Unkindest Cut of All

Chapter 16


Eddie rode with Casey as she drove to the hospital. She was silent most of the way there and Eddie allowed her to be as he knew she was trying to figure out what to do about Cole, as well as who it was she could trust. Truthfully, Casey wouldn't have chosen to tell Alvarez at all, as he was too much of a stickler for the rules and protocols, but she knew she didn't have a choice, but to trust him, as he was there when her partner had mentioned Cole's involvement. Thankfully, Alvarez was slowly getting better at becoming a part of the cop family, thanks to Walsh taking his time to befriend the odd man out.

As she pulled into the hospital's parking lot and parked the car, Casey remained silent as she just sat there and stared ahead at the emergency room's doors, but she was interrupted after a minute as Eddie spoke up as he turned to her and asked, "Are you all right?"

She blinked and then turned to look at the detective as she answered, "Not really. I mean, back when Beaumont was shot and I found Walsh just sitting in his car as he was afraid to go in, I didn't understand how he felt. In fact, I teased him for it, but now I know how it feels to worry about losing someone that you care about. I should have been more sympathetic."

"I'm sure he knew that you were," Eddie replied. "Do you know what you're going to tell Sergeant yet?"

"No, I haven't," Casey responded in frustration as they both finally got out of the car and headed inside. "I know I can trust him, but he'll be under obligation to report Cole to whoever is above him. We can try to invoke a 1313, but in reverse, however that will only give us a six hour window to prove Cole's involvement and that just isn't enough. There's too much going on here and besides, I have no idea how deep Cole is into this. When we were inside the diner, you said that the guy on the surveillance video looked familiar to you. As I looked closer, I saw that he looked an awful lot like Cole and Walsh struggled to tell us that our shooter's his brother. It's possible that just like Frank Lutz did, Cole's brother dragged him into helping him out in small ways, such as getting rid of any evidence that points to him, but it's also possible that Cole's involved much deeper than that too, all though he doesn't strike me as the type to be able to willingly let a friend die."

Alvarez nodded as he listened to Casey and then finally spoke up saying, "You're right. There's too much to figure out within just six hours. However, you need to tell Sergeant anyway. He'll do whatever he can so that we can do what we need to do."

As they walked up to the nurses' station near the operating rooms, Casey turned to one of the women sitting down and said, "Excuse me, we're here for Detective Jason Walsh, who was brought in here a few minutes ago with a stab wound to the abdomen, as well as a gunshot wound to his shoulder. I'm his partner, Detective Shraeger, and this is Detective Alvarez. We need you to keep us informed on his progress, as well as when he's out of surgery."

"Yes, Ma'am," one of the nurses answered. "The doctors are working on him in operating room two. We'll let them know that you're here if you'd like to have a seat in the waiting area."

"I need to have a clear view of the room in order to make sure that no one, who doesn't belong, goes in or out," Casey replied as she walked over to the hard plastic chairs, picked one up, and moved it against a wall where she could see the room clearly. "There have already been too many attempts on his life. I won't let it happen again."

The nurses just nodded as Eddie followed suit with the younger detective, then turned away and began to do whatever they were doing before the detectives arrived. Once she got settled, Casey pulled out her cell phone and stared at the screen, knowing that she had to call her boss, but was still unsure of what to say to him. As Eddie had said, she needed to tell him everything, but how does she do that when she doesn't know hardly anything?

Sergeant Brown arrived at the hospital, a little after four o'clock, as soon as he could after receiving the call from his partner that Walsh had been found, and as soon as he saw his detectives, he quickly walked over to them and asked, "How is he?"

Both Casey and Eddie stood and pulled their boss aside where no one was around to listen in on their conversation, then responded, "We're not sure yet, as the doctors haven't come out to tell us anything, but based on how he looked back at his diner, he's in bad shape, Sir; really bad shape."

"Talk to me," Sergeant ordered. "What the hell happened?"

"I'm still trying to piece together the puzzle, Sir, but when I left work after you sent us all home, I drove to Walsh's diner in order to try to come up with something that would help us to find him," Casey answered. "Alvarez figured I would be there and wanted to help. We watched the surveillance footage again because I had a feeling there was something I was missing and I realized that Walsh was paying more attention to the guy than he was to the woman. Whatever the guy was saying, it made Walsh nervous. A thought eventually came to me and as we walked out, Walsh suddenly appeared out of nowhere and pushed us down as someone began to fire at us. We all fired back and as the guy ran away, we saw that he was hit somewhere on the arm. Once the threat was over, Walsh collapsed and we found that he had taken a bullet as well, to his right shoulder, very close to his neck. As we expected, he had a knife wound in his stomach as well and he was freezing cold. Wherever he was held, it let the cold in. His heart stopped, Sir. The paramedics were about to give up on him until I ordered them to keep trying. It's a miracle Walsh is still alive."

