’tis but a scratch

Before I start to write about day to day events I wanted to write about my first shooting I went to.  Basically, in between day to day events (which won’t be that interesting I’m afraid) I want to write about other stories/jobs.  Not just mine but other peoples too.  Personally, I love listening to people’s anecdotes and already have a plethora of stories to write.  Its just about getting the right inspiration I guess.

Shootings happen all the time in London.  Sometimes every day I reckon.  And I really don’t know why we don’t hear about it on the news as much as we should.  Maybe some are too uninteresting to report.  Maybe the press don’t get hold of some of the info so don’t know.  Maybe its part of an elaborate plan to keep everyone knowing.  Who knows.

My first shooting was shortly after being out of training school.  We were called to a 20 something male who’d managed to drive their van to a police station after being shot in the shoulder.  It appeared he was ambushed whilst driving down a quiet lane and the police believed it was a case of miss identification, ie the wrong guy in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The patient walked onto our truck and we attended to his injuries.  This consisted of one “hollywood” type graze to his left shoulder.  A flesh wound.  And, after cleaning, it needed nothing more than a small dressing.  Throughout treatment the patient had remained calm and polite, albeit a little shook up at what had happened.  It was then I took it upon myself to lighten the situation by taking the mick out of his wound.

“Ah, bless,” I said mockingly, “is Sammy shoulder seeming a bit sorry for himself”.  The patient laughed politely, taking my attempts at humour as what they were – attempts.  He looked down at his shoulder as if for the first time.
“Its ok then yeh?”
“tis but a scratch”  I mocked.  One of the police officers standing by lent down and whispered in my ear.
“I reckon you should come and see this”  He motioned for me to follow him and we stepped out of the Ambulance and walked over to his van parked behind us.  He mentioned that I couldn’t touch anything as it was going to be impounded for criminal evidence.  But as we approached my jaw dropped.  The front bonnet, windscreen, seats and panelling were all littered with bullet holes – 20 to 30 holes everywhere.  The officer quietly explained that a couple of people had jumped out in front of the patient and opened fire with fully automatic machine guns, strafing the front of the van.  The patient had dived down to one side as they did and thankfully only one bullet glanced past his shoulder.
“if he’d ducked down a fraction of a second faster it would’ve gone through his head”
” . . . bloody hell.”
“yeh, lucky man eh.  Just thought you should know the full story before giving him a hard time”
” . . . yeh.  Good point.  Thanks”  I couldn’t take my eyes off the mess.  After all that, he’d still managed to drive off and get to a police station to report it.  And he wasn’t even the intended target.

I walked back to the patient who was giving my crew mate details for the paperwork.
“um, you need anything from me?” I asked my crew mate.
“No, all good here, cheers”
“How you feeling now?”  I asked the patient.  He smiled brightly.
“Ok thanks.  Bit shakey – but ok.”
I retired to the drivers seat and remained silent until the patient left to continue statements with the police.  I continued to ponder over my naivety and vowed never to be that insolent toward a person’s near death experience again.

But as I say – this sort of thing happens all the time in London.  Do we hear about it?  Of course we don’t.


One thought on “’tis but a scratch

  1. Amazing, he is lucky to be alive after that. I guess these events only get the attention of the media if a fatality occurs. Twenty years ago it would have been headline news!

Comments are closed.