From Part I:
Duval announced, “He’s down. He’s down.”
Mac responded. “I’m hit!” At that time, the thought occurred to him to remain still since he had been hit near his spine. He didn’t want to spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.
If you missed part i: Part I of The Elm Street Shooting
From Part II:
The gangster fired. Mac fired back. Flames erupted from his gun that he held low and tight to his body. He held his radio and a burning cigarette in his other hand.
if you missed part II: Part II of The Elm Street Shooting
Mac was sent to St. Francis Hospital for further evaluation and x-ray. He was cleared to return to duty. When he arrived at the station, he found it crowded and abuzz with department brass, homicide detectives, partners, and friends. Mac provided a statement and was cleared to go home. But instead, he stayed in the comfort of his partners and friends for a while, telling and retelling the story to all who gathered to hear it.
At the time, Mac was thirty-one, divorced, with no kids. He found a quiet corner and called his parents in Michigan. It was now about midnight, three a.m. back east. He told them he had been shot, saved by his vest, and that he had taken the life of a 19-year-old gang member. His father, stunned, repeated “Oh my” and “Thank God” as he listened. Mac pictured his father sitting at his mother’s desk in the corner of their bedroom, his mom sitting up in bed asking, What happened? Is he okay?
Alec MacArthur was okay.
The Next Day
He slept uneasily that night and returned to the office late the next morning, only to hear that another deputy-involved shooting had occurred in Firestone.
As is the case with all requests for assistance and notices of shootings and fights, the station emptied as deputies charged through various points of exit and jumped into any available vehicle to respond. Mac had grabbed a detective bureau car and responded. When he arrived at the scene of the shooting, he discovered there was no need for further assistance. Another armed gang member had been shot and killed during the execution of a narcotics warrant, and the situation was under control.
Mac was reminded of his mandatory session with the department shrink and escorted back to the station. In the confusion, the car he had driven to the scene was left there. A couple of hours later, the detective car was torched, presumably by friends of the dead man, his fellow gang members.
There were credible threats of retaliation, and deputies at our station took extreme caution to avoid being ambushed in the coming weeks and months. Mac was temporarily reassigned for his own protection. It was said that the Bishops had put a contract on his life. But soon he would return to Firestone Station where he continued working as a gang investigator for six more relatively uneventful years.
The Rest of the Story
Mac never received any recognition for his courageous actions during a gunfight. It seemed the department shied from rewarding a lawman who, during the course of his duties, justifiably took the life of a bad man. Others who had been shot and saved by their vests, but hadn’t taken a man’s life in the process, were awarded the Medal of Valor.
For the rest of his career—and beyond—Mac would often reflect on that night on Elm Street. He is grateful that he had been able to respond as he had been trained to do during a life-threatening moment, and that in doing so, he had survived being shot. He’s never been happy about killing a half-drunken 19-year-old gang member who, as it turns out, had been shooting at his girlfriend’s house because she cheated on him.
Dupont, the manufacturer of Kevlar, would later have Mac appear in a commercial for their product. He was paid $11,000 for his contribution.
Mac went on to have a successful and, in his words, “wonderful career.” He worked some of the best assignments on our department and ended his career with an eight-year stint at the elite Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau.
I am proud to call Mac a friend, and I’m honored to have worked with him at Firestone Station and again later at Homicide Bureau. Most of all, I am grateful that he is alive and well and enjoying retirement in an undisclosed location, surrounded by water.
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