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Sunday , August 18 2019
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Home | News | Story+Gallery: Time to stop. Time to share hope

Story+Gallery: Time to stop. Time to share hope

Saturday was a defining point in my life. As a man walked through an El Paso Walmart, taking the lives of twenty people and injuring over two dozen more, I’ve realized I simply cannot chase after these kinds of stories any longer.

I’ll explain.

When I arrived at Cielo Vista Mall, and began speaking with other reporters and photographers I noticed their actions and how they thrusted for that one perfect witness to explain it all to the masses who want blood and violence.

Everyone, if they were in the Walmart or not were approached. “What did you see,” asked some reporters. “Did you see the gunman,” asked others. It went on from there.

Watching the other reporters work, I noticed that not even one of them stopped and asked if the people were okay or if they needed to talk with anyone other than a reporter. It broke my heart.

So far, twenty people have lost their lives. Families have been broken. Parents and children will never come home, and all we cared about was getting a damn quote.

As I was walking to the media section, I stopped and spoke with every officer I encountered, ever first responder, every civilian standing on a sidewalk to see if they were okay, if they needed anything. Am I the only one that does this? I understand that we have a job, a function to deliver facts to the world at large, but we are also human.

We need to stop, step back, and not think about the damn story for a moment and think about people, lives, the lasting impact this will have on El Paso. The lasting impact this will have on the people that were in the Walmart, the witnesses, the families. What about them? Is a soundbite for the next news break more important than how that person is feeling?

I’ve been doing this for a very long time. I have seen the aftermath of shootings, of lives and families torn apart. I have seen police officers take a suspect down, shoot them, and seen how that has affected that officer and his family. I’ve seen it all- I’ve covered over 6k acts of violence, and I am done.

Over the next week, I will be following up on a few points from today’s events, and then I am stepping back from this kind of news. I can’t take it any longer; I can’t stomach it anymore.

From here I’ll only be focusing on the positive, on what makes a lasting change, on hope.

I want to share our hope.

About Steve Zimmerman

Steve is a writer, photographer, poet and a freelance contributor to the Herald Post. He will be launching a weekly podcast based on his forthcoming book, “Leap of Fatih” which will be released in 2019 from HarperCollins. Through his company, Still Going Somewhere, he is producing a series of micro-documentaries with individuals who have survived the Holocaust.

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5 comments

  1. As I was working with Steven, for an outlet out of Israel, to cover this, I was struck by his care and concern for everyone involved in this tragic event. His stopping to ask the well-being of everyone, to the shared prayers he offered. It was moving to see such an act of care and concern for others.

    Steven talked me out of waiting and speaking to family members of those who lost their lives at the hands of this coward. I saw and understood his point. He is a good man. I’m glad I’ve worked with him these many years.

  2. Steve restores my faith in humanity. I’m certain his job has weighed heavily on him more times than he cares to acknowledge. God bless him in his future endeavors.

  3. Trump Will Save Us

    Go crawl into your safe space snowflake

  4. STOMP OUT GOP WHITE SUPREMACY!

    Trump is coming back to El Paso! GOD SAVE US! from the Satan Trump!

  5. Amin Abdul Razzaq

    AsSalamu Alaikum,

    This reporter makes a valid point, media wants only what will bring views and reads thus boosting an ever growing margin of profit for them. I am glad Mr. Zimmerman is going to step back from such news reporting.

    I must also commend the overall coverage provided from the El Paso Herald-Post about this tragic event. You did not decend to the murky depths of unethical coverage.

Utep Football Generic 728
Khalid 728
Mountains 728
Bordertown Undergroun Show 728
Soccer/Volleyball 728
STEP 728
Lucha 728
EP ELEC 2019 728×729
Amy’s Astronomy