The next several days, Chris canvassed the neighborhood. He went from door to door and was met with the usual “I ain’t talking to no po-po” or “I ain’t got nuttin’ to say” or most often, just having the door slammed in his face. He knew the responses were out of fear for their lives but he desperately wanted to find a witness. He wanted justice for the little girl.
After an exhausting day, he knocked on one last door. He expected the same reaction he had been getting all day and at that point he was so tired, he really didn’t care. Tomorrow was another day and he would be back.
When Chris knocked, an old man answered. Chris told him why he was there and then asked if he had seen anything. The old man said “I sure did. I was wondering when you might get around to askin’ me.” The old man invited Chris in and started telling him what he saw.
He said “I heard tires squealin’ so I looked out that window, right there. That’s when I seen the one they call Red Dog leaning out the car, just a spraying bullets.”
“Then that poor little girls’ mama run out of the house, screaming ‘my baby, my baby. They done shot my baby’.”
Chris was familiar with Red Dog and his gang, “The Dogs Of War.” Red Dog had been running drugs in the neighborhood for years but was virtually untouchable. Several deaths had been attributed to him and his gang but there were never any witnesses who would come forward.
Red Dog wasn’t the one who normally shot up a neighborhood. That was usually left up to his soldiers but this was obviously a message to somebody and Red Dog wanted it to be loud and clear.
Chris asked the old man if he would be willing to testify about what he saw. The old man said “yessir, I sure will. We’s been terrorized for too long by that dog.”
Chris finished taking his statement and the old man said “you know. I’s lived in this house for 92 years. I was born here and I ain’t never left. It used to be a nice neighborhood but it’s changed. Now I’s afraid to go outside. The little children are afraid to play in they own yards and that just ain’t right.”
Chris shook the old mans’ hand and thanked him for his co-operation. The old man said “do you think you’ll get him?” Chris said “thanks to you, sir, yes I do.”
When the boys came in the Waffle Shack the next day, Chris was the last to arrive. As he walked in, he was patting himself on the back, while waiting for the others to ask him what was going on. Floyd made the “what’s up?” gesture with his hands.
Chris smiled and said “I found an eye witness to the shooting. One of the neighbors fingered Red Dog. Richie said “no shit” and then said “congratulations, buddy.”
Chris said “to put an exclamation point at the end of what Gary said before…we got the mother fucker!” Chris said “a warrant is on the way, even as we speak. It’s going to be a slam dunk and one of the most dangerous criminals in the city is going to be put behind bars.”
They all gave each other a high-five and then Floyd said “pretty good job for a rookie cop.” Chris quickly reminded him that he hadn’t been a rookie for more that a year. “You’re still a rookie to me,” Floyd said as he grinned and winked at the other boys.
Maude said “this calls for a cup of coffee on the house!” Richie looked up and said “but they’re always on the house, Maude.” She said “I know but that made it sound a little more special, don’t you think?”
After a giggle, the boys toasted each other and said “to justice!”
The lonesome dove having heard the conversation, put on his hat and as he was walking out, Maude was sure she saw something she had never seen before…a slight smile on his face, even though it only lasted a millisecond.
The celebration was interrupted when dispatch came across the walkie, advising of a 10-39. Chris said “that’s me fellas. Gotta run.”