I grew up in Newark, CA. I’m not sure what I wanted to be when I grew up but after high school I chose a college. I ended up graduating from Fresno State University with major in Criminology and a minor in Art History.
Still sure what to do with my life, I took my degree and ended up in the Navy for a few years. After leaving the Navy, along with a wife and daughter, I was hired on at the LAPD. Sadly after a few years of seldom being home, edgy a lot and spending more time involved in the underside of life, and not enough with my family, the marriage failed. Nine years as a detective and what did I have? No family, no life and then to make it complete I was shot. No, job.
I was a very effective detective with the LAPD. I would never have thought the case I was working on would be my last. I never dreamt that it would be solved because the prime suspect in a robbery shot me in the shoulder. All those years and never shot then on that fateful night, a bullet took me out of the game.
It has been hard for me to come to grips with the idea that I put two 9 mm slugs into his heart. I had no choice. If he had gotten off one more round, it would have been me laying there dead not him. That was the only time I ever shot someone. No matter how tough you think you are, you never forget something like that!
I had to have a mandatory psych evaluation, a requirement in every officer involved shooting. The department thought it would help. I also spent some time in therapy. I’m sure it helped somewhat but the incident – that’s what they called – but it still lingers in my head.
I enjoyed being a detective, but that wasn’t possible any longer; all I was cleared to do was a desk job or retire with a 50 percent disability income. A desk job! No way would I survive sitting at a desk. I took the disability and retirement.
My psych-eval therapist suggested I write a journal, to jot down my feelings, both sad and happy. That would give me the opportunity to describe and focus on my emotions, regrets, guilt and more. I wanted to get away from the US crime scene, so I took advantage of my free time and went to Europe and saw some of the wonderful art that I had studied in college.
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