Another one of my colleagues has lost his life. Officer Nick Erfle was shot and killed this morning while trying to arrest a man with an outstanding misdemeanor warrant.
Nick worked out of my police station and I've met up with him on several occasions at various scenes. He and his partner stopped three people for jaywalking and discovered one of them had an outstanding warrant. He attempted to take the man into custody when a struggle ensued and Nick was shot in the head. The suspect fled on foot and then hijacked a car -forcing the driver to speed away from the scene as he sat in the passenger seat. Nick's partner was unable to return fire due to numerous innocent citizens downrange.
Thankfully, a witness was able to get the fleeing car's license plate and the hunt was on. An hour later, the car was spotted by an undercover officer. With the helicopter overhead, several SWAT members in unmarked vehicles converged on the suspect and his hostage driver. They boxed the car in and shot and killed the shooter when he raised his gun. This coward will never have the chance to 'brag' about his cop-killing to his gangster friends. The driver was unharmed.
I listened to the whole thing unfold on my radio while at home on my day off. I've been numb all day and can't believe another young life has been taken by a pathetic criminal. It has only been a few weeks since Shaggy died and now we're preparing for another funeral. Tragically, like Officer George Cortez , he is leaving behind a wife and two young kids.
I'm sickened over the increasing frequency and seriousness of violent crimes. Gangs, drugs, and apathy seem to have taken a foothold on a growing segment of today's population. I don't know what the answer to this is but something has got to be done. Thank God I live in a city where citizens cooperate with police by willingly providing information and giving support. Without their help, we'd have a hell of a time solving crimes and catching those responsible.
Thank you, Nick, for your service and sacrifice. I know you'll be looking down on us along with George and Jonathan. Please let this be the last time I have to write this kind of entry.