News: Lessons from a Murder
Early Sunday morning, when the UF-FSU postgame celebrations were starting to fade, Andrew Arosemena was stuck in traffic inside the downtown parking garage here in Gainesville. He asked the blue car ahead of him to move; that car was stopped because its passengers were talking with some people who were standing outside the car. Moments later, the people outside the blue car approached and shot Arosemena without saying a word. He later died at Shands Hospital.
The hidden camera footage was grainy, blurred. But what could be pieced together from the testimony of witnesses and the people inside Arosemena's car is that two men approached the car with guns. With seemingly no motive (there was no threat of robbery and no argument between Arosemena and his attackers), a man was killed. Authorities pursued the suspects, finding a potential murder weapon in a lake and convincing one of the suspects to come forward.
I think there are some valuable lessons to learn from a tragedy like this. Violence can happen at any time, in any place. It is likely that Arosemena was literally surrounded by people exiting Gainesville's bars at the time of the shooting, yet that did not stop someone from drawing a gun. Video surveillance and police patrols are not perfect deterrents; as you can see, the parking garage has excellent camera coverage of all the garage, but people do not take that into account when committing a crime.
The most important lesson is this - that you are completely vulnerable inside a stopped car. There was literally nowhere to run for Arosemena, and the car doors and windows offer almost no resistance to a bullet. Once his assailants turned off that mental switch, that inhibition against killing a fellow human being, violence was inevitable - indeed, no heated words were exchanged, no negotiation, no fighting - just an attack. It seems to me that Arosemena's only chance, his only shot at survival, would have been to recognize his attackers' intentions and respond in kind.