The headline read, “Cop-Shooting Fugitive Dies in Gun Battle with State Police and FBI”.
The incident itself was all too familiar — a disturbed guy with a lengthy criminal record shoots and wounds a small-town police officer following a traffic stop, then flees into a nearby forest. He is armed and desperate.
He breaks into a church, where he steals donation money, medical supplies, and food. He is then spotted with an assault rifle and a shoulder belt of ammunition, running through the church cemetery toward an abandoned house.
Never a good situation.
An FBI SWAT team and the State Police track him there and in the ensuing confrontation, an agent is wounded and the subject is killed. The automatic rifle is found next to the gunman’s lifeless body, suggesting he was bent on more violence had he not been stopped.
This man was clearly troubled and homicidal, arguably even suicidal, to shoot a police officer and then engage in an armed standoff with law enforcement. He represented a danger to himself and everyone around him until he was finally brought down in a hail of bullets.
Paulette and I share a unique history that goes back 30 years. Time and distance conspire now to keep us apart but when we connect, even though it necessarily involves airplanes and major schedule adjustments, it’s always worth it.
She and I chose a career in Federal law enforcement at a time when earning the respect of our peers in a male-dominated profession meant embracing an over-the-top work ethic and developing a very “thick hide”. That experience cultivated a unique bond, in and of itself.
We were pregnant together and shared the unique travails reserved for expectant mothers in that kind of job. We raised our children in a world we viewed through a particular lens of danger and did our best to make their lives “normal”.
Early on in our friendship, we discovered we had more than just our careers in common.