retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

The Washington Post has a story about an outbreak of random violence that took place in a ShopRite grocery store in New Windsor, N.Y., about 60 miles north of New York City.

The facts of the case seem both clear and disquietingly vague. The victim was in the produce aisle, when the assailant came up behind him and slit his throat using a folding box cutter knife. The victim died later in a local hospital. The assailant, who vanished into the background of the crowded store, later was identified via surveillance footage, was arrested and charged with second degree murder.

However, the investigation also suggests that there was no connection between the two men, no altercation that led to the attack. While the attacker was known around town and believed to be unstable, there was nothing to indicate that he would commit such a crime.

I'm not sure what the lesson is here, nor the usual Eye-Opening conclusion. But I do think that we're living in a world ever more fraught with violence, and that these kinds of violent outbreaks - both big and small - certainly will lead to a higher level of awareness, and perhaps even a sense of paranoia. We'll feel it as people, and we'll feel it as institutions. And I fear that we will as a result lose a bit of our humanity.
KC's View: