My Sister Witnessed Her Neighbor Get Shot-Update!
I'm returning my sister's phone call from only about two hours earlier, when the melodic ringing of the phone is answered by frantic pants of air mixed with gulps and sighs that sound like sobs cut short by disbelief and anxiety. I can recognize my sister's voice as she screams, "They shot him! Oh my God, they shot him! I think.. I think he's dead. Oh my God."
She pants as though she's run a mile and before I can even open my mouth to ask her what's happening she screams, "They just shot him." Her makes a slight cry and says, "I gotta... I gotta call you back."
There's a soft click in my ear and the panting ceases.
You can imagine my astonishment and my curiosity.
I wait near the phone and about twenty minutes later it finally rings.
My sister sounds more calm though it is evident she is still shocked and shaken.
"Hey, what is going on!?" I demand.
"They shot.. they shot my neighbor." Her story runs away with her mouth and she rambles on, "It was just like the movies. Just like the movies. It was like, BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM, but all at once and he jerked back and forth and then he fell over and... they shot him."
"Okay, woah," I say, "Start at the beginning. What happened?"
She starts her frantic night by seeing a police officer in her back yard. Alerting her husband he notes that there is a cruiser cutting off the street and shortly thereafter seven or eight more cruisers pull up. Then finally SWAT, ambulances, and men with rifles.
Police come to the door to tell them to get into the basement to protect against stray bullets.
She finally learned the the subject of their interest was her elderly neighbor who lives directly across the street and one house to the right.
She starts to explain that he was a nice old man who walked his dog and who often stopped at their home to chat and so she could pet his dog. He was kind, he was neighborly, but for some reason he was in his home tonight held up with a shotgun.
After hours in a standoff with nothing happening my sister and her husband decided to venture out of the basement and my sister went to her bedroom to get changed. It just so happens that their bedroom window provides a perfectly clear view to her neighbors home.
My sister notes that the lights in the home are flashing on and off and her gut tells her something big is about to go down.
Her neighbor walks out onto the porch demanding a police officer come in to talk.
The police decline the offer, asking rather that the neighbor come down and give it up.
The neighbors response was to go back into the house and retrieve his shotgun.
Out on the porch again with a shotgun the neighbor restates his demand for a police officer to come into his home to "talk."
The police decline and demand he put down the weapon or he will be fired upon.
The neighbors response is to point the shotgun at police.
Police make one more demand to drop the weapon.
The neighbor fires.
The police respond in kind.
My sister watches her neighbor get (as she said) "plummeted with bullet."
"Then," she says "one of the officers rushed to his side and pulled him off the porch into the snow. I don't know why he did that, but, but, he was still breathing. He was coughing and gurgling and the officer started talking to him. He was saying, 'Stay with us. Don't leave us. Stay with us. Come on. Don't leave us.' The ambulance came in and took him away. Oh God, I can still see the blood on the snow."
I could hear her tears.
"I don't know why he felt he needed to do this. He was such a nice man. I don't know what made him feel this was his only solution. I can't believe... He jerked so many times. I feel so bad for him."
We talked a little bit about my niece and if she knew what was going on and she hurried off the phone to try to find out more information.
It will be interesting to see how this story develops. I don't know what it's going to mean for my sister. It's not every day we see our friendly neighbors committing suicide by police on their front porches.
I know I wouldn't enjoy it.