Let’s face it, parents have a tendency to want to believe the best in their children.
This idea hit me especially hard when the mother of a young woman involved in an unspeakable crime spoke out in her daughter’s defense as the media increasingly implied that her daughter was … well, maybe not that great a person.
In a nutshell, five police officers from a drug task force were serving a search warrant on a suspected drug dealer at his home when the guy, Cullen Mutrie, opened fire on them, injuring several and killing Greenland, NH’s Chief of Police, Michael Maloney. Mutrie went on to kill a girl who was in the house with him at the time and then himself.
It was, to say the least, a clusterfuck … and one that really rocked the state of New Hampshire.
I was personally distraught on a number of levels, the first being that senseless death is always upsetting. It also seems especially horrible when someone is killed because of the nature of his job—I guess that I, as a public school teacher, always think back to school shootings. Finally, this took place less than ten minutes from my house. I literally watched police cars, ambulances, and even the ubiquitous black FBI van go charging past.
It was scary as hell.
But after the shock and the fear and the deep sadness that Chief Maloney, who was days away from his retirement, had been killed settled in a little bit, I started to wonder about Brittany Tibbets, the 26-year-old girl that Mutrie shot before turning the gun on himself. Who was she? Why was she there? What had her final minutes been like?
And then, almost on cue, her mother spoke out to the media, stating that her daughter and Mutrie had an on-again-off-again relationship.
“Did we have, maybe, concerns? Yes, but she’s 26 years old. We hoped we raised someone who made good decisions, and she’s the type of person that sees the good in people. Right now, it wasn’t good,” Donna Tibbetts said.
Despite the family’s concerns about Mutrie, Donna Tibbets claimed they “never saw this coming”.
The Tibbetts believe their daughter was only at the scene to help.
“I just don’t want this to be what people remember her for,” Donna Tibbetts said.
I have to say, I felt so damn bad for Donna Tibbets when I saw that on the news. I mean, no one wants to hear awful things about her kid in the media, especially when the family is deep …