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Six Live Rounds

Robert P, a GI out of Fort Hood was estranged from his girlfriend. He went over to make up and found her in bed with another gi. The fbi came in after he had his car was run off the road by a texas ranger. That’s when he took a very young girl, shelby m, hostage with shotgun in his right hand, the muzzle in his left hand up against her head.

We had lights from patrol vehicles and it was almost a full moon. Eventually our eyes adjusted to a mowed pasture of eight-inch high stubble by a farm house. Then came a five-hour emotional roller-coaster confrontation in that field leading to a face to face negotiation involving me and ranger Johnny A. We’re about ten feet apart, with Robert P pointing the gun toward me and Johnny alternately. Johnny and I are 90 degrees from each other to him. He’s got to turn his head from one to another. So if he tries to engage either of us he’s got to do it one at a time. Hopefully one of us can get a shot off.

He’s talking about his gal and “what a no-good bitch she is”

I interrupt him and say, “is this the woman you plan on spending the rest of your life with?”

He says, “hell, no!”

“Then, why are you letting her win?”

He’d said he wanted to see his brother, to make his peace. This was a very suicidal sounding prelude to a suicide by cop. At one point Robert P said he was going to make it to that farmhouse. Johnny who was standing between Robert P and farmhouse said, “Partner, that ain’t going to happen.” Whereupon the guy sat down.

He stops and thinks about what I said.

He turns to Johnny and says, “do you have a gun?” Johnny, who is six or eight feet from him at this point on other side of a fence, looks at him and says, “no.”

Robert P turns to me and asks, “Do you have a gun?”

I said, “Yes, I do.”

And he starts to get real pissed off

I say, “Wait a minute. I’ve not lied to you yet. I’ve been standing out here with you for five hours. Yes I’ve got a gun. I may be stupid, but I ain’t no fool.”

He starts laughing. We all start laughing. With that he gets real quiet. I look at Johnny, Johnny looks at me. We both figure, Oh boy, here it comes. He’s probably going to level that weapon at me first which will give Johnny an opportunity to take him out.

All of a sudden at 12:47 am he raised the muzzle of the shotgun up, racked six live rounds out onto the ground, then put the gun down.

When he pulled that gun up in the air, I crouched and had my gun about halfway out of the holster prepared to kill him.

You’ve Got To Help Me

The ultimate confrontation for me was one of my individual therapy patients from the police department. He had a significant alcohol abuse problem. The family dynamics among himself, his wife and his kids was horrendous, extraordinarily pathological and violent.

I get a call. There was a problem at his house. He was inside, wouldn’t come out, had been drinking, and obviously has multiple firearms. I know this guy has a high potential for violence. I call in the response team, but I want him to trust me. They agree that the bulk of the tactical team will be in a parking lot a couple blocks away.

So I have the flak vest on and am walking up to his door, thinking to myself, He’s going to shoot me. I was thinking about the time I was married, about my family, my parents, my friends. I was thinking, I can’t believe that I just can’t turn around and go back. I’m going to get shot.

I get up to the door, swallow, turn around and wave to these guys. I knock on the door.

He opens. My heart is pounding. He opens the door and looks totally normal.

“Scott, I’m glad to see you. You’ve got to help me. Come on in.”

Ha. Meanwhile I’ve got my vest on.

He immediately see that and goes, “God, you know, I’m really sorry that you thought I was going to hurt you.”

“Well, you know George, with your temper.” I’m laughing, probably manic, silly at this point.

He’s huge with two sons bigger than he is, college football linemen, who would get in brawls in the front yard.

Driving home afterwards. I was thinking, I don’t think tactical knows who was involved. We didn’t get into trouble with the district. I didn’t get shot. Nobody got hurt.

More from Joseph JK . . .