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Shots Fired in Terminal 2: A Witness to the Fort Lauderdale Shooting Reflects on America's Mass Shooting Epidemic

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On January 6, 2017, a lone gunman took five lives and wounded eight people at Fort Lauderdale Airport. This book is about the Lauderdale shooting told from the perspective of bestselling author William Hazelgrove, who just happened to be there with his wife and children. Though focused on one terrifying incident that the author witnessed, this story is also a prototype of A On January 6, 2017, a lone gunman took five lives and wounded eight people at Fort Lauderdale Airport. This book is about the Lauderdale shooting told from the perspective of bestselling author William Hazelgrove, who just happened to be there with his wife and children. Though focused on one terrifying incident that the author witnessed, this story is also a prototype of American shootings showing the interplay of victims, police, media, the shooter, and what constitutes this peculiar American form of violence. The author documents the perverse chain of events that set the stage for this tragedy: the failure of police and the FBI to stop this troubled Iraq War veteran, who had earlier approached them and said point-blank that he was hearing voices telling him to kill others; the incredible fact that his weapon was taken and then given back to him, the very gun that would kill five people and shut down a major airport for forty-eight hours; and the circumstances of American society that allowed this gun to be checked through airport security as a legal firearm and then delivered to the killer, who casually strolled into a bathroom, loaded the pistol, and returned to the baggage claim area to start his murderous rampage. Interweaving his dramatic telling of his own experiences with a history of comparable shootings in America, the book presents both an anatomy of these horrifying events and the basis for understanding why they happen and what can be done to stop them.


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On January 6, 2017, a lone gunman took five lives and wounded eight people at Fort Lauderdale Airport. This book is about the Lauderdale shooting told from the perspective of bestselling author William Hazelgrove, who just happened to be there with his wife and children. Though focused on one terrifying incident that the author witnessed, this story is also a prototype of A On January 6, 2017, a lone gunman took five lives and wounded eight people at Fort Lauderdale Airport. This book is about the Lauderdale shooting told from the perspective of bestselling author William Hazelgrove, who just happened to be there with his wife and children. Though focused on one terrifying incident that the author witnessed, this story is also a prototype of American shootings showing the interplay of victims, police, media, the shooter, and what constitutes this peculiar American form of violence. The author documents the perverse chain of events that set the stage for this tragedy: the failure of police and the FBI to stop this troubled Iraq War veteran, who had earlier approached them and said point-blank that he was hearing voices telling him to kill others; the incredible fact that his weapon was taken and then given back to him, the very gun that would kill five people and shut down a major airport for forty-eight hours; and the circumstances of American society that allowed this gun to be checked through airport security as a legal firearm and then delivered to the killer, who casually strolled into a bathroom, loaded the pistol, and returned to the baggage claim area to start his murderous rampage. Interweaving his dramatic telling of his own experiences with a history of comparable shootings in America, the book presents both an anatomy of these horrifying events and the basis for understanding why they happen and what can be done to stop them.

36 review for Shots Fired in Terminal 2: A Witness to the Fort Lauderdale Shooting Reflects on America's Mass Shooting Epidemic

  1. 5 out of 5

    Steven Adelman

    Shots Fired in Terminal 2 is a good and useful book for people who want to understand the chaos that accompanies most disasters. It underscores that the first thing that breaks down is usually communication, and then order and reason fall like dominoes because people experience a total loss of control. And most people don't panic, that's an important observation too. In addition to being well-written and interesting, the author also weaves in short chapters describing other active shooter incide Shots Fired in Terminal 2 is a good and useful book for people who want to understand the chaos that accompanies most disasters. It underscores that the first thing that breaks down is usually communication, and then order and reason fall like dominoes because people experience a total loss of control. And most people don't panic, that's an important observation too. In addition to being well-written and interesting, the author also weaves in short chapters describing other active shooter incidents, which helps to put the Ft. Lauderdale shooting into a larger context. I am going to add this book to my "Risk Management in Venues" course syllabus. There is no substitute for learning about an experience from someone who has lived it, especially when they write as thoughtfully as William Hazelgrove.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Grady

