Shots Fired: Palm Desert, California — 03•30•1996

That’s Gonna Hurt

The female — who Hendrix later learned was Ripley’s ex-wife — started to struggle, pulling the suspect to the ground with her. But as soon as he hit the ground, Ripley rebounded, yanking the woman up with him before opening fire on Hendrix.

Having already drawn a bead on Ripley, Hendrix immediately returned fire when he saw the first muzzle flash. His aim was true and both rounds tore into Ripley’s torso.

Unfortunately, Ripley’s aim had proven accurate, as well.

A bullet struck the earpiece of Hendrix’s glasses before deflecting through his left ear and out the backside of his head. Reflexively, Hendrix reached up and touched the side of his head. As he did, he glanced down. Blood was seeping across his T-shirt above the abdomen, and Hendrix’s weird sense of cop humor struck him then, too. Chuckling under his breath, he mused to himself, “Shit, that’s gonna hurt.”

Yet Hendrix felt no pain-not in his stomach, at least. His head was another story. It felt like Mike Tyson had beat him with his fists then done that Holyfield thing with his teeth to his ear.

Ripley had been hit, too, but one wouldn’t know it to look at him. Incredibly, the man was moving toward Hendrix.

Hendrix had seen a big pillar in front of the store. In a bid to put some distance and cover between himself and Ripley, he ran for it.

Ripley stalked after him. Both men exchanged more rounds as they moved. Hendrix’s third shot hit Ripley just as one of Ripley’s rounds stuck him in his right lower leg, causing Hendrix to collapse onto his back as his fourth round went wide of Ripley, striking the store behind him.

Lying on the ground like some upended tortoise, Hendrix knew he had but one round left. From the outset, Ripley hadn’t had to concern himself with conserving rounds, and was even still shooting at Hendrix. Desperate, Hendrix raised his gun once more at Ripley and fired his last round. It struck Ripley in his left leg, severing the femoral artery.

Still the man kept coming.

Hendrix was in a state of terrified disbelief-why weren’t his rounds doing what they were supposed to do? Why was this crazy son-of-a-bitch still on his feet? How was he still able to advance?

As he dropped his spent revolver to the asphalt, Hendrix could only hope that Ripley might still retain some vestige of humanity and show some mercy.

He didn’t.

Author: Greg Raven

Trained with Chuck Taylor. What else is there to know?