ToeAndLipWorking a white cop/black cop “salt-and-pepper” team in Miami, Florida’s, ghetto, Daniels and I rolled on a disturbance call to a run-down rooming house. As we stepped into the foyer and started up a rickety staircase toward loud quarrelling upstairs, a man in the hallway opened up on us with a .25 auto. Pop! Pop! We dropped flat in the stairwell, face to face.

“I can’t get any lower,” I whispered to Daniels. “Me buttons are in the way.”

Cops are good at breaking tension with dark humor.

Our assailant darted into a room at the top of the stairs. Every few seconds, he cracked the door and loosed another shot at us.

We timed him. As soon as the door slammed the second time, we jumped up and charged. We were within a step of the door when it cracked and a hand gripping the .25 pointed directly at me.

Instead of firing, however, the startled gunman jumped back and slammed the door. Daniels blasted a hole the size of a man’s head through it with his shotgun. A woman inside began screaming bloody murder.

“I’m giving up!” the shooter pleaded. “Don’t shoot no more!”

Two fingers gripping the pistol ventured out through the hole in the door and dropped the weapon in the hallway. I sprang off the side of the wall and stiff-legged the flimsy door into the gunman’s face. An instant later we had him facedown and handcuffed.

The screaming woman, buck-naked, was jumping up and down on one leg in the middle of the bed clutching her bleeding foot with both hands. Apparently, she had been laid up drunk or doped up with her foot propped up on the bedstead when Daniels fired.

“You m-f-as!” she screeched. “M-f-as! You done shot off my m-f-ing little toe.”

#

A couple of months later, Daniels and I responded to a shooting in a blind pig bar. Daniels paused to first aid the victim. I chased the suspect out the back door and down a dark alleyway behind a row of housing projects for a couple of blocks before he broke out onto the construction site of the new Overtown Expressway. Silhouetted against the site’s security lights, he turned to rip off a shot at me.

I got on the trigger first. The guy shrieked and dropped. I knew I had hit him.

The only thing that surprised me was where I got him. My bullet tore off his top lip. No teeth. Just lip. Daniels had got a toe. Now I had a lip. Other cops in the squad began making bets on which part of the anatomy we’d get next.

Watch the SEAL Team Six drama, Six, Wednesday nights on History Channel. Read the novelization of the series by Charles W. Sasser. SIX: End Game, the second novel in the series, has just been released and is available at most bookstores and on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.