Chicago Warriors: Detective Sanela Latarski

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"Marilyn, come out here for a minute," said Latarski as she popped her head in the office and motioned for her to join her in the hall. They stepped outside the Chaplain's Office and began to walk down the hall leading away from all the confusion that still existed around the ER. "What is it Sanela?"

"I told you that I had pretty much figured out what happened out there at the shooting scene, but that I needed the doctor to tell me what type of rounds Pete was hit with. Before I tell you what my conclusions are, I'd like to tape your preliminary statement concerning your actions at the scene. In a couple of weeks we'll have you give a more comprehensive statement. Are you okay with that, or do you want time to reflect or to see a counselor?"

"No," said Marilyn, "I'm fine...still a little upset about letting Pete go with Rosato, but now that I know that he's going to be okay, let's do it."

Marilyn gave her a brief statement as to her and Groman's activities, the gunshots they heard, and then going to Pete's side as he lay on the ground.
"What about Rosato? Did he seem to be acting normally, given that he was just involved in a shooting?"
Marilyn cupped her chin in thought. "You know, he was acting strangely."

"How so?" asked Latarski.
"Well, it seemed that he was preoccupied...he was looking around the area for something."

"Was he looking downward perhaps?" asked the detective.
"Yes, as if he was searching the ground for something that he missed."

"Anything else Marilyn?"
"Just that he didn't seem very upset that Pete had just been shot, his focus was somewhere else."

"Okay, that's all I need right now. We'll probably contact you in the next couple of weeks to come in and give us a signed statement and add anything that you may have forgotten. In the meantime, I'm going to call my partner with this and the info from the doctor."
They walked back toward the office and then saw Beth coming down the hall. She came up to Marilyn and took both her hands into her own.

"I have to apologize to you Marilyn."
"Why?" She said

"That day I saw you with Pete when you came to visit Mac here at the hospital, I thought that maybe you and Pete were dating. I immediately thought ill of you, and I now want to apologize."

Marilyn hugged her and said, "Beth, there's no need for that. I respect you and Pete too much for that to ever be a consideration. Your husband is one of a kind. In the short time that we've been partners I've learned so much from him...about police work and life itself."

"Thanks Marilyn. He's taught me a lot about life too, just in the last couple of days."
"So how is he," asked Marilyn.

"Well he fell asleep while we were talking, and he seems to be ‘my old Pete'. But he said something weird."
Beth leaned in a little closer to Marilyn as if to whisper, "He said he thinks that Sal shot him."
Marilyn leaned back, " are kidding me!"

"I'm not. He said that he remembers Rosato standing over him with a revolver."

"Holy cow," said Marilyn. "I'll be back in a minute. I have to see Det. Latarski."

Marilyn rushed down the hall and out the ER doors. Dawn was breaking over the city. It would be a glorious day, she thought...Pete's okay, and God is good. Looking around the parking area she spotted Latarski on her cell phone. She jogged over to where she was involved in a conversation on her phone.

Latarski finished her conversation and turned to Benson. "What's up Marilyn?"

"I don't know what you and your team concluded happened, but I just spoke with Beth. She had just finished her visit with Pete in ICU; she told me that Pete thinks that Sal shot him... Well...aren't you a little shocked?"

"Not shocked," said the detective, "just more convinced."
"What? You thought all along that Sal was the shooter?"
"Yeah, the evidence all pointed toward it. Rosato had a motive, an opportunity, and a means to do it. The problem is that he was rushed, and there were too many witnesses-one in particular that saw the entire incident unfold."

"You're kidding, someone eyeballed the whole thing?"
"Not someone, some thing," said Latarski. "Groman told me that you two came across a security room inside the building that had a wall of monitors, which means that there had to be surveillance cameras somewhere. We located one on the corner of the building and had the Security Chief come in and play it back for us. It captured everything. Sal shot Pete with his service weapon, then he the burglar. Then he pulled a small gun out of his pocket, stood over Pete while he was lying on the ground, and shot him in the head. He then threw the burglar's gun in a dumpster and replaced it with a drop gun that he shot Pete in the head with."

Marilyn shook her head in disbelief. "I knew that he was evil, but I didn't think he would resort to anything like that."
"Unfortunately the bad guy is dead, but with all of the physical evidence and Pete's testimony, Rosato's future with the department is non-existent, and his freedom is about to come to an end."

Latarski got in her car to head back to the scene to help her colleagues finish processing the area. It's the strangest thing; she thought to herself, you would think that when bad cops wanted to break the law they would come up with a perfect plan-one that would be unsolvable. But more often than not they leave more clues than most street thugs do...go figure. Oh well, it makes my job easier. Officer Rosato, you're next on my list of things to do.

      Next: Getting Back To Normal
Previous: St Michael

John Wills spent 2 years in the U.S. Army before serving 12 years with the Chicago Police Department (CPD). He left the CPD to become an FBI Special Agent, working organized crime, violent crime, and drugs.  John Wills is an author of Chicago Warriors: Midnight Battles in the Windy City published by

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