This past Saturday I got the cop wake up call that no cop really wants but serves to brings us all back down to reality, stops us from believing our own press, and generally humbles us while scaring the proverbial crap out of us. But ultimately makes us realize how sacred life us (our own as well as others)
It was a relatavely slow night in town for a Saturday, a few of us joked that we were just biding time waiting for the other shoe to drop. At about 10:30 that shoe came crashing down.
I had just cleared a call and was shooting the shit with the seargent. As we were talking the dispatcher voice crackled over the radio.
- If the dispatcher calls one car (and it’s yours) you can bet its usually some really stupid or mundane task like a noise complaint or a car blocking.
- If the dispatcher calls two units you might have something exciting like an assault, a domestic or a neighbor problem.
- When the dispatcher calls 3 or more cars its either a knife or gun call, a bar fight or an officer needs assistance. The dispatcher called my car number first, then another car and then two more cars and a seargent.
I knew it was gonna be something big. The dispatcher relayed the call to us. Possible stabbing with multiple victims, called in by a frantic female party, lots of commotion in the background (on the callers end) and to be advised that the purpertrator may possibly still be on scene.
Me and the Seargent were about 4-5 blocks from the incident. We arrived in under 2 minutes. Me then him. We were flagged down by a very distraught woman who was waving and shouting to us from a front porch. I jumped out and got by a large crowd that was formed in the driveway of (what I found out later were family members) the seargent who was about 5 feet behind me got stuck in the throng of people. I crashed the door first with the woman who flagged us down right on my heels (she got past the seargent as he was trying to get clear of the group of family members
I was under the impression that there may be a knife weilding suspect inside so I yelled at her to get back outside the doorway and had to physically move her back out the doorway, I drew my gun and prepared myself for a standoff with an armed suspect.
As I got inside the doorway I caught a glimpse of the horrific scene inside. My heart sank as it slowly registered to me that this was not a stabbing but what I could only describe as what appeared to be a gruesome double murder suicide. Right before my eyes was a woman seated right inside the door on one couch shot in the face, a man with a firearm laying on his chest and a gunshot wound under the chin and another male whom I believed may have been shot in the back of the head due his posture both male subjects on a couch against the far wall. the third victim was reclined back with both hands behind his head, his eyes closed and he appeared to be lifeless as well. All three were covered in blood.
I yelled for the seargent and advised what we had and that I was checking for vital signs. Instinctively I grabbed my shoulder microphone and screamed for dispatch to step up the medics (in case there was someone viable we could save) I then went to the woman checked for a pulse and respirations (finding none) I did the same with the first male with the gun lying on his chest (also finding none) I then checked the last male who was about six inches to a foot away from the first man and the gun.
When I touched his neck to check for a pulse his eyes shot open and all his muscles tensed. I hollered for him to produce his hands, but he kept them behind his head, he did not speak or aknowledge that I was even in the room. Now Im wondering if he’s the gunman possibly high on drugs or a victim who has been shot in the head and is going into shock.
(the picture below is almost exactly how he appeared to me when his eyes shot open)
I couldn’t allow him (if he was the gunman) to reach the gun and blast me and or the Seargent or the 2 other cops who were just arriving on scene but on the same token I didn’t want to further injure or posibly kill a severely injured victim.
I made the split second decision not to shoot or yank him to the floor roughly. I secured his hands with mine and laid on top of him to immobilize him until the backup officers could secure him better so I could check him for injuries (I found none) and then get him moved to a more secure location.
We learned later that this individual was a severely autistic son who had witnessed the murder suicide and then went into a semi catatonic state. and just fell back onto the couch next to his dead parents.
As investigators showed up I was relieved from the scene and sent outside to get my bearings and provide perimeter security until I was to return to the station for interviews and report writing.This was one of the most heartbreaking calls I have been on in a long time.