year-old grandson survived the attack -- is tinged with sadness.
This boy was there when his grandmother, as well as his older brother Benjamin Schuster and younger siblings, Julia Schuster and Luke Schuster, were gunned down by a maniac. Now he faces life knowing that he somehow made it out alive.
Cops say the boy played dead, a move that saved his life. It was a bold move that hopefully shows a strength of conviction this child will need as the days go on. My heart goes out to him. I'm relieved that he's alive, but I can't imagine the road ahead of him.
Cops say that the man they suspect was responsible for the mass murder committed suicide in front of them just an hour later. On the one hand, that will spare this kid the added pain of a trial. On the other hand, it means this poor child will likely have no answers to explain why his trick worked, why he was spared while the rest of his family was slaughtered around him.
The other bit of good news -- if there is such a thing in light of such a horrific tragedy -- is that the boy isn't completely alone in this world. Another of Johnson's grandchildren wasn't home at the time of the attack, which means that child survived. Their grandfather was out hunting at the time of the attack, and he too is just fine -- at least from a physical perspective. From the emotional side, it will likely take years to heal, if they ever truly do.
We send our condolences to this family and wish them the very best. They are going to need a lot of support to get through this.
What would you like to say to this little boy today?
Image via Tex Texin/Flickr