It’s a sad time for our city.

I logged on to Facebook this morning and saw the report of three fentanyl-related deaths that had happened over the weekend, according to the Wichita Falls Police Department. Any death related to the fentanyl epidemic is terrible, tragic news, but among those who died over the weekend was a 13-year-old child.

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A 13-year-old child.

As a father of two children, ages 12 and 14, I couldn’t help but immediately put myself in the parents’ place. But as much as I tried, I couldn’t imagine the grief that child’s loved ones are feeling right now.

In addition to the 13-year-old, fentanyl is believed to have claimed the lives of a 19-year-old female and a 21-year-old male over this past weekend. My heart goes out to the victims and all of those affected by their passing.

The story of the three victims stuck with me all day, as I imagine it did with almost everyone who heard the news.

And of course, the news spread throughout Rider High School, where my son is a freshman. I picked him up from school this afternoon and he immediately asked me if I had heard the news of the fentanyl overdoses.

I told him that I had heard it and that he should never, ever trust a pill that doesn’t come from a doctor, nurse, or his parents or grandparents. Period. I later had the same conversation with my 12-year-old daughter (who hadn’t heard the news).

What is the City of Wichita Falls Doing to Combat the Fentanyl Epidemic?

According to Texoma’s Homepage, Wichita County D.A. John Gillespie says those distributing fentanyl will be charged with felony murder, which does not require the intent to kill:

I think juries in our communities will recognize this type of poison is an act dangerous to human life. If you deal this, then you are engaging in acts that are clearly dangerous to human life, and then it causes the death of another…we are sick and tired of seeing these in the community and we want to send a message to the people who deal it…we are going to target you.

Let that be a warning for anyone who attempts to distribute that poison in our community.

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