(2018-09-04) Questioning the Witness
After the shooting, the witness must be questioned.

There was a shooting last night at Slims. Johnny Slim's Last Chance Bar, that is. Turns out it's a true name. A DJ and a customer were shot and killed. A crew from the station had likely been working the scene since it happened, while others have been designated to the telling of the family, dealing with the Press and then there was the forensics team running the ballistics. Somewhere amidst the hullabaloo is Ashlea, working up a few statements from someone in the crowd that swears they saw everything! Yet their stories are conflicting. A groan and she runs a weary hand over her features. THe desk she is seated at isn't hers but it is a universal one and is centrally located. Meaning close to the chief's office. She slides back the chair and takes a stand, just stretching out a little, cursing at something under her breath.

It's a safe bet that Franklin was on-site and on-spot last night, being one of the more experienced beat cop working the town. Which probably means he had a long night of crowd control and statement-taking, but at least the double homicide means the detectives can deal with the follow-up rather than him. None of that affects the man today, though; stepping out from the locker room, he is adjusting the collar of his uniform and making sure everything is ship-shape. The only things missing from their proper positions? His cap, which is currently tucked under one arm, and his mirror-shades hanging from his breast pocket. Speaking of detectives, he spots one who is likely going to be stuck with the case, so he unhurriedly makes his way over. "Morning! Got anything back from Forensics yet?" He hollars to Ashlea. Hi!

Of course there was a shooting last night! Augustus Jeremiah McIntyre, commonly known as AJ to his fellow law enforcers, was in his office apparently having quite the shouting match with whoever was on the phone. Ooohhhh yep, there's that famous temper that everyone in the force knows about and is generally quite afraid of. "and before ya start blamin' me for not apprehendin' the suspect, how about you get your FOCKIN' ACT TOGETHER-" the rest is a mumbled heap of heavy scottish accent as the door to his office is closed.

For good reason.

Not to mention, a cop is on the chopping block too. That guy who looks like he plays galaga when he should be on patrol? Yeaahhh….he's next. and he's sweating buckets. Eventually though, the door to the Chief's office flies open, with the fuming Scotsman locking eyes with said cop (no, it's not Franklin or Ashlea). "WILLIAMS! GET THE FOCK ON PATROL! Ya ever see a Scottish Supahman? Well, yer about to when I fly across this room and plant a size 13 boot up yer fockin' ass!"

That cop practically ran on water.

Though then the Chief sees Franklin and Ashlea, and starts awlking towards them.

…is that good or bad?

"Still waiting." Ashlea grumbles. "Damned Stuart ain't no Abby from NCIS. No miracles from him." There's definitely an eyeroll there, she's just as frustrated as anyone else. All eyes were on the police department now, especially those of the mayor, and everyone wanted answers none of them had yet. "In addition to the blood on scene, there was plenty of other things to be sent all mingled in the hay that was on the floor. Including vomit." She groans, but it's not over the vomit. The chief is approaching. She straightens and watches, waiting for the outburst.

Ah, poor kid. Franklin watches the way Augustus chases Williams out the door, but being the big brother type, he reaches out to pat Williams on the back a couple of times as he rushes past. Oh he's listening to Ashlea's update, but the big man also sees the chief coming over, so he parks any questions for the detective for now, and turns to face the incoming Scotsman. He doesn't even need to square his shoulders or lift his chin to make himself look big; he is all that by default. "Sir." He barks then, in a very Marine-kind-of-way.

The Chief comes barreling towards Franklin and Ashlea, but…much to their most-likely relief, he doesn't appear upset. "Detective! What do you have for me. Anything from Forensics or are they still fockin' around like headless chickens?" He looks to Franklin. "Officer Payne. Good work the other night at the scene. Unlike-" he turns his head to Jackson, who appears to have knocked over the water cannister. "Well I be got DAMNED! Jackson! Lad, say 'pop'" the young cop says 'pop' "How does it feel to get yer head out of yer arse? Pick that up and refill the water." the officer scrambles to do so. His eyes shifting back to Franklin. "Anyway, as I was sayin', good work." He looks to Ashlea then, expecting an answer.

