We searched house to house and vehicle to vehicle. Officers of every department that I could think of were there. Shotguns, pistols, rifles, and sub machine guns were deployed. My heart was pounding at 100mphs and it was at the top of my throat. About fifteen minutes into it we learned that county units were in a chase on the north bound side of the Turnpike. That did not in anyway drop down our guard or make us stop searching. Since it was possible that there were more then one shooter. We continued the search until every last stone was turned over.
Once the searching was over a Command Post was set up and by that time just about every unit in the area was there. A second command post was setup north of my location. That was where the subject’s car was found. Just about every SWAT Team was moved there. The departmental cooperation was so grand that Broward County Sheriff Office flew in their SWAT team. Federal agencies like US Marshals, FBI, Customs & Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, Drug Enforcement Agency, and others all flew in their teams.
Once my area stabilized, we roped off the area as a crime scene and basically waited until more county units arrived. Crime Scene Investigators, Homicide Detectives, Command Staff Personnel, etc. My duties from there went to traffic direction, logging who comes in and out of the scene, interviewing any possible witnesses, and of course giving any moral support to my fellow officers.
While doing the house to house searching, my heart was pounding. It sounded so loud that I swear I could not hear anything else. I wear leather gloves while I work because I sweat a lot in the Florida heat. It seemed like a good thing because from the nervous fear and adrenaline pumping through me I swear if I didn’t have those gloves on I wouldn’t have been able to hold onto my pistol.
The thoughts that ran through my head, thoughts such as my family, my father, my friends, will I make it home tonight, will I confront the shooter, will I get into a gun battle. Those were the thoughts running through my head.
I wondered what fear and hopelessness my family must be going through right now. My cell phone was ringing every second. I threw it in the car, reassuring family would have to wait I told myself. When things started to slow down I called everyone that I could think of. Family, friends, neighbors, teachers, anyone. Just to reassure them that I am okay. After that I went back to work. I tried to hold back the tears and the shakes. I had to be the strong one there at the scene. For everyone that knows me sees me as the small but strong rock. I’m only 5’4 yet everyone that I work with say that I walk and talk as if I was 7 feet tall. That when they see something they look to me for moral guidance. That was the hardest part I think. Trying to keep myself going so my friends and partners and even officers I have never met or seen can use me as a form of support. So they can lean on me, hug me and cry while In just stand there taking it all in and not showing it.
In the end, I prayed to God that the killer is brought to justice and that no one else loses their lives today.
When I was relived of duty that night I went home. The adrenaline pumping through me escaped my body and the fear overcame me. I cried and shook. I stayed glued to the television set and had my radio on. Listening and praying to God that the bastard is caught. I had a fresh set of BDUs and my gear ready to go incase of another shooting. This time I did not care about department SOPs. I had my rifle ready for the call out that might come. The rumor was that the killer escaped to the north end of Miami-Dade County. The area where I live at. I told myself that if that bastard is here in my own backyard that I will get him. Around 1am, the local news stations broke out in a live broadcast Miami-Dade SRT cornered found him at 305 SW 85th Ave in Pembroke Pines Florida. That the killer attempted to get into a second gun battle and that SRT took him out. Right there and then a large weight was lifted from my shoulders.
I cried and screamed in joy knowing that justice was served and that my brother in blue was avenged.
I went to bed around 2am, I awoke in cold sweats from nightmares that I don’t want to recall. The first night was a restless one, but in the end. The cold steady weight of my eyelids took over and I went to sleep.
That was my day.