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DPChallenge Forums >> Rant >> Anyone ever been a witness in a Homicide?
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04/02/2005 06:20:04 AM · #1
Just curious if anyone here has ever been involved in the process of being a witness to such a thing or similar. Reason I am asking, is that the way it looks, I may be one.

Tonight, about 11PM, a group of young (early 20's) Hispanic guys were in a tussle in the parking lot across from my shop. There was a lot of name-calling, punches being thrown, at which point I walked out partway, flashlight aimed at them, hollering at them to take it elsewhere.

Suiddenly a baseball bat was drawn from one of the cars and things started getting ugly, as one young man was on his hands & knees and was being struck on the back of the head repeatedly with all of his assailants' force, using the bat.

I rushed back in the shop and called 911 (was VERY stern about them getting medical attn here ASAP), and within about 2 minutes, authorities were here. The young man was incoherent, bleeding from the face and at least one ear, and was rushed to the Hospital within minutes.

Later on, while giving statements about what took place, one of the officers said it was gang-related, and he had also been stabbed in the abdomen and was a possible "44" - the code used for possile Homicide. *gulp*

I could only give knowledge of what I knew for sure, what make & approximate year the other car was, but would never be able to ID anyone, as I never had a good enough look at anyone.

*gulp* Made me wonder if there was anything better I could have done, or did I call soon enough, etc. and realize that there really isn't anything I could have done better in the span of about 2 minutes, and if the kid does survive, he certainly wouldn't have had I not been here.

Geez, what a night. Still feel a bit "odd" as it was surreal in a way.

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And NO - this is NOT an April Fool's joke.

Message edited by author 2005-04-02 06:23:12.
04/02/2005 06:39:19 AM · #2
No I haven't witnessed a homicide, but I can understand how shaken up you feel. Hope you are able to get some sleep tonight.
04/02/2005 06:58:38 AM · #3
I can totally sympathize, no matter the circumstances or the victim, seeing someone die in a violent fashion is very traumatic. My ex-boyfriend and I were exiting an eatery a few years back. On the way out my bf was holding the door for me and this guy bumped into him hard as he went around him to enter and then basically shouldered me backwards out of the door to get inside. It was pretty rude and rough but for once Doug didn’t do the man thing and jump to my defensive instead he let me convince him to ignore it and walk away.

Less then ten steps, we heard two gun shots and then screaming. Obviously we hit the curb, we look back and the guy who had just passed us comes running out. He shot the girl that was standing just inside the door in line and he shot one of the servers. Apparently he had intended to rob the place to punish his girlfriend (second victim) but as soon as he got in there he just lost it. We tried to help both people with medical assistance as soon as he was gone, as most of the people inside (it was packed) either left (ran) or were in complete shock. However the first girl died instantly, and the second one died within a few minutes.

When the police arrive we were able to describe him to the letter and they also took our outer layers of clothing to lift items from the contact points. Because he was known to some of his gf’s co-workers they were also able to state his name with the description.

To this day there are certain situations when I am in line, or when someone bumps up against me where I feel almost ill and what I can only describe as the beginnings of a panic attack. I walk away from a lot of lines and avoid a lot of physically close situations with strangers, just to avoid that feeling.
04/02/2005 01:39:57 PM · #4
Not sure if would have been better to hear gunshots and not actually see it happen, than actually watching one kid senslessly and brutally beat another kids head in numerous times with a baseball bat.
Think I could handle the gunshot without the vivid & brutal slow-motion replays I see now.

Damn.

Message edited by author 2005-04-02 16:11:09.
04/02/2005 01:45:14 PM · #5
Yikes! That's pretty scary, Brad. There's certainly no shortage of news in your area. The only homicide I've witnessed was my In the Beginning score. I wonder what the guy's reaction would have been if you pointed your tele-extender at him? depending on the lighting and angle, that might have scared him away (seriously).

Message edited by author 2005-04-02 13:46:34.
04/02/2005 01:52:02 PM · #6
Nah - these kids could have cared in the least that I was there, shining a very powerful flashlight at them. It was a frenzy that only sirens would have (and did) deter.
04/02/2005 02:51:07 PM · #7
It distrubs me dearly to read what other humans are capable of doing to one another. :(
04/02/2005 03:58:06 PM · #8
Originally posted by scalvert:

