The day you died started out like any typical day. We were investigating a series of jewelry store robberies that had been occurring over the past several weeks in our district. Robbery had been handling the investigation and had made some headway. We were brought in after the last one because the owner had been murdered while trying to defend himself. We had spent the morning reviewing our notes and completing some paperwork.
Shortly after eleven o'clock, we decided to hit the streets. We left the squadroom and spent the next hour checking in with our snitches and basically cruising the streets. We were trying to decide where to go for lunch when we heard over the radio, "Zebra-3, Zebra-3 meet the man called Huggy at The Pits." I radioed back, "Zebra-3, 10-4."
We drove to The Pits and parked in the alley behind the bar. We entered through the backdoor and waved to Huggy as we walked across the floor towards a booth in the back. Anita came over and asked, "What can I get you?" We ordered a couple of burgers and fries and a couple of sodas. Huggy brought our orders to us and slid in next to me. While we ate, he told us that word on the street was that the crew responsible for the jewelry store robberies were a three man team, two brothers and their cousin. The two brothers were Dominic and Daniel Wade; the cousin, Taylor Estes. He said that they could usually be found in a warehouse that was owned by their uncle, Howard Estes. He then gave us the address of the warehouse. While he was talking, you had pulled out your notebook and jotted down the information.
When we were finished eating, we left some money on the table to cover the bill, and headed for the backdoor. We drove back to the station and headed straight for Dobey's office. We knocked on the door. Dobey hollered for us to enter. We walked in and sat down. You said, "We just came from Huggy's. He got us the names of the guys behind those jewelry store jobs as well as the address where we should be able to find them."
Dobey asked you to hold it for a few minutes. He picked up the phone and called the Robbery Division. A few minutes later, the head of the Robbery Division, Captain Joseph King, and two detectives from Robbery, Sgt. James Hook and Sgt. Guy Walker, entered. Between the two of us, we passed on the information Huggy had given us to the four gentleman.
Captain King suggested that we go to one of the empty interrogation rooms where we could spread so we could plan the takedown. Dobey called Minnie Kaplan and asked her to find a map of the area where the warehouse was located as well as any information she could find on our three suspects and to bring it to Interrogation Room 4. Then the six of us headed for the interrogation room.
While we have waiting for Minnie, Guy asked if the person we got the information from was reliable. Without mentioning Huggy's name, we assured Guy, James, and Captain King that the information had come from a very reliable source that we had used on numerous occasions. Just then, there was a knock on the door. It was Minnie with some files in her arms. She said, "I found that map you wanted as well as the arrest records for all three of your suspects. I even managed to find a blueprint of the warehouse itself." Dobey thanked her for the information. Minnie smiled and left the room.
We spread the map out on the table. We saw that there were three doors as well as an entrance that could be accessed by water. Dobey said, "Looks like we're going to have to bring in some other officers as well as the Harbor Master on this takedown." He then picked up the phone and called for Simmons and Babcock as well as several other detectives from our division to come to Interrogation Room 4. Captain King then called his division and requested a Sgt. Steve Wilson and his partner Sgt. Frank Miller and a few other detectives from his division. Dobey then called the Harbor Master, Captain Ryan Phillips, and asked him to join us.
While we were waiting for the other officers to arrive, we studied the files on our suspects. We learned that Dominic had done time for robbery and Daniel had served time for carjacking and burglary. Taylor was the worst of the three. He had served time for both robbery and burglary as well as kidnapping. Captain King said, "Something tells me this takedown is not going to go down easy."
By this time, the rest of the officers had arrived. They all crowded around the table and studied the map and the blueprint. It didn't take long to decide that you and I would enter through the front door, James and Guy would enter through the door on the west wall, while Simmons and Babcock would enter through the door on the east wall. Steve and Frank would be with Captain Phillips to cut off any attempt to escape by water. The rest of the officers would be stationed in various positions outside the warehouse to stop anyone from trying to make a break for it.
Once the plans were finalized, the rest of the officers involved took time to read the files on our suspects. When everyone of them had had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the information, we broke up into pairs, each set of partners heading out with plans to meet at the warehouse.
We all met up near the warehouse and approached on foot. When we received word that the Harbor Master was in place, the six of of us who were entering the warehouse opened our designated doors, silently slipped inside, and began to make our way across the floor. Suddenly, shots began to ring out from somewhere overhead. The six of us took cover behind stacks of crates that were scattered across the warehouse floor and began to return fire. Shortly after the gunfight began, we hear a scream followed by a thud. Then James shot Daniel in the shoulder as he was coming down the stairs. Daniel dropped his weapon as he tumbled down the rest of the stairs to land in a heap at the bottom of the stairs. We continued to return fire as there were still shots coming from above. Eventually, we heard another scream followed by another thud. Then there was silence.
When we were certain there were no more shots, we all came out of hiding, holstering our guns as we did. Simmons went to check one body; Babcock, the other. Meanwhile, James went over to Daniel was laying. He handcuffed Daniel and hauled him to his feet. Then he and Guy took Daniel outside. Simmons and Babcock came over to where you and I were standing. Simmons said, "Dominic is dead. He took one in the chest." Babcock said that Taylor was also dead. He had taken one in the head. He said, "I'm going to go call the coroner."
