Cherishing life, moving forward

Written by Muleskinner Staff

Story by ANDY LYONS, News Editor
Most of the time when we receive a text alert from UCM, it’s because there’s a brutal storm blowing in.
Saturday night’s alert at about 10:15 p.m. that police were investigating a shooting, was a complete surprise.
During the 2011-2012 school year, I know there were at least three shootings.
There were two the night of Oct. 30, when UCM cornerback Paul Hughes was shot at the Do Drop Inn, and another when a student was shot at a parking lot on West South Street. The second was less than a half-mile from my home.
The third shooting was in April of this year at Maguire and Colton, near AutoZone.
It was later revealed that the student who had stated he was shot during a drive-by was actually shot in the arm by a friend at a party.
Saturday we all speculated what was happening; I called my roommates to make sure they were OK and went about enjoying my night.
I was at a going away party for some friends when another friend arrived and said he heard it was the owner of Molly’s that was killed.
Immediately a few of us started texting and checking social media websites for some sort of confirmation.  It wasn’t until nearly 5 a.m. that I first saw a post about Blaine.
From there, it seemed like nothing was happening.
The Warrensburg Police Department released a statement that said Missouri Rural Major Cases would convene Tuesday morning to investigate the case, so I assumed it had gone cold.
On Tuesday evening, I talked with WPD Chief Bruce Howey and learned that there were a lot of leads they were following, and they’d be working well into the night.
Little did I know, about 40 minutes after I talked to him, officers would arrest the first suspect. Later in the night, a second arrest was made. Murder charges are being sought on both suspects.
I know there is a lot of pain and a lot of anguish. My only experience with Blaine was at Fitter’s a couple of nights.
He seemed like a nice guy and was joking with the bartender as he ordered himself a drink.  He sat on the stool next to me as I enjoyed a beverage and made small talk.
He definitely made a good impression; it wasn’t until he left that the bartender let me know who he was.
As we move on, it’s up to us to make Warrensburg a better place.
I never understood the unnecessary violence that happens around here.  I’ve seen my share of bar fights and have heard gunshots across the block.
I want something better for my college experience. I would much rather enjoy myself and meet new people and learn about new things than worry about bringing my .45 caliber Smith & Wesson 1911 with me anywhere.
I’m not a proponent of gun control. I just know when to head to the range and enjoy myself as opposed to bringing a piece of equipment like that with me to parties.
At this point, we don’t know the motivation in Blaine’s murder.  To some, the reason won’t even matter.  What will matter is the loss of their friend.
No one deserves to have another life ripped away from them in such a cruel manner.
What we can do, however, is honor Blaine by observing his words from a recent Facebook post.
“So live with no regrets and remember no matter what, always be happy with who and where you are.”