Twenty minutes later they badged their way through security and headed for the records office. Jeanette Harbin was behind the desk. She’d been with the city for 30 years and she was their favorite clerk. “Morning Detective’s!”
They all had big smiles for the older woman. She was every cop’s best friend. “Morning Jeanette!”
“What can I do for you guys today?” She asked as she tapped a few keys on her computer to wake it up.
She always said that Jonas reminded her of her grandson so they let him take the lead. “Well, we’re looking for some property records and some case files.”
She perked up at the information. “What’s the name on the property?” When Jonas gave the names her fingers froze over the keyboard. “Why are you looking for them?” She almost looked scared.
“We’re working the Benson and Rodriguez cases.” Kris said, knowing everyone in the city knew about the murders and the older lady nodded. “The cases are connected somehow.” She watched the other woman shift uncomfortably. “You’ve been around for a while Jeanette. Did you by chance know either of them?”
She nodded slowly as she looked around. “They were involved in that corrupt police officer case. That Vance character was a very scary man. I had the displeasure of his company quite a few times.”
That piqued their interest and Quinn asked. “Do you remember what he was looking for?”
She nodded and typed a few more things. “Sure. He lived in the Dempsey Hotel and back in its heyday it was quite the place to be. In the late 80’s it was turned into an assisted living home and section 8 housing. He fought like crazy to keep that from happening.”
“I’m confused. What exactly did he think he could do about it?” Kris asked intrigued.
Jeanette looked around again like Vance himself would appear at the mention of his name. She was practically whispering when she said. “He was probably planning on trying to bribe the people involved.” Kris was pretty sure they all stopped breathing. “I overheard him one time telling one of his buddies that he would do whatever it took to change the place.”
They all exchanged looks of amusement; this woman was sharp as a tack. “So you saw him a lot?”
“Unfortunately.” She frowned as she thought back to his visits all those years ago. “The first time I really remember him he came in here he demanded to see the building plans for the hotel. I didn’t want to give them to him but my boss was here and since he was a cop.” She frowned and shrugged. “Anyway, I asked him what he wanted them for. He said he was just moving in and wanted an idea of all possible exits. I didn’t believe him for one second. That hotel was well known for its private rooms in the basement and the things that happened down there. Let’s just say the Japanese women that were brought over for the tea room were doing more than serving tea.”
All Kris could think about was Vance using one of those rooms to do business. “How many times did he come here over the years?”
“At least a couple of dozen times after that particular encounter.” She patted a book that was in front of her. “We were supposed to log people in on the computer but I never liked those things. I prefer good old pen and paper.Anyway, I went back and looked for him in my log books to see how long he’d been coming in.”
“Jeanette.” Jonas said with hope in his voice. “Do you by chance still have the log books from back then?” She smiled brightly and nodded. “You are an amazing woman Jeanette Harbin. Just amazing.” She blushed and waved him off. “Could we see the books?”
“Anything for you guys.” They watched her dig around in the file cabinets behind her and pull out a thick, aged book. “I know you’re going to think I’m a crazy old woman but back when he would come here I would mark the pages. I would make notes of what he’d been looking at and such. I would hear things about what kind of cop he was.I tried to tell my boss about what he’d looked at when it came out that he was dirty but he wouldn’t listen. He called me a crazy cat lady.I’ve never even owned a cat. I thought maybe one day it would come in handy.”
Jonas gave her an over the counter hug and kissed her cheek. “Expect flowers and tons of very nice chocolate.”
She waved him off, smiling and blushing like a school girl. “I just hope it helps.”
The woman was extremely thorough. After each of his log-ins were notes of what he’d looked at. “He went through a lot of Clayton Benson’s cases and every single one were cases involving Kielis Phillips.”
Jonas scoffed and shook his head. “He had to protect his connection. That son of a bitch.”
Kris couldn’t disagree with that sentiment. “He was keeping tabs on what the D.A. had on his informant. Hell, at this point I wouldn’t be surprised if Phillips received a cut for his services. We need to check the records when we get back to the station and look at the evidence and the logs where everything was signed in.He probably made any evidence against his C.I. disappear too. It sounds like he would do anything to protect himself through protecting his informant.”
