Bo Ross sat in his patrol vehicle, in the parking lot of the Ezee Stop in Yared. It was three a.m. and the store was closed. In fact, everything in the entire county was closed at this time of night. Still, someone had to be out on patrol and the midnight to eight a.m. shift fell to him and two other deputies. Prior to “the incident” Bo had been the chief of patrol, but afterward the Sheriff decided there was too much publicity and too many distractions for Bo to continue in that job and reassigned him as shift leader on the midnight shift.
“The incident” was the term the Sheriff used to describe the day Bo was almost killed. In all the movies the person shot suffered traumatic memory loss, but Bo remembered the incident about as clearly as anybody could. The Sheriff had saddled Bo with three of the least reliable deputies in the department for court security. In fact, the reason that he did not escort the Pahl brothers back to their holding cell personally was that Judge Isom called Bo back in chambers to voice his displeasure. By the time Bo left the judge's chambers Boyd and Carr had already taken everyone out of the courthouse.
Bo followed as quickly as he could and found everyone lounging in the alley. He walked off the porch and started over to the prisoners, while he told Carr to clear all the civilians out of the alley. He had just started walking over to get the Pahls moving toward the door to the Sheriff's Department when there were a series of loud noises and the Pahl brothers were both thrown backward into the building behind them. More shots followed and the civilians scattered. The two other deputies took cover behind the propane tank that provided fuel to heat the courthouse.
Bo turned and ran back to the courthouse door. It was the only way out of the alley that could be reached without letting the guy with the firearm have a clear shot. He had just gotten his key in the door when a sledgehammer hit him in the back - several times. He was slammed forward into the door and fell off the side of the porch behind bins in which trash and recyclable materials were kept. At first he was just stunned. Through a haze, he heard more gunfire and then there was a huge explosion which he felt more than he heard.
This time he was knocked out. When he came back around all of the plastic bins were on top of him and he was covered in trash. He dug out from under them and found himself in Hell. A huge how was blown into the side of the Sheriff's Office and there were flames everywhere. Everywhere he looked in the alley he saw a man with multiple bullet wounds or serious burns. He grabbed the first person he came to, one of the Pahls' attorneys, and started hauling him back to the safety of the courthouse. When they got up on the porch Bo's keys were missing. He looked around but they were nowhere to be seen, so he just started going back and grabbing other men and laying them on the porch in front of the door.
When he had all the casualties around the door, he started banging on the it and yelling for Sergeant Qualls. He didn't know how long it took, but eventually Judge Fleming opened the door and Bo started moving all the casualties inside. A couple of Mount View police officers arrived, but the fire had gotten too intense for them to come down the alley to help. After he got the wounded inside, he started perform first aid as best he could although he doubted any of it had actually helped except for the tourniquet he put on Attorney Lasley's arm.
When the judge touched Bo's arm he realized that the gunfire and explosion had made him almost deaf. Judge Fleming was yelling something Bo could barely hear as though he were at the end of a long tunnel filled with a ringing silence. After a couple seconds, Bo shook his head, told the judge to call for help, and told him to get Qualls to check to see if anyone else needed help. Then he went back to trying to render some sort of first aid.
The Paramedics took a long time to arrive and they pulled Bo off, gave him a quick once over, and sent him off to side, out of the way. He sort of collapsed once he sat down in a corner with nothing to do and the next thing he really remembered was being helped onto a gurney so the medics could transport him to the hospital.
Now the FBI and State Police were saying that the whole thing was a plot to kill him by five of his fellow deputies. Worse, Brad Dollerby, the local Commonwealth Attorney, had decided that he was going to prosecute everyone involved in the incident himself. Even worse, the Sheriff was circling the wagons and seemed to be taking steps to marginalize the people he did not trust in the department. And, clearly Bo now fell into the untrustworthy category.
It did not sit well with Bo that someone had shot him and he was getting blamed. It did not sit well at all.