The first one was more difficult. I had gotten lucky many times that night. Like I was blessed.
He had just been suspended. With pay, of course. The man was at home, alone. I had thought that meant it would be easy. But he was a vigilant type.
That week, I had been thinking of my good friend Tyler. What would I do if he was the next victim of police brutality? The answer was like your friend standing in the corner of the room, waiting to speak.
“You would kill cops,” it said.
I chuckled. It was right. I would retaliate.
But what about their counter-measures? I thought. Tyler would be a victim, and I his friend. I would be a prime suspect. I would be caught in no time. Tyler would be disappointed.
So, what if I did it preemptively. What if I did it for the idea itself. With no emotion tied to my actions. There would be no reason for them to search for me. Who am I to them?
So I obtained a pistol. A revolver, to never leave shell casings. A powerful enough cartridge to kill, and yet weak enough to be quieted.
Through research I was sold on a .38. But the only way I could ensure complete immunity was if it had no record. So I had to either obtain it illegally, or disguise myself.
I didn’t know how to get a weapon illegally. I wasn’t going to start now. Too risky. What I needed was a singular human contact, where I could hide my identity. Someone without a lot of intelligence or perception, that was selling a gun.
I went to the internet. After a couple days I found a seller. He was at the border of the next state. Based on his grammar, and limited vocabulary, he seemed like the one.
I got a wig. It was a friends. I took it without them noticing, and had grabbed it from their attic. With great care to be stealthy, I took a wig of their grandmother’s from their parent’s attic while helping them with a garage sale.
I practiced with the wig. If this pistol seller suspected I was wearing a wig, he would tell the police when they came. They would ask questions. Questions were bad.
With halloween a few days in the past, stealing some scar make-up was easy. There were bins at outlet stores, I chose the ones with limited security.
Each night I became another, and each time I fooled myself a little bit more.
A couple days passed, and I drove to the seller’s house in full make-up. A scar was on my cheek, visible enough to cloud their vision of me. My hair was long instead of short, and a natural color. I purposefully acted morose, instead of my usual, forced chipper.
The exchange was brief. He had printed out a receipt on some letter paper, and took down my false information. I gave him cash, and he gave me the pistol. He even through in a box of .38 rounds.
“I don’t need em anymore,” he had said with a smile. Staring at my scar.
“Thanks,” I responded with little inflection.
The pistol was light, even fully loaded.
I practiced. Not at a range. I wanted no one to see me with this pistol beforehand. They would be safe from collusion. This wasn’t their fight, anyway.
So at night, I broke into my own apartment, over and over. The unused lockpick set I had gotten years ago had paid off. It was given to me when I was in boyscouts. With no transaction for them to search for, I was in the clear for that, too.
Then, on a night I didn’t quite feel ready, I pushed myself to proceed.
I drove, but parked a full two blocks away. I paid attention to yards, and how they connected along Barnard st. I circled the block with my head more-or-less in my phone.
Just another young white person in the suburb.
The officer’s house, number 901, had a light on in the living room. He was watching t.v. at 1am. If there was light on in the house, and none outside, that meant I would be nearly invisible to him.
So I went into his yard and donned a t-shirt over my face. I planted my make-shift silencer onto the barrel of the gun. With confident steps I marched along the perimeter of the officer’s house, pistol raised.
I can tell you that in that moment my brain was screaming for me to stop. Every step seemed to pierce the night-silence, adding to my mounting anxiety.
But that friend in the corner of the room. That thought that shoves everything out of the way to get at the core. It said, “It has to be done. They need to feel the fear they perpetrate,” and the other voices fell away.
As I approached the window a couple of things happened at once.
A motion sensor light attached to the wall activated, illuminating me to the officer inside. I also realized that the officer was out of his chair beforehand.
The favor shifted to him in a split second with that light. I could barely see into the living room, and he was sure to have a pistol on his side, even while off-duty.
So I fired through the window, doing my best to remember where his form was.
The window shattered from the blast. Glass exploded over my face, stinging my flesh. I forced my eyelids open as quickly as I could, feeling shards cut against my skin.
If he had a pistol, his was unquieted. If he fired his weapon, the whole block would be chaos. People would wake up. Police would be called.
I had hit him in the side of the neck. Blood shimmered against the light of the tv. He grasped at his neck, pulling a pistol from a nearby drawer next to his recliner.
I fired again, this time aiming for his head.
With my make-shift silencer, I had no sights. Although I had practiced many times, thinking things through as much as I could, the moment was a million times different.
My heart leaped to my throat, the voices came back in full swing. Screaming in my head to stop.
That friend in the corner spoke up, but this time it was through my pointer finger.
The shot pierced the man’s skull. He went down, pistol in hand. It never went off.
It was nauseating. The gore, the blood. My body grew cold. I had just killed another human being.
This is when the other friend spoke up.
“You’re in over your head. You have just fucked up more than anyone you know. You have committed murder.”
My eyes rested on the loaded gun in the officer’s hand.
“It’s too late to stop now. I’ll learn. I’ll get better. These mistakes won’t happen again,” I thought.
I slid open the glass door in his backyard, grabbed his pistol, and ran. I slid my t-shirt off my face, and tucked my gloved hands into the large pocket in my hoodie. Glass shards bit at my fingers. I pretended not to notice.
Through some sort of chance only seen in the lottery, I made it back to my car and drove home. No one heard the shot. No one heard the glass breaking. No one noticed the light turning on.
I cleaned up. It took me a while to remove the shards in my face. It was painful. While I worked I thought of an adequate excuse, and the only one I could think of was punching a mirror. So after I took the shards from my face, I shattered the bathroom mirror with my fist.
It hurt more than anything I imagined, and again, I was lucky to not need stitches.
So I waited for the news to break out. And it did. But it wasn’t the news I wanted.
I wanted change. I wanted them to admit their racism, their harassment, their bullying. I wanted them to admit they were wrong.
It wasn’t over. I had to keep going.