Yikes! That's pretty scary, Brad. There's certainly no shortage of news in your area. The only homicide I've witnessed was my In the Beginning score. I wonder what the guy's reaction would have been if you pointed your tele-extender at him? depending on the lighting and angle, that might have scared him away (seriously).
Shannon your suggestion is very foolish.I work in the field of Law enforcement and I highly discourage anybody from direct intervention in violent confrontations such as Brad witnessed.Brad could have been seriously hurt or far worse killed.
04/02/2005 03:59:33 PM · #9
I've never witnessed a homicide, but I've been the first medical person at the scene of 2 accidents where 2 people died (one a pregnant lady) and that stuff will stir you up.
04/02/2005 04:21:29 PM · #10
Yes. Seen a lot more then that as well.
04/02/2005 04:32:18 PM · #11
It's a sad state of affairs when in this day and age you have to think about yourself and family when something like this happens. If Brad had done anything further it would probably have been more than one person at the hospital. If he does die and Brad is called as a witness then it may not stop there either. Seeing as this happened across the road from his shop and could be gang-related they could make life quite difficult if there is a conviction. Fear is a very powerful tool.
04/02/2005 04:53:09 PM · #12
(((hugs)))you must be very shaken up Brad. I'm thinking of you.
04/02/2005 04:58:47 PM · #13
With all the surprise/shock, I don't think many people would think to do anything other than call 911. And, as Don mentioned, that's probably the safest thing. The last thing you need is for them to think that you're taking pictures of them or anything else, which would almost guarantee a return visit. Whatever you do, I hope that you're careful and don't talk too much about it with people other than the police (although maybe this is a bit late to be saying this :P).. maybe I'm a bit paranoid, and don't want to make you too paranoid either, but I wouldn't want to get too mixed up with anyone who can do this to another human being. Anyway, it sounds like you did all that you could and certainly more than some people (those who are really scared might be too afraid to even call the police right away) - for which you should be commended.
04/02/2005 08:23:15 PM · #14
I know from working on a locked psych ward what it is like to live in an abnormal world all day and then enter so-called normal life after work. I witnessed suicide and murder on both sides of the wall when I was younger, and know that it took me a while to learn that in real life I didn't have "back up" and after one scary encounter, I learned I had to watchout for myself. Once I had a child, I wouldn't even let anyone within 100 yards of us who didn't belong. I am glad you didn't allow yourself to be hurt, and please be careful still. That said, I know you will always lend a hand when you can.
04/02/2005 08:39:10 PM · #15
I have seen many... we called it war. Still being plagued by it. Brad, as a friend, some good advise, chat to a professional. As we grow older the subconscious looses it's ability to protect us, hence the nightmares, depressions, angoraphobia etc etc. Sad state this so called humanity is in. Sad.
04/02/2005 11:42:19 PM · #16
Hang in there Brad. I've seen several confrontations that took the person within heartbeats of their lives. I've seen two people cut up within a foot or two of me. I used to get in a few fights of my own when I was younger and hung with quite a few people who just didn't care. I may have even put one person close to the edge myself before I had realized what had happened. Even so, it ways heavy every time you see something like that.
04/04/2005 03:39:33 AM · #17
Wanted to follow-up and extend my sincerest thanks for all the support & kinds words.

I stopped by the Hospital tonight during the same shift the young man would have been brought in during. The administration there really couldn't back-track the info without a name, though they did try. He kinda' falls into a different catagory as he was admitted as a VOV (Victims of Violence) patient.

I called the local police department and by chance, ended up speaking to the same officer that took my 911 call that night. He had no specific infromation as to the young man's condition, but because they have a regular follow-up protocol in place, have not heard that he was deceased, nor any news releases been made of the same. The Hospital would have also notified the PD had he not made it.

Guess in this case, no news is good news, and feel a sense of closure on this. Nice to know that the call may have in fact saved his life.

*weight lifts off shoulders*
04/04/2005 03:59:35 PM · #18
(nudge for day crew)
04/04/2005 04:23:56 PM · #19
I plan on winning the lottery one day. When I do, I am going to buy an island were it stay 78 degrees year round, and it has the most beutiful scenery in the world. Also I will supply evey one with computers of thier choice, which will include cable modems. The only thing you have to do to get there is be non violent, like to sit around, drink beer and take pictures, and soak up the sun. So for all those people when I win, I will post and let you know. <Peace>

Travis
04/04/2005 04:25:04 PM · #20
Yeesh, Brad, that is really quite an amazing story, and I admire your heroism. I can sympathize with the way you're feeling, about how hard it is to shake those kinds of images from your mind.

While this wasn't a homicide story (thank goodness), I've been plagued with scenes of a very near tragedy in my own life since last summer.

I took my 6-year-old daughter camping on August 1, and we did a few touristy things (bumper boats, go-carts, etc.) before deciding to make a picnic lunch. I parked the car, and sent her across the street to a playground while I started gathering the picnic stuff out of the car.

I had carefully looked to be sure there weren't any cars on the road, and I went back to getting stuff out of the trunk as soon as she had crossed the road. There were about three cars parked in a little dirt lot next to the playground.

Less than a minute later, I heard commotion from across the street. I looked over that way, and could see that *something* was directly underneath a truck that was backing up out of that lot.

I can't begin to express my horror in realizing that the "something" was my daughter. The couple driving the truck was backing up, and she was too short to have been seen over the tailgate. They had no idea what was happening; some bystanders began yelling, which is what caught my attention.

I sprinted, screaming, across the street, and I flung the door of the truck open and told the driver to move forward as I thought a wheel may have been resting on my daughter (who was under the passenger side of the vehicle).

The good Lord was definitely with us that day. The truck was high enough above the ground that she was ok, even though she was directly under it. The truck did run over her foot, breaking three bones, but that was nothing compared to what *could* have happened.

I've definitely relived that scene in my mind countless times. I can actually recount every millisecond of that experience, and I can vividly remember every single thought that sped through my mind while it was happening.

Thankfully those thoughts are rare for me nowadays, although I'll get a bit freaked out when I hear news stories about kids being hit by cars, etc.

I'm sure that time will similarly put those thoughts out of your mind, too.
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