I was at the scene of Tuesday night’s stabbing at the Raintree Apartments before officers even put up the caution tape. Let me tell you — the intensity of what you sometimes see in these situations can be shocking. Some things you will never be prepared for.

As I pulled into the driveway of the apartment complex at 4900 16th Ave. SW, the ambulance rushed past me with Spencer Blakey inside. I got out of my car to look at where Blakey had stood waiting for an ambulance, bleeding from a stab wound to his left side. In front of the apartment where he asked for help, a large pool of blood was being soaked up by a towel. The concrete was stained red. Blood smeared the front of the door.

The woman who lives in that apartment with her husband and their baby was clearly upset. She said she took her kid over to its babysitter’s house to “get it out of the negative environment,” and her husband was taken down to the police station for questioning. With tears in her eyes, she stood on the curb across the street watching officers walk in and around her house, collecting evidence.

Clearly, covering such events requires empathy and compassion when you are dealing with people who unwittingly end up in the middle of such a tragedy, and even more so when dealing with the victims and their families. Just imagining what these people have gone through and seeing its aftermath takes its toll on everyone related — police officers, emergency responders, neighbors and (believe it or not) the members of the media who cover the situation. I will NEVER forget some things I’ve seen. Never.

In the paper, we usually don’t show you graphic representations of what the scene looked like. But this is a space where I can share that with you, in hopes you can come to understand that this produces real devastation, so you can see it on a human level. This is no movie.

(Photos by Jonathon D. Woods)