Night of Tragedy
On a night I'm out of town on vacation, an officer is shot and killed and two news helicopters crash in midair.
48 hours after the collision, the crash scene is still taped off as investigators drain a small lagoon to retrieve wreckage from one of the fallen helicopters.
This is the view from my patrol car as I sit perched on a small hill overlooking the site. My job is to ensure nobody enters the area.
I decide to walk over and get a better look at the impact site. The wreckage has already been collected and all that remains is a blackened spot on the grass and a shallow pool of aircraft oil. A small tree has been charred and stripped of its foliage. A similar scene lies a few dozens yards away.
Pieces from one of the helicopters landed in a nearby pond. As I stood by, divers were preparing to search the partially drained pond. I could see several pieces of metal exposed on the muddy floor of the lagoon as the water levels receded.
The same night, a police officer is sensely killed over a $400 forged check. Officer Cortez responded to a forged check call like I do every other week or so. When the officer tried to arrest the man, his girlfriend caused a distraction allowing the man to pull out a gun and shoot Officer Cortez in the face. He was 23, married, and had 2 young sons. He loved his job and sacrificed is life to try and keep the streets of the city a bit safer. The man and his girlfried will both be charged with 1st degree murder and will likely face the death penalty if convicted. That's a small consolation to the family and friends of Officer George Cortez.