Saturday, April 25, 2009

Doug, Keeping our streets safe

This is the 2nd time this week that Doug has made it into the newspaper. Early in the week because of his marathon win and now for his "Crime Fighting"!

This is how it unfolded from my end of the story. Adam was at Doug's mom's house for the day so I could get some work done. It was early afternoon and I was working away on my computer when I got a phone call from my friend Shelby who is a teacher.  This is how the phone call went:
Shelby: Hey
Me: How's it going?
Shelby: Hey is Doug working today?
Me: Yeah why? (I'm thinking did your house or Chris's business get broke into or something and you need Doug to come out and do a report)
I notice hesitation in her voice
Shelby: Uh...well...I don't know if you heard, but 2 officers just got shot in Hagerstown.
Me: What! What happened do you know any details. (I start to panic, but maintain a calm voice)
Shelby: All I know is they came across the loudspeaker and said 2 officers got shot in Hagerstown and to be on alert. The kids got out half day, so that is why they just said it over the intercom.
Me: Okay. I'll call and see what it going on and call you back. (Still trying to remain calm)
Shelby: Okay, bye
Me: Bye
I hung up the phone and really start freaking out, there are usually only 6 or 7 officers on the street during the day, so if 2 were shot, there is a really good chance it could be Doug. With hands shaking I try to remember the phone number for the Hagerstown Police Department dispatch. I'm not even sure how my fingers dialed the number, but somehow they did. Dispatch answered and I said I had heard that 2 officers got shot in Hagerstown and I wanted to make sure Doug was okay. He told me that the officers were US Marshals and Doug was okay. I breathed a sigh of relief, and then asked if the US Marshals were going to be okay and he said that they would. 

Feeling much relief I got off the phone and then went to the internet to look up what was going on. I pulled up the Herald Mail newspaper online, and what did I see, but Doug's picture plastered all over it. Gun drawn, standing with people with shields, rifles, snipers, all that crazy stuff. I see that the police are in some sort of standoff.

Doug is on the far left with his gun in his right hand...

Doug is on the far left with his gun in his hand, standing behind the guys with shields...

Again, Doug is on the far left, with gun in his hand bent over beside the guy who is kneeling down with a rifle. Doug later told me that the rifle that the other guy was holding was his. 

Doug is actually in this picture too. He is all the way in the back in the middle of the photo with his back to the camera...
Just then the phone rang and it was Doug. Here is what he said:
"Can't talk, just wanted to let you know, it's all over, I'm fine and the suspect was apprehended. Love you, bye".
I couldn't even get a word in, but was glad to know everything was okay.

I know that everyday when Doug is at work there is a chance for him to get shot, stabbed, or injured, but I just don't think about it. When you are a police officer's wife, you just can't let your mind wonder there. Yesterday was very scary and I hope I don't ever have to go through that for real. When I tuck Adam into bed every night and we pray, I always thank God for keeping him safe and pray that he stays safe. So now I will clear my mind and not think about the dangers of his job.

As it turns out, the US Marshals were not even shot, when they got into the gun battle with the wanted fugitive who was hiding in the attic, the US Marshall jumped back and fell out of the attic and broke his leg really bad. I'm not sure how the other US Marshal got hurt, but he was not shot either. The suspect on the other hand did get shot. 

Here is the article from the newspaper:

HAGERSTOWN — An attempt by U.S. marshals to arrest a fugitive in Hagerstown’s West End Friday afternoon ended with the wanted man seriously wounded by gunfire and two marshals suffering leg injuries, the Hagerstown Police Department said.

The marshals’ injuries were not caused by gunfire and were not life-threatening, Hagerstown Police Department Sgt. Paul Kifer said. One had a broken leg, he said.

Darryll Cash, 35, who was wanted for a weapons violation in West Virginia, was taken into custody and taken to Washington County Hospital, Kifer said. Cash was in fair condition Friday night, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Upon hearing that shots were fired and an officer was injured about 12:45 p.m., city, county and state law enforcement officers responded to the scene in the 200 block of Merrbaugh Drive, attracting a crowd of spectators.

The incident began when a team of eight agents from the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force attempted to serve a warrant for Cash at 239 Merrbaugh Drive, Kifer said. Cash was charged in the West Virginia state warrant with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

There was an exchange of gunfire between the marshals and Cash, who then barricaded himself inside the house, Kifer said.

With the help of Washington County Special Response Team members in tactical gear, officers and negotiators went into the house and talked Cash into coming out for medical attention, Kifer said.

Special Response Team members were seen taking a ladder into the house, and Kifer said it took some time to get to the spot where Cash had barricaded himself in.

One of the marshals and Cash were taken from the house on stretchers about 1:45 p.m.

The marshal with the broken leg was taken to Washington County Hospital, then transferred to another facility for surgery, Kifer said. The other injured marshal was taken to the hospital for evaluation of a minor leg injury and later was released, Kifer said.

Police will not be releasing the marshals’ names, Kifer said.

In addition to Cash, two women were in the house at the time of the incident, Kifer said. Both were taken in for questioning, he said.

A woman who lives across the street said about 12:45 p.m. a group of police officers surrounded the house at 239 Merrbaugh Drive and were banging on the door.

The woman, who did not want her name used, said the officers got a battering ram and went around to the back of the house.

Kristy Nikirk, 30, who lives next door, said her friend lives in the house at 239 Merrbaugh Drive and the woman’s on-again, off-again boyfriend sometimes stayed there with her.

Nikirk said from inside her house, she saw a group of officers pounding on the door of 239 Merrbaugh Drive. When she looked outside again, she didn’t see them and figured they had gone inside.

Nikirk said she went outside to smoke a cigarette. While she was outside, she heard three gunshots.

“Next thing I knew, I just heard pew, pew, pew, and I guess it must have ricocheted off of something and landed in the road,” Nikirk said.

“I just grabbed my kids and ran in,” she said.

Officers instructed Nikirk to take her young children to a neighbor’s house, then went into her house and used it as a vantage point for their operation, she said.

The Hagerstown Police Department, which is investigating the shooting, later placed markers next to several bullet fragments in the road outside the house, Kifer said.

A neighbor across the street from the house, who did not want to be identified, said one of the bullets bounced off of his car and one apparently struck the siding on the house next to his.

Neighbors in the community, known as Gateway Crossing, said they were shaken by the incident.

“It’s always been so quiet down here,” said Glenda Castle, 58, who has lived in the neighborhood for about 2 1/2 years.

In December, West Virginia State Police said a Hagerstown man named Darryll Cash escaped on foot after a traffic stop on Interstate 81 in Berkeley County. At the time, Cash was wanted in Washington County and New York on drug and weapons charges, West Virginia State Police said.


Dannette said...

Glad to hear Doug is ok. What a scary day for you.

Christina said...

Oh my goodness Laura! I am SO glad to hear that Doug is okay. I can't imagine how you felt that morning. Great job Doug!

dkamfam said...

That was a scary day for you! I'm glad Doug is okay. Definitely don't dwell on that day.

The Amazing Trips said...

That's really scary. I'm so glad your husband is safe. Of course, with his speed - he probably could have dodged the bullets - but you definitely wouldn't want to test that theory...

Thanks for the brave job that you do protecting citizens - stay safe, Doug!!