Hungry Like the Wolf(5)

By: Paige Tyler

Zak leaned forward to get a better look, making a face when a pair of EMTs ran across the street half carrying, half dragging a man covered in blood.

“You think maybe we should move a little farther back?” he asked as the EMTs put the man in the ambulance and jumped in after him. The ambulance peeled away from the curb.

“I don’t think so. It looks like all the action out here is over with. We’ll be fine.” Mac held a pair of binoculars to her eyes and scanned the area in front of the building. “So, what’s our situation?”

Zak pulled out the buds he’d stuck back in his ears so he could listen to the scanner on the drive over. Thank God he was good at figuring out all those silly-ass codes and cop acronyms because it was like a foreign language to her even after ten years as a journalist.

“Sun Community Bank over on First and Devon got hit by a crew about an hour ago.” He fished his camera out of the back and swapped out his normal lens for something bigger. “Someone got to the silent alarm and the cops were waiting for the bank robbers the second they walked out. That’s when all hell broke loose.” Zak stopped as he fiddled with one of the option settings on the top of the camera. “The cops ID’d at least seven bad guys armed with automatic weapons, some of whom were set up outside the bank while the rest went inside.”

Mac set down the binoculars and climbed in the back to grab her own gear. “That doesn’t sound like your ordinary bank robbers to me.” She took a binder out of her bag and started flipping pages. “More like a gang with military training.”

She’d spent enough time investigating gangs on both sides of the border to recognize their handiwork. Some of them could rival the U.S. military when it came to weapons and tactics.

“You could be right,” Zak agreed. “Regardless, the responding officers got hit hard. There were multiple injuries, including some innocent bystanders. Cops took down at least two of the robbers, but the rest got to their vehicles and turned it into a car chase.” He pointed at the industrial building in front of them. “They’re holed up in there.”

Mac didn’t recognize the name of the place, and sure didn’t know what kind of product E-Brand produced, but the bad guys had decided the three-floor brick building made a good defensive position. Probably because it didn’t have any windows.

“They already shot four people and are currently holding thirty employees hostage,” Zak continued.

“What do they want?” she asked as she scanned the pages of the SWAT personnel folder she’d put together. It wasn’t much more than fluffy Dallas PD public affairs crap at this point, but it was a start.

“That’s anyone’s guess,” Zak told her as he started snapping pictures of the scene. “But I think we can assume it’s not world peace since SWAT was called in.”

As if hearing the introduction, the door of the tactical operations vehicle opened and three big men stepped out. Dressed head to foot in black with heavy tactical vests, helmets, and automatic weapons, Mac would have known they were SWAT even if she didn’t have their pictures. She had to admit their public affairs headshots didn’t do them justice.

Maybe it was just that a simple two-by-three-inch photo couldn’t capture how big the three men were—at least six-three or six-four with broad shoulders and biceps she wouldn’t be able to get her hands around. Or maybe it was that all guys simply looked hotter dressed up in tight-fitting tactical gear.

She dragged her gaze away—a little reluctantly—to scan each cop’s bio.

Officer Diego Miguel Martinez, ten years on the force, the last four with SWAT. More commendations than fingers.