There's chaos abounds and Briony is at the edge of it. It's like standing at the edge of a storm. What's she doing here? Nothing involving the shooting. No, instead she's just finished giving a statement to some other officer about something— mandatory reporting. Some clarification on a suspected abuse case. She WAS standing near the water cannister, casually aiming to refill her fancy water bottle (you know the kind, promises to keep drink cold ALLLL day, costs fifty dollars and if you drop it once it stops working right) when Jackson knocks over said water cooler. There's a little yelp as the nurse gets splashed from her knees down with water.

"Thanks, Jackson…" She says blandly, staring down at her now DARK DARK blue scrubs.

"Bok, bok." Ashlea gives the chief a rueful look. "Sound affects aside, forensics are completely inept at the moment. Suddenly they are forgetting how to do their job." It's the only answer she's got and it's making her feel inept. The water cooler incident seems to help with the tenseness, especially when a civilian gets splashed with it. Helps as in raises the tension, and she ducks her head, shaking it. There's nothing offered to the civvy or to Jackson, but she does glance between Payne and the Chief. "Any news on any other front?"

"Thank you, Sir." Franklin is still all-Marine, especially when addressing his Commander, er, Chief, who is also one. Chain-of-command, and all that. "I was the first to arrive on-scene, so if Forensics come up cold and we need to go door-to-door, there were a few faces in the crowd I recognized that we can have a chat with." His suggestion is cut short when he notices the accident over yonder; with a frown at Jackson, he notes to the Chief and Ashlea, both. "Excuse me just a minute." With that, he heads over to help.
Once there, Franklin shoves his cap towards Jackson. "Hey kid, take this. And go get a mop." With his rather impressive bulk (and muscles), he easily stands the water cooler upright again. Taking stock of the watery mess, he gestures at Briony. "You alright, miss?"

AJ notices Briony. He knows that girl. "Briony! Whatcha doin' here lass? Ya better not be givin' me bad news, or I'll be right sad." AJ says as he looks to Franklin, nodding. "Good. All else fails, start askin' questions and take Anderson with ya." he gestures to the detective before he just looks upset. "Fock. The. Forensic. Team. They seem to be having a right 'ole time takin' a piss and gettin' nothin' done." he pinches the bridge of his nose.

"I understand where they would have trouble. There was a lot of hay there and a shit ton of other nasty shite." he notices Franklin helping out Jackson. Top marks pal.

That is a big… big dude and oh no he's coming over toward her. Briony's about a foot and a half smaller than Franklin and so she's force to either stare directly at his chest or crane her head backward to meet his eyes. She takes a step backward just out of pure instinct, her shoes squeaking a tad. "Uh." She says blinking at him, "You're gigantic." …rude, Briony. /Rude/. After a moment she clears her throat, seeming to realize she said that _out loud_. "Uh, shit, sorry. Outside voice…. I'm fine, thanks. Just got a little water from the Great Water Cooler Crash of '18." And then AJ is calling toward her and she shifts to the side, peering around Franklin to wiggle her fingers. "Just clarifying a statement on a mandatory report, chief."

"I have a few more statements to collect, I should do that after we talk with the on duty barkeep from last night in further detail. I don't know names, Sergeant Payne, but I do remember faces. Unfortunately, I wasn't there last night, so I didn't see anyone. I'd be glad to do as the chief says and accompany you."
A quick look of amusement at the declaration from Briony towards her fellow officer and she just remains quiet a moment.

"I have a few more statements to collect, I should do that after we talk with the on duty barkeep from last night in further detail. I don't know names, Sergeant Payne, but I do remember faces. Unfortunately, I wasn't there last night, so I didn't see anyone. I'd be glad to do as the chief says and accompany you."
A quick look of amusement at the declaration from Briony towards her fellow officer and Ashlea just remains quiet a moment.

Franklin bobs his head at Briony's answer to his question, before turning to hollar at Jackson even as the rookie scrambles for a mop in the lunch room. "Bring some paper towels, kid!" Returning his attention to Briony, he nods and adds for clarification. "Yes, miss, I'm gigantic. It comes in handy when I'm roughing up some bad kids, or beating the shit outta the bad guys when they don't cooperate." He purses his lips solemnly for a few moments, then adds without any changes in expression. "I'm just kidding, by the way."
Glancing back towards the Chief and Ashlea, the big man gives both a thumb-up. "Can do, Sir. Just let me know when you wanna visit some friends, Detective."