They looked at the property ownership of Vance’s apartment and the plans for the Dempsey to get an idea about the basement. The apartment was still in Vance’s name.It appeared that he didn’t have any relatives to claim it after he died.When they spoke to the manager he said that neither he nor the previous manager could ever fill it because of what happened. It also surprised them that it was left eh way that Vance had it when he was living in it because no one wanted to clean it out.Then they looked up the Morgan house, it was still in the family’s name. Next they looked at the original court documents for the warrant to search Morgan’s house and then the file on Vance’s murder charge.
“Well, this is how Manny and Clayton are connected. Manny was the jury foreman on Vance’s trial.”Quinn turned the file around and pointed to the judge’s name. “Jonas man, isn’t this your uncle?”
He took the file and looked at the name, Victor Evans. “There’s no way he would’ve signed off on a warrant for a dirty cop.”
Kris and Quinn were looking over his shoulder at the paper. “But look.” Kris pointed to the name of the requesting detective. “Nick Mason was the requesting officer. He was on Vance and Morgan’s team. Your dad said that there were a few others that were in on it with him. He may not have known what he was getting into.If they had compelling evidence…”She shrugged. “What if Mason was one of them?”She pointed to the witness list.“He was supposed to testify for the city but he disappeared during the trial.”
Jonas yanked his phone out of his pocket and called his uncle. He needed to know what he remembered. He tried several times and each time it went to voice mail, he finally left a message then said. “He’s not answering and he always answers.Something is wrong.We need to go now.”
Jonas continued to call his uncle as Quinn drove and Kris called Victor Evans’ office. “His assistant said he went home early.”
Jonas cursed as he gave Quinn directions to his uncle’s house. He called his dad and told him what they’d found. Mitchell was only minutes closer so he headed to his brother’s house too. He pulled up a few seconds before his son and his partners. “He’s still not answering.”
Kris called in their location and asked dispatch to stand by for more information as she opened the trunk and handed out Kevlar vests and ear pieces, eyes scanning the house and the street alternately. “Mitchell, you go with Jonas through the back but stay behind him please. I know you’re armed but Mrs. Evans will kill me if something happens to you. Quinn and I will take the front. I know you guys know what you’re doing but he’s family so keep your eyes open and clear slowly no matter what you hear.”
Everyone agreed and they slowly headed up the front lawn of the house. Kris and Quinn watched as the Evans men disappeared around the side, a few seconds later she heard Jonas in her ear. “We’re at the back door.”
On three they busted through their respective doors and started clearing room by room. Luckily it was a one level ranch style and they were able to clear it pretty quickly.
They heard a noise off the kitchen and turned with their guns drawn to see a very shocked and confused man coming through a door with his hands up. “Mitchell? Jonas? What the hell are you doing here and what is going on?”
Everyone breathed a sigh of relief as Mitchell approached his brother. “We think you’re in danger. We tried several times to call but we couldn’t reach you so we came to check on you.”
“My cell phone was dead when I got home so I put it on a charger.” The man looked absolutely floored. “Me? In danger? From who?”
Jonas clapped his uncle’s shoulder and said calmly. “We need to get you out of here and we’ll explain everything. I promise ok?” He was terrified but nodded. “Ok. Come on.”
The group of five headed out the front of the house thinking everything was ok but still alert and scanning the street with a tight circle around Jonas’s uncle. They were halfway across the lawn when bullets rained down on them. Jonas tackled his uncle and everyone else dove to the ground. It seemed like hours but it was over in seconds.
Kris could feel Quinn partially covering her but it was too late. She felt a burning pain and knew she’d taken a bullet to the shoulder. Quinn scanned the street quickly and realizing they were clear he turned to Kris.
“Oh shit Kris!” His hands went to work quickly removing her vest.“Everyone else ok?” He yelled and received positive responses. “Jonas, call an ambulance! Kris has been hit.”
She groaned as she tried to sit up, only to be pushed back down by Quinn’s strong hand. “I’m ok.” She gritted through clenched teeth. “Damn it Quinn let me up.”
She watched him shake his head in disbelief. “No you’re not ok you crazy woman. You’ve been shot.Now just lay still damn it.”
