Three nights ago my whole family was in bed and we were just finishing up the watch videos/read/sing/get water/go to bed/put Rolo back in bed/put Rolo back in bed again routine when someone frantically rang the doorbell. It was frantic because it was repeated and accompanied by loud door knocking.
It was alarming, as anyone knocking on your door at 10 pm would be, but also I sort of made a logic leap that it was our neighbor letting me know I had left my overhead light on again. Which would have been a kindness since I just bought a new battery for that exact reason less than two weeks ago.
Instead I heard Sergio open the door to a sort of slurred panicked moaning voice saying, “I’ve been shot.”
Now, he said more, but I just want to let that linger for you as it did for me. Kind of like, “I’ve been SHOT…Shot…shot…” An echo, of sorts. What he actually said was something like, “You’ve gotta help me. Call the cops. I’ve been shot. Help me.” But it was really the shooting part that stuck with me.
Sergio responded with a very forceful and gruff, “Wait right here.” And locked him out on our doorstep. I believe at this point the guy sort of collapsed on our stoop. (In my lovely sunpatiens, I might add!) I was out of bed finding Sergio’s phone. I threw it to him and went straight to Rosalind’s room. And then I texted my brother. It seemed….rational…at the time? Look, when you think maybe someone is dying on your doorstep and that maybe someone is around your house chasing this person with a gun, and that maybe your husband is about to get caught up in all of that, you gotta find something to do with your hands!
Sidenote: Sergio and I both later discussed that our first thoughts had been that this was some sort of elaborate ploy to get in our house for robbery or some such. I’m just telling you in case you think that we are just super naive or altruistic or something. We have jaded sides too. Also, at this point we had just locked a man we believed to be shot locked out on our doorstep, so you probably weren’t thinking altruistic anyway.
I could hear everything from Rosalind’s room as her window is just above our front door. I knew Sergio was on the phone with 911 and that he had to periodically duck his head out to ask the guy where he was shot, if the person was still out there, if they were armed. Answers: thigh, yes, yes. So I decided to go find our only weapon, a baseball bat, and lock Rosalind and I into her room. Shut up. Rational.
I was pleasantly surprised with how quickly the police responded. Faster than I would have thought possible two police cars were in the road. At this point I relaxed considerably, because whatever was going on was no longer ours to deal with alone. Before it was all said and done there were 10-15 cop cars on our road, a fire truck, and an ambulance. Rosalind seemed aware that something was happening because it was strange that Sergio and I would be the ones that couldn’t stay in bed after lights out. However, she was not overly concerned and asked me soon after the first police arrived if she could go back to sleep now. I’m glad she never noticed the cops or all the excitement outside or I’m sure we would still be hearing about why those policemen showed up at our door. So she laid down, and I went downstairs finally to get an idea what was going on.
I found Sergio standing at the open door, a man collapsed in our plants, EMT’s standing half in and half out of our house, and cops milling around EVERYWHERE in the neighborhood. And of course, every light on in every neighbors house with little shadows gathered at every window. I’m sure we are making quite the impression in our new neighborhood.
When I asked Sergio if the guy was really shot, he sort of rolled his eyes. As the EMT’s asked the guy where he was shot, the location kept changing. With no other options they just cut almost all of this clothes off right in front of us. Not shot.
Bad hallucinating though. As Sergio put it, this seemed like a very bad trip that this guy was on. In fact, he was fairly beaten up, but it seemed like he had accomplished this himself maybe. It looked like he had been running from whatever he thought was shooting at him (and let’s all consider the fact that someone may very well have taken a shot at someone walking around high and lost late at night) and repeatedly fell, skinning his hands and face pretty well.
And that was it. I was impressed, though a little embarrassed for the cops and EMT’s. It was becoming increasingly obvious that this was all drug induced and at the very least nobody was out chasing this guy down to kill him. But the EMT’s worked just as though he had been shot and the cops continued to investigate for a long while as though it was still really a shooting. Due diligence, I suppose.
Eventually they got him off our stoop and into an ambulance. The cop took our names and phone numbers. We were finally able to shut our door. Rolo had fallen aseep, I got back in bed and read for a bit to calm down, and Sergio texted a few of our friends. He even eventually went back outside to see what the cops appeared to be looking at, only to be met by our neighbors and landlord. So at least some people know that we were not directly involved in this incident.
And that was our Tuesday night.