Maddie's been here before. Mostly in her teens, but that wasn't too long ago, really. There's a rap sheet; nothing major, of course. Small stuff one would expect from the daughter of an immigrant, or any of the kids from Ash Park, really. Maybe some of the cops remember her. Maybe some of them even like her. She's trouble, but she's also troubled. Some cops wanna help people like that. Some wanna ship 'em away. But nonetheless, her face isn't too unfamiliar, and she enters with a reluctant sigh.
Maddie's slim figure is hidden beneath a bunch of baggy clothes — the kind one wears to places they don't wanna be. A big, black hoodie, probably a Men's large, droops over her like a blanket, and a pair of dark green sweatpants with purposeful rips in the thighs hug up over her hips, to her waist. She has a pair of old dirty sneakers on, and she smells faintly of tobacco. She plops down into a seat in the lobby, and yawns.

AJ smiles big to Briony "Fan-bloody-tastic. Appreciated, lass." before he turns to Ashlea as she stares her compliance to Frank. Then a nod to the big guy before AJ's phone buzzes.

A smile a mile wide forms on his face.

"Finally! Some good fockin' news. The bartender from the other night that was workin' Slims? Comin' in for questioning. Anderson, you're on it. She has a rap list a mile wide. troubled youth, minor theft, you know the drill." A cop hands him the file and he hands it to Ashlea. All about two minutes before Maddie came in.

Then Maddie comes in.

oh, ho, ho…this was gonna be good.

Briony squints at Franklin's name tag, and then glances toward Ashlea and then back to Franklin. Her lips purse together and her eyebrows pull into a tight line. "Is this a joke? Is your name /seriously/, Payne? That has to be fake… You're giant and you're … Officer Pain?" She rocks back on her heels a moment and looks around to see if there's some hidden camera somewhere. Nope. She colors a little bit at the cheeks and says, "Uh… I'm just going to shut up now. Yup." She takes another step back away from Franklin.

Of those gathered there, the one least likely to know the witness is Ashlea Anderson. Fairly new to town, she's been here all of four to five months and has only visited Johnny Slims once in that time, she'd never met the witness before. There's a glance over the rap sheet even as the chief repeats it, but she reads it anyway. "Petty stuff, but it adds up. Hate for it to graduate to a felony at some point."
For the moment, she doesn't call Maddie in for questioning, even as she is announced to being here. There's a glance towards the closed off offices, "Perhaps Chief, we could take her to a more private area for questioning?" If there are non police presences currently here, she's not going to break protocol.

Franklin gives Briony a questioning look, complete with… yes, a quirked brow. "That is my name." He even reaches up and turns his name tag towards the nurse for a better look. "I don't live in the House of Payne for no reason." Hey, is that a deadpan? Because it sure sounds like it. But since Briony is backing away, Franklin gestures for Jackson to go clean up the watery mess and hand the paper towels to the… wet nurse. Hahaha. Uhm.
And that's when he notices Maddie entering the station and parking herself in the lobby through the windows (there are windows, right?). He turns to Augustus and Asthea, while pointing towards the window. "The bartender's here. I'll go get her." With that he's marching off towards the lobby, past the front desk towards Maddie. "Hey kid." He greets her rather casually - clearly they are old acquaintances. "You holding up okay after last night?"

Briony's eyebrows lift up at the deadpan statement of "house of payne" and then they scrunch back down again and a shake of her head is given and she says, "Uh, right. Now I'm /sure/ you're pulling my leg, Officer /Payne/." Though the paper towels are taken over and she moves off to the side to start patting down her legs a touch. …of course she's just so casually positioned that if they don't go into an interview room she might be able to eavesdrop on Maddie being interviewed.

