September 04, 2008

Worth dying for?

  The clerk at the convenience store punches in 911 on the phone. "This is Gomez at the Shell station, exit 33. I got me a gas drive-off, two white males in a green Chevy, late eighties, headed south on the interstate."  Moments later a deputy spots two guys in a green Chevy near the 29-mile-marker. It's going 15 miles over the speed limit. The deputy turns on his emergency equipment and notifies headquarters, "I’m in pursuit."

  At this point the guy in the Chevy has stolen some gas and he’s speeding. Serious, but not deadly. But now the driver makes a bad choice. He decides to run from the cop. Fifteen miles down the interstate, at speeds up to 90 miles per hour, the Chevy blows a right front tire and heads for the shoulder.

 The deputy stops. As he steps out of his patrol car he hears two muffled gunshots. Scurrying back to his car, the deputy reports shots fired, and calls for backup. Soon, a police helicopter lands in a field 100 yards away. A squad of six agents from the state police SWAT team leap out of the 2U1-H helicopter. Sheriff’s patrol cars have stopped traffic on both sides of the interstate to make sure there’ll be no potshots at passing motorists. The scene is now "secure."

  "You in the car," says the SWAT lieutenant on a bull-horn. "Put your hands out the windows—palms facing the rear of the car." No response. He repeats the command. A SWAT observer using field glasses reports "no movement." The team works its way, inch-by-inch, toward the green Chevy.

  The SWAT cops discover the driver, age 15, and his passenger, age 16, both dead from self-inflicted gunshot wounds. The shots the deputy heard came from a 9mm Smith & Wesson service pistol, owned by the police-officer father of the young driver of the car.

  The troubled adolescent had stolen his ex-girlfriend’s car and brought his best buddy along for company. He ran away from home, from school, and the life he thought he could no longer abide. Now, both kids are dead, and nobody will ever know what potential they might have had. Their last memory on earth—stolen gas, a speeding car, and a pursuing cop.

  Worth dying for? Not hardly!


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