He collapsed like a wounded Buffalo.
His overweight body crumpling to the ground.
Hitting the ground with such force that it took the wind out of his lungs. He felt the impact with the concrete footpath thinking to himself that that had hurt!
Initially unsure why this had occurred; what had caused this sudden mishap.
He seemed to feel the impact of the bullet before he heard the report of the gun. This fact not really registering though as the bullet tore away flesh, muscle and tendon. Bouncing off bone to tear open an artery.
He wasn't at all sure what had happened; being shot taking some time to register in his now befuddled and shocked brain. He wondered momentarily whom he had upset to such a degree that warranted such a reaction before the shock of the event overtook his very being.
He vaguely felt his entire body beginning to shake before he lost consciousness.
The next morning the airwaves, the print media and the TV screens were full of the tragic event.
An innocent bystander shot to death as he placed his next-door neighbour's Garbage Wheelie Bins at the kerb-side for collection that next morning. A friendly, neighbourly act in response to a hurried request by the family who suddenly seemed to be required interstate or somewhere because of an apparent family emergency.
A sad case of mistaken identity.
The intended victim a known Lebanese gang associate who had suddenly fled. His entire family flying the coup with him. For places unknown. Possibly flying out to return to the land of his parents' birthplace.
So the Media had explained sensationally though they themselves were short on facts.
Another statistic in the ever increasing gangland war that was raging through several south-western suburbs of the city.
Over territory, drug distribution, influence and payback!
The general public were incensed about the continual escalation in the 'drive-by' shooting incidents and the mounting deaths that this crime wave was causing.
Politicians began their airy pledges of increased resources being given to the State Police Forces to kerb this worrying aspect of criminal behaviour. As though they never had enough resources before the event! The cyclic cry heard after each and every suburban drive-by shooting was committed. If those promises by hand-wringing Pollies had indeed been implemented, then the Police Force would number more than the civilian population!
Each political party outdoing one another in the game of political football and who was to blame.
Using the tragedy for their own political ends and the constant power game that they revelled in.
Forgetting that an innocent family man lay dead on a cold, hard, concrete council footpath outside his own home!
A Provider, a husband and a father to two small children just benevolently being a helpful neighbour.
The Federal Government weighed in with heart-felt promises to concentrate the full force of the Australian Federal Police on this aspect of Organised Crime that was infiltrating every state of the Commonwealth. But in particular the south-western area of Sydney.
A repeated assurance that was heard every time that a death was attributable to supposed 'Bikie Pack' or 'Brothers for Life' type groups.
Still the bloodshed continued!
Anguished Police Hierarchy spoke of more innocent lives being lost by this continued criminal war with every resource of the Force being concentrated to break the attitude of silence surrounding these increasing 'drive-by' shooting incidents. As though this attitude of silence was the prime reason for the continued blood-shed and not the quest for power, money and a greater role in certain drug distribution areas!
Clem 'Lofty' Hills Series:
Murder Squad Series: