Tuesday, January 02, 2007

1998 Galleria Suicide

I didn't live here then...

LOS ANGELES–It must have looked like a scene from a movie: On top of a parking garage at the Sherman Oaks Galleria stood an aging former actress, preparing to jump.

Pedestrians below obeyed when the grief-stricken woman ordered them to move off the sidewalk. Conrad Buchanan, a mall security guard at the end of his shift, did not.

In a moment that changed his life forever, he stayed put, looking up, trying to convince the woman not to kill herself, trying to get her to come down peacefully.

Instead, she jumped.

The woman plunged six storeys and fell on top of Buchanan, breaking his neck. She later died. The incident left Buchanan a quadriplegic and, in the minds of those who heard his story, a hero. The former security guard never saw it that way.

Finish the story over at the Toronto Star.

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