Last night I arrived home after a tennis match about 9:30 pm to find a half-dozen police cars with red-and-blue flashers lighting up the street near my house in north central Phoenix. Driving up Central Ave. at first I was concerned that they were actually at my house, but soon found they were actually a half-block up, with the road blocked off.
Talking to the Ch. 15 cameraman, I learned that some kind of shooting and car confrontation had taken place. A white Mustang was crashed up against a restraining wall where it had come to a sudden halt after careening through the canal entrance sidewalk.
In case you’ve never seen what a tire looks like after it’s been charred to a fine black powder from grinding against pavement with a gun-shot driver unable to turn the car off…here’s a grim view.
About 7:30 the next morning, I biked over to the scene to see what the aftermath looked like. The road was busy with students biking and walking to the nearby school. No one paid much attention to me as I moseyed around Alice St. to see what sort of evidence the police might have missed. I had heard that 8 or 9 shots had been fired and wondered what it would look like in the cold forensic morning light.
I was hustling across the street as a big yellow schoolbus approached. Frankly, although I was wearing a bright yellow and blue tie-dyed long sleeve shirt (courtesy of Veihdeffer Family Dentistry…though god only knows why a dental office would have such garish office apparel) I was worried that the schoolbus didn’t seem to be slowing sufficiently.
I quickened my pace in the crosswalk and continued inspecting the sidewalk area as the bus pulled to a stop.
I heard a voice calling out of the third window from the rear. I looked up to see a small brown face looking out, maybe 7 years old. A little girl. I couldn’t quite figure out what she was asking me to do and then I saw her arm reaching out.
Was I supposed to give her money? Take her picture? I walked three steps closer and saw she had something in her fingers. Something small, square and brown.
She was offering me a Hershey chocolate.
I took it, not quite sure what to do with it but her face looked so sweet that I took a bite as the bus pulled away from the corner. We waved at each other and blew each other kisses.
Maybe it was my tie-dyed shirt and bike that made her think I was a homeless canal dweller.