Just finished two days at a scene where 5 people died. Without sounding to callous, although it was a loss of life they all did it to themselves. It was gang related and no innocent bystander was hurt.
Two days ago i turned up at a small block of apartments that had a large police presence as well as a few ambulances looking after the walking wounded. The actual shooting started just after i arrived at work so i’m wasn’t to far behind the event in real time. I don’t usually see the the injured individuals as they have already been carted of to hospital. It was a little bit chaotic so i just got my kit ready and tried to keep out of the way. Having attended quite a few scene (understatement) i knew what would be required so left the officers to their own thing for a while. Once i had most of my kit ready just outside the scene i located the office in charge. We knew each other of old so chatted about old scenes and how they progressed.
Eventually he just told me that he wanted a full search of the apartment even though it was fairly obvious what had happened. One gang had crashed another gangs crib and lots of bullets had flown. I’m guessed that seen as most surfaces had holes in them and 5 guys were on the floor both sides got rounds of.
Blood spatter was all over the walls along with bit of body innards. Blood, brains, stomach, body fat and intestines smeared everywhere. Good luck to the guy who has to try and put each bit with a body.
The first task was to black the windows out to gain privacy and allow the use of certain lights. I like my privacy, don’t like being photographed by an over enthusiastic press photographer.
Everyone was then kicked out of the premises whilst i examined each body. Some of the techniques are dangerous to your eyes unless special eyewear is worn. I carry spares but its much easier not to give them out until you have something to show. If you allow people in to watch the questions end up doubling the search time. One of my colleagues is funny as you can tell there is a pretty female officer in attendance if he gets spare goggles straight away. He’s such a tart.
Body 1. He’s been shot 3 times in the chest and leg. I guessed that the guts that were on his lap wasn’t good news. The internal pressure can literally blow your guts out. The one in his leg entered his thigh and nearly made its way out of his lower calf. You could actually see it just below his skin. Close but not close enough to make a clear exit. It works out better for us as its a found bullet which is better than an unaccounted for one. I guessed he was one of the attackers as he was laying ext to the front door. He hadn’t got to far into the fight.
Body 2. He was a bit closer into the room and had a load of bullet holes. It looked like an Uzi mag had been emptied into him. Half the head was gone along with chunks of body flesh. I guess he wasn’t alive for long after the first bullet hit.
Looking at the holes in the walls around the first couple of bodies they must have been quite a few bullets that missed. It must have been deafening in the apartment for about 30 seconds. God knows what the apartment next door thought.
Body 3. He was anybodies guess as to who’s side he was on. He was totally fucked and probably caught in some cross fire. Around 12 bullets had hit him all over his body. Once again he wasn’t in the best of shapes and was unlucky enough to have one right through his left eye. A couple of his bullets had gone in his back which made me think of friendly fire although he could have been spun around slightly by the first couple of rounds.
Body 4. This guy was strange as it looked like he had made it past the first three and was firing at number 5. It was possible that guns were being aimed at the first guys to enter and someone behind sneaked in behind and made their way forward. I can’t imagine they all lined up and entered in a single file like a SWAT team, mayhem would be my guess. He had fallen facing a sofa that lots of holes in it.
Body 5. You’ve guessed it, he’s behind the sofa. He is riddled with bullets so guess he was hiding behind the sofa when a magazine got fired through it. The say of holes suggested an automatic machine gun. They aren’t very accurate but deadly at close range. This bad boy is once again riddled with bullets. I wasn’t going to even work out which were entrance’s and exits. Let the pathologist work that out.
After spending the best part of the day searching the bodies, It took a while as officers kept wanting to enter and retrieve certain items. This resulting in turning kit off for safety reasons and waiting before starting again. No ones problem, just the way it goes when working as a team. I decided that it was a good point to stop and let the officers do some work. I’d slipped and skidded across the wooden floor enough for one day. Blood is not the best liquid around as it seems to attract lose footings.
After stepping back and doing some paperwork it really leapt out at me how much this could have been a reenactment of the O.K. Corral. How many others were involved was going to be interesting to find out. Judging by the bullet holes there must have been easily over a hundred shots fired. It was at that point i noticed one by the by the front door which looked slightly odd until i realised it had actually coke through the wall from another part of the living area. Maybe it had hit body 1.
Day 1 ended and i looked forward to returning the next day.
Day 2 consisted of trying to keep from slipping on the blood. Not an easy job in this scene. The main task was to try and retrieve as many fingermarks as possible for intelligence purposes. The only way to find out the answers was to find out who had been in the apartment. Not an easy task as you knew that no one was going talk.
Every bit of kit was used and over 250 fingermarks were found along with nearly half of them in blood. A fingermark in itself doesn’t tell you when someone was at a venue but when its in blood its harder to deny being there at the time. Along evening and early morning was spent photographing all the marks so that the fingerprint guys could spend ages trying to match them. Its such a shame that so many man hours are spent on what most people realise is a waste of time. Gang members are not likely to tell you what happened, just likely to go out and have another shoot out.
Another couple of days in paradise.