Vail Daily editor’s view: Vail’s ticking time bomb |

Vail Daily editor’s view: Vail’s ticking time bomb

Don Rogers
Vail, CO, Colorado

Incredibly, I feel for Rossi, the troubled local since the ’70s who snapped Saturday.

Of course, I feel much, much more for the fellow he killed and the three he injured during the shooting spree, first in memory in Vail.

And you know, grumpy as folks get with the police at times, you thank God for them when our idyllic life up here turns horrific in a finger snap.

Suddenly Fort Hood seems a lot closer, even if that’s an unfair comparison.

Richard Moreau, now 63, may have seemed to wear two bad years in Vietnam decades ago all too closely. But post traumatic stress disorder is a strange thing, to say the least.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

Did it even play a role in Saturday night’s shootings? Or was this a more straightforward thing, an angry drunk who just happened to have a handgun?

And how does a person suffering that much, collecting a living for his disorder and having firearms violations in his past come to have such a weapon Saturday night?

The shooting happened at the Sandbar early in the evening. It could have been any bar or restaurant that serves alcohol in Vail. Rossi just happened to be there.

Are there lessons here? Other than bartending is a more dangerous job than you think? Or that lovely, peaceful Vail is part of the larger world, after all?

These are more perilous times than we might realize. The economic stress adds enough to life’s burdens that the rate of suicide attempts has climbed, for instance.

Avon police dealt with one Saturday night even as the shooting in Vail captured most of law enforcement’s attention.

Rossi isn’t the first longtime Vail resident to snap this year, just the only successfully homicidal one.

Vail is hardly about to become Colfax Avenue, of course. The only other such killing I know about in Vail’s history happened in 1994, when town personnel director Robert Mach shot his wife during an argument.

Certainly this is the talk of the town now. But the chill will lift soon enough, when ski season starts in a couple of weeks.

Not trying to be a smart aleck. That’s just the way it is in Vail. A good snow covers over all bad things.

In part that’s why we live here. That’s why Rossi lived here for so long, a time bomb ticking all these decades.

Don Rogers is the editor and publisher of the Vail Daily. He can be reached at or 970-748-2920. He welcomes your comments at

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