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Our View: Gun violence hits home

By now, it cannot come as a shock that even our own backyard is not immune from gun violence.

In the blink of an eye in America, where our infatuation with guns exceeds our sense of order, a grudge, grievance or some other precipitator can yield tragic outcomes and a citywide lockdown. Such was the case on Jan. 8, when a shooter killed two people and then himself at the Super 8 hotel in Cloquet.

Authorities continue to investigate in search of a motive, and any possible connections between the shooter and victims.

Praise for those who responded to the shooting has been expressed, including Gloria Witte’s letter on this page, thanking the community for supporting her and the other workers at the Super 8, where Shellby Trettel was killed during her night shift.

A community shocked by what is, unfortunately, no longer the unimaginable, came together with their pocketbooks and their feet. More than $25,000 was raised in one week for the Cloquet family of Shellby Trettel. Nearly $20,000 was raised for the other victim, Patrick Roers.

The scene at the candlelight vigil Jan. 10 was heartbreaking and heartwarming all at once. It was an appropriate gathering in the same location that two days earlier was filled with emergency responders — and, thankfully, devoid of onlookers, who properly stayed clear of the scene.

As for answers, we’ll need to be collectively patient for now. It could be weeks or even months before data from cell phones and the crime scene are recovered and analyzed.

Meanwhile, keep doing what you’ve been doing in supporting the victims’ families and keeping our community at heart.

From a safety point, it’s a wake-up call that the country’s problem with shooters is universal. Of course, some will defer to mental health as the problem. But mental health deteriorates over time, gives us signs and chances to intervene. If you know someone who is hurting, say something.

On the other hand, bullets pass with such velocity we cannot see the effect until the damage is done. Hopefully, someday soon we’ll create a better way to live with guns, since living without doesn’t seem possible.

We especially want to reiterate what the victim’s father, Tim Trettel, said in talking with the newspaper this week. Squeeze your loved ones, talk with them, be present.

“She knew very much that I loved her,” Tim said. “And I know she loved me.”


• Arrowhead Regional Crisis Line for mental health crisis at 844-772-4724.

• 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline: Access 24/7, via call, text or chat by dialing or texting 988.

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