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.