Heathen musician and filmmaker robbed at gun point

Cara Schulz —  July 12, 2017 — Leave a comment

EAST OAKLAND, CA – Musician and filmmaker Paul Nordin was robbed at gunpoint Monday as he was shooting a short film project. The suspects were three males, who arrived in a rental car, and stole approximately $100,000 worth of equipment. As of press time, the suspects have not been apprehended.

Paul Nordin [Courtesy Photo]

Mr. Nordin is known in the Pagan and Heathen communities as a band member in Pandemonaeon and part owner in EMB Studios, along with his life partner Sharon Knight and Winter.

The robbery
Nordin says he was operating his camera when the robbery took place, “My head was down and all my attention was on my camera viewfinder.  The first time I realized something was wrong is when I felt one of the robbers tugging on my camera.”

Nordin says there were three suspects in a rented car. He said one of them jumped out of the car and approached the film’s director, who was standing behind Nordin. The robber then pulled out a firearm. Another suspect got out of the car and approached Nordin and tried to grab his camera.

“I still had my head buried in my viewfinder, and annoyed at the interruption, I pulled the camera back to try to save the shot I was doing.  Then I heard someone say “let it go”.”

It was then, Nordin says, he realized he was being robbed and let go of the camera. The suspect also took the rest of his gear, and all three thieves drove away.

“I was left there, sitting on an apple box in the street, watching this car drive away with the primary tool I use to make a living.  It happened so quickly, and the thieves were so efficient and calm, it was just surreal,” says Nordin.

Past victim of robberies in the Bay Area 
This isn’t the first time Nordin has been the victim of a robbery. He says he’s been robbed three other times.

Ten years ago his production van was stolen. Three years ago his production van was again stolen, and the thieves not only took the equipment inside, but  also stripped the van of its motor, transmission, and wheels.

Two years ago, in San Francisco, his car was broken into while he was on a shoot.

However, this is the first incident that a firearm was involved. “This time is definitely different from the previous three. It was so brazen, and they weren’t sneaking around late at night to steal things,” Nordin explains.

“They walked right up in front of the cast and crew with guns out and literally pulled my camera right out of my hands.”

Nordin says that he is still disoriented from the attack, “Once the gun was pointed to my head, maybe 2 feet away, reality became tunnel vision.”

He doesn’t recall the faces of his attackers or their car, he says. However, he vividly recalls the pattern of old powder burns on the gun’s muzzle and watching how much pressure the gunman’s finger had on the trigger.

Recovering from the attack
He says he hasn’t yet communed with his gods over the incident, as he doesn’t expect his gods to step in and make his life better. He says he may ask them to witness him taking on important actions to stay connected to the forces of nature and the nine worlds that may assist him.

He did note, “It is becoming very obvious that I need to go into my temple space and galdor each of the 24 elder-futhark runes, which is what I work with.”

Nordin says he has insurance and expects it to reimburse him for a substantial portion of the loss.

Also assisting with his recovery, Nordin says, is the support from the filmmaking and Pagan communities. “So many have reached out to me and expressed genuine care and concern. Someone made a candle with my picture and sigils on it to help me recover what was lost. Many have done magic on my behalf.

“Its a truly amazing feeling to receive that, and has been very helpful in staving off any decent into a ‘the world sucks’ mindset.”

Nordin says some have offered to set up GoFundMe accounts to assist financially, “Its something I had not expected. I am a very self-sufficient person, who loves helping people, but hates asking for help.”

“I don’t know, I’m probably not saying what I am trying to very well. I’m going to go do some rune magic now!”

Cara Schulz

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Cara Schulz is a journalist and author living in Minnesota with her husband and cat. She has previously written for PAGAN+politics, PNC-Minnesota, and Patheos. Her work has appeared in several books by Bibliotheca Alexandrina and she's the author of Martinis & Marshmallows: A Field Guide to Luxury Tent Camping and (Almost) Foolproof Mead Making. She loves red wine, camping, and has no tattoos.