Wrong Address

It’s disturbingly common for police to be sent to, or arrive at, the wrong address. Most of the time, they figure it out with just a little confusion. But since America militarized its police forces, this sometimes results in the police shooting a few people, or blasting a baby with a flashbang grenade, before things are sorted out. And since America, or at least Georgia, decided that “guns everywhere, always” was a super great idea, sometimes this happens:

An officer-involved shooting which resulted in a resident being shot by Henry County police is being investigated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

The incident occurred in the 600 block of Swan Lake Road near Stockbridge around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Henry County police responded to a 911 call reporting gunshots and an unknown female yelling for help. Three officers were dispatched to the neighborhood.

“Based on the directions given to the police officers there, they wound up at the residence of Mr. Powell,” stated Scott Dutton with the GBI.
Upon arrival at 690 Swan Lake Road, officers spotted William Powell, 63, who was armed with a handgun. According to the GBI, officers told Powell to drop his handgun, but he did not comply. Powell was then shot by one of the officers in the neck.

Powell was taken to Atlanta Medical Center where he is in critical condition as of Thursday morning.

Now he’s likely to die. Powell did what any red-blooded Georgian would do, which is walk out of his house in the middle of the night toting a gun, and the cops did their thing, which is shoot first and ask questions later, and here’s the result. Usually, the police are absolved of blame or responsibility, but this one is so egregious that the GBI is actually looking into it:

The GBI confirms Henry County PD responded to wrong address. Powell had nothing to do with the original 911 call. Investigators did eventually find the house where the woman was screaming.

“There was an argument there however they indicated that there was no screaming for help or shots fired,” said Dutton.

The officer who shot Powell is on administrative leave. CBS46 asked the GBI if we could hear the 911– they declined to release it at this point in the investigation.

So let’s create a hypothetical situation where cops are sent to the wrong address (or read the address wrong, which often happens), and the homeowner comes out packing, and shots are fired, and Diana and Mustapha have to come out and investigate the mess, and they’re getting ready to arrest the idiot cop who started firing, and only THEN does it occur to anyone to check out the correct house.

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Another Murder on I-20

A very short story with no details given:

Police say a man is dead after a shooting on I-20 in DeKalb County.

According to a spokesperson with DeKalb County police, officers found a man in his late teens or early 20s dead from gunshot wounds in the car.

The man was found on I-20 eastbound, just east of Panola Road.

Where was the car found? Was there anyone else in it? We don’t know. What we do know is that less than a month ago, another man was found dead in a car very close to this location. The obvious conclusion is coincidence: the first guy was driven to the location by his friend from about 10 miles away in the other direction. But of course this is a crime fiction blog, so my hypothetical DeKalb County homicide detective is going to get to wondering what it is about this stretch of highway that makes it such a great location for a body dump. And while there will be no link between the two hypothetical corpses, they’ll both be linked to something even creepier.

Novel 3: Act III, Chapter 1, Scene 4b

TOC page here.

Diana and Mustapha are at a church breakfast for the homeless, talking to two guys about Bill Knight’s death:

Diana said, “What did Bill talk about in therapy? Anything that might help.”

He chewed thoughtfully. “Don’t know if it will help. You understand, I’ve only been doing this a couple of months. Bill? He was due to go back to his family a few months ago. When Red did. So it was all about one day at a time. He grew up with a lot of money, hear? His family’s like old-school money. ”

Steve nodded. “Real aristocats.”

“So what he figured it was, they was ruthless people: money and power. They raised him that way, but deep down he’s one of them sensitive people. He tried to be what they wanted, and there was all kinds of what Ms. Claire calls cognitive dissidents.”

Steve drained his coffee. “Yeah, that’s it. So he drank. Now, he’s going back, he’s worried about them trying to make him be that way again. He said they understood it, but he was still worried. Me, I grew up in a real abusive family environment: now I realize my daddy did… shit to me, because he didn’t have no toolbox to work out his own problems. But I can’t go back and confront him, or even forgive him, because they’re all dead. Hurricane Katrinka done got’em.”

