They finally put in a call for him. He wasn't surprised. He'd heard all the police reports over his radio and, though he was across the city, went in the direction of the problem
He was quickly filled in on what was happening. It was a break-in gone wrong, and now the burglar was holed up with a woman hostage.
During the past fifteen minutes, he'd come out and had the gun to the woman's head.
He had apparently gotten the wrong address for his break-in, not suspecting that anyone was home. She was, Carol Burns was indeed home. She had an off day from the hospital, where she was the charge nurse on the surgical floor.
She had interrupted him in his attempt to burglarize her home, and assured him that she had very little worth stealing.
In a rage he asked her about the address, and she told him that that address was a block and a half away. It all would have been ridiculously funny, if it weren't so serious.
Apparently, while this was going on between Carol and the burglar, a neighbor across the street, tending flower in front of the house, saw what was happening and called the police.
When he decided to leave, he went outside with her, an arm around her upper chest and the gun at her head.
He was fighting panic by then.
In the process, he noticed a deputy moving toward him from the side and, with a quick motion, shot the deputy, putting him down on the ground with a wound in his shoulder.
He waved the gun in the deputy's direction, threatening to kill him if he even moved.
That's when they called for Gail.
Gail Coleman went into the military out of school. Strangely enough, Gail had one skill that was very salable to the military. He was an excellent shot, even better than excellent.
He'd been taught from childhood by his Dad George and his Uncle Andy about guns and shooting. During all of his adolescent times, they had worked with him, realizing that such teaching and consistency from an early age would certainly pay off.
It did. With a gun in his hand, Gail Coleman was deadly.
When he went into the military, his ability with a weapon was recognized and he received even more training.
He had pulled two tours embedded with the Iraqi army in that on-going struggle. His job was training but he also had missions where he was used as a sniper. He was good at that.
After his second tour, he decided that he'd had enough of Mid-Eastern wars and thought that he wouldn't re-up.
He went from the military to the police department by the time he was in 28. He was, just then, in the best shape of his life. He stood fully 6'5" and his 235 lbs fit his frame very nicely. He kept his hair short, and therefore manageable.
For the police department he undertook the same kind of tasks that he'd done before. He trained others to shoot but also remained a 'go to' member of the department SWAT team, their 'Weapons and Tactics' squad.
In that capacity, with 'Weapons and Tactics' he had seen a number of action situations.
For his own part, Gail continued to practice his skills. It was his Uncle Andy's constant mantra: 'If you're going to use those skills, then practice them constantly and seriously.' He did just that.
It might have only been a kind of skill to be used during his younger days. Gail was okay with that. But it was a skill that he had and honed relentlessly.
He was already almost on the scene of the confrontation, when the 'officer down' call was put through the radio.
He consulted with the lieutenant on the scene and they assessed what might be done.
"What do you think, Gail?" the lieutenant wanted to know.
"All I have to do is get into place without him shooting me first and I'm good," was his answer.
They did some moving of officers around on the far right of the action scene. It drew the attention of the, by now, nervous burglar.
"Stop that!" he yelled, holding the gun still to the head of the lady, he was holding.
By then, with the movement diversion, Gail was standing on the lawn. He was in place.
The burglar noticed him right away.
"Stay there," he shouted at Gail. "Don't come a step closer or I'll kill her."
"It's okay," Gail said, waiting for the burglar to move just a fraction in his direction. It was the last thing that he needed.
Carol Burns, meanwhile had her eyes closed, shut tight. She was only breathing in a shallow fashion and she was afraid that she was going to pee herself right then and there from her fright.
Through slitted eyes, she saw the big policeman, who was now on the the lawn with them, at the foot of the lawn. She heard the belabored breathing of the burglar, who was fairly breathing into her ear, and the impression of the gun at the side of her head was constantly, constantly there.
Gail took one last look. The lieutenant had already told him to take whatever action was needed. The guy had turned in his direction, just a fraction so that he could confront him more easily.
The impressions came in groups. Gail thought that the woman was really attractive. That impression was instinctive. He pushed it away with an inner growl: "Later."
He noted, at the same time, that the burglar didn't have the gun at the woman's head cocked.
There was satisfaction in knowing that.
In the last possible instant, having noticed that one detail, Gail said to himself: "Got you, scumbag."
What happened next, happened in such a hurry that those watching were not aware of it, until the action, very brief action, was all over.
Carol Burns, looking still at the big cop, had no time to be more frightened or make any move at all.
The burglar simply didn't follow the movement of the big cop on the lawn. He was dead before that movement even registered in his brain.
With practiced ease and quickness, Gail Coleman whipped his hand up, registering instantly the red laser dot on the middle of the burglar's forehead and shot him in the head before the guy knew what hit him.
He went down like a dropped sack.
At the same time, Carol Burns simply fainted, dead away.
At first there was, on the part of some people, a fear that she'd been injured too. But Gail knew that she hadn't.
He, for his own part, was not surprised that she finally passed out from the tension and the fright, to which was added his own lightning quick movement in shooting the burglar.
That broke the tension of the waiting for everyone. Immediately, police approached the downed burglar from all sides with their guns drawn.
Gail knew that the guy was done. He'd seen it before. He done it before and was that sure of himself about it.
He went to the woman. She was still out, when he got to her. He picked her up and carried her to the bottom of the lawn, while the other officers secured the dead burglar.
She fluttered her eyes and they came open, while he was carrying her down the lawn.
"Oh," she said, in a semi groggy voice. "The big cop on the lawn."
"Yes, Ma'am," he said.
She managed a faint smile. "It's Carol, not "Ma'am," she said, hardly aware of what she was saying just then.
"Pleased to meet you, Carol," he said. "You're okay now."
"Yes," she said, "I know that."
She was shaking her head then and saying: "I've never seen anything like that in my entire life."
He only briefly grinned at her, and she remained wide eyed.
"They're gonna want to look you over to make sure you're okay," he said. "Maybe take you in to the ER just to check on you."
"Oh," she responded, and then the ambulance attendants, who were on the scene, were there and began to take charge of Carol.
Gail walked away, leaving them to their job. He did glance back at the lovely woman one time, as she lay on the grass and was being attended to. She smiled at him, when he did.
He walked over to where the police were hovering around the body of the burglar.
"Slicker 'n shit!" one of the gathered cops said to Gail, when he got there.
"You can say that again," the lieutenant said, turning to Gail and said: "Good job, Gail. Just didn't know when he was going to get nervous enough about his situation to start more shooting."
"How's Egan?" Gail asked.
"Shoulder or upper right chest, I believe," the lieutenant said, "They took him in already. They'll take the woman next in the other ambulance."
"Yes," Gail said, "I told her that."
"Pretty lady," the lieutenant said.
"Sure was," Gail agreed.
"Okay, we've got this, Gail," the lieutenant said next.
"I'll get the paper work done right away," Gail said and his boss nodded his head.
That's the way Gail spent a good part of the rest of his day: paper work, forms. There were also post action interviews to be held, and they went through those procedures, in this case with both the captain and the lieutenant involved.
During that interview, the lieutenant assured the captain that he'd told Gail to do whatever he needed in the situation.
They left the incident there and gave Gail a couple days off to decompress from the situation.
Carol Burns was only kept in the hospital a short time. They knew her there and there was a flurry of visits, when the word got around about the shooting at Carol's house.
Gail had a method that he invariably used, when he was involved in any kind of lethal action. He went home to his beagle, named, for whatever reason 'Barnes and Noble' or just 'Barnsey' for short.
.... There is more of this story ...