The fear and pain normally experienced in the big cities has made its way into the suburbs and is creeping into our rural communities, where not too long ago we never locked our cars and seldom locked the doors to our homes.
Over the last month, the body of 26-year-old Natalie Marella of Ambler was found in a field in New Hanover Township. The cause and manner of her death remain undetermined pending results of toxicology testing.
The body of a man was found hanging from a tree in a wooded area of Hereford Township; an apparent victim of a suicide. Officials believe his death occurred three weeks prior to being found.
Five-year Plymouth Township police officer and New Hanover Township resident Brad Fox was killed in an ambush, by a repeat offender, while on duty. Fox’s K-9 partner Nick was also shot but survived. Fox served as a staff sergeant in the Marines and served two tours of duty in Iraq.
He was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Presidential Unit Citation, Selected Marine Corp Reserve (X3) Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and The Armed Forces Reserve Medal.
He leaves behind a wife, young daughter and a child due in March.
Last Saturday night, a 56-year-old man fired a shot at a New Hanover Township police officer before turning the gun on himself. The shot aimed in the officer’s direction failed to hit its mark but that officer and his family will live with that encounter the rest of their lives, knowing what the outcome could have been.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the innocent victims and near-victims, families and friends.
We look to investigators to provide answers to the incidents. Often, their findings can tell us exactly what happened, but seldom can they provide a reason why. Knowing what happened can help provide a certain level of closure to family and friends but can’t bring their loved ones back. Knowing why the tragedy happened might help prevent similar incidents in the future and the pain and heartache that comes with it.
Learned police, members of the legal and judicial communities, scholars, clergy and mental health professionals need to be called upon to help find out “why” an individual would take his or her life or that of another.
Is it something that could have been prevented and if so, how? Is it the economy, judicial system, religion, family or home life, fear, lack of respect, peer-pressure, bravado, panic or any combination of some or all of the aforementioned? Each of them probably represents a symptom.
Then comes the hard part; once we know why, how do we create a solution that will address all of the symptoms and fix the entire problem?
Incidents are increasing throughout our country and, somehow, we as a society must try our best to bring an end to the cycle of violence.
There’s no shame in asking for help from professionals.