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In a split second, your entire life can change. Detective Aaron is a school resource officer. As he does his daily patrol, he stops a man who appears out of place near the local high school. Indeed, this routine stop turns dangerous as the man, who is found to have warrants and is carrying weapons, runs directly onto school property. A confrontation outside classrooms forces Aaron in a split-second decision.

The Detective: Detective Aaron started in law enforcement 24 years ago. His current duties include property crimes investigations, firearms instructor, and member of the SWAP team. He spent 15 years on patrol and eight years as a school resource officer before moving over to detectives. He’s also worked as a Field Training Officer and a member of the bicycle-mounted crowd control team. Before joining the police force, Aaron served in the US Army Airborne division from 1994 to 1998. He lists “spending as much time as I can with my kids” and hiking as his hobbies.

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Aaron: [00:00:02] And I was like, “Hey, man, think about it. Think about what you’re doing. I got kids. I got kids, man.” And I remember that, I remember to this day, like that’s that slideshow memory. Chris looks at me. I’ll never forget, this is a quote of what he said. He goes, “Fuck you. I’m going to shoot you in the head.” That is exactly what he said.

[Small Town Dicks intro]

Yeardley: [00:00:23] Hi, there. I’m Yeardley.

Dan: [00:00:25] I’m Dan.

Dave: [00:00:26] I’m Dave.

Paul: [00:00:27] And I’m Paul.

Yeardley: [00:00:27] And this is Small Town Dicks.

Dan: [00:00:30] Dave and I are identical twins and retired detectives from Small Town, USA.

Paul: [00:00:34] And I’m a veteran cold case investigator who helped catch the Golden State killer using a revolutionary DNA tool.

Dan: [00:00:40] Between the three of us, we’ve investigated thousands of crimes, from petty theft to sexual assault, child abuse to murder.

Dave: [00:00:47] Each case we cover is told by the detective who investigated it, offering a rare personal account of how they solved the crime.

Paul: [00:00:54] Names, places, and certain details have been changed to protect the privacy of victims and their families.

Dan: [00:00:59] And although we’re aware that some of our listeners may be familiar with these cases, we ask you to please join us in continuing to protect the true identities of those involved.

Dave: [00:01:07] Out of respect for what they’ve been through.

In Unison: [00:01:09] Thank you.

[intro ends]

Yeardley: [00:01:15] Today, on Small Town Dicks, we have the usual suspects. We have Detective Dave.

Dave: [00:01:22] Hello, Yeardley. Good to be back.

Yeardley: [00:01:24] [laughs] Hello, Dave. We have Detective Dan.

Dan: [00:01:28] Hello, Team.

Yeardley: [00:01:29] Hello, you. And we have the one and only, Paul Holes.

Paul: Hey, everybody.

Yeardley: [00:01:34] Hey. And Small Town Fam, we’re so pleased to welcome a new guest to the podcast, Detective Aaron.

Aaron: [00:01:42] It’s a pleasure to be here. Thank you, guys.

Yeardley: [00:01:43] Thank you so much for coming. And as I always like to say, thank you for giving up a very precious day off. We know those are few and far between.

Dan: [00:01:51] Maybe he’s working right now.

Yeardley: [00:01:53] Maybe you’re in your patrol car.

Dan: [00:01:55] And his unmarked doing surveillance.

Yeardley: [00:01:57]

Aaron: [00:01:57] I shut off the radio. It’s all right.


Yeardley: [00:01:59] Perfect.

Dave: [00:01:59] That’s a veteran move right there. “Sorry, I had no cell phone service.”

Yeardley: [00:02:03] [laughs] So Aaron, you have a really interesting case for us today. Tell us how this case came to you.

Aaron: [00:02:11] All right. Well, it was November 20th of 2013. And I still tell the story and my heartbeat, my pulse still quickens and I feel my whole body of change when I tell the story. But it’s such a big event in my life. I’ll never forget it. So, I was a school resource officer. Once I started the job, I fell in love with it. Being an SRO was the most fulfilling job I’ve ever held in my 24 years in law enforcement, hands down. So, I was at the school. It was a nice day out, but it was really cold. It was really cold and this actually going to factor in later on. It’s probably in the mid to upper 30s.

[00:02:50] I was meeting with my principals and we had a student that was the victim of a sexual assault. And it was pretty big case. It made the news and everything. The suspect was arrested. But my victim, which was a juvenile was not coming to school. And so, they wanted me to go over, have a chat with them, talk with them, see what we could do to help get them back in school. I went over to their residence, which wasn’t far from my high school to do what, we call a truancy check, because if they’re not in school for 10 days, it’s an automatic drop.

Yeardley: [00:03:24] What’s the drop?

Dave: [00:03:24] A drop is you get kicked out of school.

Aaron: [00:03:27] Right. They unenroll you.

Yeardley: [00:03:28] But surely, this circumstance where this student was sexually assaulted and she’s not coming to school is totally different than somebody playing hooky for 10 days. There has to be consideration for context.

Dan: [00:03:42] Absolutely. And that’s why it’s important that Aaron go talk to this student and the family to find out, “Hey, is there something that we can do on our end to make it more comfortable for you? And we have services available too to help you out.”

Yeardley: [00:03:57] Right. So, just to clarify though so that– Yeah, I think everybody gets it. Play hooky for 10 days, you’re dead in the water. Something significant happens. We’re here to help.

Dan: [00:04:09] Exactly.

Aaron: [00:04:09] Yeah. I go over there, I meet with the mom and the victim, and it was a really good meeting. They were disclosing to me, just talking to me very frankly, very openly, and I was talking to them about– I knew the situation and I just didn’t want the suspect to ruin their life any further. Everything just flowed smoothly, and it was a good talk, and I left that house. I was driving back to school to check in with the principals and I just was like, “This is why I do this job.” It was that good of a conversation. I’m in good spirits. I’m driving back to the school and as I’m driving one direction, there’s this guy driving the opposite direction on a little motorcycle. It’s a little Honda 90, and no helmet. I was like, “What in the hell is this guy doing?” And so, I said, “Oh, this isn’t going to happen. He’s driving through my school zone.”

Yeardley: [00:05:07] Why not though, just because he’s not wearing a helmet?

Dave: [00:05:11] I’m sure the helmets what drew Aaron’s attention, but I’m guessing something about this guy just kind of piqued your senses.

Aaron: [00:05:18] Right.

Yeardley: [00:05:19] Like, what?

