Chicago Warriors: Look In The Dumpster

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The Major Case Squad and Crime Lab personnel had arrived at the shooting scene. Before their arrival however, Officer Groman had preserved the scene by marking off the area with bright yellow crime scene tape. Remembering Benson's words before she left for the hospital with Pete, he kept his eyes on Rosato. During the time that he was cordoning off the area, he noticed Rosato walk to the far end of the lot in the area reserved for the garbage dumpsters. Rather than ask him about it, Groman decided that he would advise the crime scene investigators of the unusual behavior.

The detectives took a preliminary statement from Rosato, trying to piece together what had occurred. "So you're telling me that the subject fired at Shannon as he came out from behind cover," asked Det. Latarski. She had been with the Major Case Squad for several years and had a bright analytical mind. She already had an idea as to what may have happened here tonight, and it was not good.
"Yeah, that's what I said," Rosato replied. "I don't know why Shannon broke cover, we didn't have the guy controlled yet, didn't even know if he had a gun or not. I think he's just the ‘Cowboy' type, likes to take chances. You know his partner was killed a while back?"

"Yes, I know that," Latarski said. "But tell is it that Shannon has been shot twice, once in the head, and once in the chest?"

"Uh...I don't know. I guess the guy could have fired twice... You know how it is in shootings, stuff happens so fast that you don't really know for sure what went on."
"You're right Rosato, I don't know for sure what happened here. But here's what I do know...the perp's gun is a six shot revolver, one round's been fired. Shannon's got two bullet holes. There's two .40 caliber spent casings lying in some tall weeds near the fence line. It seems logical to me that there may have been more than one shooter. Does that make sense to you?"

The Hammer began to get a little nervous and started to stammer. He had looked for those empty casings but wasn't able to locate them before Benson and Groman came on the scene. "Listen, I don't know what you trying to say here, but I don't like the sound of it. You tryin' to accuse me of somethin'?"

Latarski kept her cool and said, "I'm not accusing you of anything Officer Rosato. All I'm saying is the bad guy's got one hole, Shannon's got two holes. That adds up to three shots where I come from. You say you fired one time after the bad guy shot Pete. It's my job to investigate the circumstances surrounding this shooting, and to do it impartially. I intend to gather all of the facts through interviews and evidence collection. That being said, I need you to surrender your weapon to me for ballistic testing at the Crime Lab."

"That's bullshit! You're tryin' to frame me...hey, I tried to save Shannon's life here!"

By now Rosato's protestations had drawn the attention of the WC, Capt. Steele. He quickly came over to exert control over the situation. "Rosato, it's standard procedure for all weapons to be inventoried and sent to the Crime Lab for testing. That includes yours, Shannon's, and the offender's weapon. You need to cooperate with the investigation or be subject to disciplinary action."

The Hammer reluctantly drew his weapon and handed it over to Capt. Steele. "This ain't right boss, I'm in pain here. I just saw my partner get shot, and I was forced to shoot an individual. I need some down time here."

Steele looked at Latarski. "Do you have enough information from him at this point? If so, I'd like to release him to a representative from the Employee Assistance Program. As you know, when any of our people are involved in a critical incident they have the right to be counseled by the EAP Unit."

"I think that I've got exactly what I need Captain," she said. "He's free to go."
Steele led Rosato over to his command vehicle. They both left for the station where EAP would meet with him for counseling. As soon as they pulled away, Groman approached Latarski.

"Detective, can I have a word with you?"
"What is it?" Latarski asked.
"Before your team arrived, I noticed that Officer Rosato walked over to that set of dumpsters at the far end of the lot," Groman said as he pointed in the direction of the dumpsters. "I'm not sure, but I think that he may have put something in one of them."

"Yeah, and while Benson and I were inside the building, we came across a security room with monitors. If you check it out there's probably some surveillance cameras somewhere on the property that may shed even more light on what went down here tonight."

"Thanks for that information Officer. I'll have the crime scene team include that in their search. That and the cameras may provide the missing piece of the puzzle that I need to validate my hypothesis."

"You're welcome," Groman said. "It just seems fishy to me...Shannon's a good cop. He wouldn't break cover unless he knew the guy was either unarmed, or that his partner was covering him."

"We'll check it out, believe me. Something's not right with this one..."

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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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