Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Murder in the First

I just finished eating dinner and was in the parking lot when an emergency call for shooting at an apartment complex was broadcast.

An officer I was talking to a few minutes ago was heading in that direction and took the call. I was a few miles behind and answered up as his backup.

As I was driving to the scene, I thought about the dozens of "shooting" calls I've responded to that ended up being nothing at all. Most of these shooting calls turn out to be someone with a gun (not shooting), or someone shooting a gun in the air (not trying to hit anyone), or sometimes fireworks. I was very familiar with the apartment complex and have driven through its parking lot almost every day. Two of my squadmates even spent a recent shift parked in front of it gathering info on suspicious characters coming in and out. It's notorious for drug and prostitution activity.

Then I heard the original officer on the radio as he arrived on scene:
"Get me some more units; There's a subject down on the East side of the complex. Roll Fire (our term for requesting the Fire Dept./paramedics) and get me a supervisor; The victim appears to be dead."

I knew we had a shooter on the loose so I activated my lights and sirens and arrived quickly. I parked out front and ran to the main entrance of the apartments. I hispanic male was lying on his side, face down in a pool of blood. I drew my gun and posted myself at the apartment entrance. The helicopter was circling overhead with its spotlight scanning the scene. Paramedics arrived and confirmed the victim was dead. Other officers were arriving to contact witnesses, set up a perimeter and look for the shooter.

The vitim's mother charged out of the doorway towards the crumpled body, screaming "That's my son!! Oh my God, my son!!" She was intercepted and lead away.

I kept my post at the doorway about fifteen feet away from the downed victim. I repeatedly scanned the apartment windows for any signs of a shooter. I could see a silver colored shell casing on the ground nearby. Blood from the victim was slowly spreading in an ever widening pool. A sheet was placed over him so only a bloody hand protruded from underneath.

After an hour of searching, the perimeter was broken down and we concentrated on getting detailed witness testimony. I later heard the victim was about 28 and got into an argument with a tall black male. The argument turned into a brief fistfight. The men separated and the shooter pulled a gun from his waistband and fired three shots from point blank range into the other man's chest area.

My first murder scene ended when the detectives arrived and took control of the investigation.

6 Comments:

At July 26, 2007 5:08 AM, Blogger Craig D said...

...and you had just finished eating when all this happened? Were you able to retain you dinner?

Whew.

 
At July 26, 2007 7:26 AM, Blogger Loving Annie said...

Gary,
The first one is something that you'll always remember...

The first one I saw was as a ride-along in Wilshire Division around 1800 one evening.

A teenage gang member had been shot in the temple by a 9 mm., and was lying on the sidewalk in front of a house face up in a pool of blood.

(The neighbors who were all gathered on their porches of course had seen nothing and heard nothing and knew nothing.)

What was freaky was that he raised a shaking hand to his head when the paramedics got there, and said "my head hurts."

I was blown away that he was conscious enough / could talk at all with that huge hole in his head, and all the blood loss.

Clearly he didn't realize that he had been fatally shot.

A little while later, he says, shivering "I'm cold".

As they loaded him into the ambulance, the Sgt. replied, "going to be a lot colder where he's going."

He died en-route, according to what we heard later.

It's been almost 15 years, and quite a few dead bodies since, but I can still see it as clearly as if it was yesterday.

 
At July 27, 2007 3:35 AM, Blogger Mone said...

I hope I have never feel the pain the mother felt as she saw her son laying there.

 
At July 27, 2007 9:00 AM, Blogger Scott said...

Sad, very sad. Don't be afraid to get some therapy if you need it! I imagine your department offers counselors.

 
At July 27, 2007 6:14 PM, Blogger Dirk_Star said...

My son is never leaving the house...

 
At July 28, 2007 2:21 AM, Blogger JR's Thumbprints said...

I listen to convicted murderers on a daily basis and most of them have know regrets about what they've done. As for police officers, what ever you make, it ain't enough.

 

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