Dave: [00:05:20] I wasn’t there, but I’ve had multiple occasions over the years, where you just look at something and it doesn’t look right and our job is to investigate. So, he’s got PC for the stop, no helmet, riding a motorcycle. In our state, it’s illegal. So, now you’ve got a reason to go talk to the person. My FTOs pounded into my head. When something doesn’t feel right, there’s a reason for it. Now try to justify it by trying to make reasons for what you’re looking at doesn’t feel right, go talk to him. If you’ve got probable cause or reasonable suspicion in some cases, go talk to him. That’s our job.

Yeardley: [00:05:56] Right.

Aaron: [00:05:57] Yeah. So, I flipped around on him and I go to pull him over. There’s a fire station that’s really close to my high school. And he pulls into the front entrance of the fire station and gets off his little scooter. And so, I pull in, and I attempt to identify him, and he doesn’t have any ID or anything, supposedly. Right away, I know he’s lying to me. It is painfully obvious that he’s lying to me. As police officers, we just have that gut feeling.

Dan: [00:06:30] So, you’re starting off playing the name game, I’m guessing.

Aaron: [00:06:31] Yeah.Absolutely. And he gives me a fake name. I know it’s fake. I’m just going through the motions. I even did the whole date of birth thing where the date of birth that he gave me, I knew what it was in my head. I did the math in my head. I said, “So, how old are you?” And he gave me the wrong age from the date of birth he gave me. [Yeardley laughs] I was having fun.

Dave: [00:06:49] You have to realize, us patrol officers, who spent any time on the road, we’ve played the name game a lot of times. Sometimes, especially if you’ve got cover, you will entertain the name game longer than maybe other times. Sometimes, there’s a little more urgency, but sometimes, you’re like, “Oh, I’ll play this game. This is actually fun for me.” I enjoy this game.

Aaron: [00:07:10] Yeah. So, we were doing that.

Dave: [00:07:12] What was his demeanor?

Aaron: [00:07:14] The thing about my suspect, I’m going to call him Chris is, he was very– and I got sucked into it, I’ll be honest. He was just like, “Oh, I’m sick.” He was telling me he had cancer because of Thanksgivings coming up the next weekend. When I confronted him about, I know he’s lying to me. “I want to be with my family. I’m really sick, I have cancer.” And I was just like, “Oh, my gosh, knock it off, dude. Just give me your name. Let’s quit playing around here.” I was on Channel Two. That’s where we run names on. So, I finally get Chris’s name and so, he comes back with warrants. He has warrants out of a neighboring county. I know dispatch is going to send me a cover unit right away, because he’s wanted. To be honest, I didn’t feel threatened by this guy.

[00:08:01] I see Chris has a knife on his hip, a big old fixed-blade hunting knife. And I’m like, “Hey, man, I’m going to grab that knife and take it off your hip for you. All right? I don’t want you touching it.” And he goes, “Oh, this knife?” He grabs it and hands it to me. And I was like, “Now, I’m kind of pissed off to be honest with you.” So, I take the knife and throw it on the ground. On the other side of his hip, he has a hatchet like a little splitting firewood hatchet. And I go, “Okay, I don’t want you to touch it. I told you not to touch that knife. Now don’t touch this hatchet. I’m going to take it off your hip.” And he goes to grab the hatchet for me. And I said, “Don’t touch it.” And so, I grabbed the hatchet off of my throat next to the knife away from me. At this point, I’m like, “Okay, I’ve got a knife, I’ve got to hatchet. I’m going to pat him down further for weapons.” And so, I have him turn around, and at that point, he took off running. Okay, now before Dan and Dave say anything, I recognize [Yeardley laughs] my poor officer safety there. I just–

Yeardley: [00:09:03] What’s the poor officer safety?

Aaron: [00:09:06] I should have waited for another cover unit to arrive. I was all by myself.

Dave: [00:09:12] There’s one thing. If it’s you’ve overlooked 35 red flags, law enforcement is so fluid and it’s all about time, place, and circumstance. I’m getting the feeling that Chris wants you to feel sorry for him, because Thanksgivings coming up and he doesn’t want to miss time with his family, which really to me– People who are so desperate to stay out of custody, I usually thought it had something to do with addiction. They are going to get sick, if they are unable to use and running from the police or fighting with the police makes more sense to them than just going in cuffs and waiting a few days until they’re out of custody and they can get high again. It’s a sad state of affairs, but I think of those things and they equal desperation. “I will do whatever I can to get away.” So, they try different tactics. He’s trying, “Feel sorry for me, Officer Aaron. Please don’t take me to jail.”

[00:10:07] When we talk about feigned compliance, it comes in varying degrees. But in this one, he’s got weapons. He’s playing the name game. Later on, Chris and his attorney could say, “Look how cooperative my client is. He’s actually handing the officer, his weapons.” Well, that’s against every direction he’s just been given, which to me so and say, “Well, that looks like he’s complying.” It’s actually the opposite. You’re accessing weapons and you’re seeing how the officer is going to react to you disregarding very clear instructions and grabbing a weapon. So, he does it twice. That makes total sense to me that you would want to pat that person down rather than play the waiting game. Law enforcement is not black and white. There’s a hundred different right ways and wrong ways to do this stop. This one just happened to go this way. Nobody can predict the future on these. So, we give some scrutiny to just aberrant police behavior, but this is one of those where, who knows?

Dan: [00:11:10] Yeah, every officer who’s worked the street, you’ve been in a situation where you have to pat a guy down and your cover unit is maybe still three or four minutes out. It just happens. That’s the way it is out there.

Dave: [00:11:21] You were talking about Chris. You pull Chris over, he’s given you the feel sorry for me type stuff, but how old is Chris and what does he look like?

Aaron: [00:11:29] Chris is 44 years old. I had just turned 40 few months ago from this. He’s 44. He was 6’2″, 190. And the best way to describe him is he looked like a pirate. [Yeardley laughs] He even has eyeliner on the eyebrows.

Yeardley: [00:11:48] Like Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean?

Aaron: [00:11:50] But it’s really tattooed on. I mean, it’s legit tattooed.

Yeardley: [00:11:54] Oh, you went all in?

Aaron: [00:11:55] Oh, yeah, he was owning it. He had long hair. So, he was tall, skinny guy. He was wearing a thick motorcycle jacket. The best way to describe it is he’s wearing a leather jacket like Fonzie used to wear in Happy Days. [Yeardley laughs] Now when I tell this to young cops, they have no idea what I’m talking about, but the older cops get it.

Dave: [00:12:12] I pictured it as Fonzie right away.

Aaron: [00:12:15] [chuckles] Okay.

Dan: [00:12:15] I’m thinking about Chris. He’s 6;2″,190. He’s not a small guy.

