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Jared the Paramedic III ~ Redemption
Copyright © 2018-2019 Snowblind. All Rights Reserved.
Chapter 41: Rumours or Facts
THIS STORY IS COPYRIGHT © 2018-2019 BY SNOWBLIND. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DISTRIBUTION FOR COMMERCIAL GAIN, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, POSTING ON SITES OR NEWSGROUPS, DISTRIBUTION AS PARTS OR IN BOOK FORM (EITHER AS A WHOLE OR PART OF A COMPILATION) WITH OR WITHOUT A FEE, OR DISTRIBUTION ON CD, DVD, OR ANY OTHER ELECTRONIC MEDIA WITH OR WITHOUT A FEE, IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED WITHOUT THE AUTHOR'S WRITTEN CONSENT. YOU MAY DOWNLOAD ONE (1) COPY OF THIS STORY FOR PERSONAL USE; ANY AND ALL COMMERCIAL USE EXCEPTING EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS REQUIRES THE AUTHOR'S WRITTEN CONSENT. THE AUTHOR MAY BE CONTACTED AT: firstname.lastname@example.org
Two weeks had passed since the shooting. Jack, Grandfather and everyone involved in the event had all met previously and decided how to resolve many of the outstanding rumours and stories being circulated.
Jack moved behind the microphones on the podium. Many news agencies from around the province as well as national services were in attendance today. "Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. The order of business today will be introductions of everyone involved, a couple of statements from the persons involved, and if we have time a few questions from you the media."
One member of the press yelled out, "Why isn't JACKAL News allowed into this conference?"
Jack looked at the person with intense eyes, "Very simply, that media service exploited this terrible event for ratings, not facts." The man was about to ask a second question when Jack asked with an authoritative voice, "Did you not understand the order of business today? If you can't follow what we've set down, you may leave and join JACKAL in the lobby."
He stood and said, "We're the press, you can't tell us..."
"I disagree. This is a private function to which invitations were sent out to bring guests here. This is a privately rented hall with controlled access to gain entry by invitation only. I can tell you to get out of my hall anytime I want, and for any reason I want."
Jack indicated to the security guards to escort the man out of the room. They approached him, gently took each elbow and guided him to the door. "This is censorship."
One of the other media personnel laughed out loud, "Don't forget to take your crayons and colouring book, too." He looked up at Jack, "I rather enjoyed that. They claim to be an online news media service but don't follow any of our industries rules."
"I would like to continue now if there are no further objections by anyone," Jack stated clearly.
"First of all, I would like to introduce the young man who was shot, Jett." Jett walked out on stage to an audible gasp from the audience. Jett came onto the stage, standing behind Jack. "This is Jett's family; his mother, father, and two brothers." The family walked out and stood behind Jett. The audience was furiously sending texts and tweets in response to the first people on the stage.
Jack raised his hand to quieten down the crowd, finally saying, "The next person is a friend of Jett's, and is also the witness of the entire event." Patrick walked out to stand next to Jett. What Jack didn't expect was Jett to embrace Patrick on-stage which was returned firmly.
"This is Patrick's mother," as Anna came out on stage, "as well as one of two men who Patrick considers to be his father figure." Troy walked out in his dress paramedic uniform. Both Jett and Patrick embraced Anna and Troy, followed by Jett's family members. The press in attendance continued to send messages and tweets out along with pictures.
Jack looked off to the left side of the stage, "And this is the police officer involved in the shooting, Tyler." The audience became loud with everyone speaking to each other. Although they meant it to be quiet, it became quite loud. The sound of cameras taking pictures almost became deafening as both Jett and Patrick embraced Tyler on the stage. It wasn't a quick embrace, it was a meaningful embrace between the three young men which was firm, arms wrapped around each other, chins down on their friend's shoulder.
Jack cleared his throat in into the microphone to get everyone's attention. "I'm sure you've all heard what happened that day, or at least what people thought happened that day." Jack rearranged his notes and then began. "Today, we are here to tell what actually happened and the sequence of events."
Jack paused for effect.
"Jett was having difficulties in his life which had reached a point which caused the young man pain every moment he was awake, and even while he slept. This was not a pain like you would compare if you had hit your thumb with a hammer; it was a pain which dominated his thoughts, actions, dreams and his entire person every minute of his life. Jett was receiving help from some people and the Health Region, but budget cuts had caused Health Services to cut back, reducing the amount of help he could get."
