July 27, 2009
“How many of them?” asked officer McMurray.
“Three, and heavily armed” came the reply from the other side of the radio.
“Any info on the hostages?”
“Eighteen of them, 2 kids” the radio sputtered amidst the crackle of thunder.
The rain had no mercy on the hostile situation faced by the cops lined in front of the New York Central bank. A gang of heavily armed perps were holding the customers hostage against a ransom of a few million bucks and a safe passage.
It would have been a routine stand off, had it not been for the incident a few weeks ago when the same gang had slaughtered the hostages and wounded a few cops as they made their escape after looting the Continental bank. Though 2 of them were shot dead in the skirmish, the rest made their escape.
McMurray shuddered; it would not happen in his precinct.
Anywhere on earth, anytime, but not here, not today, not when he was on duty.
“The hostages are coming out” the radio crackled interrupting his train of thoughts.
“All men in position, hold your fire” McMurray ordered.
The automated doors of the bank opened slowly taking an eternity with the hostages scrambling out to safety. The snipers kept a close eye through their scopes for the perps who ere likely to mingle with the crowd to escape. However this team of criminals was far more foolhardy.
Seconds later the three of them slowly stepped out. Each with a hostage at gunpoint. They were not masked, nor was any there any fear writ on their faces.
Hardened criminals, thought McMurray. One of them was quite familiar, McMurray was not going to forget that face easily. He carried a boyish charm with red hair that only accentuated his good looks.
All officers had their guns trained on the three goons.
“Throw down your weapons and surrender now” thundered McMurray on the megaphone.
“There is no way you can get out of this”. The perps flinched for a moment, but held on to their weapons unsure or adamant maybe, no one could tell.
It was a tense moment with the clicking of the safety catches of guns, the muffled, petrified sobs of the hostages and the patter of rain on the roof of the cop cars, all sounds mingling with each other. Creating an aura of fear, uncertainty and confusion. A slight error in judgment would take an innocent life. And then there was the unrelenting rain.
Just then one of the hostages decided to break free. McMurray saw all that followed in slo mo. The guy pushed the red head and broke free. Red head fell back a few steps and raised his gun. McMurray screamed “NOOOO…” and he raised his own pistol an aimed at the perp. He didn’t want to shoot, not at this little kid anyway. But there was an innocent life at stake and he just couldn’t take the risk. He pulled the trigger just before Red head could. It was too far a distance for a justice shot and the bullet whizzed past the horrified onlookers and caught red head right at the left temple. The bullet made a small hole through which blood tickled slowly, the perp turned and looked at McMurray and continued looking at him as he dropped to his knees, then flat on the wet concrete.
McMurray stared through the barrel of his gun and it slowly dropped to the ground in sync with the red head he had just shot….his SON.