We were walking home from the Uptown last night around closing time when two dudes came sprinting at us northbound on Shotwell. The lead guy’s pinstriped Yankee hat flew off as they passed us. At the end of the block, they turned left, but not before dropping something. It sounded bigger than a cellphone. We turned back and took a look, and it turned out to be a handgun. I immediately took a picture and then called 9-1-1.
I said, “I just witnessed what I think was an undercover police officer chasing a suspect. They dropped something. It’s a handgun. So I’m standing here on the corner of 19th and Shotwell with a handgun.” The operator shrieked, “YOU PICKED UP THE GUN!?” “No, no, no, I’m just standing next to it.” Right then a squad car arrived and officers started questioning us.
The lead officer took one look at the weapon and said, “Damn, that’s a nice gun.” We couldn’t describe either of the sprinters, so at that point we weren’t much help. After a few minutes, an undercover officer arrived, out of breath. He walked right past the gun and us. “See any drugs?” Nobody had seen any drugs. He walked up and down the sidewalk, looking in planter boxes and elsewhere. Another officer unballed a balled up pair of socks. No drugs anywhere.
He comes back to the gun, asks us if we saw the suspect drop it. We had not. So again we weren’t much help. I asked if he caught the suspect. “Yup,” he said, and smiled. He photographed the scene with a small point-and-shoot camera. The lead uniformed officer again looked at the gun: “I might have to get one of these for myself.”
[Additional photography by David Kelso]