The audience was so quiet that if anyone had dropped a pin, it would be heard throughout the room easily. They were hanging on every word Jack said to them.
"Once the feelings of hopelessness, haplessness, and helplessness relentlessly dominated Jett's mind, he was in pain 24 hours a day." Jett's family reached forward and pulled the young man backwards and into their arms. "Jett became a master of deception. Just like in a play, Jett became an actor. When he was at school, he took on the role of the student; at home, the role of the son and brother. He even managed to fool the professionals or he just avoided the people who might be able to understand what he was doing."
Jack paused to let that sink in for a moment, "It reached a breaking point one day when Jett left home and was living in his pickup truck after a disagreement with his father. A couple of days prior to the incident, witnesses who were interviewed all confirmed that Jett seemed to be happier, more active and very positive. They watched him getting his overdue assignments turned in at school, spending time with his friends and even speaking to people he had lost touch with in high school. No one realized that when a plan to commit suicide had been formulated and put into action, the person becomes 'normal' or happy having been relieved of having to make a decision."
"Jett had visited a few toy shops looking for the perfect plastic toy gun. He finally found it. He also bought a can of flat black spray paint so the orange pieces on a toy gun could be covered up, making it look real." Jack paused to turn and look over at Jett. The young man was standing straight, proud and strong in spite of the tears rolling down his face. His mother and father were standing tightly behind their son with a hand on each of his shoulders. His two brothers were tight on each side, each holding a hand. Jack looked at the audience and found most of the media personnel either had watery eyes or tears rolling down their faces.
"Jett made the final decision to put his plan into action. It was Jett who called the police to report a shooter at the high school, including a description of himself. After the call, he waited until he thought the police would be arriving. With the gun tucked into the back of his pants and under his jacket, he walked out the front doors of the school. As the police car arrived, he walked directly towards it. To make sure he would be shot, he pulled the gun out from his belt to point it directly at the arriving police officer. This is what is commonly called 'suicide by cop'. Jett didn't have the ability to kill himself, so he set it up that someone else would do it for him. As he walked towards the officer, he ignored every order he was being given, hoping to be shot."
Jack was pleased with the progress of the press meeting. He allowed everyone to catch up on their messages or tweets before continuing. Finally, he started again, "Tyler had told him to stop, to drop his weapon and lay on the ground a few times, but Jett ignored him every time. When Jett actually pointed the gun towards Tyler, he released two quick shots to immediately stop the actions of the aggressor. First of all, the police are taught and practice to shoot at the centre of the mass in the presenting target. Even when a policeman discharges his weapon, he is accountable for the bullet if he misses his target and it hits someone else. They are not taught to shoot the gun out of the offender's hand; that's all Hollywood spaghetti western stunts. When they discharge their weapon, they are doing so because the threat from the offender is so great with the honest belief that the police officer must take immediate action to end that threat. At that time, they shoot the centre of mass to immediately neutralize the threat."
One of the reporter's stood up, "Morningside News here, are you saying the police don't aim to shoot people in the arm's or legs just to wound them? They shoot to kill?"
"Just to clarify your point, the arms and legs are small and moving objects which are easily missed as a target. To miss those would place the police officer at risk as well as anyone behind the target. What if there was a child behind the aggressor, and in trying to hit an arm or leg, he shot the child instead? The police are taught to shoot the centre of the largest object which presents itself, hence the centre of mass. The centre of mass of the biggest object makes the shot the safest, they are not taught to kill."
"I'm not sure there is a difference between shooting centre of mass and shooting to kill."
"The centre of mass may be a wounding or enough to stop the person from completing their intended actions. Perhaps what you could do is to discuss your point with the police department Commanding Officer. This forum is not the most suitable for that topic."
The reporter stood for a moment, then replied, "You're right, sir. I do thank you for the clarification of the point." The man sat down again.
Jack took a deep breath, let it out and continued. "Thank you for your professionalism. That's why the people in here are here, and those outside are outside," Jack stated with a smile.
"To continue, even after discharging his weapon, Tyler immediately began to work with Patrick to administer first aid to Jett; to try and save his life." Again, Jack paused for a moment before he filled in a few gaps, "I want everyone to know a few other details. First of all, I introduced Troy as one of the father figures for Patrick. Tyler is the other. Tyler and Jett knew each other through Patrick at a few social events, all before the shooting. Jett had also come to respect Tyler very much." Troy moved to Tyler, embracing him tightly. He was joined by Anna and Patrick very quickly. Jett and his family also joined the embrace.
