Chapter Three: Next time, you protect the house!
The Peabody delivery service truck pulled into the house. Obviously, the house was under surveillance, and we needed to sneak in. The TST started setting up. I loaded my family into the truck. Then I took a Spas-12 and sat behind the table with the computer monitor showing the security footage. The Cartel was two hours late. It was pitch black when I saw the SUVs pull up outside the gate. I spoke into my radio. “Two five, two five, on the air. This is Command.”
“Radio two five.” The spotter on the roof said. “I have a solution. They’ve scaled the wall and they’re spreading out inside. I have solutions if you want them.”
“Negative, negative, we’ll light up the floodlights in a moment. Let me know when they’re all committed.”
“They’re committed. They are all inside the perimeter.”
“Okay, stay down. They’re probably going to go for the lights.” I snapped a switch and ten floodlights lit up the entire front lawn. “This is the Crown City Police! You are trespassing! Exit the property at once or our officers will open fire!” I called into a microphone.
Gunfire exploded outside. Within ten seconds, the lights were dead. Next, a Molotov Cocktail detonated. I knew it was a Molotov Cocktail because during Riot Training, you spend a fun filled day getting them thrown at you. Everyone ducked, and 2-5 yelled, “I’ve got fire on the roof!”
“Return fire!” I snapped into the microphone. Gunfire exploded. One of the TST officers in the room stepped to the window and opened fire. Upstairs other officers were firing. I bent over to pick my riot helmet off the roof. I had just pulled it over my head, when I was showered with bits of computer monitor as they exploded under the incoming hail of bullets. I grabbed the Spas-12 and headed for the hall, opening a panel in the wall. It was similar to a milk chute. The original owner, knowing that police always pin their back against a wall before going in, had ordered the construction of that nasty little trap. I saw a shape flit in front of the door, and then a small thud from directly in front of me. I pulled the trigger. The blast picked turned the wooden panel into splinters, and the man was physically picked up and sent flying off the porch. I dropped back behind the protective riot shields as bullets from my victim’s partner ripped through the wall. The TST returned fire. I heard a double crash, a snap, then a whoosh, so I glanced into the living room. Flames from a Molotov Cocktail leapt up, and the TST officer scrambled out, his clothing smoldering. Fire alarms went off, lighting the hallway with blinking white lights, and the sprinkler system kicked off. Another crash and a whoosh from upstairs, and the bullets through the door stopped.
“One on the air, be advised” my earpiece crackled. “About ten foot mobiles coming… Wait no… Standby… Okay I’ve got two groups of five, one is moving in on the front door. The second is moving on the sidewalk past the garage. Standby.”
We stood by. I looked at the four TST men with me. “Lets take the wall.”
We moved down the hall and into a corridor that leads to a kitchen. The officers and I opened a small door. We were inside a room with the same shape as a coffin. It was simply drywall and plaster. The TST crouched behind riot shields and I crouched behind them, reloading the shotgun. I waited. 2-5 spoke over the radio. “I’ve got four SUVs that just arrived, and I’ve got subjects spreading out through the garden. Looks like the reserves have arrived.”
“Alright, call for ours.”
“Roger ETA Five minutes.”
The front doors exploded open and four men entered, while a fifth, armed with a shiny steel revolver, covered them. I watched as they moved like pros in their black bullet resistant vests. Sergeant Witherspoon snapped, “Fire!” The MP5S and M4s above my head erupted and sent bullets smashing through the wall. The first two gangsters went down, but the next two managed to send a quick burst from their assault rifles through the wall. Most went over our heads, but at least three rounds smacked into the shields. The revolver spat thrice. The first bullet smacked into a shield, knocking a hole in the Plexiglas, but the second and third punched through the shield and into the chest of one of the TST Officers. He glanced down. He wasn’t knocked from his feet, but I put that down to the bullets being spent from the wall. Later, I found out that the bullets were .50 caliber magnum rounds, the same caliber as the machine gun, and that the brand new dragon skin armor we were all wearing was undamaged. Like all officers, I’d had my doubts about equipping the Tactical Teams with flexible armor, despite the superintendent allowing himself to be shot four times while wearing it with a .40 caliber pistol. But now, my doubts were gone.
An explosion came from upstairs, and a voice roared, “Officer down! Suspects are approaching the rear!”
While the rest of the nearby TST moved up to cover and detain the downed men, Witherspoon and I moved toward the rear.
I found out later that only one officer had been guarding the back path, which should have been plenty. The officer had ordered the advancing suspects to drop their weapons, and when they’d pointed them at her, she had put a three round burst into the lead suspect’s face, then ducked back into cover. Unknown to her, (and me,) one of the perps was armed with an AKM assault rifle that had a very illegal underslung grenade launcher. He sent a fragmentation grenade through the window, spraying the officer’s body with bits of metal and plaster. If the officer hadn’t been wearing her vest and riot helmet, she would have been killed. Instead, she was badly cut up in the legs, arms, and lower regions of her torso. Then, one perpetrator had thrown a Molotov cocktail through the window setting the room on fire.
