A "clear the air," or radio lockdown burst through the police radio. An officer down with shots fired call happened several blocks from where I was doing other investigative work on another case. I spun tires driving as quickly as possible for two blocks until I arrived at the scene of a multiple victim shooting including another detective that I will call "William."
William was a good man and proper detective, but he had made a dangerous enemy that sought revenge against him over an issue.
I arrived at the crime scene quickly and saw one man immediately shot near the front door area. I will call him "Sergio," to respect his memory. Sergio had been shot in the neck and there was arterial blood spurt around him, the walls nearby, and lining the floor. Sergio was obviously dead. Another man was nearby and he had a "through and through," gunshot wound to his upper right bicep. The man looked panicked and he directed me to a back office.
I moved quickly to a back office with gun drawn and I saw thick gunpowder smoke hanging in the air. I could taste the gunpowder in the air and smelled that distinct smell of recently fired weapons. I saw a large dead man laying on the floor that was at least 6' 7" tall and weighed in the lower 300-pound range. We'll call him, "Richard." I could see that Richard had bullet wounds in his torso, forehead and right eye and he was obviously dead as well. Richard had brain matter hanging out of his right eye socket in a clump and there is no way to treat a massive brain tearing like that.
William, the detective, had been quickly hauled to the closest hospital with one torso gunshot and multiple gunshot wounds to his legs and calf areas. Soon, the higher ranking "brass," started to show up and walk into the scene. I chased them off by threatening to put their names in the report and make them witnesses, which they hate. The brass left and gathered outside and they were given periodic reports.
At that time we had a Specialized Homicide Investigative Team, affectionately called the S.H.I.T. team. I directed the crime scene crew on how the scene should be processed and I removed the identification of the dead man Richard in the still smoky room so that I could find out who he was. I soon learned that the dead man was the suspect that entered the office and had shot the three people. After about thirty minutes at the crime scene, I received notice that William had died from his injuries at a local hospital.
The field medical examiner pronounced the two men in the office officially dead and the man with the simple gunshot was taken to the hospital and later interviewed. I reported to the main office in "Crimes Against Persons," or Homicide, as it is called.
My partner had previously teamed up with me on many homicides. His name was "Earl," and he is still a very sharp and studious man. Earl and I obtained a search warrant for the shooter, Richard's, home. We drove to the home with the intention of searching it for evidence that might be present. Using Richard's keys we entered his home after knocking. Earl and I started the search and when we got to a spare bedroom in the house, we were harshly startled. I opened the door to find a woman on the floor *****. Surprise. The woman had been shot in the chest five times and we later found that she was Richard's wife. Marriage over.
It was apparent that Richard had decided that he was going to go out of this world in a big way. He went out in an evil way.
After finding the murdered woman I called the Medical Examiner to recover the body for autopsy. The day after the search, and after a very long night, I went with Earl to the morgue early the next day. The morgue always smells bad and it has the hue of death about it. That may sound obvious but you really can't understand the environment of the morgue unless you've been there. I cannot express it accurately enough in writing.
The morgue, at that time, was a relatively small room with one stainless steel autopsy table. The bodies were kept in a small refrigerated room that you would not want your loved one stacked in. The autopsies started. They lasted for four bodies over the course of about 10 hours and I can assure you I'll never set through anything like that again.
William was my friend and I saw William autopsied. Rough. Horrible.
William had many bullet holes in him, especially in his legs. William had aptly executed a close-quarters shooting posture in which you fall to your back and raise up your legs to "catch," bullets while you fire at your assailant from in between your legs. He executed the move flawlessly, but as luck would have it one of the bullets got past his legs and hit his chest piercing his left lower lung.
The assailant, Richard, was shot severely and accurately by William. One of the shots hit Richard's glasses and a plastic lens bigger than his eye socket pushed the lens through the socket and into his brain without breaking the lens. That's just a side fact, but one that I remember vividly because of its' peculiarity.
William's legs were shot up and had lots of entries and exits on both. The doctor was attempting to retrieve a bullet lodged in one of William's bones. The doctor was cutting away meat to get to the bullet. After strenuously looking for the bullet for a very long half hour the doctor realized that he had shredded William's leg for nothing since he was looking at the wrong x-ray film. The bullet sought was in the opposite leg so the doctor tore that leg apart to get the bullet out. He got it. It was evidence so it had to come out. I don't fault that doctor because we were all exhausted by the time we got to William's autopsy.
That's essentially what happened. There are more circumstances and facts that I won't write here. But that's how William was murdered.