Aaron: [00:12:20] He’s not. But I’m not a small guy either.

Yeardley: [00:12:23] But he’s presenting himself as being diminished, where he’s like, “I have nothing going for me.”

Aaron: [00:12:28] He was just, “I have cancer, I’m so sick.” And he was bending over like he was in pain.

Dave: [00:12:33] As in, “I’m not a threat to you.”

Aaron: [00:12:35] Exactly.

Dave: [00:12:36] Like showing you, “I’m a wounded animal.”

Aaron: [00:12:39] Exactly.

Dave: [00:12:40] So, you go to pat him down and the foot race is on?

Aaron: [00:12:43] And then he just bolts.

Dave: [00:12:46] Were there students out and about?

Aaron: [00:12:48] There’s a few students. On the schedule back then, it was early released Wednesdays. Matter of fact, I was taking that into account when I pulled him over, because I wanted to get out of the road, because I knew school was releasing soon and that traffic in front of my school is crazy. It’ll be backed up for quite a ways. So, I wanted to get my patrol car out of the road in front of the high school, because I knew it would completely block traffic and cause traffic jams. The fire station is right next to the high school. When I stopped Chris, I made sure that I pulled into the fire station off of the road so as not to cause any further traffic blockage.

Dave: [00:13:31] This is just another time where we plan where we want a traffic stop to occur. So, there is planning and strategy in doing that. I’m just not like willy-nilly saying, “Oh, I’m going to hit the lights, you should pull over right now.” We’re trying to plan, because we have other things to consider like school letting out, or can a fire truck or an ambulance get out of here.

Dan: [00:13:53] Dave and I went to this high school as students. We used to park in the adjacent parking lot. I can attest when school lets out, it’s a dangerous intersection. There’s a lot of foot traffic, students are crossing the street. There wasn’t a traffic light there when Dave and I went to school. I don’t know what they’ve done with traffic control since then, because it’s been a long time since I’ve been on that side of town. But it’s very congested and it’s a little chaotic when you’re trying to leave there and there’s so much foot traffic going in both directions, all over the place. There’s a lot of cars. It can be chaotic.

Dave: [00:14:28] Chris takes off on you?

Aaron: [00:14:30] So, Chris takes off and he goes right into the high school parking lot. And he starts running westbound. So, you enter the high school from the side that he runs in from. And then if you keep on running, you’re running past the high school into the sports complex area, baseball fields, track fields, everywhere where students ready to congregate.

Dan: [00:14:53] It’s not a smart place to run either. There’s nowhere to hide. You have to cover a lot of ground to get to basically anywhere you could possibly hide or hit some fences where you could maybe create some distance between you and your pursuer. If I was going to run in that situation, I would have ran the opposite direction.

Yeardley: [00:15:12] You think he’d run away from where all the people are?

Dan: [00:15:15] Yeah, there’s a grocery store across the street like a little strip mall. There used to be a 7-Eleven there. It’s not there anymore. But there are way more places to hide or really attempt to get away, if Chris ran the opposite direction.

Paul: [00:15:30] Aaron, at this point, do you have a sense of why he’s running? Had you told him there’s warrants or anything like that?

Aaron: [00:15:38] Oh, he knew he had warrants. That’s why he was lying to me about his name and that’s why he was pleading with me, he told me he had cancer, he wanted to be with his family for the holidays. He knew he had warrants, he knew he was wanted, and he did not want to go to jail. I think Dave’s right on. I don’t know if he’s going to get dope sick or not.

Paul: [00:15:55] What were his warrants for?

Aaron: [00:15:56] What I recall, they were for theft. They weren’t anything serious. It wasn’t for murder, or aggravated assault, or anything like that. It was just some theft warrant.

Paul: [00:16:06] Okay. But you’re pursuing a guy. You just took two weapons off of and he’s heading into a high school.

Aaron: [00:16:12] High school Park. He absolutely running towards the entry exit doors.

Yeardley: [00:16:16] And did you ever get a chance to pat him down to see if he had other weapons that were concealed?

Aaron: [00:16:20] Not at that point.

Yeardley: [00:16:22] He just took off before you got to do that. So, you don’t know that he doesn’t have more stuff stuffed in a pocket or something?

Aaron: [00:16:29] Right. Absolutely.

Aaron: [00:16:45] I gave chase right away and I’m airing it over Channel Two. So, dispatch knows I’m chasing a guy and I’m given directions. I catch up to Chris just east of the entry exit doors there at the high school. And he runs down, there’s a strip that separates the parking lot and the fence to the fire station. And I catch him there and I tackle him. My old football coaches would have been proud. It was a beautiful tackle. [Yeardley laughs] I wrapped him up, drove with my legs. It was awesome. We have tasers. So, I am on top of Chris. With my left hand, I put it on his back, it’s a cross draw taser, so it’s not on the same side as your duty gun. And I pull out my taser, and then I get off him, and I decide, at this point, “Okay, what am I going to do?” I have him prone out and I’m just like, “I’m just going to leave him here until my cover arrives.” And my taser out, I’m warning, I say, “Dude, if you get up, you’re going to get tased.”

[00:17:39] At this point, he’s still like, “I’m so sick. I’m so sick. I’m so sick.” Chris, he was like, “I need to sit up.” He really wanted to sit up really bad. And I was like, “Dude, if you sit up, you’re going to get tased.” And he starts throwing up. He was just spitting out. It was obvious that he was faking it. Actually, at one point I really said, “Come on, dude, stop it.” And he was like, “Oh, I’m so sick. I’m so sick, please.” I remember him saying “please.” And this is important, because he was just like, “Please this,” and, “Oh, Officer, oh, I’m so sick, Officer,” and he was so respectful. To a certain point, polite and I was like, “Man, if you sit up, you’re going to get tased,” and he was doing this fake throw up and I was just like, “Oh, my God, enough already.”

[00:18:22] I let dispatch know, “I caught the guy, I have him prone out, I’m waiting for my cover to arrive.” Call my school, put the school on lockout, because I knew the students are going to be coming out soon, I got a guy a taser point right outside the entry exit doors to the south side of the school. There’s going to be a bunch of students out here shortly. So, I call my dispatch tell them to put the school on the lockout.

[Aaron on radio]

Aaron: [00:18:47] [unintelligible [00:18:47]. I’m holding one at taser point, waiting for backup.

Operator: [00:18:52] One at taser point, advise your location.

Aaron: [00:18:49] I’m going to be on the south side [beep] High School, [unintelligible] school inside. [unintelligible] locked in.

Yeardley: [00:19:02] And what’s the lockout? What’s the description of that?

