The thing might be funny, except that somebody died. That part isn’t funny at all. But the rest of it, the moments before Justin Valdez was killed, read like some twisted skit on “Saturday Night Live.”
You have to get the picture as captured on surveillance video and described by authorities in a story published last week by the San Francisco Chronicle. You have to see the suspect, 30-year-old Nikhom Thephakaysone, sitting on the light-rail train, pulling out his .45-caliber pistol, pointing it across the aisle, putting it back, pulling it out several times again, and at one point wiping his nose with the hand holding the gun — and nobody notices because they’re too busy staring down at their smartphones and tablet computers. We’re talking about a train crowded with commuters and this guy is waving a gun around but nobody sees him, so engrossed are they in texting, tweeting and playing Angry Birds.
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Pitts writes for the Miami Herald; email@example.com.