    ‘As the violent images from a tragic event are played over and over, we become desensitized’ Chicago author William Hazelgrove has developed a significant following as the author of ten novels and four works of nonfiction - Ripples, Tobacco Sticks, Mica Highways, Rocket Man, The Pitcher, Real Santa, Jack Pine, Hemingway’s Attic, My Best Year, The Bad Author, Madam President, Forging a President, and now Shots Fired in Terminal 2. While his books have received starred reviews in Publisher Weekly a ‘As the violent images from a tragic event are played over and over, we become desensitized’ Chicago author William Hazelgrove has developed a significant following as the author of ten novels and four works of nonfiction - Ripples, Tobacco Sticks, Mica Highways, Rocket Man, The Pitcher, Real Santa, Jack Pine, Hemingway’s Attic, My Best Year, The Bad Author, Madam President, Forging a President, and now Shots Fired in Terminal 2. While his books have received starred reviews in Publisher Weekly and Booklist, Book of the Month Selections, ALA Editors Choice Awards Junior Library Guild Selections and optioned for the movie, his major appeal is in his humanitarian approach to stories. William stays close too the heart in each of his stories, making each tale he spins one with which everyone can relate on an immediate or a remembered level. In this particular book he is reporting an incident in which he was a direct observer – and that is as accurate reportage as possible! His latest novel SHOTS FIRED IN TERMINAL 2 he enters contemporary terrorism stories. His synopsis of the event/book outlines it very well: ‘On January 6, 2017, a lone gunman took five lives and wounded eight people at Fort Lauderdale Airport. This book is about the Lauderdale shooting told from the perspective of author William Hazelgrove, who just happened to be there with his wife and children. Though focused on one terrifying incident that the author witnessed, this story is also a prototype of American shootings showing the interplay of victims, police, media, the shooter, and what constitutes this peculiar American form of violence. The author documents the perverse chain of events that set the stage for this tragedy: the failure of police and the FBI to stop this troubled Iraq War veteran, who had earlier approached them and said point-blank that he was hearing voices telling him to kill others; the incredible fact that his weapon was taken and then given back to him, the very gun that would kill five people and shut down a major airport for forty-eight hours; and the circumstances of American society that allowed this gun to be checked through airport security as a legal firearm and then delivered to the killer, who casually strolled into a bathroom, loaded the pistol, and returned to the baggage claim area to start his murderous rampage. Interweaving his dramatic telling of his own experiences with a history of comparable shootings in America, the book presents both an anatomy of these horrifying events and the basis for understanding why they happen and what can be done to stop them.’ Where William makes this book so intensely relevant is that though it is a microscopic description of yet another horrifying event, it is also a psychological reflection on mass killings that have become almost a daily occurrence in the past few years, as well as the less than ready are the forces to protect the citizenry and the misunderstood psyche of the perpetrators. Enough said. William Hazelgrove continues to grow as a writer of importance whose breadth of interest in topics for novels is truly astonishing. He is one of the big ones!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Charles

    I will open this review with the statement that I missed a multiple shooting/death event by one work day. I was working as a programmer in the department of physics and astronomy at the University of Iowa in the fall of 1991. I was scheduled to be at work Friday, November 1, but I had just completed a trip to the former Soviet Union and due to delays did not get back until late on October 31. Therefore, too exhausted to be productive, I called in weary and beaten the morning of November 1. Tha I will open this review with the statement that I missed a multiple shooting/death event by one work day. I was working as a programmer in the department of physics and astronomy at the University of Iowa in the fall of 1991. I was scheduled to be at work Friday, November 1, but I had just completed a trip to the former Soviet Union and due to delays did not get back until late on October 31. Therefore, too exhausted to be productive, I called in weary and beaten the morning of November 1. That afternoon, Chinese graduate student Gang Lu went on a shooting rampage, killing five people and leaving another very seriously injured before killing himself. I was back at work the following Monday and experienced the aftershocks from the people that lived through it. I knew two of the killed and worked closely with a graduate student that witnessed the first shootings. If I had been at work that day, there is a high probability that I would have encountered him in the halls as he went from one location to another. With this experience, I can pronounce Hazelgrove’s descriptions of how his family coped with being in the area of a shooting after the event was over very accurate. People that I knew tried to act as if everything is once again normal when it is in fact not. Hazelgrove comments on how lucky they were not to be in the line of fire and how easy it would have been to have gotten dead simply be being in the wrong location at the wrong time. I have had those thoughts as well. Even decades later I wonder what I would have done if I had encountered Gang Lu when he was calmly walking from one room to another and reloading. Hazelgrove and his family were in the Fort Lauderdale airport on January 6, 2017 when a lone gunman started shooting, killing five and wounding eight. Along with thousands of other people they experienced a period of terror followed by waiting around under an enormous cloud of uncertainty. Hazelgrove was interviewed by national networks immediately after and became a brief and uncertain celebrity. This is his well-written account of one of the most extraordinary days that one could ever experience. The action moves back and forth from his family’s experiences to descriptions of mass shootings in America, most of which are unfortunately recent and increasing in frequency. While Hazelgrove tones down his support for gun control, it is clear that he is in favor of it. Particularly in reference to the people that are clearly mentally ill. This is a great book, it is a rare occasion when a talented novelist is part of such an event, survives it and then writes about it. No one is talented enough to completely express what such an event is like, yet Hazelgrove comes very close.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Joy Fricke

  5. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Cheresnick

  6. 4 out of 5

    jennet wheatstonelllsl

  7. 5 out of 5

    Molly

  8. 4 out of 5

    Doris Moore

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

  10. 4 out of 5

    Francine

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jim

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Mary Edge

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carol

  14. 5 out of 5

    Diana

  15. 5 out of 5

    Prometheus Books

  16. 4 out of 5

    Hailee

  17. 5 out of 5

    Missy Stravers

  18. 4 out of 5

    Candy Montgomery

  19. 4 out of 5

    Linda

  20. 4 out of 5

    Eileen

  21. 4 out of 5

    Leah

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kallie Williams

  23. 4 out of 5

    PRISCILLA MCCLELLAN

  24. 5 out of 5

    Micielle

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jon Kaplan

  26. 5 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  27. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Trenary

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kim Ellis

  29. 4 out of 5

    Belinda Shaw

  30. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

  31. 4 out of 5

    J

  32. 5 out of 5

    Lydia Wallace

  33. 5 out of 5

    Dennis Hall

  34. 4 out of 5

    Kara Lauren

  35. 5 out of 5

    Amy Rogers

  36. 4 out of 5

    Jeanna Massman

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