Maddie's hand slips out of her pocket, an old iPhone in its dainty grip, a thin white cord connecting to the presumable earbuds hidden somewhere beneath her oversized hood. She taps her thumb against the screen some, eyes bored and a little glazed. Franklin isn't immediately noticed, but his broad frame is hard to miss, and once caught in her periphery, she looks up and tugs at the cord, pulling a single earbud out of her ear. The distant tune of Kali Uchis's 'In My Dreams' can be heard buzzing from the teeny speaker. "Hola, Frank. Long time." Probably for the best, that. A faint, breeze of a smile — either she's been behaving herself, or she's just gotten sneakier. "Seen worse," she replies. She glances from him to the other policia gathered around. "Don't know how much help I'll be…"

Franklin's gaze follows Maddie's to the other cops nearby, then lowers himself to one knee next to her bench, resting one hand on the armrest before leaning slightly closer so he can lower his voice. "Shit luck it's happened on your shift, Maddie. But a double homicide like that, it's bad for Slims, and it's bad for the town. We can't have this punk running around shooting people in OUR town." He pauses and points in the direction of the window that looks into the main police office. "You see that blonde lady over there? That's Detective Anderson. She's the one you're talking to." The big guy turns back to Maddie. "She's new around here, so try not to give her too much of a hard time. And do me a favor and tell her what you saw last night?"

Briony gets her scrubs as dried off as she can, and then she moves to head on out. Her business all taken care of, and she'd rather not get arrested for trying to eavesdrop! So off she'll go…

"Shit luck," Maddie echoes the words, inflecting them with her mild, half-there Mexican accent. "It follows me, I think." She glances down at the pocket of her hoodie, and she pulls out a handful of I.D.s, and splays them out like a poker hand. "I brought the, ah, I.D.s people left and didn't pick up the next day, but… There are a lot, si? People sort of just…" She gives a brisk flick of her hand. "Ran." There IS a lot of them — twenty, maybe more. Maddie's dark 'n' dusky eyes turn to follow the point of Franklin's finger. She just blinks a few times. "That chica is a cop?" she asks, "Mn." She inspects her for a bit through the window and then shrugs. "Good."

Franklin glances at the I.D.s being shown off, and a broad grin spreads across his face. "Clever girl. Now that's good thinking." This is actually spoken in Spanish, like it's meant to be a secret between the two of them. "Did your boss ever finish putting in security cams? Maybe the cams caught something too." Returning to Maddie's question, the big dude bobs his head. "Yup, that chica is a cop. So, ready to go talk to her? I'll take you in."

Once Ashlea has all of her ducks in a row she returns and gives a glance around. "Geez, Payne you know how to clean out a room." A half smile in his direction, she motions to a table. Or more likely the chair across from it. "Have a seat and thank you for coming." She waits for Maddie to seat herself, if she does. If she doesn't, she sits down anyway and places a folder on the table in front of herself, then opens it. The form for the statement is there front and center and she poises a pen over it, "Want to start at the beginning?"

"No camera," Maddie laments. "The electric wiring in the Last Chance is not… the best." She scrunches her nose, and then exhales a sighing breath. She tucks her hands into the pockets of her hoodie and slides up into a stand. "As ready as I ever am, to talk to la policias, si." A faint, flickering smile for Frank, and then she moves to follow him further into the station, I.D.s placed back into her jacket.
She plops down into the chair gestured to by Ashlea, and her shoulders slump a little as she watches the blonde cop before her. "Beginning?" she asks. "It was a fight, not unlike others that happen. It's rowdy, si? Someone drew their gun. Bang bang. People died." She shrugs, seeming rather unconcerned for the subject matter. "I do not know who the man was, and cowboys tend to pay in cash, but…" She takes the I.D.s out again, and slides them down the table. "He was tall, a man, and white. That is all I know. These are all the male gringos who left their I.D.s that night. Maybe you can play a little game of, ah… Guess Who?" She smiles.

Franklin does his part by bringing Maddie to Ashlea; he's the cop who understands: people are not comfortable in a police station, especially those with a rap sheet. He does what he can to minimize that discomfort, even giving Maddie a quick pat on the shoulder before leaving her at the mercy of Detective Anderson. Retrieving his cap but not putting it on, it's the mirrorshades that go on before he heads out. Time for his patrol.

