Saturday, October 19, 2013

The FIrst Reaction

As a reporter, I have read more than a fair number of police reports, the daily drama of man at his lowest level. And there's one thing I see over and over that always surprises me.

In describing a shooting, the officer will note that the victim heard shots and started running, then realized he had been shot.

He realized he'd been shot? After running? This often is mentioned, even after the victim was shot in the legs. Sitting here safe at my computer, I always think that would be one of the first things you'd notice. "Hey! I've been shot!"

But no. Apparently not. There's fear, the surge of adrenaline, the fight or flight reflex, and your body takes over to get you out of danger. Only at some later point, maybe seconds, maybe minutes, do you stop and realize. "That really hurts. Well look, I seem to be bleeding from a bullet hole! Son of a gun! I've been shot!"

Although those probably aren't the exact words you'd use.

Just something to keep in mind when writing a scene in which a shooting takes place. The first reaction isn't always "Ouch!"

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