Facebook News: Haines Man Shot, Recovering in Anchorage Hospital
A friend called and said there had been a shooting early yesterday morning on Small Tracts Road, my regular dog trot loop around the neighborhood. Was there an angry gunman on the loose? A robber? A crazy person? Should I lock the door? My friend didn't know, and officially, no one did. There was no announcement on the radio and I couldn't find an alert or press release on the Borough or Police websites, the newspaper is closed Thursday, and the radio reporter was having no luck with official channels, either. It was just some crazy rumor. Maybe there wasn't a shooting. Maybe it was a moose hunter, or someone trying to scare a bear out of the yard, or even those new exploding targets at the rifle range. (Although 4 a.m. seems kind of early for target practice...) So I checked my local list on Facebook, if anything had happened it would be there, and right away I saw that a friend was asking for prayers for her 22 year-old brother, whom she said had been shot in the leg with a .45 by his friend at a party and was waiting to be medevaced to the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage for surgery. Of course I prayed, lots of friends did. We followed the updates all day. Good grief. How awful. Turns out it was not life-threatening, and the young man is apparently recovering from surgery this morning. In the meantime, the last comment I read on a long string of them on his sister's wall, sums up the sentiment of her (mostly) female friends and family members -- "" Now, that at least the crisis is passed, what is noteworthy is that you didn't hear much on the local radio, which relies on traditional sources who weren't talking to the media, and nothing on statewide news, for the same reasons, but all the details are right in your pocket, on the Facebook ap on your phone. You might say that is not good for the shooter or the victim. On the other hand, it made me feel better that I was in no danger of being struck by a stray bullet while walking the dog, and those calls for prayer were read instantly, shared, and answered, by many, many people far and near. Maybe they even worked? It is no secret that in lots of ways, social media and instant messaging have turned the whole world into a small town, but what is also true, is that even in small towns, the breaking news is now on Facebook.