Old Timer – Season 1 Episode 3

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General horror, public shooting, medical trauma

Episode Transcript

Some believe time is a construct we created in an attempt to compartmentalize our understanding of the universe.  If this is true, and the concept of time doesn’t really exist, then it would theoretically be possible to manipulate it, given the right tools.  Those people would say we just don’t have the knowledge or understanding today.  But if we acquired those tools, it begs the question what we would do… if we could get rid of the linear concept of time we have been so accustomed to perceiving?  Skeptics would say you’re talking science-fiction, and would likely call you crazy to suggest anything of the sort.    

Today’s witness statement appears to be part of an internal investigation into one of the local law enforcement offices.

Monday, December 27, 1982.  Submitted by Internal Affairs Detective Harold Jenkins:

Preliminary note by Detective Jenkins – Officer Platt’s state of mind appeared impaired during his witness statement, though the toxicology screen came back negative on blood and urine tests performed.  The strange nature of his testimony causes me to question his state of mind, however, I did not perceive any attempt at deception.  

Statement by Officer Don Platt:

My new partner, (Officer Clement Walker) and I had finished one of the busiest shifts I’d ever worked, so we decided to head out for some bonding time and unwind a bit as new partners often do.  He was relatively new on the force, but he held his own.  That was a trial-by-fire type of day.  Normally, the day after Christmas was slow, but it was unusually busy for us – especially for a Sunday.  He insisted that I allow him to buy me a drink, and I almost declined since I was so tired, but he was so damn persistent saying he owed me for having his back that day.  

You see, we had responded to this domestic abuse call, and while he was talking to the husband, the wife started coming at him with one of those cast-iron skillets from behind.  I was able to disarm her before she made contact with him, but she was swinging for Clem’s head.  Apparently the complaint was called in by the husband, which would have been great to know before we responded.  It’s almost always the guy for those types of calls.

So Clem wouldn’t let me say no to his offer to buy me a beer.  Said it was the least he could do, and I didn’t want to insult him, so I agreed.  I had only worked with him a few shifts until that point.  Clem had a lot of initiative, even for a rookie.  He kept going on and on about all the good he wanted to do in the city.  You know how idealistic we can tend to be right out of the academy.  Who was I to crap all over his goals, you know?  I just let him ramble on for the most part, but I didn’t detect an ounce of bullshit.  He really wanted to change the world.

Clem wasn’t aware that I had quit drinking a couple of years ago.  I let him know, and told him I would let him buy me a soda if he still wanted to have a beer.  We compromised and agreed to go down to the pool hall, and he made sure I didn’t mind if he had a beer.  I agreed, and appreciated the fact that he asked.  We each took our own cars.  

When we arrived, the pool hall was empty.  The guy that owned the place wasn’t there.  Instead, there was an early 20’s fella at the counter that I hadn’t seen there before, though I admit I had only been there a handful of times over the years.  He looked scrawny, with peach fuzz on his chin and upper lip, like he was trying to grow some facial hair.  He had been on the phone during our whole interaction, and it sounded like he was talking to his girlfriend.  I remember him trying to convince her to swing by the pool hall, saying there was nobody there.  He was a decent multitasker because he rented the pool balls to us, and got Clem’s Michelob Lite he ordered and my soda all without speaking a word to us.  Clem just motioned to him and the guy understood.  I think he might have spent more time at that pool hall than I had.

I decided to turn one of the big 36” TV’s to see if the game was still on.  I’m a San Diego Chargers fan, and they had been scheduled to play the Baltimore Colts that afternoon.  It was already after 6 p.m. and I wasn’t sure if the game was still going or not, but I for some reason as I was flipping through the channels, there must have been a power surge or something.  The lights flickered for a moment, and then the TV lost all reception.  I couldn’t get any channels at all.

