*Gotta Get a Bigger Gun*

1 June 2004
By Tailgunner

South Texas in the summer can bring little problems to a full rolling boil in abundance.

One weekday night many years ago, at about 1am I was awakened by what I thought was shots. My wife has better hearing and she said she had heard what she thought was our neighbors yelling at each other and then a shot followed by two quick shots and then another. Our bedroom was at the back of the house and furthest from the street effectively muffling sounds from the street. I got up and grabbed a loaded Walther PP in .32ACP off of my closet shelf.

I had bought the gun while in Germany and was particularly happy with the way it fit and shot.

As I was putting on a pair of cutoffs the doorbell started going nuts. My wife said to be careful because she thought maybe our next-door neighbor was the shooter. As I opened the door my next-door neighbor was hopping back and forth saying "someone’s been shot I need your help" at that I followed him around my garage to his garage.

There in the shadow I saw someone laying on their side between a car and the garage door. Tom ran into his house to open the garage door and get us some light. I felt for and found a pulse on the petite lady’s neck. It was very weak and irregular. As the door was going up I felt the heart stop and a shudder go through her body. With the light Tom and I both knew it was impossible to do anything. The petite blonde had been shot three times with a shotgun. I could see numerous holes in her chest and back. Her heart and lungs were perforated with 18 pellets fully penetrated front to back with a pattern about the size of a volley ball centered in her chest. There was also a gaping ragged hole in her left abdomen about the size of a softball where she had been shot from a closer distance that also fully transited her small form.

There was nothing to do CPR on, bright frothy blood was mixing with darker blood forming a large pool. 

I looked to Tom for some explanation, he said that he heard shots and came out in time to see our cross-the-street neighbor running back to his house with a shotgun. Tom and I both had out our pistols out while we were trying to evaluate the victim and watch to see if the shooter came back. But, we were so focused on her that we did not see or hear a third person run up...He startled us when he asked us how she was. We looked up to see another neighbor with a large S&W pointed towards the sky. I remember saying she was dead, I still had one hand on her neck and my pistol in the other hand. We found out that S&W saw the shooter run back across the street also but did not know where he went, he also identified himself as a Deputy Sheriff and told us to watch the door we could see while he went after his car and he would cover another door until the calvary showed up.

I kept looking at the pretty lady with the cookie cutter like holes in her back and my little pistol. As her blood flowed slowly down the driveway my only thought was that I hoped he would show himself at the door or a window, cause I really wanted to shoot him. Then I would look at that little pistol that had 8 rounds of .32ACP and look at her then think that just one of those shotgun shells had 9 balls of lead that in effect equaled my whole magazine full of little bullets.

As we waited there pistols trained on the door, more and more police showed up, Tom and I were almost forgotten. We sat there next to the body, we had covered her and still watched the door we were assigned. Even after the additional troops showed up we were still allowed to watch our door with pistols trained on it. Tom had grabbed his .38 snub on the way through the house to open the garage door.

In retrospect I was surprised that we were not hasseled by the police that showed up, they only asked us where the perp had gone. At about 6am the police asked us to put our pistols away and they finally rushed the house and found that he had blown off his head soon after running into the house. I was asked to go downtown and provide a statement. I kept thinking about my little gun. When the deputy finished asking questions and I had signed my statement I was asked if I had any questions. I said that I was concerned about one thing...That being during the night I kept wishing the husband who had shot his wife would show himself so I could shoot at him...I really WANTED to shoot him. I asked what would have happened if I had shot him. The Deputy looked me in the eye and said there would have been a dead guy in the street. That was all.

That week I sold the little Walther, bought a Winchester 12ga Defender and loaded it with double ought buck and put it by the bed. Then I brought out one of my 1911s and set it, loaded, where the little Walther had set. I wasn’t going to take a little gun to any other possible gunfight.


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