Keeping our community safe is group effort

CNJ Editorial

This is one of Clovis’ darkest days. A little boy died at 2:30 Thursday morning, shot in his sleep by cowards who, many suspect, were aiming to kill his sleeping brother.

Police say someone fired nine shots through the window of a bedroom where Carlos Perez and his brother, 17-year-old Ruben Perez, were sleeping. One bullet hit Carlos in the head. He died Thursday evening at a Lubbock hospital.

Ruben was not injured.

While police won’t speculate on the intended target of the killer, it’s difficult to imagine a 10-year-old child could inspire such violence in anyone.

Police have said Ruben Perez was involved in an altercation at school Wednesday with a 15-year-old boy who is one of six charged in connection with Carlos’ death.

Even if turns out the previous day’s disagreement is not connected to Carlos’ shooting, someone committed acts that are unconscionable by all standards of civilization.

Our community’s mourning for the victim’s family is matched only by the anger we feel today for those who perpetrated this hellish and senseless killing.

Moreover, as we cry for Carlos’ family and his young friends and teachers, we pray this will also be an opportunity to try and understand the world of those responsible for this death.

Most of us have the courage to settle disputes face to face, with reason and common sense, and hopeful that long-term solutions can be found. It is difficult to grasp the concept of violent, deadly intimidation as an alternative.

Obviously, as too many news headlines from around the country tell us, there is a segment of our society mired in that lifestyle.

Carlos’ killer is most likely from our community.

How does such monstrous behavior develop in anyone, anywhere?

More pointedly, how can people build a city, a region, a nation where all solutions to problems are found in reasoned conversation and compromise instead of bullets?

Clovis High School Principal Jody Balch summed up our thoughts, and the thoughts of many others, in a story published in Saturday’s paper:

“Police can’t do it alone,” he said.

“Parents can’t do it alone. The school can’t do it alone.

“It will take all of us.”