So it was an auto parts store in north Houston, just blocks from my house, actually. Armed robbery. Guy tied up and beaten, but not shot. I was meeting the photographer there to feed back tape of the scene. When I got in the area, I noticed police officers walking up and down the street with flashlights, obviously looking for something. I pulled into a parking lot next door, and went to talk to the photographer. He gave me the scoop, mentioned that the suspect was in custody but they couldn’t find the gun he’s used to beat the guy. He said he’d be done in a few minutes.
I went back to the truck to set up. I walked around to the side of the truck and said to myself… “Well look. THERE’S a gun.” It was a large pistol lying in the parking lot about three feet away from my truck. I don’t know how I didn’t see it pulling in. Next to it was a black ski-mask, the kind with the three holes that doubt I’ve ever even seen since I moved to Texas. Well, damn. I looked around… 20 or so officers were still over in the crime scene next door. A few guys were still kicking through the weeds with flashlights. “Maybe this is a gun from an unrelated crime,” I briefly considered. “Damn, I should take a cel phone pic,” I briefly considered. But I decided to do the right thing and go tell the cops that he gun they were looking for was 50 feet away in plain view in the parking lot.
Of course I had to tell the photographer first. Trying not to run (protip: running near an active crime scene is not a good idea), I hurried over and said “Go by my truck and start rolling! I just found the gun!” He looked a bit confused but went along. I didn’t want to yell at the cops (protip: cops don’t like to be yelled at), so I sauntered up to a guy who glared at me with a familiar “Get outta mah crime scene” look and said, “Are you looking for a gun? Cuz there’s a gun right over there.”
Now its not like it was a bomb, or an active shooter, or a kitten stuck in a pipe, or something else demanding immediate action, but damn if three of those cops didn’t start running toward where I pointed screaming ”Where!! Where!!” over their shoulders. So I’m running after them trying to point it out, and explaining “There’s a pistol! And a baklava! (puff puff) (I’m running, see) A balacava! (puff puff) One of those ski mask things!”
He finally sees the gun and the mask, and of course pushed me and the photographer (we’d all kind of arrived at the same time) back behind the truck, like you know, in case the gun exploded or something. So even though I found the damn gun, we never even got a good shot of it.
Later I had to give a statement to a detective. He was nice. I don’t think they even used any of our video in the news that night. It was just an armed robbery, with no deaths, like 20 others in Houston that day.
Later I heard it was actually just a fancy BB gun.
Question: If you’re gonna rob a store, and you need a ski mask, and you’re in Texas in the summertime, where do you go to get one?