“Have another biscuit, brother, ” said Steve.

“That’s only a little slower than drinking, in the long run. ” But he took it, chewed it thoroughly. “Man. His family had let him come back last fall, he wouldn’t have been on the street where the Reaper could get him.” He looked up at the stained glass. “Talk about a cross to bear.”

So now we understand why Bill drank, and why he was on the street, and at least part of why he was still on the street and ended up dead. Keep in mind the story of Bill’s family keeping him out on the street as the reason he wasn’t living with them yet. This will be important, later. And enjoy the wordplay, and the contrast between the wordplay and the actual sophistication of what they’re saying.

Novel 3: Act III, Chapter 1, Scene 4a

TOC page here.

Diana and Mustapha went to the shelter, in order to break the news of Bill Knight’s death to Claire Longstreet, and also to find next of kin and any leads. Now we’re tracking down one of these leads:

The fellowship hall of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church was cheery and grand: less blandly institutional than most Diana had been in. The stained-glass was beautiful, but while she supposed the bible quotes were appropriate, she’d never cared for religion and had to dampen down a raised hackle or two when the pastor, or minister, or whatever his proper title was, told her that providing breakfast to the destitute was a means to the end of saving souls.

Breakfast was delicious, however, and she could only pretend she wasn’t hungry twice before giving in. “Why we get up early and stand in line,” said Catfish, who with his bald head, protruding lips and voluminous whiskers really did look like his namesake. “They always run out of bacon before anything else. But it’s early, and Ms. Longstreet sent us to you.”

Big Steve was of average size in every respect Diana could see. “Who was it, ma’am?”

Catfish finished his biscuit. “Aw, man, it was Bill, wasn’t it?”

Diana said, “I really can’t say.”

Big Steve said, “You don’t have to. Process of elimination.” He raised his Styrofoam coffee cup; Catfish did a doubletake, then did the same. “God bless you, brother,” said Steve.

Catfish said, “And give you rest.” To Diana, “This is about the Reaper, ain’t it? Yeah. I’ll do what I can. What you want to know?”

This is mostly scene-setting, and more character for Diana, whose resolute rationalism is being set up here as a counterpoint to her terrible romantic decisions in early life. Also, it’s about giving these guys character, because the whole point of the book is to hammer home the idea that while homeless guys fall into about half a dozen archetypes, they all have a story of their own.

1001 Tales in Atlanta After Dark

A very short story, though one that will almost certainly become more fleshed out as the investigation continues:

11Alive News has confirmed the husband of a Georgia assistant attorney general has been found shot to death.
Shahriar Zolfaghari, 36, is the husband of Camila Wright.

Wright was hired in November 2014 by Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens to deal with sex trafficking cases.

Zolfaghari was found dead Wednesday morning at the intersection of Rankin Street and Boulevard NE. Atlanta police responded to a 1:15 a.m. report of an unresponsive driver.

When they pulled Zolfaghari out of his vehicle, they discovered he had been shot. He was rushed to Grady Memorial Hospital, but he died during surgery.

In terms of Georgia crime news, the story is notable because it’s the husband of a powerful prosecutor. In a mediocre crime novel, the man’s analogue would be targeted by sex traffickers as revenge for his wife’s investigation and prosecution of them. In a shitty one, he’d be involved in the sex trafficking. If the novel had her do it and try to make it look like sex traffickers, it could be either really good or really bad, depending on the writer.

But what struck me about this was the guy’s name. Shahriar is just an ordinary Iranian first name, but it also happens to be the name of the wicked king who frames the narrative of the 1001 Nights, also known as the Arabian Nights. King Shahriar is cuckolded by his wife, so he vows to marry a woman every night and kill her the next day, so he cannot be cuckolded again. The heroine Shahrazad solves the problem by telling him a story so entertaining that he spares her life so he can hear the next installment; and the next night’s story has a story within a story, and so on until Shahriar finally agrees his idea was stupid. So, naturally, the link between the content of the stories and the guy’s name struck me.

But of course, in a really good crime novel, what got the husband killed would have nothing to do with the wife’s job.