Aaron: [00:19:06] At the time, there was a lockdown and a lockout. I think it’s changed since. A lockout would be we want everyone to stay in the school and no one’s allowed to exit the school. A lockdown is where we want you to lockdown inside the school. So, if we had an active threat inside the school, that’s going to be a lockdown. We do lockouts a lot more than we did lockdowns, because if there was a bank robbery at one of the banks or some sort of domestic violence that involved shots fired that were near a school, we would always do a lockout for the schools. And so, I had the school put on a lockout. So, we do that and I’m waiting for my backup.

[00:19:46] Now back to when I first talked about the weather. It’s cold out. It’s in the high 30s. It’s one of those brisk November moisture in the air, so chills you to the bone type stuff. And Chris is wearing that leather jacket when he’s on his scooter. Well, I don’t think about that leather jacket. It doesn’t even cross my mind. And for me, I’ve used the taser multiple times before and it’s always worked for me. At this point, I remember standing over him thinking, “Man, you get up, you’re going to get your five second ride,” because my taser cycles for five seconds every press of the trigger. I remember he’s sitting there throwing up and I’m like, “Don’t get up, dude, don’t get up.” Chris goes, “I don’t care what you have to do, Officer, I don’t care what you have to do. I got to get up, I got to sit up.” And he starts to sit up, and I’m like, “Okay, here it is,” and I shoot him with the taser. It has zero effect on because it doesn’t penetrate that thick leather Fonzie jacket.

[00:20:42] The best way for me to describe this right now is up until that point, that exact point, when I shoot the taser into his leather jacket, I call that “my movie memory.” Okay. The next what I have is I’m going to call it “my slideshow memories,” because there’s parts of this that to this day I don’t remember. This from the stress, the trauma, I remember bits and pieces of it. It changed all at that moment, because when I shot him with that taser, Chris got up like a cat, like so fast. And he had a pistol in his hand. I can’t even describe how quickly he was up and on top. And then he came up with that pistol. When he had that pistol, I just grabbed it really quick and I go backwards. Well, I tripped over one of the curb stops, and I fall backwards on my back and Chris is on top of me at this point. I must have hit my left side of my head on. I believe, it was one of the mirrors of the vehicles when I went down, but I go down. Now this is again, the slideshow memory that I have. I just remember Chris on top of me and remember what I was referencing about, “Please, Officer, please, Officer, this, please, please.” Now it’s nothing but, “Fuck you, I’m going to kill you.” And it’s not the same man that I was just dealing with.

[00:22:03] I remember looking into his eyes and sensing evil. I’ll never forget that. Chris is on top of me and I’m holding on to his gun. But at some point, I’m not holding on to the taser anymore and I have my pistol in my hand.

Yeardley: [00:22:17] Yeah, and your own pistol and now you have Chris’s pistol. So, now you have a gun in each hand.

Aaron: [00:22:22] He’s holding on to my gun, I’m holding on to his gun.

Yeardley: [00:22:24] Oh, okay, so I’m picturing the two of you pointing guns at each other while each of you is gripping the barrel of your opponent’s gun and trying to keep the barrel pointed away from you.

Aaron: [00:22:38] Right.

Operator: [00:22:39] 911, what’s the address of the emergency?

School Administrator: [00:22:42] I’m [beep] High School. Our school officer has just apprehended someone in the parking lot.

Operator: [00:22:48] Okay.

School Administrator: [00:22:48] He just caught the guy [crosstalk] over here.

Operator: [00:22:50] Caught the suspect [crosstalk] pursuing? Exactly where is he?

School Administrator: [00:22:54] In the parking lot of the high school, like to the left of the school.

Operator: [00:22:59] Andis he physically detaining him?

School Administrator: [00:23:00] There’s still some movement. He doesn’t seem to have been fully subdued. Stay away from this area, please. Sorry, I’m talking to students.

Operator: [00:23:09] Okay. So, if you feel you can safely get the students safe, then go ahead and do that.

School Administrator: [00:23:16] All right, I am seeing clear that– seeing he’s still wrestling with the guy on the ground though.

Dan: [00:23:21] So just to recap, when you tackle Chris, where you guys ended up wrestling over these guns is between two parked cars, correct?

Aaron: [00:23:28] Yes. That’s really tight quarters.

Dan: [00:23:31] There’s not a whole lot of room to move there? These are all environmental factors when you talk about officer versus threat criteria that we cover in our reports and that is critical to explaining these events. There are so many different factors to it. The jacket that Chris has got, the fact that there’s a school right there, and now you know he’s armed, and if he gets away from you, he could run into a school. We’ve all seen what can happen in those situations. So, it’s crazy circumstances.

Aaron: [00:24:02] Yeah. Now, I remember hearing in the background was the taser still cycling. Those cycle for five seconds. In that timeframe, we’re still within five seconds of me depressing the trigger of my taser. And now we’re both holding on to each other’s gun, except Chris is on top of me at this point, I’m on the bottom. And I’ll never forget some of the craziest thoughts that come into your mind at certain times. Everything just stopped for a split second. And I remember thinking how the taser sounded like my son’s airsoft guns firing. That has no rhyme or reason of why I thought that, but I just did.

[00:24:40] We’re fighting back and forth. He’s still on top of me. And at this point, I realized that my gun is jammed. I had fired around– I don’t remember firing around, but I can see the casing because he’s holding on to the end of my semi-automatic pistol. When I’ve had fired it, it didn’t cycle.

Dave: [00:24:59] The slide can’t move.

Aaron: [00:25:01] The slide can’t move. I could see a little bit of the casing. Now, do I remember firing that first round? Absolutely not. To this day, I have no recollection of firing that first round, but I obviously did. And we’re still fighting. I didn’t know that I even hit Chris at that point, because he wasn’t fighting like I had shot him. And he’s on top of me and I knew that one thing that was in my mind is I have to fix my gun, I have to fix my gun, I have to get it working. We’re wrestling back and forth. I remember looking at him and I’m like, “I got to try something here,” because I’m on the bottom and he’s on top, and I’m holding on to his pistol, he’s holding on to mine, and I was like, “Hey, man, think about it. Think about what you’re doing. I got kids. I got kids, man.” And I remember that. That’s exactly what I said. That’s exactly what I said. I remember to this day that that slideshow memory. I can’t remember pulling my gun and shooting it, but I can remember saying that. “I got kids, man, I got kids. Think about what you’re doing.”

