I was a homicide detective. Two cops from our precinct had been gunned down while responding to a call to an apartment complex in the city. My partner and I were trying to track down which apartment complex it was. We drove out to this one place on the outskirts of town. The parking-lot was piled with the rusted out shells of abandoned vehicles, as though the place were a junkyard. The weeds grew tall and wild through the cracks in the pavement. A four-story brick apartment building looked out over this mournful desolation. Most of the glass was broken out of the windows and I could see countless corpses piled in the unlit apartments within. One leg in blood spattered jeans dangled out a window on the top floor; a limp arm in a striped sweater hung from another. In some spots there were streaks of dried blood running down the side of the building. My partner and I stood beside our cruiser, looking out over the scene. “You sure this isn’t the place?”, I asked.
“Nah, this has been like this for years. Everybody knows about this,” he told me, tossing aside his cigarette and getting back into the car. As we headed back down the road, the call came in over the radio. Someone else had found the right apartment complex. My partner called back in to confirm it. We got the address of the place, and my partner lit up our flashers and cut right through the traffic. He knocked back the last cold dregs of his coffee and tossed the styrofoam cup out the window.
It seems everyone was looking to get in on the revenge for the two fallen officers. Every cop in the city converged on this apartment complex. The SWAT team arrived in a caravan of armored buses. Looking at all this commotion, I realized that they weren’t just there to arrest whoever had shot the officers. No. They were planning an all out massacre. They were going to slaughter everyone who lived here. They all poured from the buses and the squad cars. Even more came scaling over the fence that ran the perimeter of the property, all dressed in bullet-proof black. And with the sudden muzzle flare of a machine gun, they opened fire in all directions.
Bullets and shells and shattered glass rained everywhere. Smoke rose in thick black clouds. Confusion on the ground. A sudden pause punctuated the action, and a door opened and one of the residents came out in their bathrobe to see what was going on. There was a moment of hesitation, but then someone opened fire, and then everyone opened fire. The resident was tossed this way and that by the bullets, but he seemed otherwise unperturbed. He looked more confused than anything. He just stared back at us as blood dripped from his robe. And we all realized it all at once. These people in this apartment complex, they were all already dead. They couldn’t be killed again. There was going to be a massacre here. It was going to be us.