How’s this for a scene?
A man waits in his car. It’s after midnight. The street is dark. Apartments are quiet. The occasional car pulls up, parks. People go into their apartments. A typical Saturday night.
But this man waits for one person in particular. And his patience pays off. A new car pulls to a stop. The driver parks. He turns off his headlights. The first man opens his door and gets out of his car. He grabs the duffel bag sitting in the passenger’s seat next to him. He unzips it as he walks towards the newcomer’s car. The bag falls free as he grasps the object within, revealing a shotgun.
BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! Four shots directly into the car where the newcomer sits. Shock hammers through everyone within earshot. People sit up in bed, pause in mid swallow, jump up from the couch.
The gunman walks back to his car. He reloads, returns and shoots three more times. Satisfied the job is done, he returns to his car, starts it and drives away, leaving shotgun shells scattered on the pavement.
In his devastated car, the victim stirs. He’s not dead. He opens the door and somehow, perhaps through incredible force of will, makes it to his apartment building and goes inside.
By now, neighbors have emerged. Someone, perhaps several people, have called the police, who arrive with an ambulance. Paramedics hurry into the victim’s apartment complex. The police do their thing. Witness give scattershot accounts of what happened.
Then moments later, the paramedics reemerge from the building. Their gurney is empty.
“Where’s the guy?” the neighbors ask. “Is he okay?”
“He died in the hallway,” they say, and drive off, perhaps calling the coroner as they do so.
It’s a harrowing scene. Perhaps something that might have once fit into Homicide before it was canceled. Perhaps The Shield could use it.
And oh, did I mention that it happened just outside Sara’s apartment on Saturday?
I talk to her about the next day. We have a long discussion about life in Los Angeles (another in our long series of late-night chats.) I asked her whether, now that a man had been murdered on her street, whether she feels any less safe coming home at night. I’m surprised when she tells me she isn’t. She says the police had told her that it was an extremely uncommon occurrence in her neighborhood (North Hollywood) and it’s clear, based on the evidence, that this was not a random killing. Sara and Noah had probably walked right past the killer after they got out of their car earlier. This man was after one man and one man only. Maybe it was a drug thing. Perhaps it was a cuckolded boyfriend. Whatever the case, the killer did what he came to do and then left.
What would be the point of being afraid? There’s already enough fear in this world. Misplaced panic would only make things worse.