I figured I’d just catch the highlights when I got home, and we racked the balls and start playing our game.  I finished my soda fairly quickly since Clem was wiping the floor with me.  He obviously played a lot.  It only took about 10 minutes to get through our first game, and we had paid for an hour table rental.  Clem noticed my empty cup and offered to grab me another soda.  “Free refills” is what he said.  I think I called him a cheap bastard or something, but he walked away as I lined up my shot.  I sunk it and lined up my next one when he returned quicker than usual and said the guy at the counter wasn’t there.  When I looked out the front window, I saw a car there which hadn’t been there before.  I figured it was the kid’s girlfriend and maybe he went out to do what young lovers do.  Looked like one of those Toyota Celicas, red.  

It was at that moment that I noticed an elderly man passed in front of the red car, and then he came in through the front door.  He was by himself, and he was dressed casually.  He was wearing jeans, a white polo shirt, and a jacket.  I noticed the Colt’s logo on his hat from across the hall.  I remembered it specifically because I was wondering if the guy had any information on the game.  He looked like he was in his late 60’s or early 70’s, and walked with a limp.  He also had both hands buried in his pockets.  I admit, as a police officer, this should have caught my attention more, but he looked old and harmless enough and it was pretty cold outside.

We continued playing our game, going over some of the crazy highlights about the day’s shift.  After a couple more quick games that I was losing, I was getting thirsty again.  I looked over at the counter but the attendant wasn’t back yet.  The old timer was sitting in a stool next to the counter though.  He glanced away as I looked, and I just figured they guy was trying to keep to himself, but it looked like he had helped himself to a drink.  My curiosity about the game score overwhelmed me though, so when Clem was on another run kicking my butt, I decided to go to introduce myself to the old man and ask if he caught the game.  

As I approached him, he looked down at the floor so the brim of his hat was blocking his face, which seemed suspicious to me.  I said “Colts fan, huh?” which got his attention.  When he looked up at me, he had a familiarity to him.  I asked him if I had met him before and introduced myself, and he said he didn’t recognize me.  “Did you catch the game?” I asked.  He just looked back down at the floor and shook his head no.  I figured the guy didn’t want to be bothered since he didn’t even respond verbally, and maybe he was there to drown his troubles in beer.  So I walked back over to see if Clem was still on his turn.

He was waiting for me.  Clem asked who that old guy was, and I explained that I saw his Colts hat and figured I’d ask him about the game.  Clem said “oh man, that’s my team”, referring to the Colts.  Then he started talking a lot of trash about how the Chargers sucked, and he didn’t even bother getting updates on the game because he know Baltimore was going to win.

As I leaned over to take my next shot, I heard the crack of a gunshot behind me.  Clem went down, and I immediately hit the floor and reached for my ankle holster.  Three more shots rang out as I crawled under the table toward Clem for some cover.  He’d been hit.  At first, I saw the blood on his chest, and some was coming out of his mouth.  He was gasping for air.  I told him to hold on, and I peered over the pool table to see the elderly man hobbling towards the front door.  He blind-fired one more round and I ducked for cover.  The lights seemed to go dim again, and I got up with every intention of chasing him down, but I didn’t see where he went.  I thought I would at least see the door swinging, or catch a glimpse of the man walking outside the large glass windows in front of the pool hall, but it was almost like he just vanished.  We were by ourselves in the building.  

I didn’t know how severe Clem’s injuries were, so I raced over to the counter to get to the phone.  By that time, the attendant had come running into the building.  His girlfriend stayed sitting in the driver’s seat of the red car out front.  I called 911 and told them there was an officer down, and provided the address.  I handed the phone to Mr. scrawny with the peach fuzz and attended to Clem.  By the time I got to him, he was unconscious and his breathing was really shallow.  It looked like he took one in the chest, but his jeans were bloody too.  I later learned at the hospital that the bullet that went into his leg shattered his femur, but missed the major artery.  I knew it would be a career-ender for him.

First responders on the scene were the paramedics.  I saw their lights from inside, and went out the front door to wave them in and let them know the shooter had fled the scene.  Less than 30 seconds after that, our boys showed up and I gave them a quick description of the old timer.  By the time I had done that, Clem was being wheeled off on a stretcher.  That’s when I started replaying the incident in my head and taking a look around.