Jack began again when everyone on stage had ended the embrace. "That brings us to being here today. The first fact is a young man couldn't get effective treatment for his mental condition. Secondly, he decided that he needed to die and chose to die by police. Third, he bought a toy gun and modified it to look real. Fourth, he then called the police and created a high priority response by telling them someone was shooting up the high school. Fifth, he walked out of the school and directly confronted the officer responding. Sixth, Tyler followed protocols and issued warnings and orders to Jett for him to stop, drop and disarm. When there was no compliance, based upon the scenario Jett had created, he discharged his service weapon at the young man with the gun. He discharged his weapon at someone who was known to him, without hesitation, and without favouritism."
Once again, everyone in the media was talking into their phones, taking pictures, sending messages. Jack allowed it to continue for a couple of moments before he regained control. "I think I've laid it out very clearly here today. The police have investigated and determined this is exactly the order of events that day. Questions to me about this?"
One reporter asked, "Why the press conference today for this?"
It surprised everyone, even Jack, when Jett stepped forward to the mic. "You asked why we did it this way?" He lifted his shirt to show the extensive bruising and incisions from the bullet removal. After dropping his shirt back down he said, "Tyler did his job, and without favouritism. He did what was expected of him. I didn't know it would be Tyler showing up that day. I want everyone to know that being a teenager doesn't mean everything is always good. It's not always bad either, but everyone has to be watching each other regardless of age for depression and suicidal behaviour. I was so far gone I didn't realize it was Tyler who had responded. If anyone should have hard feelings and anger it should be Tyler about me for what I did that day. I'm furious at how he was treated by those on social media as well as the media. Without facts, he was found guilty... guilty when it was all my fault that day. I'm the one who set everything into motion."
Tyler moved forward and embraced Jett tenderly. The audience began to applaud as the two young men stood there together embraced. Finally, they separated and Tyler spoke. "Jett, I believe in the Creator and try to live my life the way he would want it. Chief Looking Horse had a prayer for forgiveness.
We need a Great Healing, and we need a Great Forgiving.
But healing cannot begin without forgiveness.
We must forgive each other,
Forgive our loved ones,
Forgive our friends,
Forgive our enemies,
We need to pray even for a person who has done wrong!
Forgiveness itself is a powerful medicine.
We need forgiveness to create PEACE!
In the Great Circle of Life, where there is no beginning and no end.
Tyler continued, "Jett, forgiving you is easy for me. What I am wrestling with is that all I ever wanted to be in my life was a police officer so I could help others. My birth family has a long line of honourable service with the police force and I wanted to do that too. But, I was disowned by my birth family after being outed as gay by a fellow officer." The crowd gasped at that revelation. "Imagine having your entire birth family disown you as if you had never existed at all... as if you've never been alive on this planet.
"I was like you, circling the drain of despair until I met a man who helped me. The same one who is helping you now. What has damaged me has been the condemnation by the people who had no idea what they were talking about on social media, based on things they heard or said in the media... not even caring that they all the facts, or any facts at all." Troy moved forward and took his boyfriend's hand into his. "This is the first time I've worn the uniform since that day, and I did it for you, Jett. I just don't know if I can do the job anymore."
Patrick now stepped forward. "Jett is my friend, and both Tyler and Troy have acted like the father I never had in my life. Imagine being in my position as the witness of your father figure shooting your friend. But, one thing Tyler and Troy taught me from a young age was to always tell the truth, no matter the consequences. From the first moment, I told the truth. But, I learned quickly others don't want the truth. Even before anything had been released, before I had even left the scene, one reporter yelled a question at me condemning Tyler for excessive use of force and brutality."
Jack stepped in at this point. "Now you can see why we brought everyone together to do a joint press conference. These young people on the stage are exactly what you see. Honest, hard-working, and forgiving people who have been hurt by this incident in different ways. It's time for healing." Jack began to summarize everything and then asked very clearly if the people present today accept this version of events, or if they still support the JACKAL News version where Tyler was out of control. There was dead silence for a moment before a couple of the media began to applaud. That spread quickly until everyone had joined in. Tyler had his arms over the shoulders of Patrick on his left and Jett on his right. They had their arms around Tyler's waist. Everyone else on stage tightly packed in behind them. Many of the media had that final scene as their headlines for their news service within hours of the end of the press conference.