[00:25:52] Chris looks at me, I’ll never forget. This is a quote of what he said. He goes, “Fuck you, I’m going to shoot you in the head.” That is exactly what he said. And I was like, “Oh, shit, that didn’t work.” We’re back to rolling around and struggling back and forth. And at this moment, I remember thinking, “Man, I wish I had a backup gun” because I didn’t carry one at the time. After this incident to this day, I do not work patrol without a backup gun. The next thing I remember is, I’m on top of Chris. I don’t remember rolling Chris over. I just remember being on top of him. At this point, we’re still grappling with each other’s guns, but I’m able to pull my gun out of his grasp. But I still have a non-functioning pistol at this point. And then from that point, I pin his right arm down with my left arm and I’m able to access my slide with my left hand and pull my slide back. He’s just struggling and I’m just literally right on top of Chris, we’re face to face doing this. My casing, when I pulled my slide back, it fell back into my slide. It didn’t eject out.

Yeardley: [00:26:58] Can we just pause here for a second? As a layperson who isn’t really fluent in how firearms work, can one of you please explain in the most rudimentary terms, what is happening?

Dave: [00:27:10] What Aaron is describing is basic malfunction of his gun. The casing associated with the bullet that he’s already fired didn’t eject properly from a semi-automatic pistol. So, that casing should have been thrown several feet away from his gun and the next round is up in the chamber. In this case, Aaron’s dealing with a malfunction where the casing hasn’t properly ejected from the gun, he’s got to clear that. Aaron’s got to perform, what we call a “tap, rack, and go.” He’s going to tap the bottom of his magazine to make sure it’s seated properly, he’s going to rack the slide, and hopefully that clears this malfunction and he’s got the next bullet in the chamber ready to go.

Aaron: [00:27:52] Exactly. And I remember thinking, “Fuck,” and I shook it and the casing flipped out of my gun and I just let go of the slide. We’ve been shooting these firearms for so long. My slide goes forward and I can tell right away that it chambered a round, a very distinctive sound when a slide goes forward on a round. And I knew it was about to be over. And that’s when I just put my pistol in the center of his chest, and I fired four rounds, and I just got off Chris at that point, and I’m covering down on him.

School Administrator: [00:28:25] I just heard a gunshot. I just heard a gunshot.

Operator: [00:28:28] Stop.

[background clamors]

Operator: [00:28:30] Go.

School Administrator: [00:28:31] Shots fired.

Aaron: [00:28:32] [unintelligible [00:28:31] shots fired.

Operator: [00:28:33] Shots fired of south side of [beep] area. Respond. Do you have any idea if the officer shot at the suspect? Another shot fired.

School Administrator: [00:28:41] Shots fired.

Operator: [00:28:42] Okay, stay away from the doors and windows. [background clamors]

School Administrator: [00:28:48] All right, I am not entering the building, because I’ve been instructed to do so.

Operator: [00:28:50] Yeah. I want you to keep yourself safe, stay inside, get inside and shut the doors and windows, and get away from them.

Aaron: [00:29:06] I remember thinking, “God, where is everybody?” Talking about my fellow police officers, the Calvary. Finally, I hear sirens. The sirens come and they get closer and I’m just, “Okay. I’m just going to cover down on him. I’m just going to cover down on him.”

Yeardley: [00:29:19] What does that mean? You’re going to lay on top of Chris?

Aaron: [00:29:21] So I get off him and I go to the trunk of the car that we’re fighting between these cars. And I go to the trunk and I just covered down on him from the trunk. So, I can still have full view of him, but I’m just waiting for the calvary to arrive, which they do.

Yeardley: [00:29:35] I see. So, you’re basically crouched down behind the trunk of this car, but you can still see Chris, but now you have at least a little bit of cover.

Aaron: [00:29:45] Exactly.

Dan: [00:29:46] Not that arounds not going to go through the trunk of the car, but it offers some measure of cover. That’s exactly what I think any officer should do in that situation is try to retreat a little bit to cover and wait for the cavalry to arrive.

Yeardley: [00:30:01] But Chris is still on the ground or has he indicated that he might actually get up?

Aaron: [00:30:06] Well, he’s still on the ground at that point. I just fired four rounds into his chest. So, he was not moving. And at that point, blood is shooting up from his chest like a fountain, at least a foot in the air. I knew at that point, I said, “There’s no way he’s going to survive that.” And so, I just see that and the calvary gets there. Someone grabs me and gets me away, and they get a team together. They go up there, they cuff Chris, and then they start providing aid. They’re looking at him and they call medics over, and then the medics respond, and there’s nothing they could do at that point.

Yeardley: [00:30:52] Aaron, I just want to go back for a second and ask you, when you are on the ground wrestling with Chris trying to get control of both guns, Chris is on top of you and he’s saying, “I’m going to shoot you in the head.” Why doesn’t he actually fire? Of course, not that I would want him to. I’m really glad he didn’t, but it seems like in the heat of the moment given his state of mind that he would have seized that opportunity.

Aaron: [00:31:23] When Chris has his gun, I remember fighting with it and just keeping it pointed away from me. I remember waiting for that gun to go off. My eyes were flinching like, “His gun’s going to go off any second.” Well, once the investigation was complete, they seize the gun. It’s a functioning firearm. It’s loaded, but it doesn’t have a round in the chamber. So, there’s no doubt in my mind that’s why he wanted to get hold of his pistol so bad, because he needed to get a round in that chamber. He did not have a round in that chamber. So, that’s why we were fighting so hard. He was fighting so hard to get that gun away from me.

Dave: [00:31:57] Suspect has to rack the slide, pull it back, and let it go, and that will feed the next round into the chamber to make that gun operable. In this case, it doesn’t sound like the suspect had a brand in the chamber when he was riding around on a scooter or when he took off running. So, he’s got to buy time and be able to manipulate his gun to get a live round into the chamber. He’s got to pull the slide back and then he’s ready to fire. In this case, it doesn’t sound like he had done that prior to his fight with Aaron.

Dan: [00:32:31] What kind of pistol did Chris have?

Aaron: [00:32:32] Well, at the time, I thought it was a Desert Eagle 50 cal.

Dan: [00:32:36] Oh boy.

Aaron: [00:32:37] But it ended up being a Lorcin 380.

Dan: [00:32:39] Yeah, well, Desert Eagle 50 cal, it has a very distinct looking barrel and it’s a big hole at the end of that barrel.

Aaron: [00:32:47] When they told me it was just a 380, I was like, “Man, you’re kidding me. I thought that thing was a 50 cal.” That thing was huge.

