Teen Hero at the Aurora, Colorado Shooting

Of course we’d all like to know why that orange-haired loser assembled an arsenal and started shooting people at random in a crowded theater in Aurora, Colorado, killing twelve. But meanwhile, there have been quite a few interesting stories about the victims of this tragedy. One in particular caught my eye.

Jarrell Brooks

In Mark Memmott’s NPR article, he describes the truly heroic actions of Jarrell Brooks, an 18-year-old young man who shielded a mother, her four-year old daughter and infant son with his body. Although he was subsequently shot in the leg, he protected them as he guided them out of the theater.

Wow. Would you have been able to do that?

Now the interesting part. The young mother was at the theater with another guy – her boyfriend. Where was he? According to an interview cited in The Denver Post, he said he reacted by “hurdling over a row of seats and running for his life, disoriented.”

And after he made his way to safety, I wonder what he was thinking…about the girlfriend and the small children he abandoned.

Jarrell Brooks had the personal strengths of compassion, composure and courage ingrained in his brain.

The other guy didn’t.

It made me wonder what kind of parenting Jarrell had. What kind of life experiences he was lucky enough to participate in that helped him develop that kind of personal strength. What teachers and mentors he may have had that helped him learn how to think straight, foresee consequences and exercise good judgment, even when his life was in danger.

And it made me wonder what was missing in the upbringing of the other guy….

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