Sunday, May 05, 2019

An Attempt on My Life

I was up late at night in our downtown St. Louis apartment, minding my own business on the couch and watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones. I often hear gunfire outside to the point that I barely pay attention, but tonight it was very loud and very close. When one came through the window I ran to the bedroom and woke up a sleeping Lydia.

While I was pretty close to the window, we're on the third story of the building, so in order to hit our window the bullet was coming in at such an angle that it immediately hit our ceiling. I'm not sure how long you're supposed to wait after being shot at to check the window, but eventually I surveyed the alley below.

The police were out cataloging the evidence. A car or two were riddled with bullet holes. I went down to street level to tell them how I had heroically survived the attack. One officer came back up with me to our apartment to check everything out. I remember it being kind of funny and awkward when I entered the elevator with a cop while some of my neighbors were walking out. This is downtown St. Louis, so I'm sure their imaginations were running wild with the possible horrible reasons that I was leading an officer around in the building.

The officer and I looked around for the bullet. It was a difficult process. We live in a loft that was converted from an old industrial building, so the ceiling is already full of different kinds of little holes. We also have a carpet with a very busy pattern which hid whatever ordinance might be laying there. So we weren't able to find the thing. Once the initial officer failed he even sent a crime lab guy up but he failed as well. I learned a lot during my conversation with them about how bullets work and what happens to them once they hit something. I'm sure I also asked them some questions about what would have happened had the round hit the brick wall instead of the window... a lower shot may have hit me instead of the ceiling.

I thought it was interesting the way the heat of the projectile warped the metal blinds.

I took the next day off of work to clean up the prodigious amount of glass that now lived in my apartment with me.

The big chunks were easy to sweep up and throw away. But there was a glass mist to be dealt with that I could never completely get rid of. Walking around barefoot or even with socks was a bit scary for a while.

I was sitting close enough to the window that glass from the explosion hit my laptop screen and scratched it, so that is a very fun souvenir for me.

The bullet broke into multiple pieces when it impacted but here is the biggest chunk I found. The mushed lead lump reminded me of a weight you'd put on a fishing line.

An additional large headache was that we were about to host Lydia's 30th birthday party at our apartment/crime scene. We already have some friends that are reluctant to visit (I wonder why) so I wanted to keep a lid on this incident. I contacted our landlord and told him the whole story, and they were super responsive and got it replaced with days to spare. They did not, however, replace the blinds, which stood there forever after as a reminder that we live in a large brick fortress standing in a war zone. My plan B if the window wasn't replaced by the time the party started was to buy several selfie station backdrops to cover up the taped whole in the glass.

At the party one of our guests rested their hand on the back of our couch and got a small cut from some glass. We mused out loud that someone must have broken some drinkware but we knew it was some glass we missed from the time I was almost assassinated.

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