Tonight, I ran for my life

As the shock and adrenaline of this evenings events has started to wear off I’ve been unsure of how much I wanted to share. Primarily because I know the people that love and care for me will worry and probably want me to come home.

Tonight there was a shooting in Munich, so far 8 confirmed dead and many others injured. I was quite some distance from the mall where the shootings took place and beyond hearing a lot of sirens I was oblivious to the situation. As I waited at a crosswalk I noticed a helicopter hovering over the train station, and the English speaking girls behind me said something about “catching the perpetrators”. Of course I turned and asked “perpetrators?” at which point they told me about the shooting. The guy behind them joined the conversation by letting us know the police were evacuating the train station, which we happened to be facing, due to a potential terrorist threat. He recommended we stay away from the area.

I hung out on the street for a few minutes trying to decide what would be the best course of action. My hotel sat directly across the street from the train station. With my luggage in tow I decided I’d chance going to the hotel. The front doors were locked and the place was dark. Weird. There was a sign pointing guests to take the side entrance. I wandered half way around the block and decided I’d missed said side entrance. As I turned to walk back the way I came I heard people screaming then a crowd of people came running around the corner. Without thinking or questioning I turned and started running, baggage still in tow. Fight or flight is an incredible function. While my chubby legs did their best to move my mind was busy trying to process what was going happening. Thinking about the shooting, thinking about the lorry attack in Nice, thinking about “do I duck into a hotel or parking garage or just keep running?”.

The crowds pace slowed a bit and there were a few people standing outside of a hotel door so I stopped to see if they knew what was going on. As I asked a woman passed and said their had been another shooting a block away.

I stood with those people until I felt reasonably sure it was safe to go back to the hotel. Upon arriving at the “side entrance” I was unable to get in the door. I waited for a few minutes and some guests that had already checked in arrived with their room cards. The door didn’t unlock. Being my typical level-headed self I started ringing the buzzer and yelling into the intercom. A nice man appeared at the door and escorted us in. The hotel had been put on lockdown after the initial shooting. Doors were locked, lighting was disabled, and elevators only worked when an employee swiped a special keycard. Standing in a corridor surrounded by concrete and locked doors I felt safe.

The news states the reports of the 2nd shooting were false. It is a relief to know I was in no real danger, but that certainly didn’t alleviate the terror I felt as I ran down that street.

I can’t help but assume this was some terror attack done for the sake of religion and I find it kind of ironic I had just returned from a tour of the Dachau concentration camp. We just can’t seem to figure out how to live and let live.

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