I think everyone knows the good guys aren’t always good and they don’t always win. Doesn’t mean the bad guys are any better, but sometimes the bad guys do win.
It was a popular Waikiki night spot. It was popular with the younger crowd and if you mix youth, booze and raging hormones you get fights.
This place didn’t have any more fights than other Waikiki spot; in fact it had many fewer than other clubs. This was sort of an upper college crowd with a little more money to spend. Higher prices usually mean a lower problem establishment.
When there was a fight, it was usually more push and shove than actual fighting. So it was a surprise when the call came out concerning an “affray” in progress, with injuries.
A number of units responded, most all of them experienced no nonsense officers.
Upon arrival the combatants and the injured were separated and attempts to calm everyone were partially successful. Then the worse of all scenarios happens. One of the fighters snatched a cop’s gun.
Larry was one of those experienced officers. He just got caught by surprise but he paid the price.
The snatcher backed away as Larry turned and then the snatcher fired 2 shots from the duty .38 Smith and Wesson revolver. There were no mandatory concealable vests back then so Larry took 2 hollow point rounds in the chest.
Apparently stunned by his own actions the shooter didn’t continue firing but the other cops did. The shooter took multiple hits to the chest and also fell dead.
Of course there was a full court press investigation from that moment on; Inspectors, Deputy Chiefs and the Chief himself evedentially arrived on the scene. Stories were naturally varied, but all agreed that the snatcher fired first. Since Larry’s holster was empty, all the physical evidence matched the base story.
But that was not the end of this event.
Naturally the gun-snatchers history showed prior confrontations with police and others.
A number of arrests and convictions for small stuff.
Nobody could understand why he garbed the gun, but those facts were not in dispute. Except by the family, like usual, who said he was a kind, loving, caring young man that would never do anything like this. The police must have caused it.
Larry’s funeral was planned and then the family started getting calls, threats, and curses.
The officers family was cursed at because their son, a dead police officer, had “caused” the death of a “good boy”. They were threatened with more deaths and were even told their house would be burned to the ground.
Calls came day and night and were taken seriously.
I spent the next 13 days at the family home. Other officers parked outside during the hours of darkness. I was in uniform, armed, and I answered the phone. When I answered, they usually hung up. Calls at night went unanswered.
The funeral service was held without incident or disruption.
After the funeral, the calls tapered off and finally stopped. I went back to patrol. I will admit I didn’t stay in contact, not even sure if I should have.
Several years later I ran into Larry’s sister. We had dinner and she told me how Larry’s parents never recovered from the ordeal. They could never understand how their lives, could be so turned upside down when their son had been “the good guy”.
Eventually they had had enough, they sold their house and left the state. There are good guys and then there all those bad guys.
“They” won this one.