It affects the community

Donna Burger and Shannon Burger were married and had a daughter together, then they got a divorce on Feb 14.

On Monday, Donna was in her car driving somewhere. In front of witnesses Shannon Burger ran Donna’s vehicle off the road. He then turned around and drove back to where Donna’s wrecked car was, pulled out a gun and shot into the car three times. Donna was killed.

A short time later, the home in which they used to reside burst into flames.

I keep talking about how domestic violence is not just a crime in the home, and how it affects the entire community. How it is not just the problem of the residents in  the home. So today, I am going to talk about the affect on the community.

Police went to the scene of the accident and shooting to investigate. Likely an ambulance was called to the accident/shooting scene. Pollice went to the scene of the fire, and had to search the burning home, before the fire department was permitted in to fight the fire. Police also went to the elementary school and stood guard, the school was placed on lockdown, and parents were called to pick their children up. Police were also called upon to go to the hospital, where Donna had worked, as an “aquaintance” of hers also worked there. The hospital “beefed up” their security.

So for a period of time, it is likely that at least the school, the hospital, and the witnesses to the accident were existing in a lot of fear. Since there were so many scenes, likely it was a huge drain on the police dept. manpower, which may have left the community vulnerable in other areas. Police and fire department personnel were exposed to the dangers of the fire. At least one ambulance was probably unavailable to the community, as they were likely tied up at the accident/shooting scene. Possibly two ambulances, as often an ambulance will be called upon to go with the fire department when they are called upon to fight a house fire.

The community has lost a nurse. A child lost her mother. And for all practical purposes, she lost a father. For the rest of her life, she will remember that her mother died at her father’s hand. Most of the community will heal faster than she will. She is now with family, so there are others grieving over the loss of Donna. And likely Shannon’s family is grieving too in a different way.

There are children at the school, who will learn what happened to their schoolmate’s mother. They will be dealing with the fact that someone died. Their schoolmate’s mother. And that their schoolmate’s father is the one who killed her.

The next time you see a news article about a domestic violence problem, don’t just dismiss it as some other couple’s problem. Because it reaches into the community.

On Tues. Shannon Burger turned himself in to authorities in a neighboring county. Now, besides the law enforcement investigators involvement, the prosecutor’s office, court personnel, jail personnel, and attorney’s and judges will be tied up. That is the effect of one couple’s “problem”.


1 Comment

  1. Basil's Blog said,

    March 2, 2006 at 3:24 pm

    Picnic 2006-03-02

    Today’s picnic basket of items from my blogroll.

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