Responding to calls of 'unknown nature' were the worst kind of calls. The dispatcher had very sketchy details for us as she'd send us to a specific address. The callers were usually panic stricken, crying, making demands that the police be at their location right away. Little did they know how far away we usually were but they could at least hear our responding units sirens as we approached the neighborhoods.
Then there were those calls from third party callers that weren't close by and knew even less.
One Saturday morning as the day was beginning to show activity with shoppers, baseball fields filling with players and parents, dogs walking their owners in the park. It was about 11 a.m. when I was dispatched to an address on the northeast corner of town. This was a brand new housing area that was just beginning to populate with families. The call came from a young teenage girl. She related to the dispatcher that she was talking to her boyfriend on the telephone and he was playing 'their song' really loud. She stated that he and she had recently broken off a dating relationship and he was begging her to come back to him. She tried to tell him that she could not as her father insisted that they both were too young to be so serious. She knew this upset him as she could hear it in his voice. The music was so loud that a lot of what he had said to her she could not hear or understand. The parents of this young male was not at home according to him as they had taken his sister shopping, so he was home alone. After a few moments of no conversation the caller heard a very loud noise. She kept calling the young man's name to get a response. When he failed to answer she panicked and call the police department.
As I was working the area of the residence I was the first officer on scene. My back up was still quite far away. I went to the front door and found it locked so I walked around to the backyard and found a sliding glass door that was unlocked. Not knowing exactly what I was about to enter in to I notified the dispatcher that I was entering the house. As I entered the dining room area I was yelling, 'Killeen Police, any one here?' There was an eery quiet within this house. As I walked into the living room I yelled again the same thing and asked if anyone was here to please respond. Again.....nothing. There was a long hallway leading away from the living room and all the doors were closed. Apprehensive but knowing I had to open them all I began opening doors. Bedrooms, bathroom, and closets produced no one. One door to go at the very end of the hallway where I heard a faint sound of music so I again announced myself, knocked on the door and heard no movement inside. Fearing the worst that someone was hurt inside I began to open the door. As the door opened slightly I saw 2 legs in jeans over the side of the bed directly in front of a stereo so I pushed the door open all the way. I could not believe what I was seeing.
On the bed on his back was the body of a 15 year old male child, he had shot himself with a shotgun under the chin and literally blew his brains out all over the wall behind him and the ceiling. The gun was still lying on his chest. He was obviously dead. I could literally smell 'death' in the air. I left everything as it was and called for an ambulance, my supervisor, and a detective to come to the scene. Shortly thereafter, my backup showed up and I met him outside. I explained to him what I had found and he went inside to check what I told him. When the paramedics arrived they went in and confirmed what I knew. The Justice of the Peace was also called to pronounce the boy deceased.
In Texas where there is an unattended death there is always an autopsy done to confirm the cause of a death.
The hard part now was trying to find this boy's parents to notify them. Of course there was no cell phone number as these weren't available as they are today. We eventually found a family member that knew where they were shopping and they would find them and get them home right away.
After about 30 minutes the family returned home and of course were questioning us as why we were there. This was the hardest notification I ever had to do. This family was of Asian decent and they were simply devastated. They wanted to see their son but I could not allow that. Eventually, our police chaplain arrived and he removed the family from the home so we could complete our job and remove the boy's body.
As I finished and drove to the station the shock was beginning to wear off and as a I pulled into the parking lot and parked I began to cry. My cry was in agony over the loss of a 15 year old child. I wondered what could be so bad in the life of a 15 year old to cause him to use a shotgun to end his life.
Here I was a police officer showing human emotions. My badge and my gun did not stop me from mourning and showing outward emotions for this boy and his family.
I prayed for strength to get through the complete investigation and be strong for the family. My salvation was Lieutenant Stephens who emphasized that being human and having human feelings was okay in this particular situation. He encouraged me to vent by whatever means I needed to. To this day this scene is clear in my mind's eye. I will never forget it.
Now, that I look back I see this was the prelude for works of Satan, yet to come.