The first thing I found was the Colts hat, which was on the ground outside the front door.  I don’t know why I hadn’t noticed it previously, but the logo didn’t say “Baltimore Colts”.  It said “Indianapolis Colts”.  I figured it must have been some kind of other league or Pop Warner or something.  

Then I started to look around where the guy had been sitting next to the counter.  A half-empty bottle of Michelob Lite was there with condensation sweating onto a folded piece of paper underneath.  I didn’t want to risk ruining any possible fingerprints on the bottle, so I didn’t touch it.  

After I gave my initial statement on scene, I went to the hospital to check on Clem.  I stayed all night, but he was still unconscious several hours after he came out of surgery.  A bullet had punctured a lung and he had to have some reconstruction done on his leg.  I spoke with his wife, Marie, and she was pretty torn up.  She said he had been on four tours in the Middle East and hadn’t received a scratch, and I learned that she actually disapproved of his decision to go into law enforcement.  Statement Ends.

It should be noted that Officer Plat requested to be looped into any further findings in the investigation, although I may be prohibited from doing so until the investigation is closed.  The only reason internal affairs was looped into this was because an officer was shot and there were no witnesses.  His badge and gun were confiscated temporarily for testing, and ballistics confirmed no shots were fired from Officer Plat’s revolver.  

The attendant’s statement indicated he never saw anyone enter or exit the building, and he confirmed that he was in the red car outside the front door the entire time.  He also claimed he heard four or five gunshots.  

The folded paper under the beer bottle appeared to be a hand-written note, intended for Officer Clement Walker and/or… someone else.  It indicates premeditation of the attack, and the contents of the note are short, but somewhat confusing, switching tenses.  It reads:

“You began with the best intentions in your career, but you will inevitably become corrupt.  Your hunger for power will cost you your family and you will ruin the lives of innocent people.  I know you won’t listen to anyone around you, so you’ve left me no choice.

M. I’m so sorry.”

Amendment to the report by Detective Harold Jenkins, Internal Affairs: Positive Identification was attained of the fingerprints left on the beer bottle at the counter.  With 98% accuracy, they appear to be the fingerprints of Officer Clement Walker.  One major difference noted was the appearance of scar tissue on a couple of digits that are not present on the prints taken just a few weeks ago as part of his background check for his current job.  I personally visited the hospital where Officer Clement remains unconscious, and no evidence of scar tissue could be found.

In addition, the projectiles found at the scene matched the caliber of Officer Clement’s sidearm, so an additional ballistics report was requested.  It has been confirmed that Officer Clement’s weapon had not been discharged, which makes the findings somewhat alarming.  The striations on one of the bullets fired on scene, which was collected from the wood of the pool table, were compared to test rounds fired from Officer Clement’s sidearm.  They matched nearly identically according to the examiner, who felt confident he could testify to that if needed.  I have reached out to an external examiner for a second opinion, but for now I have no choice but to leave this case open for further investigation in hopes that additional information will come forward.

This case file points out an ethical quandary.  What if you had prior knowledge that Hitler was going to do all of the horrendous crimes he committed before he actually did them?  Given the opportunity, would you try to stop him, even though he hadn’t done anything yet?  This is not a question we would be forced to deal with today, but potentially something to consider in the near future if there is any element of truth in this story.

Thank you for listening to The Storage Papers.  Please consider reaching out to me if you have any pertinent information regarding this case either by social media or email.  You can direct-message me on Twitter and Instagram @StoragePapers.  Or if you’d like to leave me a voice message, you can do so on anchor.fm/thestoragepapers.  Make sure to reference Episode 3, The Old Timer in your subject line.   

My goals in producing this show are not only to help further these investigations, but to make you aware of the high strangeness all around you that often goes unaddressed, so please share this via social media so these reports can get more exposure.  Please also consider writing a review on your podcast listening app of choice, which should help spread the word.





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