Dave: [00:32:52] Right. They ask witnesses, “You say this guy was pointing a gun at you, can you describe what you saw?” And it’s kind of a joke in police work, but the victim draws a huge, it looks like a tunnel, and just a little person’s head behind it. [Aaron laughs] Focusing on what looks like a bazooka and it turns out, it’s just like a tiny little .22. But it’s the business end of something that does a lot of damage. It makes sense that your perception would be this is, “Elon Musk’s metro tube in LA. Like, huge.


Aaron: [00:33:23] This seemed ginormous to me, but– No, it ended up being a Lorcin 380, which is a super cheap little handgun.

Paul: [00:33:30] Now, I’ve responded out to many homicides in which 380s were used. When you just say, “Oh, it’s just a little 380,” it’s still a fatal weapon. A 380 is basically same caliber as a nine-millimeter, just a low of lower powered, but it’s a fatal weapon.

Dave: [00:33:46] Talk about pucker factor. Chris has the drop on you initially, but it’s clear Chris is doing a lot of buying time for himself. He’s not compliant. I don’t care what people say. He’s prone out what else is he supposed to do? Comply, get your hands out. Chris is looking for any opportunity to get his hands on the slide of his gun and get around into the chamber. So, Chris can’t be laying on his stomach. Chris has to get into a more manageable position, so he can get his hands on the slide, rack the gun, and the fights back on for him.

Aaron: [00:34:21] I knew after this all had happened and I was thinking about everything that I did I remember thinking. That’s why he wanted to sit up so bad. He wanted to get access to that pistol. I look back at all that– because we’re our own worst critics. I look back at all the mistakes I made or I felt that I could have definitely done a lot better job on. One of the things I remember when I got there, at the time, we didn’t have body worn cameras, which we do now. But we had in car video. And in someone’s in car video, you can hear me going, “Oh, man, I messed up, I messed up.” And I had to answer for that in my IT Fit interview. Like, “Oh, you said you messed up? What happened?” “Well, what I referenced a messed up is, I’m better than this. I can’t believe that Chris got the drop on me and that’s what that was referencing.” But I had to answer to that in my IT Fit interview of me repeatedly saying, “Ah, I messed up, I messed up.” It was definitely eye opening.

Yeardley: [00:35:19] What’s an IT Fit interview?

Dave: [00:35:21] Aaron’s referencing, anytime we have a deadly force incident, a team from multiple agencies, including representatives from the involved officers’ agency make up a team that investigates deadly force incident. I’ve been the lead on a couple of those. Anytime I was signed a case or I’m doing an investigation, I’m going to have contact with the involved officer or officers. I want to know the context of what they’re saying. So, it’s easy just to say in the radio traffic, Officer Aaron, even self-reports that he messed up, he messed up. Well, no, there’s context to that statement and it’s unconscious. It’s really an excited utterance. You’re coming down off this enormous adrenaline dump after having dealt with a person who’s feigning compliance throughout the whole contact and then gets the drop on you. It’s a lot to consider. They’re also dealing with, “Did I fail? I almost failed. Did I screw this up? Where is everybody? Oh, my God, my family needs to know that I’m okay.” Did the officer ever have a chance to truly pat this person down to ascertain whether or not there’s more weapons? These are all things that we would consider in a deadly force investigation in presenting this to the district attorney, who ultimately makes the filing decision whether or not this is a justified use of force. All this would be huge for me as an investigator and an officer involved shooting. I want to know all that.

Aaron: [00:36:56] Yeah, absolutely. I remember before the calvary got there, I’m covering down on the car and I still see students in the parking lot in the area and I’m just like, “What are you still doing here? Get in the school, get in the school.” And there is actually a teacher that witnessed the whole thing transpire, and she’s on 911, and she calls it in. She’s like, “Oh, they’re still wrestling, they’re still wrestling.” And you hear the gunshots are like, “Oh, my God, gunshots, gunshots.” With these gunshots going off, I knew what had just happened. I’m like, “Why are you still here? Put the school on a lockout. Why are you not in the school?”

[00:37:30] I remember this one student seeing her standing in the parking lot after I tackled Chris and I’m holding him at taser point. I see the student and I’m like, “Get in school now.” And then I focused on Chris again. Well, after the shooting, I look over and that same girl is in the exact same spot. Hadn’t moved an inch. And I was like, “Get in the school.” And one of the teachers came running out and was like, “Aaron, Aaron, Aaron.” And I’m like, “Get in the school.” And so, he grabs that student and she was just frozen in fear. I’m obviously not mad at her, but I was just like–

Yeardley: [00:38:05] You wanted to protect her. I mean, she’s in enormous danger.

Aaron: [00:38:09] And I was so worried. I truly care about all the students here. I was just like, “What is everyone doing out right now?” I can’t describe the adrenaline dump that is going through my body and I’m just super tense and I’m agitated.

Paul: [00:38:23] I’ve only had to hold a gun out on someone twice in my entire career. I’ve never been involved in such a dynamic situation. But over the course of my career, I’ve responded out to over 50 officer involved shootings. And my role was always for the crime scene processing, the evidence, documenting the injuries to the deceased or the officer, and going to your slideshow memory. I’m filling in the holes a little bit in terms of trying to reconstruct what you were going through. One of the questions that I had. You don’t remember initially pulling the gun. Were you carrying like an SSIII holster? Was it like a patrol holster at this point in time in your career?

Aaron: [00:39:03] Yes.

Paul: [00:39:04] So, would it be double strapped and you had a rack it in order to pull it?

Aaron: [00:39:08] There was a button that you had to press and then pull it out.

Paul: [00:39:11] This is where training comes in. You unconsciously were able to manipulate this holster in order to pull this firearm. And so, it really underscores the level of training you have. You were able to unconsciously do that and fire a round. Now, do you know in the after math, did they ever determine where that initial round went?

Aaron: [00:39:36] I’m pretty sure that was the round that went up here in the trapezoid area. And that’s where that round went. The other four rounds were all in the chest and one went through an arm into the chest.

Paul: [00:39:47] Even here in this moment where you don’t have memory, you were able to at least land a round into Chris. It wasn’t a fatal round, probably it wasn’t a debilitating round, but you were able to get that round off. But then the gun jams and you said that you could see the cartridge case. Was it stove piped in the ejection port?

Aaron: [00:40:08] No, you could just see it in the chamber. I don’t remember firing the gun, but I knew that that was the spent casing in there.

Paul: [00:40:15] Yeah. So, the slide just did not cycle at all.

Aaron: [00:40:17] What kept that from cycling was Chris, he was holding on to my pistol, the end of it, so the slide just couldn’t cycle. As for injuries to myself, later on, once the adrenaline left my body, I had a nice contusion on the left side of my temple area. When I fell backwards, I hit my head on a mirror, one of the vehicle mirrors. I couldn’t close my jaw completely for two weeks. And then of course, I had abrasions on my elbows, my knees, the back of my hands, because we were wrestling around on asphalt, which, of course, they did a very good job of documenting all that in the IT Fit portion of the investigation.

