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

Playing dead

Thirty feet away and closing, Ripley continued to fire at Hendrix. The officer could actually see the rounds exiting Ripley’s firearm, peppering the asphalt around him. In a bid to protect vital body parts, Hendrix curled up into a fetal position wrapping his arms around his head. Another bullet tore into him, entering his left inner thigh before traversing through his pelvic girdle and out his left hip. Still another round shattered his right cheek.

Suddenly, Ripley was right on top of him. Hendrix began to beg and plead with Ripley to please stop shooting him. He told the man that he could go. There was no filter, no false macho bullshit, just a desperate effort to say and do anything that might mitigate his fate. He started to cry, and told Ripley that he wouldn’t tell on him. He told him he had a family. He told him that it hurt-all in a desperate hope that some part of the man’s humanity might assert itself.

Ripley wasn’t having any of it. When he did stop firing, it was only to walk over and pick up the officer’s handgun off the ground. Then he bent over Hendrix with his own firearm and put it to Hendrix’s head.

Realizing the cold-blooded bastard was going to execute him, Hendrix raised his arm to cover his face just as Ripley fired. The bullet tore into Hendrix’s right elbow and lodged therein.

The pain was beyond excruciating and Hendrix wanted to scream, but he knew that his only chance was to play dead and hope that Ripley decided against an insurance round.

Apparently satisfied that the round had passed through Hendrix’s elbow and into his brain, Ripley walked back to his estranged wife and grabbed her, then hobbled toward his car.

That was when an unarmed off-duty highway patrol officer tackled him. A store employee jumped in to assist, and the two men held Ripley for responding officers.

Author: Greg Raven

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