I was a probationer (a term used by LAPD police officers for their first 18 months of their career). It was morning watch (10:15 pm to 7:00 am) and we were almost finished with our very slow shift. We received a radio call of, "men with guns, attempting to car-jack victim and his family. Victim is being chased by suspects in vehicle, north-bound Vermont Avenue..." My partner knew this wasn't a car-jacking in process, his 30 years on the LAPD told him that this was a different kind of robbery. He immediately slammed on the gas and we were en-route at a very high rate of speed with about a 3 minute ETA. While en-route, we heard the dispatcher say, "Shots fired at a residence on ---- Street, armed and uniformed security officer at scene." This was only a block away from the chase and my partner knew it was related. Yeah, a different kind of robbery, indeed.
It only took us a few minutes to arrive. All other units were still minutes away. It was a large beautiful home, back then it was probably worth a few million dollars. The security officer told us the suspects were gone before we arrived. He led us up the driveway to the victim's family. A woman and her two young children were huddled together and balling their eyes out, for good reason. A few yards away in the vestibule of his back porch, a man lay dying on his back. A single bullet hole in the middle of his chest. "Got him in the ten-ring," my partner said to me, a term used for dead center in the middle of the target. The man was barely breathing but unconscious. Dark red, almost oil-looking blood poured out of the bullet-hole and pooled underneath his body. The spit on his mouth bubbled with every breath he took. My partner and I watched him die there, I will never forget that.
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