Trav and I were practicing a bit on the tennis court this morning when an EMT sped down Old County Road, lights flashing, siren wailing. A few moments later a West Tisbury police cruiser followed, then another emergency vehicle. An accident up the road? This was unusual enough that Travvy stopped to listen to the sirens, but not so unusual that I thought much about it.
This weekend I’m looking after a dog who lives on the Tisbury–West Tisbury line, so after Trav and I got home from our walk, I left him on the deck with a peanut-butter-slathered marrow bone and headed down Old County to feed my charge. A police car and several other vehicles were clustered at the end of Skiff’s Lane. Unusual, yes, but again, not so unusual that I wondered what was going on, beyond hoping that no one I knew had had a heart attack.
It wasn’t till I returned home at the end of a busy day that a friend’s message on my machine gave me the news: someone had been shot and killed in my town. This was unusual. Big-time unusual.
From reports in the online editions of the Vineyard Gazette, the Boston Globe, and the Martha’s Vineyard Times, I understand the following: Kenneth Bloomquist, 64, broke into the house on Skiff’s Lane where his estranged wife, Cynthia, 63, was living, and shot her with the shotgun he had brought with him. She then shot him with a small-caliber pistol. He died. She survived, and is reported to be in fair condition after surgery at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.
According to some reports, Mr. Bloomquist cut the phone lines before he broke into the house, but Ms. Bloomquist did call 911 — perhaps on a cell?
All reports seem to agree that earlier this month Ms. Bloomquist sought, and was denied, a restraining order on her estranged husband. I know hindsight is 20-20, but I’ve heard this story so often over the years that I want to throw up. Perhaps a reporter will get hold of the judge, one Robert Kane, and ask him why he denied the request.
The Martha’s Vineyard Times seems to think that the big story was that no West Tisbury School students were involved in the incident. The only connection between the incident and the school is that Skiff’s Lane is within a mile of the school. The tennis court from which Travvy and I heard the sirens and watched the cars speed by is right next to the school. We weren’t involved either.
The Boston Globe managed to interview Mr. Bloomquist’s 94-year-old mother, who was shocked to learn of the shooting. She said her son didn’t want the separation from his wife and thought they had “the best marriage ever.” Somehow I don’t think that’s the whole story.
I want to know why Judge Kane denied the restraining order, and I hope Cynthia Bloomquist recovers fully from her injuries.