I stepped into the kitchen and crouched behind the central island. It was a very modern kitchen. Witherspoon took up position in the doorway with his MP5 pointing over my head. We watched a monitor, mounted next to the door, displaying feed from a security camera outside. There were four of them. Outside gunshots, seagulls, and waves could be heard. Two gangsters took up positions on either side of the doorway while one seemed to be covering the exterior of the building. The remaining offender took several steps back and charged the door. I raised my hand and glanced back. Witherspoon nodded, and I sent three blasts from my shotgun through the door only a moment before he hit it. The first shot compromised the door. The second hit him like a punch to the gut. The third countered his momentum and he bounced off the door and dropped backwards, falling onto the steps that lead to the beach. Bullets ripped through the door in return. The lock blew apart. On the monitor, I saw the one off to my left swing out and lift his leg like he was going to kick the door. Witherspoon’s hail of bullets dropped him to the ground. The remaining man by the door looked around, then raised his hand to the camera. It had a revolver in it. The monitor turned to static. Instantly, the door burst open. The man who’d kicked it dropped, writhing under Witherspoon’s fire. Suddenly the only remaining attacker twisted around the corner, and there was a blast. The grenade exploded behind Witherspoon, and he dropped. I took six fragments. Two to my arm three to the vest and one to the helmet. I would have blown the shooter’s head off, but my gun had jammed. For some reason, my pistol, sitting snug in it’s holster, went forgotten, and I tried to clear the jam. I heard crunching glass and finally ejected a shell. It clinked, and I raised the gun just in time to rest it against the midriff of the attacker. He was young, black, and was dressed like a college student. He had the same emotionless eyes I’d seen a hundred times in the eyes of gangbangers and officers who had pulled the trigger before and knew they’d just pulled it again, dead but with a hint of desperation, pleading almost, behind it. I said, “No.” His gun was two inches from my left femoral artery. “Drop it. NOW!” He started to lower the gun with his left hand, and raised his right hand. It darted behind his head, and a knife appeared. Seconds before my children became fatherless, I sent 18 bits of double aught buckshot into his vest, propelling him backwards through the glass of a window. I stepped up, and heard steps. I whirled, and dropped the shotgun on the floor. Two TST men were there. I ordered, “Secure these men!” gesturing to the perps. “Get help. And don’t move the sergeant! He might have a neck injury.”
I stepped over him and arrived in the hallway. “We’ve got fire upstairs, but the sprinklers are keeping it controlled” a sergeant briefed me. “Twenty-five is waiting for clearance before turning on the exterior sprinklers. We’re holding here because the spotter reported them regrouping. It looks like they’re going to rush us again.”
Then, a wonderful voice said, “This is Sweden. I’m in position.”
I snapped back. “Standby. Wait until 2-5 tells you they’re moving toward the house, then crash the party. We’ll rush out and take up position outside the house.” I wanted to be outside for two reasons. First, the house was filling with smoke. Second, if they charged in, we were out of tricks and would literally be fighting over the wounded. I tapped two men with shields. “When 2-5 gives the order.”
“This is 2-5” my earpiece informed me. “They’re coming!”
“Hit the sprinklers, then get down here!” I ordered. Outside, tall spire sprinklers snapped up, seven feet high, and burst into a shower. Simultaneously, I tapped the two shield men on their shoulders. Behind them, two TST officers with M4 carbines stepped up, and we moved forward, crouched. Outside, the Sheriff’s Lenco Bear armored truck crashed through the gates, and then smashed through the SUVs parked on the driveway.
The Sheriff’s SWAT team flew out of the back and spread out rapidly along the back wall. We advanced. Over my earpiece, the voices from the Deputies who had been listening to us talking chittered rapidly until the perimeter was sealed. The gangsters advancing on the house spun around and opened fire. The Crown City Police advanced out and engaged them from behind. The villains ducked for cover, wiping the water from their faces. A loudspeaker on the Bear shrieked out, “This is the Heron County Sheriff. All of you are under arrest! Continued resistance is futile. All of you know that. I will say this once. DROP YOUR WEAPONS OR YOU WILL be KILLED. NOW!” I heard a clatter, and with the TST spread out behind me, my trusty S&W in my hand, we advanced. The perps we encountered were placed face first on the ground to have their hands ziptied behind their back.
Three hours later, I was standing by the back of the Chevy Tahoe command unit, watching a reporter talking. Crime Scene tape protected the driveway. The neighbors from all the houses north and south and across the street for several blocks had been moved into their basements or out. Now, they were returning. The ambulances and paddy wagons were long gone. Witherspoon, with shrapnel in or near his spinal cord, and the other officer from upstairs with severe shrapnel punctures and burns, along with twelve of thirty total perps were being given medical care. Four were dead. I’d made the traditional, “Next time we do this, you protect the house” remark to Sweden the moment we met. And, of course, he had replied, “You owe me a new safehouse.” He was right. Heron County Fire Rescue was still probing around for hotspots.
The reporter was saying, “A dramatic shootout with police and sheriff deputies ended tonight with two officers and twelve suspects injured. There are also unconfirmed reports that several suspects are also dead. The Sheriff and CCPD Superintendent are due to speak in a few minutes.” I still stood and watched, although I could recite what would be said. Regrettable incident, full investigation by state police, perfect example of joint operations, our condolences, let this be a lesson to all criminals out there, etc. I sat back and enjoyed it.
The Gambling Den owner, known as Xi’e, was charged with Money Laundering and the operation of an illegal casino. However, the US Attorney General gave him immunity in exchange for his testimony.
The surviving suspects, with the exception of those seriously injured for life (i.e. paralyzed or brain damaged) were charged and convicted of various offenses, from ADW on a police officer to felonious assault. Several received reduced sentences in exchange for testimony.
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