He lit the night's first cigarette, slurped his coffee
and stepped out into the soggy darkness of southern winter.
The workday came to him with a smirk that his
second mug of coffee usually eased.
When Darrell left the trailer park, the incident that
would shape his day at work began. Twin brothers, with identical
strawberry blond hair from Valdosta, South Georgia, had parked
their car in front of one of the super Targett stores in the employees' lot.
Inside there was a suite of offices in back. A late-night
crew was on, 3 or 4 clerks and accountants sacking up cash for the
armored car service Monday morning. 25 cashiers were turning in their tills,
only one guard on duty. He was a young kid, 22, 23, here part-time for the
Christmas rush; it took him 10-15 minutes to walk slowly and unarmed
through the store. The accounting room door was metal with a glass window.
The guard panicked when he saw one twin pointing his gun down. He ran up front
to the courtesy desk and called the sheriff. Darrell got the radio alert
while he was driving the county jail car out to breakfast. "Armed robbery
in progress Targett US41." He radioed response, made a U-turn and
headed back north. The dispatcher told him to proceed with lights but no siren.
Billy Ray Campbell, his partner, was riding shotgun, in the car.
5'5", bald headed and a toupee with attitude. Now he was shouting at Darrell,
"slow down man, I don' wannadie.!"
Traffic lights flashing yellow, Darrell blew through the traffic lights
flashing yellow at 80. He was the first out of the car and asked,
"Where you want us?"A county cop told him "Hang on,
we're still finding out details." The cop reached in and grabbed his radio,
"suspects in back of store with unknown number of hostages."
Dispatch told him to stand by so he clicked off and told Darrell,
"Take your unit to the end of the building, leave the flashers on,
then walk to the middle back end of the store and wait in the ditch."
Billy Ray grabbed a shotgun and a Magna Light he'd just bought.
Darrell picked up the hand-held 2way, checked his Smith & Wesson
41 Magnum, that he'd special loaded with a 240 grain slug and 22 grains
of red dot Hercules powder. They parked then ran halfway down the ditch,
covered up with leaves, cold but no snow or ice, and they just sat there
at the radio. Two county cops were in the ditch 15-20 yards from them,
and Darrell thought about trajectories, and Billy Ray's excitability.
A siren broke the meditation, an ambulance on US 41 after a wreck.
"Whatever's gonna happen is gonna happen now," but it didn't.
He had his gun out trained on the door in front of him, thinking to himself
"I can't believe this is happening. I can't believe this is happening."
Billy Ray, lying in the leaves, his shotgun trained at the back end
squeaked out, "I wish Jimmy was here, Jimmy needs to be here."
Over the county police frequency, Darrell heard that detectives were
heading in. When they got to the back, "All units stand by, we're in the
corridor, we can hear the perps, don't know who but there's two,
stocking masks pulled over their faces." This triggered panic in Darrell,
"These guys are pros, what the hell am I doin' here? I hope I do all right,
I hope I do my daddy proud." His father was a cop too. To Darrell he was
God's right hand man.
He heard 5 shots fired, in the sequence 1,2 then 1,2,3 from two weapons.
The radio call came in after the shots, "Officer shot, officer down".
It was like putting a foot to the accelerator of the adrenal gland.
The hair on the back of his neck rose up, hair on forearms tingling.
Billy Ray erupted, "Oh !@#$ - Oh !@#$!" Sitting up with a snubnose 38
Detective Special and his S & W Chief Special riot shotgun.
Darrell later remembered not being afraid of being shot,
"I'm sure I was." He was praying, "Let me do good,
let me do good! Let me get through this, don't let her be a widow."
About 10 seconds after the radio call, the twins came out
through the back walk-through onto the loading ramp steps.
The 1st held the door for his brother pushing a cart full of bank bags.
They both ran down the ramp holding Browning 9 MM automatics
with 14 shot clips welded back to back with extra clips in their pockets.
They came toward Darrell and Billy Ray jumped up, "Halt Police!"
Spotlights flooded the area with gold lights.They started shooting but couldn't see.
Darrell grabbed Billy Ray and jerked him back down, cops on the right firing.
The brothers were running to the shadows when Darrell hit the one in front
in the hip, and flipped him in the air. With everybody firing,
the brother grabbed 2 bags out of the cart and made it to the woods.
The bullet had hit the pelvis, shattered it and a leg bone.
The red dot load had hit soft tissue and expanded like
a hand grenade. Now Darrell felt the wind blowing cold, neither of them
dressed for it. County hunted 2 days but didn't find the second brother
in the woods. They got him on a tip three days later in an abandoned
warehouse. Back at the sheriff's office they filled out reports in triplicate.
6AM the shift ended, he usually passed his wife on her way to work,
but didn't see her today. He pulled into the 14' x 80" trailer nervous,
shook-up. He thought, "Cowboys and Indians when you're a kid,
and you always get the bad guy, but it ain't all that, it ain't all that,
makes you wonder, see movies, shootin' the bad guy." In the kitchen
he fixed a scotch, rolled a fat joint, gonna relax somehow,
walked to his arm chair, with his gun still strapped on.
He usually turned on the stereo but not this morning. It lay silent.
Halfway through the scotch the trailer shook with a KERWHAMM!
Magnified by his already addled condition and the skunk joint,
it jolted him out of the trance he was slipping into. He jumped up,
pulled his 41 out of the holster and fired. The gun is loud under any
circumstances, but here it was huge, and he snapped at himself,
"What the hell are you doin?" Nerves taut as piano wire, he opened the back door.
An 11-12 year old kid carrying his bike was running towards the woods.
The bullet hole in the trailer was 3' above the ground, the size and shape
of Darrell's heart.
Sep/18/2014, 7:54 am
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Re: Double Shootout
Good story. Clinical and clean. Denouement works even if asking a bigger question than it answers. If I have an objection it might involve the, to me, over-elaborations. Why a snubnose 38 Detective Special? Why not just a snubnose 38? Why a S&W Chief Special riot shot gun? Why not just a riot shotgun? And why a 14'x 80' trailer? Trailer would do just fine. That sort of thing comes across as a bit overly written.
Almost forgot to say. Last sentence damn near perfect.
Last edited by Terreson, Nov/2/2014, 3:02 pm
Nov/2/2014, 2:51 pm
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