On July 4th, a man was murdered on a DC Metro train.
His name was Kevin Sutherland.
To summarize, a guy a with a knife boarded a Metro train and attacked Kevin, stabbing him 30-40 times, and kicking his head over and over until he was dead. The Washington Post notes, “passengers trapped in the moving train huddled at both ends of the car and watched in horror.” There were ten or so folks in this specific car of the train, and with no intervention, each watched an innocent human be stabbed repeatedly and beaten to death right before their eyes.
Let’s pause here for a moment.
I cannot get this visual out of my head.
I cannot get Kevin Sutherland out of my head.
I cannot get Charleston out of my head.
Hell, I cannot get Aurora 2012 out of my head.
For now, I’m processing the murder on the Metro, and while constant pieces continue to come out since the attacker was arrested. A few writers from The Washington Post shared this sentiment, and the following pieces have been part of my personal reflection:
A brutal July 4 Metro slaying. Could someone have helped?
via The Washington Post by Lonnae O’Neal
Witnesses to a stabbing didn’t confront killer. Do they deserve condemnation?
via The Washington Post by Petula Dvorak
Before I press on, I know I will never fully comprehend what happened, mostly because I wasn’t there to witness it. Or to experience it. “This isn’t about you,” and all of that. But I have to hesitate and wonder, when bad things happen, shouldn’t we all pause and ask, “What if?”
What if people intervened?
What if I was there?
What would I have done?
And more than these questions, I am lead to a very selfish place.
Would someone save me if I were in Kevin’s shoes?
A good friend of mine from Oklahoma argues, “You can’t rationalize these irrational situations. So many variables.” Another added, “It makes me wonder if the result would have been different if it were a woman or a child. I think society believes men can defend themselves.” And all I can do is wonder, “what if?”
Could I have defended myself?
Would I have defended myself?
Would someone have defended me?