In most major metropolitan police departments, the most trusted and respected investigators are usually assigned to the homicide division. Of course, there exceptions to this rule, especially is certain departments on the east coast.
Yesterday we received a phone call from a patrol officer, who stated he was on the scene of a “suspicious death.” Apparently the victim – sadly, a teenager – was dead of an apparent gunshot wound. The officer said the victim was shot in the head, and there were projectiles and casings near the scene.
Naturally, we told the officer to call the homicide unit.
A few minutes later, the officer called again. He said the homicide unit was not taking the case, and they told the officer our division should handle it. I asked him to again repeat what he found on the scene, and he replied, “The victim, some casings and projectiles.” Being a brilliant detective, I asked a pertinent question:
“Is there a gun on the scene?”
The officer said there was not. So again, being a brilliant detective, I played Devil’s Advocate. “So the victim was shot in the head, there are projectiles and shell casings several feet away, and no gun on the scene. Officer, do you think this was a suicide?”
Long pause… “Um, no, I guess not.”
Thank you. Tell homicide we said hi.