Some things never leave you. They just get buried where, if not reminded so many years later, they will stay.‑Such is the case I am about to tell you. I have not thought about it, or him, in a long time.‑I love humor. I will stay with it as long as I can, but after awhile something so painful will surface that I have to force myself to put it to paper. Such is the following story:

His name was Jeff. He was a Paramedic and headed for med school. He had recently married and had a new baby. As happens with all young couples, Jeff and Lucy had a marital tiff. Afterwards, Jeff had gone into work for 8 hours,‑went out for a couple of beers with Perry and headed home. He and Lucy had just bought a new house. It wasn’t a big house but had plenty of room for the three of them.‑The neighborhood was nice and they had gotten to know a few neighbors. The tiff was not of a serious nature, and, in fact, I never did hear what it was about, but Lucy huffed home to her father’s house with the baby‑that night.‑When Jeff came home that morning after working the night shift, he went in the house, didn’t lock the door, and crashed out on the couch. The story from here takes many a different turn but I will tell you as accurately as I can, the events that occurred that morning. There is a small town close by and the officers are not the city or county officers who have extensive training and experience. In fact, some are hot dogs. Many did not cut the mustard to serve on the Louisville or the Jefferson County police force, and had to settle for a less prestigious job. I should stop short of calling them a bunch of misfits. Keep in mind that my feelings are bitter and unforgiving, so that will cloud my account, to be sure.

The Keystone Kops were looking for a drug dealer. He had been on their books for several years and for whatever reason, they decided that today was the day that they would do a few raids and clean up the cold case files on whomever they could. They didn’t bother to check the phone book where their suspect was listed at his present address.‑It was a day of infamy. Two of the KK’s (Keystone Kops) headed into Jefferson County territory without notifying the county force of what was going on. This is unacceptable and unprofessional but, that being the case, they barreled onwards like a force to be reckoned with. This is the account by the “nosey neighbor” as she was referred to in court:‑(The trial of the KK had to be moved to Bowling Green, because there was so much hostility towards the KK that it was felt he could not get an unbiased jury …who would have no doubt hung him.)

Nosey Neighbor looked out her window between slightly parted curtains when she observed the KK’s pull up. Cops were not a common sight in her neighborhood and she stood (by her own admission) with her nose to the glass. She observed one KK moving slowly to the front door with his gun drawn. The other KK went around the house, presumably to the back door. His gun was also drawn.

Jeff’s pickup was in the driveway, and all the KK had to do was call in the license plate and he would have found that it did not match his cold case suspect. But…KK had it in his head that he was going to wrap up this case, just like he undoubtedly saw on a TV show. He, with gun drawn, opened the door.‑”Nosey neighbor” testified the cop was in the house for less than half a minute when she heard shots fired. Jeff was startled by the KK,‑arose from the couch. KK fired. He hit Jeff in the chest. When the first EMS unit arrived on the scene, they were stunned to find their own colleague lying on his back on the floor. The KK was in near hysterical ecstasy over his “kill”.‑The EMS crew found Jeff alive and when they went to intubate him, Jeff motioned to his mouth instead of his nose where they were headed. (This is a breathing tube, and can be inserted in the nose or the mouth and fed down the trachea.‑On the street, we usually used the nose). It was the last decision that Jeff ever made. Picket told us, in the equipment room, later that night, that Jeff was so white she initially‑thought he was already dead. The crew transported him code 3 to University Hospital to Room 4, our major trauma room. He could not be saved, as he had exsanguinated. There was little blood left in Jeff’s body.

I was home watching TV when I saw the bulletin flash on. I watched in horror as an anchorman spoke. I was in such a state to hear my good friend and colleague was dead, that I grabbed the phone book and found the number of the town where the policeman worked. I don’t know who answered the phone but what I do remember is that she kept saying, “As soon as the details come out, it will be explained that this was a criminal.”‑I remember sobbing into the phone and yelling at her that this was NOT a criminal. He was‑a Paramedic and a Pre-Med student.‑ The ones who would be hearing the correct details would be THEM.

The most gut-wrenching thing, other than the fact that some KK shot Jeff in cold blood, was that Lucy would have to live with the knowledge that she was not at home, and that she and Jeff had had a fight, which would be her last memory of him.‑I don’t know how Lucy would have made it through the next year had it not been for‑their baby.‑ Such was the grief that she endured.

As far as the KK, he lied through his teeth. He claimed that he never had his gun drawn prior to entering the house, and that Jeff attacked him. He had no option but to shoot in self-defense. If it had not been such a tragedy it would have been laughable. We had many people testify as to Jeff’s kind nature and his aspirations of becoming a doctor. A Jefferson County supervisor testified that KK was out of his territory and that they were not notified of the presence of a raid in their jurisdiction. We had no shortage of people who wanted to testify. But what it came down to was that there were no witnesses to the crime including the officer who went to the back door. He claimed he didn’t see anything until it was over. KK was acquitted.

But, that’s not the end of the story. After KK was acquitted in the criminal trial, Lucy took him to court in a civil trial. In that trial he was found guilty and she was awarded a substantial sum for the wrongful death of her husband.

All of this tortured me for a long time. Anger at the KK and the injustice of it all was about more than I could bear. He was such a good guy, a good friend and colleague.‑I will always remember him. I guess what I want to say as I wrap up this column today, is to repeat what my grandmother always told us: “Let not the sun go down upon your wrath.”‑If you have problems with your partner, try to settle things before you go to sleep at night. There may never be another day.

The Waynedale News Staff

The Waynedale News Staff

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