The last time a shooting took place – Friday Fiction
The last time a shooting took place in Wyattsville was back in 1944, and it was little more than a superficial leg wound. Walter Clemmons had put a bullet through the thigh of his brother-in-law. Although everyone knew the two of them didn’t get along, Walter claimed he’d mistaken his wife’s brother for a burglar. It was nothing more than a family squabble that got out of control and could hardly be considered a crime. This was an out-and-out crime—armed robbery and, from the look of things, conceivably homicide.
When the first ambulance driver called in his report saying, “Gunshot victim, white male, fifty-eight, chest wound, heavy bleeding, non-responsive,” the emergency room supervisor issued a “Code Blue,” the crisis management procedure they practiced monthly but had never before used.
Minutes later two interns, two orderlies, and three nurses stood in front of the emergency entrance. Sidney Klaussner was rolled from the van and taken to Exam Room One where Doctor Kellerman waited. Minutes later Sidney was on his way to the operating room.
Paul wasn’t quite so lucky. When the second ambulance rolled up no one was waiting. The two ambulance attendants brought the gurney in. The only doctor still on duty in the ER was Alfred Peters, a second-year neurosurgery resident. He would have been in the operating room with Doctor Kellerman were it not for the fact that Alfred was nursing a hangover and hung back when the others rushed to answer the Code Blue.
“You gotta be kidding,” he grumbled when the second gunshot victim was brought in. Alfred had the makings of a great surgeon someday, but unfortunately this wasn’t the day. His head ached, and his eyeballs felt fuzzy and out of focus. If it were a kid with a broken arm or a woman showing signs of the flu, he could have stumbled through the process with no problem. But the boy on the table had a gunshot to the head.