She did as she was told and listened to her partner call it in. “Dispatch this is Detective Jonas Evans, badge number 9087. Shots fired at police and we have an officer down. I repeat shots fired at police and we have an officer down at our location.”
Dispatch came back in a crackle. “Copy Detective. Back up and EMS are 3 minutes out.”
Jonas moved over to help Quinn. They eased Kris’s vest off and assessed her wound. It needed pressure on it so Quinn took his vest and button up off using the shirt to put pressure on the oozing wound.
Kris lay back on the grassy lawn and cursed. “Son of a bitch.” She clamped her hand around the wrist of the hand that was keeping the blood flow to a minimum. “This really hurts.” Her partner and her boyfriend scoffed and shook their heads. “I’m ok guys.” She could see their worry. “It hurts like hell but really I’m ok.”
Both nodded knowing it could’ve been a lot worse for all of them. It seemed like hours before EMS and back-up showed up. CSU and their Lieutenant arrived only minutes after them.
Elliot loomed over her as the EMT’s worked on her. “Kris, are you sure you’re ok?”
She nodded as she took shallow breaths, the small amount of pain meds they’d given her were starting to work already. “I’m good sir. I promise.Crap.Jonas, how is your dad and uncle?”
He squeezed her free hand and nodded. “They’re ok.” He looked to Quinn and Jonas. “Are you guys ok?” They all nodded. “What the hell happened?”
Jonas filled him in on what they were doing there. “It has to be the killer. When he stopped firing I looked up and managed to see a dark colored SUV speeding away. It looked like a Chevy Tahoe. It could’ve been the shooter. We’ve got to get uniforms out here talking to the neighbors. Someone had to have seen what happened.”
Elliot nodded in agreement as he looked around. “You guys go with Kris. I’ll run the scene and call you when we have something.”
“Ok.” Both men said and then Jonas added. “We need to get my uncle somewhere safe.”
His dad spoke up. “He can stay with me. He’ll be fine there.”
Jonas didn’t like the idea of putting a bigger target on his family. “We should put you guys in a safe house until this is over.”
His father smiled and shook his head. “No way son. We don’t know if this guy has people working with him. We can only trust each other.” He squeezed his son’s shoulder. “We’ll be fine. You know I can take care of all of us.”
He realized there was no point in arguing with his father so he said. “Ok fine but call me as soon as you get home.”
Mitchell did agree to let a uniform escort them home but only because it was Quinn’s cousin Marcus. Kris was loaded into the ambulance with Quinn by her side. Jonas gave them a police escort in their car. He knew his partner was going to be ok but he was still worried. With lights and sirens it didn’t take long to get to the Medical Center. Kris was rushed in and Jonas and Quinn were left waiting.
An hour later a doctor came out. “Family of Detective Parker?” Jonas and Quinn met him at the desk. “Are either of you Jonas Evans or Quinton Wright?” Both men nodded. “Ok. Detective Parker is fine. The bullet was a through and through. We cleaned the wound and stitched it up. She should be able to go home within the next hour. She can’t get the stitches wet and she’ll be in a sling for a few weeks. We’ll also give you guys some waterproof bandages for when she needs to shower.”
He went through wound care and told them she needed to set up an appointment with her primary doctor in a week. If there was any sign of infection she would need to see someone immediately. They thanked him and were led back to her room.
Quinn leaned over her and kissed her forehead. “Hey babe. How are you feeling?”
She wouldn’t let them give her anything too strong. “I’m good. Hurts like hell but I’m good. Doc says I he thinks I could go home tonight.”
Jonas was on her other side, hand on her knee. “Hey partner.” She waved at him. “So yeah, the doc says they fixed you up and you can go home in about an hour.”
Kris could see the emotion in his eyes. “Hey. Hey. Hey.” She reached awkwardly for his hand. “I’m good. Ok?” He nodded his head and sniffed a little. “It’ll take more than that to get rid of me. You know that.” She smiled goofily and he finally smiled back. “Heard from your dad?”
He wiped his eyes and nodded. “Yeah, they’re fine. Marcus and his partner Jamie are going to stay with them tonight.”