Paul: [00:40:54] The shots at close range, you directly observed the blood flowing with pressure out of this chest wound. I’m looking at his autopsy photo and where you shot him would have probably gone right through his aorta. And his heart was still beating, but that aorta is now the primary artery in the body. And so literally, he was done.

Aaron: [00:41:18] When they initially arrived on scene, they mistakenly said that Chris had a gunshot wound to the head, because that fountain of blood that was pouring out of his chest sprayed his head. And so, the blood pooled around his head when they arrived on scene. So, they were assuming it was a gunshot wound to the head.

Paul: [00:41:37] And I could see where they would be confused by that.

Aaron: [00:41:39] Oh, absolutely.

Paul: [00:41:54] One of the takeaways that I get from this case has to do with the number of shots to neutralize the threat. In this particular case, the first shot that’s fired at Chris actually hits him and it goes through the right upper trap area down in the shoulder area. If you’re just a person that is doing day to day activities and received an injury like this, this would be a debilitating injury. This would be something where it would hurt. However, after Chris is shot, he continues to fight. And this is something that many people don’t understand when they’re evaluating the number of shots that officers will take is, “Well, how come you shot so many times?” Well, the individual was still capable of moving and is still a threat. I see homicide victims that gets shot and are able to run away, run for blocks, and then ultimately succumb to their injuries. So, that’s what’s important when we start evaluating these types of shootings. And in this case, you see that first shot hit Chris, the threat was still there. Aaron has had to utilize more shots to neutralize the threat.

Dan: [00:43:11] What was Chris’ criminal history? Did he have violent crime in his past? I’m just wondering why this day.

Aaron: [00:43:19] The DA at the time said it best when he said, “We’ll never know.” Chris did have a violent past. Chris was charged with violent felonies, but his convictions were nothing that was violent. So, they were all plea bargain down. And that’s important to note.

Yeardley: [00:43:37] When you run his name and find out he has a warrant, none of that information comes up that he’s been arrested for these violent offenses. All that comes up is, here’s a warrant for some burglaries.

Aaron: [00:43:50] Correct. Yeah, that’s all that comes up. If we can do a more comprehensive search, I can order it through my dispatch. We’ll get that stuff. But that’s not normally what you do just out on the scene when you’re running someone.

Yeardley: [00:44:00] But you’re missing half the information. In a moment, that’s really critical.

Aaron: [00:44:05] Exactly. You just don’t have the time. That takes time and we’re figuring out who someone is. We’re trying to get them identified, see if they have warrants, see what’s going on.

Paul: [00:44:15] Like when I’m doing an investigation and I’m just sitting behind a desk trying to find out something about somebody and I run their criminal history, it just gives me a snapshot. The details and the reports are really what’s going to give you insight into the person. There’s just no way in patrol that they can be provided with that level of detail in these snap moments. I’m thinking about Chris. When you contact him on this little motorcycle, he’s got a knife, he’s got a hatchet, and he’s got a gun. So, he’s armed to the teeth. So, what’s going on in his life to be armed that way? This is where this after-action type of investigation, which is rarely done on the deceased is like, “Well, what was going on? Was he planning on doing something? Was he thinking somebody’s coming after him? Is this just his normal day-to-day carry?” So, that’s the interesting aspect from my perspective in terms of, “Okay, I want to know a little bit more about this offender. Why then? Why does he have everything on?” You just happen to see him and go, “Oh, no, that’s not happening in my beat.”

Aaron: [00:45:24] It’s hard to explain– I mean, cops get it. But when you see someone, you’re just like, every box was checked with him like, “Yeah, not in front of my school. This isn’t happening.”

Yeardley: [00:45:34] Aaron, I always like to ask being on this side of the table, the civilian side, after a day like that, what happens when you get home to your family?

Aaron: [00:45:45] I went to a hospital in Dan and Dave’s city and I’ll never forget it, because my team is there with me. At the time, I’ve had just left the SWAT team, but I was still very close with the members of the SWAT team. When this happened, the actual SWAT team stopped training and responded directly to the hospital, the entire SWAT team. And my SWAT Sergeant picked me up from the scene and took me to the police station. So, they had to take all the photographs and things like that, meet with the chief, and then took me to the hospital from there.

Dan: [00:46:18] So immediately following the shooting, you’re waiting for the cavalry to arrive. Tthey arrive. How long from that time until you are leaving the scene? How long did that take and what happened in the meantime?

Aaron: [00:46:32] They assigned an officer to me just to like, “Hey, don’t talk about anything. Don’t talk to people. We’re going to get you union representation and we’re going to take care of you. But we just need you to stay on scene. Make sure how many shots I fired, make sure all the rounds are accounted for, make sure there’s no outstanding suspects.” All these things have to get figured out. I was maybe there on scene 10-15 minutes before they pulled me to go to the headquarters.

Yeardley: [00:47:01] So, your SWAT Sergeant picks you up from the dispute with Chris and they take you back to the station and document all your injuries.

Aaron: [00:47:09] Yes. So, they take me to the hospital. The county that we’re in, one of their investigators is doing the IT Fit interview or the collection portion of it. So, he comes and he takes all my clothes, he takes everything.

Yeardley: [00:47:23] Are you in a paper suit?

Aaron: [00:47:25] He left me with socks and underwear. That was it. I call my wife and I’m like, “Hey, I need some clothes.” And she was like, “Okay, I’ll get you some.” She arrives with a pair of these old sweatpants and a 2004 sweatshirt. [Yeardley laughs] It has stains all over it. I’m like, “I’ve got to leave the hospital in this?” She was like, “Well, if you don’t want to wear it, then why is it still in your closet?” I said, “Good point.”

Yeardley: [00:47:52] Fair point.

Aaron: [00:47:53] Yeah, I can’t argue with that, smart one. My wife comes, picks me up, and gets this outfit. So, I go home. My kids are at one of my best friend’s house. And I get to their house to get my kids and they just run up and give me the biggest hug ever. I was just like, “Oh, my God,” it felt so good to hold them, because during the struggle right before I had said to Chris, “Think about what you’re doing, it’s not too late. It’s not too late.” Right before that, literally, everything stopped and I thought about my kids. And I remember thinking, “It can’t end this way. It can’t end this way.” And that’s when he said, “Fuck you, I’m going to shoot you in the head.” When I was holding my children, I was just like, “Oh, I made it.” It was just such a good feeling. Tears started flowing from them. They’re just glad to have dad home safe.

