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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Beyond The Wall



    The Shield Maiden and I had been working on our ground fighting skills, as husbands and wives often do, when the call came in on my pager.

    It was five "9"s in succession. Translated that meant, "call station right now shit is going down". This was long before texts...and even before Al Gore invented the internet...we carried pagers. I grab up the phone and call in.
    "Gang-related Murder. Sgt. Cooper thinks it was the mom".

    Shit...I hated those kinds of calls. I tossed the Go-Bag in the back seat of the T-Bird and sped down La Tuna Canyon to PCH as Phil Collins tuned out on the stereo in the summer evening.

    The victim was a known gang member and the common thought back then was that all of the family were gang members as well, from the 90 year old deaf grandfather to the five year old little brother with snot running down his face.
    I walked in past the uniforms as I threw on my "Gang Unit" jacket to explain my shaved head and long fu manchu. The victim, "Cricket" was laying on the floor of his bedroom upstairs with a gaping hole in his chest the size of my fist. On the floor at his feet by the wall was a Mossberg 500 shotgun, loaded and chambered. On the floor by his right hand was a spent case (its not a casing...casing is what they make sausages with). The entire room had that odd yet familiar smell of death: a combination of gunsmoke and blood and things that belong inside a body, not outside.

    Those who have smelled it will know what I mean...and will never forget it.

    "The mom...or the of them killed him...those know how they are...I am going to hook them up and take them to the station. They will talk", Detective Sgt. Cooper interrupted my Sherlock moment with his usual candor and investigative skill.

    I wasn't yet sure what happened, but I knew that neither the mom nor sister had not done this.

    "Give me a minute with them", I asked - and told at the same time. The despondent women could barely speak, and I wanted to get to them before the "Inspector Clouseau" had them handcuffed and marched off away from the dead son and brother.

    They were downstairs and heard a shot.

    They ran upstairs and saw him lying on the floor.

    They called the police.

    He had just broken up with his girl.

    She had not been by.

    Then the sound of handcuffs stopped my interview.

    I walked back upstairs. Cricket's eyes were still open, as well as his mouth in that death mask that speaks of the surrender of death and the surprise of its arrival.
    The blood had begun to congeal on the carpet.

    Murder? I had investigated plenty of them. This was not a murder. I wasn't sure but it didn't seem to fit.

    Cooper had a "gang thing" and wanted badly for it to be a murder...but this was not it.

    I began to look closer. I noticed what is commonly called powder burns on Cricket's chest wound. This meant that it was a contact shot, like with the muzzle making contact with his sternum, and not from across the room. I began to look more closely. I noticed a mark on the inside and outside of his right if it had just been hit by something.

    ...a trigger guard?

    I looked deeper....

    THERE...on the wall, a pointed indentation on the stucco wall about two feet up from the floor.

    What would do that?

    On the point of the pistol grip only Mossberg...also some stucco. Then the linoleum floor...a half crescent remarkably like the size of a shotgun barrel.

    I got on my radio and called for the ID technicians immediately (long before they were called CSI).

    Cricket (his gang name) - it turns out had GSR on his hands.

    He had brought the 12 gauge up to his chest with his left hand and pulled the trigger with his right thumb. The shotgun was launched away from his body as he fell back. It hit the wall and ejected the fired case, and dove muzzle first onto the floor where that next shell was chambered. And it lay as found until the patrol officers and "Detective Sergeant" rolled up and determined what happened.

    The mom and daughter went home that night, not as homicide suspects, but as a grieving mother and daughter to clean up the son's blood.

    I filed my report and ignored the glare from my new friend the "Detective Sergeant". I went home early about 0400 HRS. Just in time for a little more Jujitsu before the sun came up. Such was the life of the Gang Investigator.
    Oh...I almost forgot. I made some powerful enemies that night that would come calling for retribution soon enough.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    East Tennessee
    Shotgun use at close range called the "rat-hole effect" for good reason; mighty decisive. Guy in picture caught a load of birdshot; buckshot certainly wouldn't have made a bit of difference at that range. When my daughter beginning her paramedic career, her very first GSW call was to one about like your picture; she was impressed when telling me about it later. And yes, even when you know you're doing the right thing can come with it's price........unfortunately.
    Last edited by toothie; 06-26-2018 at 01:12 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Ahhh memories... When I was a young copper working midnights on a busy saturday night, we had a loud music call that had been pending for hours. This was at a well known apartment complex that was known for gangsters and dope. Myself and another Officer arrive and make our way to the apt. As we approach, the front door is open and the TV is blaring but no music. When we are about 15 ft from the door, suddenly "Boom!" a single gunshot. As we unholster, 2 guys come running out the door in a panic. We prone them out, and call for code 3 units. When we look into the apartment, it was classic. Turns out homeboy had a 20 gauge sawn off shottie in his mouth and was making funny faces at his friends when it went off. His head was still intact, but his lower jaw was hanging by threads. The real kicker to the story, about 4 days later we get the same call, loud music, same apartment. This time our entire team responded. All of his homies hanging out having a wake, drinking booze, sitting on the same couch which still had dried blood on it. Amazing.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Chattanooga TN
    We actually had a guy here at work about 15 years ago whose wife killed herself. Bizarrely enough instead of shooting herself in the head she shot herself in the center of the chest. Of course the suspicion initially fell on him (though he and his daughter were somewhere else and not at home at the time of the shooting). But like this story, the dry wall on the hammer of the Sig 229 that was found on the floor and the divot in the wall where the back of the hammer had hit it caused the coroner to rule it suicide.
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor
    NRA Certified Instructor
    Tennessee State Handgun Carry Permit Instructor
    Glock Factory Certified Armorer
    IDPA Master Class SSP, ESP,CDP, CCP, BUG
    Gung Ho Chuan Association

    TRAIN with me....

    Fundamentalist Christian Man at Arms


    Joel 3:10 - Beat your plowshares into swords , and your pruning hooks into spears; train even your weaklings to be warriors.

    Through HIS power I can walk on water..IF I just have the faith and courage to get out of the boat.

    A good man who's done a couple of bad things along the way....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    LA Confidential, indeed. In addition to everything else, Gabe is a great writer. I hope there's a book coming someday--collected stories or even a novel based on the reality.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Book and movie deal. I may have some contacts soon.....

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