It all started at the brand new, just opened the weekend before The Good Guys store.
The police immediately got on the scene but at this point the young men were already talking to the police and had a list of demands. With the door locked and only one other way into the store they were pretty much hunkered down and secure inside the store. The gunmen immediately demanded bulletproof vests, 4 million dollars and 1,000 year old Ginseng roots. They also wanted a 50 person helicopter to take them to Thailand. The negotiators couldn't get a clear idea of what they wanted because their demands constantly kept changing. They were able to give them vests in exchange for some of the hostages. Since the gunmen had moved everyone to the front of the store, it placed the hostages in front of two large, glass doors. Media ascended on the scene almost before the police. They caught the entire scene on live television.
Eight hours into the incident, the gunmen shot a 22 year old hostage in the leg and released him in exchange for telling the media exactly what they wanted. The gunmen had instructed him to tell the world they were on a suicide mission and bring light to the troubles of their homeland. Police knew they had to do something so they entered the building from the rear and simultaneously shot one of the gunmen through the glass in the front of the building. One gunman was able to get away from the gunfire and began shooting the hostages. This all happened on live television.
This event was the longest and largest American hostage situation on American soil. Three hostages were killed and three gunmen were killed. One gunman was caught and is in a California prison. Another 14 hostages sustained injuries ranging from gunshot wounds to major cuts from the shattered glass. One hostage was 5 months pregnant and suffered a miscarriage while being held.
My fiancé was only 9 at the time but he remembers this incident vividly. He had even begged his mom to take him to the store that week. His dad had been in the store the day before the incident. His mom knew and worked with one of the hostages that was shot and killed. No one had saw this coming. Everyone wonders why they didn't choose the bank that was right beside the store. They still don't know the real reasons behind the incident but the victims have said that they had to forgive to be able to move on.
Could you forgive after something like this? I don't know if I could...