A large shadow falls over my desk. I look up to see my boss, RCMP Staff Sergeant Gabriel Lacroix scowl down at me. Lacroix is French. He’s not aboriginal, but his stance, size, dark skin, remind me of our chief on the reservation when I was a kid. A no-nonsense man with little patience for the shenanigans of restless boys.
“There has been a possible murder in College Heights. Dispatch has the particulars. Handle with kid gloves; this one is high priority. I want you to treat the victim’s wife as if she were your own mother. Clear?” His scowl deepens. “And no further involvement in your wife’s case. You wait until they call you. Is that clear, Corporal Killian?”
I nod, and present my yes-of-course-Staff-Sergeant face. Lacroix, neither satisfied nor more perturbed than normal, walks away.
It’s been fifteen weeks since he accepted my transfer in from District, yet, he still only speaks to me when necessary. I’m satisfied with that arrangement. After too many years already spent trying to impress the white establishment, I just go ahead and call Dispatch. I ask them to send the file to my computer, request they page the Forensic Ident members.
An instant later, I click on the link, read: Victim: Leland Warner…a name I recognize…shot to death in his home. Address: College Heights. Shooter: unknown.
I page the rest of my team.
Constable Stan Carrigan texts to say he’s en route. Two seconds later, Constable John Ryan texts. He’s less than a block from the address. Ryan has been at many crime scenes but never without our team.
I call him. “We’ll be there as soon as possible.”
Ryan says, “I’m pulling in the driveway now.”
“Who’s there so far?”
“One patrol car. I don’t recognize the number.”
“Doesn’t matter. As long as it’s not some cherry from Regina, we should be set to go. Page PDS and request their best dog. Take your time. Secure the scene and follow protocol.”
“Gotcha,” Ryan says. “Anything else?”
“No, just follow protocol.” I hang up with him and call Carrigan. “How close are you?”
“I’m passing Costco.”
“Ryan’s there with a patrol cop.”
Last night, the local weatherman had advised no snow until next week when a system in the Pacific was due to hit. Given that, I slip on my parka, leave my outdoor boots behind, and exit the building via the front door. It’s warm enough not to zip the parka.