GUEST VIEW: Light will always find the way

By Ector County Judge Dustin Fawcett

A series of loud pops on an otherwise peaceful Saturday morning were soon met with the sound of metal scraping and trucks accelerating frantically at the intersection of JBS Parkway and 42nd Street. I check on my two-week-old daughter in her car seat behind me making sure she is okay while her mother is inside of Starbucks. A million things are running through my head as I see vehicles drive off as the light turned green. Why are there multiple cars not moving?

Were those in fact shots from a gun? If so, was this a random drive by? Who would do such a thing?

My questions would soon be answered as the inhabitants of one of the vehicles got out in a frenzy and opened their passenger door, pulling out a child with blood covering her face.

I knew then that those were indeed gunshots. Thank God my daughter is unharmed, I hope the little girl will be okay. Who would do such a thing? I knew something bad had happened. However, I had no clue the scope of what was taking place in our great community in the minutes, days, and now years, after.

The event was not over. The chaos continued with the wailing of sirens as a parade of first responders returning east on 42nd. These heroes ultimately chased down the perpetrator and ended his reign of terror.

August 31, 2019, was a day that will forever be ingrained in my memory and that of our community. As a new father, as a citizen of Odessa, and now as an elected official who oversees some of these brave men and women who wear the badge, the most impactful thing about that day was the incredible response of our first responders and of our community.

That day was unprecedented. This first-of-its-kind attack of a mobile shooter was in no law enforcement handbook. An evil man on the loose with no rational intent except to harm as many people as possible is not something that most of us can fathom.

Our first responders had to fathom. They had to act. They did act.

Without the cooperation and quick action by the Odessa Police Department, Ector County Sheriff’s Office, Texas State Troopers, University of Texas Police, Odessa Fire Rescue, and many others, this reign of terror could have been much worse.

I am proud to be an Odessan. I am not only proud of the response of our first responders, but I am proud of every Odessan for coming together in the days, weeks, and even years since the event. Hashtags like #OdessaStrong and #OdessaTogether are still on bumper stickers of vehicles in our communities.

We will never forget the evil that took place that day. But, we also should never forget what goodness took place that day. We should always remember that goodness and the light will always overcome evil and the darkness. — Romans 12:21.