I work for a company that deals in protective services for
children. Once the Department of Children and Families removes
the child from the home due to domestic violence, drugs, alcohol,
and numerous other reasons, protective services steps in. We help
those parents by referring them for a number of things. There is
parenting classes, rehabilitation, drug testing, anger management
classes, and the list goes on and on. But we are only able to
help those that realize their mistakes and want to change. There
are many that believe they have done nothing wrong to have their
child taken away. Those are the ones to worry about. They are
confrontational during visits, rude on the phone, and always have
an angry look on their face when you see them.
My office is the file room. I maintain all the files for the
case managers. Along with filing, I answer the phone, make
copies, and work with the Legal Department. The file room is the
first door you come to after getting through the secure door. I
had always drilled myself on what to do if an irate client made
his or her way back here. I guess I would find out how well that
plan would work today.
The entrance door to the back jiggled. I sighed in exasperation,
assuming another case manager had someone managed to forget the
four digit numerical password that had remained the same for the
past six months. I refused to stop what I was doing to open the
I jumped at the sound of a gun being fired. The realization that
someone just shot the keypad of the door set in and I quickly
ducked under my desk and pulled the cheap office chair in. My
desk was right next to the door and if someone were to glance in,
they would not see me hiding under the desk. The only way I would
be seen was if they were to take several steps into the room,
turn around and look under the desk. But I was lucky and the
person just glanced in and kept going.
I heard screams, two more gun shots, and a lot of yelling. I
grabbed my cell phone out of its holster on my side and dialed
911 as I slunk out the door. Running out to the parking lot, I
fumbled with my keys until I managed to unlock the door to my
husband's Ford F-250. For some reason this morning, I felt the
urge to take his truck instead of my Tahoe and right now I was
glad for it. He kept a gun and two clips in his truck.
"Hello, this is 911. What is your emergency?" the operator asked.
I quickly filled her in on the details. I gave her the name of
the company and the address as I shoved a loaded clip into the
butt of the gun. Cocked it and clicked the safety off.
"If anything is to happen," I told the operator, "please tell my
husband I love him."
"Please stay right where you are," the operator responded
quickly. "The police will be there in another minute or two. They
are trained to handle this type of situation, you aren't."
"I can't sit here until then," I replied. "And I can't sit here
while God knows what is going on in there. Just remember to tell
my husband what I said." I disconnected the call and tossed the
phone on the seat. I made sure the extra clip was loaded and
stuck it in my back pocket. I was glad it was Friday or I would
not be wearing my comfortable jeans nor would I have an extra
pocket. A handful of bullets were shoved into my front pockets
and I crawled into the front lobby, past the receptionist window.
Once past the window I jumped to my feet and ran to what was left
of the secure door. I took a deep breath and quietly made my way
past my office door. It was quiet for a few seconds and I froze.
A man started yelling and I heard one gunshot ring out. I heard
the cries of my coworkers. I dropped to the ground and began to
crawl on my arms and stomach past the copier, fax machine and
Peeking around the corner, I saw one of our clients whose
children were just removed. His three children had been taken
away and just given back when he tested positive for cocaine and
marijuana on a court ordered drug screen. Immediately, the case
manager, investigator, and police showed up to remove the
children. He had almost been arrested then with his raging
insults and threats.
The case manager who had removed the children already found a
foster home for all three kids and had left to take them there. I
guess this had made the father even more angry. He was yelling
and cussing at the huddle of women. Some were crying and weeping
and others were quiet and restrained.
I could see the man clearly. He was unshaven, tall and lanky. He
also had a wild look in his eyes. He had my coworkers sitting on
the floor in the kitchen area because there were no doors or
windows for anyone to get in or out of. There were windows all
along the front of the building, but you couldn't see him because
of the curtains that were kept closed due to the privacy
requirements of our job.
I took a deep breath to calm myself. And then another and
another. I just couldn't seem to calm with the adrenaline rushing
through my petite body. I gripped the pistol with both hands,
closed my left eye, and sighted him in. Taking another deep
breath, I pulled the trigger once.
Female screams filled the air at the sound of the gun going off.
I watched the man fall to his knees, a bright red trail of blood
flowing from a hold in his left shoulder, right above his heart.
He turned and looked at me, raising his own pistol but I quickly
took aim and fired again.
He fell forward, his gun still gripped in his hand. I ran forward
and kicked the gun out of his grasp. I motioned my coworkers
towards the fire exit. But as soon as they opened it, the SWAT
Team rushed into the building. The first four people pushed
through the throng of frightened women while the rest lead them
I just stared down at the man who lay in a pool of red blood.
"Ma'am," one of the officers said. I looked up at him, my pale
face devoid of any emotion. "Are you okay?" he asked. I nodded
woodenly and he gently extracted the gun from my rigid yet
shaking grip. He put the safety on and removed the bullet from
I was led out of the building and over to an ambulance. They
checked me over and finding no wounds, released back to the
Sheriff's Department. Then the interrogation began. I was
questioned on everything from why I disregarded the 911
operator's order to how many bullets I fired. I answered the
questions as best as I could.
One of my coworkers had called my husband and he raced into the
parking lot in his work van. He grabbed me in a huge hug and he
ran his hands all over my body, checking for injuries. My
laughter turned to tears as the truth of what I had done set it.