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Evestar
08-11-2010, 04:02 AM
I am writing a novel that centers around the street murder of a teenager. His friends witnessed the murder.

The character jumped in front of a cyclist to scare him as a prank, and was shot by the cyclist. The shooting victim's friends witnessed the shooting, and attempted to save his life themselves until two off-duty EMTs help until the ambulance arrives. The police arrived moments later and transported the other boys to the hospital. My main character, the best friend of the shooting victim, fainted at the hospital and wakes up a day later.

What would be the police procedure after this? Are there any factual errors in my story so far?

Captcha
08-11-2010, 08:30 AM
I have no expertise in the field, but as a reader, I don't understand why the two other boys went to the hospital - were they injured? And again, with no expertise, being unconscious for a whole day seems kind of extreme as a reaction to emotional trauma.

I'm not saying that either of this things is impossible, but as a reader, I'd want you to explain them pretty completely to show me why they don't match my expectations.

cate townsend
08-11-2010, 08:44 AM
I'm not sure you've provided enough information...if the cyclist shot the kid, then the cops question him (or her), then the kids who witnessed it. If they've got the shooter, the case is closed.

Shakesbear
08-11-2010, 10:08 AM
I'm curious as to how the cyclist shot the boy. I know some cyclists can cycle without hands on the bars, but from some guns wouldn't there be a sort of kick back? If the gun was powerful enough then wouldn't the cyclist fall off?

jclarkdawe
08-11-2010, 04:34 PM
This doesn't work for me at all.


I am writing a novel that centers around the street murder of a teenager. His friends witnessed the murder.

The character jumped in front of a cyclist to scare him as a prank, and was shot by the cyclist. From the cyclist's point of view, someone jumps out at him, attacking him. He shoots back in self defense. As a defense attorney, given these facts, if I can't walk this guy, I'd be shocked. The shooting victim's friends witnessed the shooting, and attempted to save his life themselves until two off-duty EMTs help until the ambulance arrives. Ambulance stages until the police have the scene secure in a shooting. The police arrived moments later and transported the other boys to the hospital. Why? If they are not injured, what would be the purpose? My main character, the best friend of the shooting victim, fainted at the hospital and wakes up a day later. As an EMT, if I can't wake someone who faints at the scene, I'd be shocked again. This patient must have a serious, undiagnosed medical condition.

What would be the police procedure after this? Are there any factual errors in my story so far?

Police procedure is fairly simple here. Take statements from each witness, compare statements. Factual pattern sounds fairly simple and straight forward. Then the police discuss the situation with the attorney general's office and the AG decides what to do. Based upon the facts presented, I would imagine they wouldn't even arrest the bicyclist until after a grand jury presentation. Further tests would be done to confirm the stories, mainly a ballistics test.

Even if this is prosecuted, it is unlikely the bicyclist would be charged with murder. Maybe negligent homicide or reckless behavior.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

RJK
08-11-2010, 06:53 PM
How old are these people?
In over 20 years of police work, I've never seen a bicyclist with a gun.
If someone jumps into the path of a cyclist, his first instinct would be to control the bike, not shoot the person.
I suppose if you have a LOT of backstory to justify the cyclist's reaction and reason for carrying a gun, the shooting MAY be possible, but it's a stretch.
The cops would bring the witnesses to the station for statements, not the hospital. Jim covered the overnight fainting spell.
If I were investigating this incident, I'd arrest the cyclist, charge him with manslaughter, and let the lawyers straighten it out. (Assuming your dead guy wasn't armed, too).
ETA: the EMT's happening along sounds too convenient. Just have the ambulance and the cops show up.

Evestar
08-12-2010, 03:09 AM
Wow, do I feel like an idiot :( Sorry, this is my first work in prose (more of a poet myself), and I am a teenager (not that that is an excuse for sloppy plot, I know). Thank you all for your answers!

This is actually based on something that happened in Roxbury, Boston, about 20 years ago that my friend's dad told me about (the real thing had a more favorable outcome-the vic lived). I watered down the plot significantly in my summery to paraphrase. I think I'll have the friend who fainted wake up moments later. I just needed to get him out of the way for another thing to happen in the plot. I am making the cyclist a lunatic as part of the story, and he was not on his bike when he shot the boy. He turned around, got off his bike, and did it.

I like the idea of the killer getting off easy because that would fit into how I want to end the story quite nicely.

Then again, I think I may need to revisit the plot and have the murder happen under different circumstances.