The look in his eyes I will never forget. Not for the rest of my life. It
was frightened and guarded, and at the same time evil and uncaring. He had
killed gruesomely without remorse, but shooting him wasn't any easier. I
will never understand how they kill without feeling. I've never gotten
used to the feeling that comes over me as they fall to the ground, bodies
so still it's frightening. Blood splatters everywhere and pain and death
is all that remains in the end.
This was just the same thing. The same thing that I see every day in
my line of work. I'm a cop and I see death and murderers and drugs and
guns. I'm supposed to stay neutral. But it's not so easy. It's so hard
to keep your mind thinking about bringing them in. They're going to jail,
and I'm going to put them there. It's so hard not to just take their lives
like they've done to so many other people. To ruin their lives.
He was a murderer and a drug dealer. Heroin and cocaine and
everything associated with it. If you didn't pay, you died. It was simple
to him and complex to everyone else. Impossible to understand. We were
going to arrest him as soon as the deal was made.
I was undercover and my partner was my point man, the one to make the
call. The one to send in my backup. The deal was almost over, the cash
was ready to be wired into a Swiss bank account and the drugs were clean.
That's when things went sour. Someone had leaked information. They
knew I was a cop. He pulled a gun and I saw a flash of light glinting from
the steel barrel. My instincts took over I dove for cover just a hail of
bullets flew through the air inches from my body. A sharp pain shot
through me as a bullet grazed my arm. Just a flesh wound. No big deal.
Gotta keep moving.
Backup was just around the bend. I could hear their footsteps in the
hallway coming to my rescue. But he was getting away. They wouldn't get
there in time. I had to act. He looked back at me and I saw for the first
time panic in his eyes. He stopped just a few feet away from a large
picture window and aimed the gun straight at me as I did the same. I
stared directly into his eyes, surprised by the hatred that ran so deep.
They were so cold; so full of anger.
He smiled at me for a moment as if he knew he had won. I watched his
finger tighten on the trigger. We were supposed to bring him in alive if
possible. He had a lot of connections in the underground drug organization
here in Miami. Not that most every criminal didn't know something about
them. They supplied every major dealer in the state of Florida.
I didn't want to shoot him if I didn't have to, but it looked like I
wasn't going to have a choice anyway. He was ready to fire, but I beat him
to it. I felt the bullet leave the gun and watched in what seemed like
slow motion as it raced through the air toward his body. His eyes locked
onto mine once more and now they registered fear and just a little surprise
at having been beat at his own game.
The bullet hit his shoulder and blood splattered against the wall as
it exited his back. His body turned with the force of the impact and he
fell through the glass which shattered under his weight. I heard the dull
thud as his body hit the concrete sidewalk three floors below. For a
moment I couldn't bring myself to look over, to make sure he was dead,
though I knew he was.
It was only then that I realized that my partner stood next to me.
The rest of my backup was checking the scene. He looked at me for a moment
before commenting on the bust.
"Gross. So much for bringing him in alive," he said sarcastically.
"You okay partner?" he added, looking at me with a concerned eye.
"Yeah, I'm fine, Rico," I answered, placing my gun carefully back
into its leather holster. There was nothing more to be done here. "Let's
go. The boys can handle this one alone."
"Lieutenant's gonna love the paperwork," he muttered as he followed
me out the door.
The look in his eyes I will never forget. The hatred and the anger;
the fear and the evil that lay just beneath the surface. They were cold,
dead eyes. They were eyes that never needed to be seen again. That never
would be seen again. I've wondered briefly how they get used to the
killing; the sight of death. I will never understand how they do it. I
have not forgotten.