Dave: [00:48:42] I think it’s important to note when Aaron said, “It can’t end this way.” Because any police officer who’s worked the street, you’ve had the thought roll through your mind that this is a possibility out there that you’re going to be in a fight for your life at some point. And I can’t lose, it can’t end this way.” I totally relate to what you were saying, those thoughts that were going through your mind, because I’ve had those thoughts roll through my mind when I run through scenarios of situations that I’ve been in or I’ve had guns pulled on me in the past and it’s troubling. It affects you afterward. There’s a definite sense of mortality after a situation like that and it hits you really, really hard.

Yeardley: [00:49:25] Did you have trouble sleeping or anything after that?

Aaron: [00:49:28] I never had any nightmares or anything like that. The reason I did have trouble sleeping is, any moment I was awake, I thought about it. So, if I was sleeping and I rolled over and woke up when I rolled over, it automatically popped in my mind like, “Oh, my God, that just happened” and I was just thinking about basically how close everything was. So, that’s what kept me from sleeping.

Yeardley: [00:49:56] Instead of having nightmares, you were having daymares. And when you were sleeping, that’s when you got the smallest bit of relief. So, it’s totally flip flopped.

Aaron: [00:50:06] Right. Exactly.

Yeardley: [00:50:08] After an officer involved shooting like this, Aaron, do you have to go to a psychological evaluation? Do you get desk duty for a couple of weeks while they investigate? What’s the protocol?

Aaron: [00:50:19] Well, the protocol is they put you on admin leave right away. And so, that’s paid admin leave. I was on admin leave for quite a while, because remember, this was right before Thanksgiving, then we have the Christmas holiday coming up. And so, the shooting happened on November 20th. My official release from the DA that I was cleared was December 19th. It’s what we reference in the police world, “A good shoot. Oh, you have nothing to worry about.”

Yeardley: [00:50:48] Meaning, it was a justifiable use of force.

Aaron: [00:50:50] Yes. But as a police officer, the one going through it, you still worry. You still always worried, tell them officially cleared by the DA.

Dave: [00:50:58] I remember being a part of those deadly force investigation teams. I always kept that in mind that there’s an officer or two and their family. And to be honest, the person who got shot in their family, there are a lot of people who are awaiting whether or not an officer is cleared in a shooting. There’s a lot of stress around that. Even if it’s a completely righteous shooting, you still have those thoughts in the back of your head like, “Did I screw up? Did I do something wrong? Did I violate this person’s rights when I shot them?” Even though it’s a clear case of self-defense, there’s still that stress hanging over you. And until you get the actual word, I couldn’t imagine putting myself in someone’s shoes that it’s got that kind of scrutiny hanging over their heads.

Dan: [00:51:44] So you get cleared basically a month after the shooting happens. Do you go right back to the school that you are assigned to?

Aaron: [00:51:51] I get cleared on December 19th.

Dan: [00:51:54] Oh, Christmas break.

Aaron: [00:51:56] Christmas break. I wanted to come back to the school, because I wanted the students to see me. But I couldn’t go back till I’m cleared by the DA. So, at this point, I get cleared and Christmas break starts. So, I’m like, “Well, I’m going on vacation. So, January 3rd or 4th, the Christmas break was over, we came back, and that’s when I returned back to school. Matter of fact, sitting at my detective desk, I have a picture of one of my middle schools. You know how they have the big signage in the front saying like, “PTA meeting, 7 o’clock on Monday.” And it said, “Welcome back officer, Aaron.” And someone took a picture of it, and sent it to me, and I have got that printed up as a picture, and it’s in a picture frame sitting on my desk.

Yeardley: [00:52:37] That’s so great.

Dave: [00:52:38] What was the reception like with the students at the high school?

Aaron: [00:52:42] I was very well received. I’ll never forget. I was walking to my office and a student saw me that knew me, and they just stopped and just went the other direction. Not because they were upset with me, but because in my mind, they didn’t know what to say to me. There were students that just saw me, and just ran and just jumped into my arms, and gave me the biggest hug. I had flowers, and cards, and just the heartfelt messages I received from parents, from students. It just made me feel very well loved. Very loved in part of that community.

Yeardley: [00:53:18] So, Aaron, you’re not a school resource officer anymore. You’ve moved on to detectives?

Aaron: [00:53:23] For a little over a year now.

Yeardley: [00:53:25] Congratulations. Detective Aaron, thank you so much for bringing that to us today. I’m enormously moved by your candor and really grateful that you’ve been willing to share that experience with us and our listeners.

Dan: [00:53:40] Thank you, Detective.

Paul: [00:53:41] Yeah, Aaron, you may have saved something horrific from happening that day. Who knows what Chris was about to do the way he was armed.

Dave: [00:53:49] Aaron, appreciate it. I’ve known about this case for a long time. It’s the first time I’ve ever heard it from your perspective. I have nothing but praise. Way to stay in the fight and you survived. That’s the biggest thing for police officers, go home at the end of the day.

Aaron: Aw, thank you, brother. I appreciate it.

[Small Town Dicks theme playing]

Yeardley: [00:54:16] Small Town Dicks is produced by Gary Scott and Yeardley Smith, and coproduced by Detectives Dan and Dave. This episode was edited by Soren Begin, Gary Scott, and me, Yeardley Smith. Our associate producers are Erin Gaynor and the Real Nick Smitty. Our music is composed by John Forest. Our editors extraordinaire are Logan Heftel and Soren Begin. And our books are cooked and cats wrangled by Ben Cornwell.

Dan: [00:54:44] If you like what you hear and want to stay up to date with the show, visit us on our website at

Yeardley: [00:54:51] Small Town Dicks would like to thank SpeechDocs for providing transcripts of this podcast. You can find these transcripts on our episode page at And for more information about SpeechDocs and their service, please go to

Dan: [00:55:08] And join the Small Town Fam by following us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @smalltowndicks. We love hearing from you.

Dave: [00:55:16] And if you support us on Patreon, your subscription will give you access to exclusive content and merchandise that isn’t available anywhere else. Go to

Yeardley: [00:55:29] That’s right. Your subscription also makes it possible for us to keep going to small towns across the country-

Dan: [00:55:34] -in search of the finest,-

Dave: [00:55:36] -rare-

Dan: [00:55:36] -true crime cases told-

Dave: [00:55:38] -as always by the detectives who investigated them. So, thanks for listening, Small Town Fam.

Yeardley: [00:55:44] Nobody’s better than you.

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription]