A matter of trust
Every weekday morning the alarm goes off way to early, I love sleeping tucked into my wife, this morning is no different: having to pull away from the warmth of her body is like pulling teeth for me.
I enjoy my work it is satisfying to counsel people on their finances, help them meet their bills, not over pay on interest for credit. My clients come to me word of mouth, I am conservative in my approach to finances; I have a keen sense of the market its volatile and greedy nature is ever present in the lives of my clients.
When I kissed my wife walking out the door this morning I figured it would be like any other day, doing a drive thru at McDonalds for a coffee, grabbing a paper at the newsstand on the corner of 5th and Washington Avenue. At that corner holding my newspaper ready to jump back in my car which was parked in a space just steps away from the news stand, my life changed.
I hear behind me Gus saying “That is all I have you can see for yourself.”
On the surface of that statement it should not ring an alarm, but it was the nervous way he said it. I also heard car squealing to a stop, another voice call out “Put the gun down young man!”
It all happened so quickly I barely had time to react; I lay down on the sidewalk just as the shots rang out. Turning my head slightly to see behind me, Gus was sprawled out on the pavement as I was. Relieved to see he was ok for the moment I mouthed to him “Do not move Gus.” He shook his head in response.
I then hear foot falls, swearing, someone advising that they were the police, the only thing besides the voices that I could distinguish who was who; were foot wear and pant legs. I believe the one claiming to be the police had dress navy blue pants, shined leather shoes; the other wore jeans and white tennis shoes with red tread soles.
I am amazed that all this took only 5 minutes, the next moment a man came falling down on top of me bleeding , eyes vacant, I could only assume that he was dead, and the police officer. Next moment Gus ran over to us talking on his phone, more cars approached, some leaving more scuffling and yelling stop, more gun shots. The silence the smell of gun fire, tires, sweat from fear permeated my nostrils. The police officer was gently removed from a top of me, other police officers were milling around; a strong arm was helping me to my feet. Finally standing my knees buckled and I found myself back on the sidewalk sitting on my ass leaning against my car.
A police officer came into view in front of me; crouching down so he was eye level “Sir, just stay where you are the paramedics will be here soon, you do not seem to be injured, but you are in shock, take this water and try and drink it,”
I reached for the water dizzily the officer helped me put it to my lips so I could drink, after a couple of swallows my head started to clear and I was able to drink without his help.
Paramedics came, by then I was on my feet again, leaning against my car. The officer asked me to stay he wanted to talk to me about the recent events. I remember thinking I cannot attest to much; all I know is what I heard, and not much that I had seen.
The officer who came to my aid approached again his hand outstretched introducing himself “My name is detective Glenn Landau; I need to ask you a few questions about what happened here.”
“Yes sir; my name is Guy Kaminski there is not much I can tell you it is more of what I heard than what I had seen.”
“That is fine Guy, whatever you can give me, you would be surprised how many people think they do not know anything yet have that one piece of information that gets us where we need to be.”
I started at the point of me buying the paper and told him every detail I could remember including the sneakers. He thanked me took my contact information and said please be available in case I was needed, I agreed went home to change my suit.
When I walked in the door my wife came down the hall looked at me in horror, I did not realize how bad I looked.
“Oh my God Guy, are you alright?”
Looking down at my suit I realized it was soaked with the officer’s blood: “Robin this is not my blood, I need to shower and change. When I get out of the shower I will tell you what happened.”
“You probably do not have to; if that is not your blood then it must be that poor officer who died on the corner where you buy your morning paper.”
I simply shook my head and silently went into the bathroom, striped down climbed in the shower and stayed there till the water ran cold.
Coming out of the shower I noticed my wife had removed my discarded clothing and had laid out my stay at home clothes, tee shirt, jeans, and white socks, with a note, which said “Work called Maury said he will cover for you today, stay home take care.”
I was so incredibly relieved; I have people in my life I can trust and count on when I need them the most. I started to dress wondering what kind of man would steal money from a newsstand vendor and consider it worth enough to kill another human being.
While I was in the shower Detective Glenn Landau called, Robin shared what was said:
“The detective wanted to thank you for the information you gave him, they were able to apprehend the young man who was involved and shot the police officer by the description you gave him of the boys shoes, that and what Guy said about the boys appearance.”
The paper the next day told the tale of the slain officer and my name was in print alongside Guy’s there was a picture of the corner, Guy’s newsstand and a disheveled, man who could not be more than in his mid-20’s staring at the camera, next to his mug shot was a picture given to the paper by his mother, a sweet looking smiling face. So incredible was the difference it made me wonder what it was that happened to the sweetness that shows in the picture the mother treasured.
The article gave some back ground on the young man; he went into the air force spent 2 years in Afghanistan. When he came home he was a different man, mood swings, and bursts of anger. He was diagnosed with PTSD and was offered help managing the disorder, instead he turned to drinking and drugs. His mother had very little money to help him with his daily life and she was not about to give him money for booze and drugs. He went to the newsstand that day to get more money for his daily fix. Which changed so many lives with that one bad choice he had made that beautiful sunny day, left me rattled, Gus closed up his newsstand and retired, police officer lost his life and left a wife and 3 kids to mourn the loss.
I called the Detective and asked if I could have the contact number of the mother. He had asked why, I told him what I did for a living and thought I could give her free counseling. I felt it was the least I could do for a vet, I also asked if I could have the contact information for the officer’s wife that I would also like to help her. He said he would pass my information to the two women and let them contact me if they wanted my help. I thanked him and hung up.
The young man was taken to the hospital for treatment of his injuries, he had cracked ribs, concussion; it seems the gun that went off in the scuffle was actually the police officers service revolver, which had been gone off hit an artery in his leg, he bled out.
The young man was charged with involuntary manslaughter, possession of drugs, armed robbery. He will get the help he needs while incarcerated, I hope he will use this as a turning point in his life and surround himself with people he can trust to come alongside him when he needs it the most.