It was after midnight when I was sent to one of the city’s many parks. The main building was a favorite target for vandals and a neighbor had seen someone moving in the shadows. I parked nearby and approached quietly. The large, square concrete structure was dark inside, the outside dimly lit from a nearby street lamp.
I listened for the sound of movement; nothing. Suddenly, to my right, someone jumped from the roof and landed about 8 feet in front of me. He appeared to be about 18 and was staring at me; terrified. In the time that it took him to leave the roof and hit the ground, I had drawn my Glock .40 caliber pistol and had it aimed directly at him, center mass; my finger firmly on the trigger. Oddly, I remember my breathing, it was calm and measured. Time had stopped for us and I was experiencing tunnel vision like never before; complete focus.
As the seconds passed, the tunnel vision began fading, moving outward. I started hearing the surrounding sounds of life again; crickets and a humming noise emanating from a street lamp. Then the sounds of nearby traffic returned.
I asked him his name and lowered my pistol. He apologized for being up on the roof and said he had no idea that I was even there. I believed him. I thanked him for being calm and staying still and he thanked me for not killing him. I walked back to my cruiser and he walked home. I sat in my car, amazed and thankful that this didn’t end in disaster.
To this day, I have no idea why I didn’t pull the trigger.