October 03, 2010

Shot nine times — and lives

  Becky Gibbons is rookie cop in a big city, but she has less than a year working the streets. Her field training officer says the 22-year-old female officer is a quick study, but no amount of training can really prepare a young cop for what's about to happen.
  The year is 1998. Becky is patrolling Pennington Avenue when she's flagged down by Moe Toomey, 39, who is standing in the median holding a large boom-box. Moe is a known crack-head but because Becky is new in the precinct he's a stranger to her.
  Becky lowers the driver's side window as she pulls up to check out Moe's problem. The moment the police car comes to a full stop Moe throws the boom-box against the windshield, then levels a semi-automatic pistol at Becky's midsection. Four shots hit the female police officer in the lower abdomen.
  She slumps behind the wheel as the shooter opens the patrol car's door. With one foot against her shoulder, Moe shoves the gravely wounded officer across the front seat to the passenger side.
  Then he fires five more shots, this time striking Becky in the upper part of the body. He jumps in, behind the steering wheel of the patrol car and speeds off. Becky, her body now riddled with nine bullets, tries to gather up what little strength she has left. She is certain she has only minutes to live.
  Needing both hands to make a sharp turn, Moe puts his 9mm pistol down on his lap. Becky seizes the opportunity and slips her service revolver out of its holster. She shoots Moe twice in the head. The second bullet enters the same hole made by the first bullet — about a half inch in front of Moe's right ear. It's doubtful that Moe ever heard the blast.
  Becky Gibbons does not die. But she spends more than two years in various levels of rehab. Her recovery is described by doctors as "amazing." Becky says she wants to get back on the streets as a police officer. Doctors and cops all agree, Becky may have to settle for just the miracle of survival.

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