“Good.” She let out a long sigh of relief. “That’s really good.” She patted his hand before closing her eyes. “We’ll get this guy. I promise.”
Kris slept until the doctor released her. They wheeled her out to the car, Jonas dropped them at home then went to check on his family.
“I really need a shower babe.” Kris said sleepily as she watched Quinn take off her shoes.
He looked up with a frown. “You’re not supposed to get your bandage wet.”
“But I smell.” She huffed as he stood back up. “I smell really bad.”
He finally gave in and covered her wound with one of the waterproof ones the nurse had given him. She agreed to let him help her because there’s no way she could do it on her own. Jesse stood outside of the bathroom window and watched Quinn help her.He relished in the fact that they had no idea he was so close.
“You may have survived this time bitch but you won’t next time.” Kris Parker would need to be dealt with soon but first he had something more important to take care of.
It was difficult for Quinn to sleep for fear of hurting her if he rolled over wrong. He watched as she slept deeply, curled into his side. He jumped a little when his phone rang. “Hello?” He said quietly.
It was their Lieutenant. “Sorry to call so late Quinn but we have something.”
He cursed when Kris stirred as he tried to ease his arm out from under her. “What is it?” He said quietly as he made his way out of their room and to the kitchen.
He could hear the exhaustion in his boss’s voice. “Erik and his team collected shell casings from the scene. The Chief put this case as top priority. They came from an MP5K-PDW, most specifically one from our S.W.A.T. team. It’s been identified as Greg Houser’s gun.”
Quinn grabbed a bottle of water out of the fridge as Elliot talked. He was raising the bottle to his lips but froze when he heard the last words. “What?”He hissed as he processed the information.He knew Greg and couldn’t believe it could be him.
Elliot sighed heavily and sat down at this desk. “Yeah. But it definitely wasn’t Greg. He’s on vacation in California with his family.”
Quinn leaned heavily against the counter, sighing with relief that it wasn’t Greg. As it all sank in he said. “You do know what you’re saying right?”
It wasn’t really a question and Elliot knew it. “Yeah. Unfortunately I do.”
Both men were quiet for a few seconds until Quinn said. “Ok. So what’s the plan now?”
“I don’t know.” He dry scrubbed his face. “I really don’t know. This is all so messed up.” Elliot looked through his windows into the bullpen, watching his other detective’s work. “I talked to Jonas. He said his uncle remembered signing the warrant only because of what happened afterwards. He also said that he remembered the detective that requested the warrant, Nick Mason, was on the list of witnesses against Vance. Seems as though they made a deal with him and he had no problem testifying in the beginning.”
That made Quinn straighten up. “He disappeared during the trial though. Do we have anything on him? Family, friends, anything?”
Elliot flipped through Mason’s file. “No. All we know is he was single and all of his family lived in Oregon at the time of the murder. If he’s even still alive he’s managed to stay completely off the grid for the last twenty years.”
“Ok.” Quinn said as he walked back to check on Kris. “We need to get details on the other judge and the defense attorney. He’s not slowing down so they are definitely the next targets.”
“I’ve got a plain clothes unit on Maxwell Barnes, the judge but we can’t find Frank Sapp who was the defense attorney.” Elliot pinched the bridge of his nose trying to hold back the raging headache. “I don’t want to make it an official search because clearly whoever the killer is has police connections.”
Quinn walked back to the kitchen and said the words Elliot was thinking. “Or he is a cop.”
Elliot didn’t want to think about that, about what that would do to the city. “How’s Kris?”
Quinn was pulling out the files and his laptop. “She’s sleeping but she’s ok. We’re going to catch this guy Elliot. It’s what we do. We should call Sapp’s office to see if they can tell us anything.”
He nodded as if Quinn could see him. “Yeah. I’ll call them as soon as we hang up. So with Kris down I’m going to take a more active role in this. Is it ok if I come over and we go over it all?”
He had hoped he would ask. “I’m not sleeping any time soon. I’ve got everything set out. I’ll call Jonas because I know he’ll want to be in on it too. The door is open, get here when you can.”
“Ok.” Elliot disconnected the call and tried Sapp’s office again. Apparently it was too late to reach anyone.