After the news conference, the brothers were all sitting around a table on the deck of the pool in the village. It was unusual, as they were all dressed. Troy was sitting next to Tyler, Patrick on the other side. Shadow was behind his chair sitting in a guard position. The group had been sitting and listening to Tyler talk about anything he wanted to say, just to be there and support their brother who was in pain. Suddenly, Tyler stood up. He took his uniform shirt and pants off, throwing them into the pool. "Fuck them!" he screamed. He stood for a moment before Troy moved to hold him tightly; it was at that time he began sobbing.
Jared stood and joined the two brothers, "Tyler, I have a proposal for you from John who is the new Commanding Officer of the Division."
Tyler looked at Jared, "What?"
"You're off duty on medical leave at full pay until a psychiatrist signs you off as fit to return to duty."
Troy looked in his boyfriend's eyes, "You were nuts before the shooting. How are they going to tell the difference?"
Tyler's face went blank for a moment, then he smiled at his boyfriend before he kissed him.
"My suggestion to you," started Jared. "Why don't you go volunteer at the centre with Zane and Jesse when he's not on the bench."
There were only a few seconds before a big wolf nudged Tyler, almost knocking him off his feet. Shadow stood up on his hind paws placing his front paws on Tyler's shoulder. Tyler stared into Shadow's eyes as they flashed white for a second.
"I forget how big Shadow really is," exclaimed Jesse. "He's still shoulders above Tyler standing like that."
Shadow took Tyler's jaw into his mouth and released it. Tyler took Shadows lower jaw into his mouth and released it. The big animal dropped to a sitting position in front of Tyler and Troy.
Tyler was smiling, "Yes, working at the centre is a great idea. Can I take Shadow with me with me as my therapy dog?"
Jared looked to Jesse and Zane for guidance. Then he looked at Shadow who was nodding his head up and down indicating the answer of yes. "You don't get a vote," Jared said to Shadow. The big wolf sat and gave him the face, complete with big puppy-dog eyes. Jared said over his shoulder, "Jesse, stop teaching this wolf the cute face with big eyes act. He didn't need your help."
"Jared, he gave me pointers. I can't teach the master anything."
"Shadow, why should you go with Tyler to the Centre?" Very casually, Shadow approached Jared, rubbing against his legs. Jared didn't even have time to react when Shadow used his teeth to grab the back pocket in Jared's jeans. A quick drag followed by the wolf tossing his head to the side which caused Jared to fly into the pool. Shadow sat on the edge of the pool with the ass of Jared's jeans hanging from his mouth. Whenever Jared moved to the edge of the pool to get out, Shadow either slapped his hand with his massive paw or just growled at him.
Jared was treading water as he said, "Even when you growl at me Shadow it's hard to take you seriously with the ass of my jeans hanging out of your mouth."
Shadow wheezed like Mutley in reply.
"Ok, I get it. You can go with Tyler. Can I get out of the pool now?"
The wolf turned its head sideways in an exaggerated I'm-thinking-about-it gesture." Then he barked at Jared. As Jared was getting out of the pool, Shadow body checked Tyler and Troy into the pool. Then he went looking for Liam.
"Haha, Wolfie!" screamed Liam as he jumped into the pool. "Didn't catch me." It only took a few seconds, but the brothers were all in the pool either voluntarily or Shadow helping them. The big wolf jumped into the pool as well.
The young men all climbed out of the pool, stripped off and dove back in for fun. Shadow was having fun with Patrick, Tyler and Troy. It was a game of keep away from whoever they picked at the time. After a half hour, most were sitting on the deck, dried off and watching Shadow with Patrick in the water. Finally, Patrick climbed out as well. Shadow had no problem getting out either. The big wolf stood at the edge of the pool just long enough to find his target before moving stealthily like a ninja. No one saw it coming but Liam was suddenly covered in water as Shadow shook himself dry. When he was done, the wolf's tail went straight up in a flagging position, he raised his snout and strutted away.
Jared was almost falling out his chair laughing, "Shadow's acting just like you Liam."
"Oh yuck, wet dog fur smell."
"I stand corrected. Oh yuck, wet wolf fur smell."
End of Chapter Forty-One
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