one car separated him from the Chevrolet. Holding his revolver with both hands, Carr sprung from behind it. He aimed at LaMonica. 'Freeze! Federal officers!' he said. Mora ran.

With what seemed like an almost practiced motion, LaMonica grabbed the young woman standing at the sports car by her hair. She screamed as he pulled her in front of him. He pressed a pistol to her temple.

Mora darted between cars. LaMonica swung the revolver in his direction and fired once. Mora dropped. He bellowed in pain.

LaMonica pulled the screaming woman closer to him.

Carr drew a bead on LaMonica's forehead. Carefully he pulled back on the trigger. The woman's head bobbed in the way. He released tension.

'I'll kill her!' LaMonica shouted. 'Get back or I'll splatter her brains all over this lot!' Using the woman as a shield, he backed toward his car.

Carr ducked down. He motioned to Kelly. The Irishman vaulted across the hood of a car and grabbed LaMonica's gun hand. They struggled with the weapon. The woman fell down. The gun fired in the air.

Carr aimed. He pulled the trigger.

Paul LaMonica's head snapped backward violently. A spray of blood stained the hood of the car. Kelly grabbed the woman and pulled her away as LaMonica slumped to the ground. She screamed gibberish and thrashed about hysterically. Kelly grabbed her arms and pulled her away. People yelled and ran about frantically. Carr took a few steps forward. He picked up LaMonica's gun and stuck it in his belt. He bent down. His fingers touched the wounded man's neck. There was no carotid pulse.

Carr found Teddy Mora on the pavement lying between two cars. He was doubled up in a ball, his features ashen, lips blue. He was bleeding.

A police car with red lights flashing zoomed into the parking lot and sped up to Carr. The T-man held his badge over his head. 'Ambulance!' he said. The officer grabbed the microphone off the dashboard.

By the time the ambulance arrived, Mora had stopped breathing. The ambulance attendant complained to Carr about having been called out on a dry run. With an angry squeal of brakes, he departed.

Chapter 28

For Carr and Kelly, the rest of the day was taken up with interviews conducted by the San Diego sheriff's detectives, signing statements and forms and making telephone calls.

It was midnight by the time the agents arrived back in Los Angeles. At Kelly's insistence, Carr steered off the freeway at Vermont and headed for Calhoun's hot-dog stand. He parked in a no-parking zone in front of the place.

Calhoun loaded the counter in front of them with hot dogs and steaming cups of coffee. Kelly unwrapped a frankfurter and, holding it with three fingers, inserted fully half of it into his mouth. He chomped and tore the hot dog in half.

'What do you hear from your son?' Carr asked Calhoun.

'Tyrone called me from basic training this morning. The drill sergeant picked him as a squad leader. He sounded like he was real proud of himself.'

'They always pick the tallest guys,' Kelly said with his mouth full.

'I can't wait for the basic training graduation,' Calhoun said. 'I'm going to drive up to Fort Ord to see it. My boy will be marching and standing tall, and I'll be right there in the stands watching.' He slapped together a second round of hot dogs and set them on the counter. Neither man made the usual protestations.

'You both look like you could use some sleep,' Calhoun said.

The next morning Carr sat at his desk and turned the pages of the operations manual marked 'Shooting Policy.' There was an atmosphere of military decorum in the office-a remarkable quiet; none of the usual horseplay or swearing. Most of the special agents had found something to do in the field. The secretaries and clerks were dutifully at their desks rather than gossiping in the coffee room. Someone had covered the counterfeiting squad room's Supreme Court photograph (monkeys in dresses sitting around a table) with a map.

It was the usual atmosphere that prevailed in the office whenever the inspectors came to town.

Carr turned a page. He read:

In the event a Special Agent has reason to believe he is in fear of his life, or the lives of others, he is authorized to fire his issued Treasury revolver (Ref. Manual Sect. 387.90) for the purpose of stopping the suspect from committing whatever act he may be engaged in, keeping paramount in his mind the safety of others…

Kelly sauntered into the squad room. He took off his suit jacket and tossed it on a rack.

Carr looked at his wristwatch. 'My, my,' he said, 'two full hours.'

'I figured while I was in there, I might as well come clean. I copped out on every time we'd violated the manual regulations,' Kelly said with a wry smile.

'If you'd done that it would have taken you a lot longer than two hours.' Carr flipped the manual shut.

Kelly peeked out into the hallway. 'It's Heckel and Jeckel. They tried to get me to say that there was some other alternative other than shooting … the usual second-guessing bullshit. No Waves chimes in with meaningless questions every few minutes. God, I hate that asshole.'

'Heckel and Jeckel?' Carr said.

'The two jerks that were out here the time Howard Dumbrowski beat up his next-door neighbor.'

Carr nodded.

Special Agent in Charge Norbert T. Waeves, pipe jutting from jaw, slipped into the room. He made his usual entrance, sort of a quick slide around the doorjamb hoping to catch a few words of conversation. He puffed smoke and took the pipe out of his mouth, said, 'We're ready for you now, Carr,' and made an about-face. He marched back to his office.

Carr followed. Heckel and Jeckel sat on a sofa on either side of a tape recorder. Both men appeared to be in their middle thirties, wore dark suits with striped neckties, and were overweight. Strangely, they looked almost like brothers. Neither acknowledged his presence.

Waeves scooted behind his oversized desk. He pointed Carr to a chair. 'I guess you know who these gentlemen are?' he said.

Carr stared at the pair. The tape recorder wasn't running. 'Jehovah's witnesses?' he asked.

The trio of inquisitors exchanged somber glances. Heckel turned on the recorder. Jeckel said, 'Interview with Special Agent Charles Carr, tape number two, Shooting Incident Analysis.' He cleared his throat. 'Agent Carr, the operations manual section 302.2 requires that you answer each and every question put to you by an inspector fully and completely. Failure to do so would subject you to administrative action which could result in loss of pay or termination from government service. We take it you are familiar with that section?' He looked at his notes.

Carr nodded.

'Respond verbally, please,' Jeckel said.

'Yes,' Carr said.

Heckel looked at Jeckel. He nodded. Jeckel looked at his notes for a moment. 'When you fired your service revolver,' he said, 'what was the thought that was foremost in your mind? I mean, right at that very moment.'

Carr made a thoughtful expression. He leaned forward in his chair. His elbows rested on his thighs. He rubbed his chin for a while. 'Things happened fast,' he said finally, 'but I remember clearly what was going through my mind.' A chin rub.

The inspectors made notes.

'I was sort of talking to myself,' he continued. 'I said, 'Carr, right now you have reason to fear for your life and the lives of others. You are now authorized to fire your Treasury revolver for the purpose of stopping the suspect from committing the act he is engaged in.'' He sat up straight.

Both men frowned. They looked at one another.

'Why did you fire at the suspect's head?' Heckel said.

'It was the only portion of his body that was exposed,' Carr said. 'The hostage was in front of him.'

'Did you consider that you might have missed LaMonica and hit the hostage?' Jeckel threw the question out

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