Quinn heard a noise behind him and turned to find Kris walking into the kitchen. “Hey!” He wrapped his arms around her and gently pulled her into his lap. “How are you feeling?”
She cuddled against him. “Sore but I’m fine. What’s going on? I thought I heard you talking to Elliot.”
“You did.” He shifted her around so she was more comfortable. “He called to say that the gun used on us earlier was a MP5K-PDW, more specifically Greg Houser from Macon P.D. S.W.A.T.’s MP5. He’s on vacation in California with his family so he’s not the shooter. Also Jonas’ uncle remembered the detective that requested the warrant for the Morgan raid. His name was Nick Mason and he was also one of the witnesses for the prosecution against Vance.”
“Wow.” Kris processed the information for a few minutes before saying. “So the killer either has connections to a cop or…”
Quinn eased her out of his lap and into the chair he was in before he walked to the fridge. “Or he is a cop.” He said for the second time that night as he grabbed a bottle of water, a banana and some Advil. “Here babe.”
Kris took the offered items and kissed his cheek as she let the information sink in. “Thank you.” He gently massaged the back of her neck as she ate. “What are we doing with this?”
He knew she wouldn’t be easy to keep away from this. “Elliot is on his way over with some more files and I was getting ready to call Jonas to see if he wanted to come over. I thought, well was hoping you’d let us run with this. You’re supposed to be resting.”
“Quinn, I’m not giving up this case.” She said as she swallowed the Advil. “I promised these families we’d find the person responsible for this. That I would find them and I’m not stopping because I got shot.”
He sighed and moved to stand in front of her. “I know and I wouldn’t dare tell you that you can’t. I’m not that guy.” Kris smiled softly and clutched his shirt in her hand."But you are hurt and I worry, it’s my job because I love you.” He caressed her cheek softly.
She turned her head slightly and kissed the palm of his hand. “I love you too and I get it. I really do but you know today was a fluke. I mean, how many times have you been shot at since you joined Homicide?”
He didn’t have to think hard about that one. “None until today.” He kissed her softly. “As long as you know that if I think you’re over doing it I’m going to say something.”
She pulled him back into a kiss and said. “Wouldn’t expect anything different.”
An hour later their breakfast bar was surrounded by Elliot, Jonas, Kris and Quinn and it was covered in case files and laptops. “Where are we on searching for applications for new driver’s licenses and birth certificates for Morgan’s wife and son?”
Elliot held up a file, one of a half dozen he brought with him. “I went looking through Vance and Morgan’s cases after we talked. I don’t think we’re going to find those applications. In July of 1987 Morgan arrested a guy by the name of Reid Reilly and guess what his specialty was.”
“Forging documents?” Jonas guessed and received a nod. “Great.” He threw his files down and dry scrubbed his face. “Just great.” This case was getting to everyone.
“So Morgan may have gone to this Reilly guy for some papers for his family.” Kris said as she took a bite of the sandwich Jonas had brought. “I know I would. Especially once I realized what kind of guy Vance was. Is he still alive?”
“We need to find out.” Elliot searched the name and found he’d died in prison 10 years ago.
Quinn looked through the file on the Morgan raid again. “There were no documents like that found in the raid on his house.”
Elliot came back to the table with water for everyone. “I wouldn’t keep something like that in my house either. A safety deposit box would be the best place.”
Kris looked through Morgan’s personal files. “He had an account with the SunTrust on Cherry Street. Damn, I didn’t even know they’d been there that long.” She waved her good hand. “Anyway. Would the bank keep a list of the contents of a safe deposit box?”
Elliot smiled broadly and said. “No but they would know what was inside if the payment on it wasn’t made for a while. Then they would drill it open, catalogue the contents, and file it in Unclaimed Property.” He let out a long happy sigh. “This could be the break we’re looking for.” Unfortunately no one would be at the bank for another 8 hours. “We’ll call them first thing.” Elliot’s phone rang a few minutes later. “That was the detail on Judge Barnes. He’s secure for the night.”
They all breathed a sigh of relief with that news. They spent a little longer going over everything they had and what they would be working on the next day. Instead of going home Jonas and Elliot crashed in the spare bedrooms.