Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

“We’re Moving On . . . ” at Pensacola Beach

Night before last, night a man was shot at the beach at 3:45 in the morning. According to the (very sketchy) details in the Pensacola News Journal, he had been having a fight with his girlfriend, had finished his fight and was then shot three times by a man he doesn’t know and who has no relationship to him. (This is what I understand from reading the paper; it doesn’t make sense to me, but it also says alcohol was involved.)

I only knew about the shooting because I saw a tiny little article about it on the AOL Local news section. When I went to look at it, it was gone.

In this morning’s paper, there is this sketchy description, and then – in several different sections – local are people quoted as saying “we’re moving on.”

OK I get it. We’re a beach community, and this is peak tourist season as folks pour in here from all the Southern states and other countries to enjoy our fabulous sugar-white sand beaches.

Before the tourists had hit the beach, the crime scene tape was down and a beach excavator had carted off the bloody sand.

I do get it. I really do. The season is short and we don’t want to be known as a beautiful beach where people can get shot. It’s a marketing problem.

There is something, however, that sticks in my craw about the swiftness of the moving on, and the barely there press coverage. A man was killed. Maybe he had been drinking. Maybe he had a fight with his girlfriend. Maybe he was at the beach very late (or very early) in the morning. None of these things seem to have anything to do with him having been shot, other than maybe being in the wrong place at the wrong time and the wrong person had a gun and shot him. It seems a little disrespectful, to me, to move on quite so swiftly. A man lost his life. We don’t know why. Maybe we could just take a little time to figure out what happened and to acknowledge his loss?


June 19, 2013 - Posted by | Circle of Life and Death, Community, Crime, Financial Issues, Leadership, Lies, Living Conditions, Marketing, Pensacola


  1. I appreciate your writing, and would like to thank you. It does appear that all Pensacola wanted to do was sweep this under the table and move on and that is exactly what happened, A man lost his life, a family lost a member, children lost their father and no one cared. The beach even went on to have their concert that night. Obviously his life was less important than the money to be made at the beach. It is a shame that no one really cared…..

    Comment by Mike S Family | July 19, 2013 | Reply

  2. Mike, I keep looking for more information on this crime. I’ve talked with friends in law enforcement and the courts and while they don’t know this case, they say the from what I tell them, it sounds like possible gang activity – if the victims truly didn’t know one another, if the shooter and friends arrived in three cars and took off. The shooter has been identified and arrested, but I have seen nothing in the papers, no explanation of the WHY this crime took place. The news articles made no mention of this man having children; they only talked about a girlfriend. It is still a big mystery.

    While the callous treatment of the crime-scene is appalling, I have some sympathy, too, for Pensacola Beach and their merchants and the hotel and rental market . . . almost every weekend has been cloudy, sometimes stormy and rainy, and even in renters show up – it may mean they will choose somewhere else next year. I hope revenues are up at the beach.

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 20, 2013 | Reply

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