“Shades of Justice” Chapter Fourteen

Jack left Howie’s office and hurried to meet detective Dan Reilly at the site of the sniper attack on the patrolmen. Dan was the father of John Reilly who was shot twice at the 7-Eleven near Forbes Street. Dan was standing on the curb when Jack got out of the taxi. Jack hugged his friend from days on the homicide unit. “Dan, I’m really sorry. How is John doing?”

“He’s doing pretty well. It wasn’t life-threatening. Made a mess out of his face and the hit in his arm caused some nerve damage. No one knows whether the nerves will be restored or how much of a recovery can be expected. He’s a tough kid with a positive attitude. I do want to catch the son-of-a-bitch who did this. Thank you for helping. Nobody on the force has your experience in sniper hunting.”

“What have they come up with so far? I have a report from Captain Shorer but just want to be sure it’s complete.”

“The ballistics guys are sure it was a .22 Hornet long rifle, hollow point. No dispute there. Where the shot came from, the shooter’s intentions, why at this spot, and did he try to hit both officers? Those issues are in dispute. We had people on the scene quickly but no one saw anything. My question is did they question people in the right place and ask the right questions? You know anyone shoots a cop, everyone thinks they have the answer. The captain is maintaining command on this crime. I don’t know how long he will keep it. His papers go in soon.”

“Can you show me where John was standing when he got hit?”

“Sure.” Dan took a few steps toward Forbes Street, stopped at a parked car and took the position like his son did leaning against his squad car. “Right like this. His partner agreed and the lab guys support John was standing on this spot against his car.”

“What do you know about the second shot? Interval between shots, where did it hit, and where were John and his partner when the second and last shot was fired?”

“When John was hit, his partner was on his right side and a little in front of him. When he saw John was hit he grabbed him and pulled him down and toward him. That’s when the second shot hit John high on the left arm.”

Jack said, “Stay there,” and walked over to stand where he thought John’s partner would have been when the shooting started. Jack said, “Now you’ve been hit. I pull you like this, right?”

“Yeah, that’s right.”

“I’m pretty sure our sniper meant to hit both officers. The shots must have been about three to five seconds apart. Of course there may have been more but no evidence. So let’s assume there were only two rounds fired. In trying to save John, his partner inadvertently pulled John between himself and the shooter. That second shot was meant for the partner. The choice of a weapon must have been because the shooter knew he could get close and the sound wouldn’t be so loud. If so, it means that the shooter spent time casing the scene and found a sniper hide that he liked. Easy to get to and easy out. He would be wearing what would blend in at the time of the shooting. If you’re ready, let’s go find the shooting site.”

Jack led the way across Forbes and up Wood Street. Dan asked, “Why are we going up Wood Street?”

“My sniper sniffer tells me this is the way to go. From what you told me the shooter had to be in a 45-degree quadrant starting at the spot where John was hit. The second shot got my attention. The direction had to be this way. I also ruled out the possibility there could have been two shooters. Both shots came from the same angle. Two shooters would not have occupied the same spot. We won’t go more than 100 yards up Wood Street. By the time we crossed Forbes we had already gone 50 yards. I don’t think a serious shooter would use a .22 Hornet much beyond 150 yards. He was not target shooting. He knew he had to hit his target the first time. No option to move and try again. These buildings all look occupied. I doubt he would have rented space with a line of sight to his target. Too much exposure. So he must have been on a rooftop. The wounds indicated the trajectory was high to low. So that’s why we are walking up Wood Street.”

“I’ll be damned, you got all that from ten minutes at the crime scene?”

“No. From trial and error of hunting snipers. All have their own M.O. We don’t know this shooter’s yet. We’re looking for a shooting site on the left side of Wood Street because that gave him the best angle. We are going in this building and up to the roof. It is high enough to see the target area. You may have to use your badge.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Action thrillers, Barry Kelly, Books, Spy novels

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s