Monday, March 31, 2008

She Done Fell Out

The call came in as a woman down. There was no more information. We arrived on the scene to find a small house set well back from the street. The only light came from the open door framing a man standing in the doorway.

            “Hurry, hurry.” He shouted. “She done fell out.”

            We had an extra guy riding with us on the rescue that night. So I was able to head to the house as the other two got the equipment. I felt nervous walking into the darkness alone, but it had come in as a woman down and not as a scene of violence. When I walked in the front door and past the frantic man, I found a woman in her twenties sprawled across a couch. Frank blood was pouring from her nose and mouth. She was not breathing and she had not pulse.

            “I don’t know what happened to her. She just done fell out.” The man said. He kept repeating the phrase as if he were practicing it, as he moved around the room very agitated.

            The other two guys off the rescue arrived as I pulled the woman onto the floor so we could work on her. I could not figure out what was causing this kind of bleeding. But she was coded and we knew what we had to do. I got on the radio and requested an Engine to assist with manpower. My partner started to tube her as the third guy off the truck started compressions.

            Her face was covered with blood, but I thought I saw something on her cheek. I stopped looking for an IV site long enough to wipe her cheek off with a 4x4. There was a bullet hole that had been covered with coagulated blood.

            The guy was walking a couple of feet behind us muttering. “I don’t know what happened she just fell out.”

            That is when I got real nervous. I made the wild guess that this was probably the guy who had given her this bullet hole that made her “fall out”.

            I got on the radio and said.

            “Rescue 1 to dispatch we need code 8 (police) on the scene.”

            “Check can you advise the nature of the request?”

            Now here was this guy who was more than likely shot this woman, pacing the floor three feet in back of us, and the dispatchers wants to know why we need the police. I try and whisper so he won’t hear me.

            “Possible homicide.”

            “Check.” Her replay blares over all our radios. “Possible homicide.”

            I wanted to crawl under the coach. I waited for this guy to go nuts. But he just keeps pacing and muttering. The Engine company arrives, followed closely by the cops. I am feeling safer now with all the company. Soon the ambulance arrives and still more cops. The small house is filled with first responders. The guy keeps muttering.

            “I don’t know what happened she just feel out.”

            The guys off the engine knew the neighborhood and took one look at the patient and began to look for a weapon without saying a word. The guys off Engine 2 were experienced hands who went to scenes of violence with us regularly. They no more wanted to get caught in the middle of a gunfight between the suspect and the cops than we did.

            Finally one of the cops asked the Engine guys.

            “You find a weapon?”

            “We looked for a weapon but could not find one.”

            Our guy suddenly stopped pacing and looks up and says.

            “Gun what gun.”

            Well since no one had even so much as mentioned a shooting or a gun or even what we suspected had happened to the victim, this statement came as something of a revelation to say the least. The room got kind of quite for minute as everyone looked at the guy. The firefighters got busy again working on the patient, while the cops suddenly showed a lot of interest in our little guy.

We loaded our patient and transported her to the hospital. It turned out that the bullet had splintered as soon as it had entered her cheek and severed both her carotid arteries and jugular veins. She was dead the minute he shot her.

            I read about his trial months later in the paper. He was convicted of her murder and sentenced to life in prison. It turned out that he had shot her once before, and spent time in prison for the crime. When he was released and she had let him back into her life.

1 comment:

Lodo Grdzak said...

Awfully strange/scary to be in a room with someone capable of something like that. Funny thing about guys like that is that he'd probably really convinced himself that she did "just fall out." It was all her fault--not his!