By Brian Smith
Special to the Sun
On New Year’s Eve, I had just finished working the afternoon shift and was about to go home to bring in the new year when the sergeant approached me and asked if I wanted to work four hours of overtime for DUI patrol. I agreed and another officer and I partnered up. We arrested a DUI driver right before midnight, and as our four hours were winding down, we drove down a street that was known for drunk drivers. It was about 1:00 a.m.
when we approached a parking lot. There were no other cars around us, but as we approached the parking lot, I observed a pick-up truck stopped, waiting to pull out of the lot.
Just as we approached it, he pulled out right in front of us, then almost hit the center divider area, as he weaved in the lanes. I was happy to be able to remove another DUI driver from the road. I put on the red lights and he pulled over. As we exited the patrol car and made our approach, he accelerated away. We jumped in our car and went after him. We chased him down back streets as a back-up unit joined the pursuit. The suspect eventually pulled into a driveway, so we thought he was going to run into the house.
I approached the driver’s side as my partner approached the passenger side. When I got to the left rear tire, I heard a muffled pop. I thought it was a firecracker from the next yard and due to it being New Year’s Eve, I didn’t think anything of it. I then looked in the cab of the truck, only to see the barrel of an Uzi pointed at me. It then hit me that the muffled pop I heard was from the Uzi. He had already fired once. I just remember standing at the door of his truck, looking down the barrel of the Uzi and thinking, “I’m dead.” Then I thought about my three boys at home and how they wouldn’t have a Dad anymore. I even remember thinking that my nine-month-old son wouldn’t even remember me.
Somehow, I retreated behind the tailgate and shot one round through the rear window of his pick-up truck which proved to be fatal. My partner, who was still standing at the right front window, shot him as well. I then saw the barrel of the Uzi sticking up towards the open window and I didn’t know if he was incapacitated or not. I jumped in the bed of the truck and yelled for him to put his hands up. He never moved. I tapped his shoulder with no response, so I grabbed the barrel of the Uzi and pulled it away from him. The other officers pulled him out of the cab and attempted to revive him. He had a fully loaded .9mm Uzi with four fully loaded magazines tucked in his belt. To this day, we will never know what motivated him to conduct such an act. -BS