Blog: Jon Scott Returns Home to Colorado to Cover the Movie Theater Shooting
It's a very sad homecoming.
I was born in Colorado and lived the first half of my life (thus far) here. I love everything about it -- the grand mountain views, the climate, the outdoor lifestyle and especially, the people.
Every time I come back to the place I consider home, I'm struck by their friendliness. Grocery clerks bid me to "have a nice day" and they truly mean it; motorists politely wave me in to a crowded merge (that rarely happens in New York!); bank tellers are chatty and rarely boxed in by thick fishbowls of bulletproof glass, because, I like to believe, people here are too darn happy to think about pulling a gun and committing a crime.
That's why covering this terrible event is so difficult. A bright, unassuming young man, quiet but otherwise unremarkable, stands accused of planning a massacre that has taken 12 innocent lives, wounded nearly 60, and forever altered uncountable numbers more.
I never thought this kind of thing could happen in my beloved home state. Columbine proved me wrong, of course. And now it's happened again.
Our Fox News team is in place at the parking lot outside the theater where, just today, those who ran in terror Friday morning and left their cars behind are only now being allowed in to retrieve them.
Commerce is slowly returning to the Town Center Mall, opposite the theater and closed since the rampage. The good people of Colorado are trying to resume daily life. But the sadness is palpable and reminders are everywhere. Churches are already holding prayer vigils; flags fly at half-staff; electronic signs at car dealerships, normally blaring with deals and discounts, now offer notes of concern and consolation.
In all the sadness, though, there is reason for joy. I think of Kaitlyn Fonzi, the young woman who lives in the apartment directly below the suspect. Police say he left the place booby-trapped with homemade bombs and shells, "Serious stuff", they said, "designed to kill the first person to come through that door."
Kaitlyn nearly was that first person, after she heard loud music thumping from the apartment at midnight. She went upstairs to complain and grabbed the door handle; it seemed unlocked. "But I heard a voice inside", she told me, "warning me not to open that door. So I didn't. I just left it closed and went back to my apartment."
That inner voice almost certainly saved Kaitlyn's life.
I'll be back on for the Fox Report tonight at 7 eastern and again at 10pm. We'll replay part of Kaitlyn's story. I hope it will help all of us put more focus on the good that inevitably rises in people during terrible events like this one. The gunman is an aberration, a fluke of evil in this beautiful place. I hope, in the aftermath of this tragedy, we can remember that Americans are loving, kind, decent people --especially those who make their home in Colorado.