Walsh has always been one hell of a fighter and a hell of a cop," Brown replied. "It's the main reason why I hired him to join our precinct. Do you any idea what happened to him?"

Casey looked at Eddie with concern until he quickly spoke up saying, "As the ambulance pulled away, we were heading to Casey's car, when we were stopped by a kid, who admitted that he belonged to the gang that kidnapped Walsh, but we didn't have him arrested because Walsh gave him a slide when he escaped from what the kid said was a container at a shipyard. He said that Walsh had the chance to shoot him, but didn't and so the kid helped him to escape and get to us. He went on to tell us that Walsh said he needed to find Shraeger to warn her that our shooter was trying to kill her."

"Who would want to kill both Walsh and you and why kidnap him first?" their boss asked no one in particular. "Do you have any idea, who the shooter is or, who set this whole thing up? I doubt it was the gang's idea."

"Kyle, the kid, said that his friend's sister, Lisa Jensen, was the one that set up the kidnapping," Casey responded.

Sergeant quickly asked, "Lisa Jensen, you mean the woman in the surveillance video, just as we suspected because of the earrings we found?"

Casey nodded and continued, "Kyle said that he and her brother went to the shipyard to look for her, as she hadn't spoken to them since the kidnapping and said that they found her body inside the same container where Walsh was being held. He said that her boyfriend, the guy in the surveillance video, killed her in order to keep her from ratting him out to us. Just as I suspected, he's the real threat and even though we couldn't see our shooter's face, as it was mostly covered up, I'll bet that it was him."

"What I don't understand is, how does a guy like this, not have a record?" Eddie asked. "I mean, someone doesn't just one day decide to start their life of crime by trying to kill three cops."

"I think I may know the answer to that," Casey answered nervously as she turned to look at their boss with concern etched on her face. "Sir, there's more, but what we're about to say is difficult and is the reason why I asked you to come here as soon as possible and alone. You can't tell the others yet, what I'm about to tell you, especially Beaumont."

Sergeant Brown looked at her and asked, "What's going on, Shraeger?"

Casey looked over at Alvarez, who only nodded, then back at their boss, and replied, "You know how several months ago we finally discovered that Frank Lutz was the man responsible for having Kowalski killed and then tried to kill Walsh because he was afraid that Walsh had found out about him?"

"Yes, of course I remember," Brown responded. "Are these two cases related?"

"I'm afraid so, Sir," Casey answered. "But I'm afraid there was more to that case than what Walsh and I told you and mentioned in our reports. Lutz had a friend years ago, who helped him to commit minor crimes and a few bigger ones, such as stealing an armored car. However, he moved here to New York City and changed his name in order to start a new life, but Lutz found him again a few days before he had Kowalski killed and blackmailed his friend into helping him to cover his role in the murder up. Then, later Lutz found out that Walsh had discovered his friend's past and tried to kill him too."

Sergeant Brown quickly asked, "What does all this have to do with Walsh being here in the hospital today?"

Casey replied, "Sir, Lutz's friend's name was once Navan Granger. Today, we know him as Detective Henry Cole."

"Cole, you can't be serious?" Brown said skeptically. "Cole's a good cop, who's found God."

"Walsh has the proof of Cole's past somewhere, Sir," she responded. "Believe me, when Walsh shared what little he did with me at the time, I was skeptical too, but after Cole shot Lutz, Walsh confronted him and Cole didn't deny it. Tonight, after Walsh saved me and Alvarez, he fought to tell us that Cole was somehow involved and that our shooter is his brother before he fell unconscious. We don't know how Cole's brother came to be involved, why he's trying to kill Walsh and me, and we don't know how deeply Cole is involved. We also have no proof, except for what little Walsh has. If we're not careful, Cole could get away with it."

Eddie spoke up again saying, "I can't believe this."

Sergeant looked at Alvarez, then turned back to Casey and said angrily, "You should have come to me with this a long time ago, Shraeger; you and Walsh."

"Sir, I back Walsh up on his decision completely because he was trying to protect and save someone he believed was a good man," Casey answered firmly. "He did what he thought in his heart was right, as any good cop should do, but it turns out he was wrong and he's now paying the price for it."

"For what it's worth, I understand, but I have no idea how we're going to prove all this," the sergeant replied. "I am obligated to report Cole to Internal Affairs."

Alvarez asked, "But how can you do that without some kind of proof that gives them a reason to suspect him of what we're accusing him of? Who knows where Walsh hid what we need."

Just then, Beaumont came into view and rushed toward them once she saw them, followed by Cole, who walked in much more slowly, but before they reached them, Casey quickly turned to the sergeant and whispered, "You can't tell Beaumont any of this, or the others. She's too close to Cole."

"Believe me, I know this better than you, Detective," Brown responded.

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