He turned and started for the door as more shots began to ring out from overhead. You gave me a shove as the four of us once again took cover, drawing our guns and again returning fire. The gunfight continued until we heard we heard two screams followed by two thuds. Simmons and Babcock went to investigate the sounds we had heard, while I looked around for you. I saw you laying on the floor a few feet away.
I ran over to where you were and saw that you had taken two shots in the chest. I gathered you in my arms. I pulled your body to my chest. You slowly opened your eyes, looked up at me, and whispered, "Goodbye, my love." before closing your eyes and going limp in my arms. I pulled your body to my chest and rocked back and forth whispering, "Please, come back to me, darling!!!"
Simmons and Babcock came back to where we were. When they found us, they knew exactly what had happened. Simmons whispered to Babcock that he would go call the coroner and Dobey. Babcock nodded and waited until Simmons had left the warehouse before approaching us. He placed his hand on my shoulder. I looked up at him with tears in my eyes and then back down at you. I pulled you closer, not wanting to let go.
Sometime later, I felt another hand on my shoulder. I looked up again. This time I saw Dobey standing there. He didn't say anything for a few minutes. When the coroner, Robert Hogan, came over Dobey said, "It's time to let go, son." I loosened my grip on your body so I could see your face. I placed a quick kiss on your lips and whispered, "Goodbye, love." I slowly lowered your body to the floor.
Dobey helped me to my feet and led me away from the scene. We didn't stop until we were outside. Dobey told me to go home. I said, "No, I want to get the paperwork done while it's still fresh in my mind. Then I'll think about taking some time off." I walked over to my car and drove back to the precinct.
When I got back to the station, I parked in the garage and entered the squadroom. Everyone looked up at me, but no one said a word. I walked over to my desk and sat down. I pulled out the first form, inserted it in the typewriter and began typing. For the next several hours, with only an occasional break to get a cup of coffee, I typed all of my reports.
When the last report was finished, I put them in a file folder. I opened the door to Dobey's office and placed the folder in the box on his desk. I then wrote a note telling him that I was taking tomorrow off and I would let him know if I wanted any more time off after that. I returned to my desk, grabbed my jacket and walked out the door.
As I left the building, I realized I didn't want to go home just yet. I also knew that Huggy deserved to hear what had happened from me and not from anyone else. I got in my car and drove to The Pits. As usual, I parked in the alley behind the bar and entered through the backdoor. Without saying a word to anyone, I walked to a booth in a dark corner of the bar and slid in. I just sat there quietly without trying to attract any attention to myself. I didn't even notice when Huggy came over and slid in across from me. He tried unsuccessfully to get my attention. When he realized I was too deep in thought to respond, he motioned for Anita to bring us a couple of beers. When she did, he took them off the tray and set one in front of me.
When I saw the beer, I looked up at him. He took one look at me and asked, "What happened, my man?" Trying to keep from crying, I told him what had happened at the warehouse. When I had finished, he closed his eyes and let his head drop to his chest. When he'd had a chance to compose himself, he picked up his glass and raised it in a toast. He said, "To the best friend and partner two guys ever knew." I raised my glass and clinked it against his before taking a long drink. We both placed our glasses on the table at the same time. We sat in silence drinking until our glasses were empty.
When both our glasses were empty, Huggy stood up. As he started to pick up the empty glasses, I put my hand on his arm and said, "Bring me another beer. I'm not ready to go home. I'm just going to sit here for awhile and drink. I promise not to cause any problems. Before you ask, I've already told Dobey that I won't be in to work tomorrow." Huggy nodded and agreed to bring me another beer.
When he returned he not only had the beer, he also had a burger and some fries. I pointed out that I hadn't ordered anything to eat. Huggy reminded me that it's not a good idea to drink on an empty stomach and I did have to agree with him on that. I did remind him to keep the beers coming. Even though I wasn't really hungry I did eat the burger and fries, but I lost count of the number of beers I had. Eventually, Huggy came over to me and said that he was cutting me off because it was closing time. He said, "I know you are in no condition to drive, so why do you go upstairs and use the spare room tonight. Then you can see what you feel like doing in the morning."
I agreed that sounded like a good idea and told him I would see him in the morning then. I stood up and gave myself a chance to regain my balance before I started moving towards the staircase. Before I headed upstairs, I told Anita goodnight. I walked up the stairs and opened the door to the room at the top of the stairs. I didn't even bother getting undressed; I just fell face first on the bed. I didn't really even sleep that first night as much as I passed out.
When I opened my eyes, I had no idea what time it was. I got up and staggered into the bathroom where I took care of business. After splashing some water on my face, I felt a little more human. I walked out of the bathroom, straightened my clothes, then straightened the bed. I went downstairs. Huggy and Anita were both there, setting up for the day. I walked over and sat down at the bar. Huggy poured a cup of coffee a set it in front of me. I thanked him for it and slowly drank it. When it was gone, I left the empty cup on the bar. I waved to Huggy and Anita as I walked out the door.