It began with an early visit from the Easter Bunny, who brought chocolate, Lego and a Transformer character that mutates into a little motorbike. Our Easter bunny is hip that way.
We had a wonderful Easter brunch with friends that extended well into the afternoon. Roast lamb and ham, asparagus wrapped in phyllo pastry, fresh berries and almond pastries. Mary is such a great hostess and the food and company were so outstanding that we were reluctant to return home.
But leave we did, and Dave was outside the car, clipping Tau into his car seat when I sat down in the front passenger seat. The car started swaying side to side, and my first reaction was that Dave was rough-rocking the car with his foot for Tau’s amusement. But when the rocking got stronger, I jumped out of the car. People started coming out of their houses, realizing around the same time that it was an earthquake.
After a minute or so, and a couple of aftershocks, things settled down and we drove home without event. What was initially pegged at a 6.9 magnitude was soon upgraded to a 7.2, with several strong aftershocks. The quake was centered in Mexicali, Baja California (Mexico) just 90 or so miles south east of our home, and we are still feeling mild aftershocks. While at least two people died in Mexico, damage was minimal here in SoCal — a bit of water slopping out of swimming pools, groceries falling off store shelves — that kind of thing.
Late afternoon Dave went out cycling and about an hour or so before he returned, I noticed low-flying helicopters circling our neighborhood. This happens from time to time when police are looking for a bank robber or chasing illegal immigrants in our neighborhood. But this time it went on for at least an hour. Dave came home to say that the whole of our main street (a block or so away) was shut down and that there had been a shooting just a few blocks away. Within an hour, the rough story was leaking out online but details were sketchy. Helicopters circled and landed at the local soccer fields, then took off again. Police cruisers patrolled the neighborhood. And this lasted most of the night.
To cut a long story short, a local man entered the home of neighbors four houses away and shot the homeowners, a couple in their 50s, with a rifle. As he exited, he refused to drop the gun, instead raising it at local police, who shot and killed him point blank. Details are now all over the news and the more emerges, the freakier and scarier it seems.
Residents along the road in question were only allowed back into their homes 4 a.m. Monday morning and the entry point to Olive Grove Place was still blocked with police cars and news vans when Tau and I left the house. Did I mention the scene of the crime is a mere 600 meters or so from where we live?