It Wasn’t Worth the Stitches
On Friday September 23rd, many ran for their lives after the sound of the alleged shots.
October 13, 2022
*DISCLAIMER the end of this article will contain photos of my stitched hands. Look away if you’d like *
A flash of people run away from the attractions. My body froze as the crowd came closer and closer. Every time I close my eyes I can still see the mother grabbing ahold of her child, holding onto him so tightly, and it breaks my heart. Then I hear the bangs and run in the same direction as the crowd, trying to get away as fast as possible.
The night of September 23rd, chaos erupted. Reports of shots being made at the Fort Bend County Fair were never confirmed by the police. Disputes of what really happened tonight is still being discussed today on various social media platforms.
“At least one post said there wasn’t a shooting and a fight broke out between a group of kids which led to a panicked crowd,” said Chloe Alexander, KHOU 11 news reporter.
What truly happened that night is something I probably will never know for sure. I can only discuss what happened to me. I don’t remember any shots being made before I saw the crowd rushing towards me from the attractions. After a few seconds of them running I heard the loud bangs and me and my boyfriend booked it to get away as quick as possible.
“My son was there and he knows what gun shots sound like and he says those were gunshots,””
— Jennifer Gonzales
We ran towards a barbed wire fence, thinking we could get shot at any moment, we decided to jump the fence. It was hard to jump the fence in a timely fashion, everyone had the same idea to hop over it and the area was crowded. People were scared and I was seeing kids younger than me also trying to stay alive.
Once we were both on the other side, we decided to hide in a ditch for a bit, it was below ground and seemed like a safer option. However, it was still too close to the fair for either of our liking, and we came to the conclusion to go to his car and leave the premise entirely.
I noticed red coming down from my hand, a lot of it. I was bleeding and the blood was trickling down towards my arm. That was the least of my worries however, the point was to run away as quickly as possible.
The parking lot was all the way around from where we were, however since we were still technically outside we took the chance to make it to the car. It was a dark grassy path we were walking along, we were so cautious of everyone and everything around us. Despite being cautious, I was a complete mess, I really could not function if my boyfriend was not there to be an anchor to me staying calm.
I was also so worried and angry at myself from being separated from my best friend. Even though we had separated long before the incident, I still felt like it would be my fault if anything happened to her. I tried reaching her but I couldn’t get any response for the longest time. My boyfriend urged me to call my dad as he called his mom. I remember my dad not answering and that only heightened my fears. I tired my mom and was able to get an answer from her. I remembered my mom urging me to stay calm. She stayed on call with me the whole night, giving updates from my dad who was talking to his state trooper co-workers on what was happening at the fair.
As we were walking along, there was a girl walking in the opposite direction of us. I remember as we were approaching her to take in the type of clothes she was wearing to make sure she couldn’t hide a gun underneath anything she was wearing. She approached us asking if we had service, unfortunately she had been separated from her friends and we decided to help her out by taking her to where she needed to be.
Once we finally made it to the car, Faith, the girl we helped out told us to take her to the near whaleburger because that’s where her parents were. Making that journey with all the traffic proved to be difficult, but luckily we were in a jeep that was able to drive through ditches. Once we dropped her off my boyfriend drove me home. The car ride back home was almost eerie within itself. I had finally gotten a text from my best friend. She was safe. Some weight was lifted off my shoulders.
I calmed down more when I was finally home. As soon as my boyfriend left, I burst into tears, seeing the worry on my little sisters face, everything had hit me all at once.
My finger was almost completely slit open and my mom cleaned my wounds the best she could before we headed to the emergency room. The emergency room had already had people with injuries from the fair. At this moment in time I had felt more numb to the situation. Nothing felt real and it felt like at any moment I would go back in time to where the fair felt like a dream instead of a nightmare.
After about an hour and a half I was finally called in. They noticed immediately I needed stitches. The pain wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, granted I couldn’t remember much from the emergency room.
I spent the following weekend mainly at home and healing. School was immediately thrown out the window, the pain would be too much to handle and I would rather not have someone bump into my finger causing even more pain. That Monday, however, I had my National Honor Society induction ceremony. Where I should have been excited, I noticed I was feeling anxious. I didn’t want to deal with the crowd. I hated how I felt and I felt so stupid for chickening out. I know now any one else would have had that same reaction and it was okay.
I was able to push through on Thursday, September 29th and finally return to school. I felt a lot better about crowds with the help of my loved ones of course. However a new anger emerged with how often people asked about what happened to my hand. I didn’t want to talk nor think about the incident anymore, yet a reminder of what happened was on my hand and would always be there with the scars left behind.
On Wednesday October 5th, my two weeks of healing were up and my stitches were ready to come out. Getting stitches taken out hurt more than what I remembered them being put in felt like. With my hand still in recovery, I feel less emotional talking about the incident. It still irks me, however I don’t feel as scared anymore. Although there were no deaths from this, gun violence still exists. Please hold your loved ones close.