As soon as the questioning starts, AJ seems to have a cup of coffee in his hand, , other hand on his hip as he watches the questioning for the record. Of course…It's also just to be sure Ash won't get stacked or anything. gotta watch over his people! Though even AJ had a soft spot for the kid. rough childhoods can mess someone up. He says nothing, but waits to walk in. because Ash is the 'good cop'

As soon as the questioning starts, AJ seems to have a cup of coffee in his hand, , other hand on his hip as he watches the questioning for the record. Of course…It's also just to be sure Ash won't get stacked or anything. gotta watch over his people! Though even AJ had a soft spot for the kid. rough childhoods can mess someone up. He says nothing, but waits to walk in. because Ash is the 'good cop'.


AJ bursts through the door with a file in hand. "Hey lass." the Scotsman pulls up a chair roughly and plops down casually. "So, tall, white, any other features?"

"Cowboy clothes…? The hat. I do not more than this," Maddie murmurs, one eybrow quirking up as the officer bursts in from the room outside. "Older, thirty, maybe fourty?"

AJ looks at the I.D's and seems to set them in front of Ash to put them in the 'people to question' file. "Older lad. Alright, do you know what the fight was even about lass? a girl? someone owes someone money? measurin' Dick sizes?" clearly the Scot is just going down the list.

The pen moves over the paper as soon as Maddie talks and twin brows shoot up at the more vague quality of the report. Her lips quirk shortly after and Ashlea sets a piercing stare at the younger girl. "From the looks of your rap sheet, you've done this before. I wonder if you've got any more details. Tattoos? Piercings? Facial hair? Weight and approximate height?" Specific questions for her and she taps the pen on the paper a moment. "Regulars?"

Maddie shakes her head at AJ, and hunches down in the baggy comfort of her oversized hoodie, disappearing into it like a turtle into its shell. She yawns, lazy and squeaky. "I was at the bar, the fight was in the back tables… I do not know what it was about." She flicks her dusky gaze over to Ashlea again. "Piercing? I doubt it, not many of the cowboys have piercings." She scrunches her nose. "I was too far, but. Yes. Stubble maybe? Little more than that?" She hikes up her left shoulder. "I didn't get a good look. They all dress the same in there, flannels and Stetson hats and jeans. Tall, brown hair. All white men look the same to me, I don't know." She shakes her head. "Regulars? Hank, yes, often enough. A sometimes regular, si?"

AJ seems to let Ashlea ask the questions now, crossing his arms and leaning against his chair, tilting his head lightly. "Hm." He looks to Ash then. This was her show after all. He was just watchin'….

Either that or waiting to verbally tear Maddie apart limb from limb to find out who did it. She could be covering for someone after all.

Snitches get stitches.

Ashlea takes the time to write down the names on the IDs and the numbers attached with them along with the expiration dates. Her penmanship is legible, but nothing loopy and pretty. Pretty much concise like she is. After she's caught up again, for good measure she gathers the IDs and walks over, photocopying them. It only takes a moment and the sheet is brought back. "I'll keep the originals here and anyone who comes looking for them, you can point them to me." She places the stack of IDs with a brand new rubber band around them into the file folder. "Is there anything else you'd be able to tell us? Even the smallest detail would be helpful. Not of the deceased, but the suspect. It was across the room, do you think if we could get a few people in there of varying heights you'd be able to identify which is closest?"

Maddie quirks her lips to the side when Ashlea says she'll keep the I.D.s — but she expected no less. She inclines her head towards the officer, agreeing easily enough. "Si," she replies, voice light and lax. "A line up?" she asks, lashes blinking over her dusky gaze. "Hmn. I do not know. I would be afraid to finger the wrong man. It was just… flannel and cowboy hats and flying fists. I did not pay much attention to it. It is not, ah… A rare thing." She brushes some hair away from her eyes, and reclines further into the seat, nestling in. Her eyes track Ashlea's movement through the station, and she yawns again. She pauses, and blinks, perking up a little then. "Oh… Well there is one detail. He was fat. Does that help?"

Hell fockin' yea that helps! Though AJ doesn't exactly vocalize that. Though what he does appear is impressed with Ashlea's work. She's a good detective! Though his eyes fall on Maddie with a small nod. "Yes, lass. It does."

"I apologize. I explained wrong." Ashlea is patient and even gives a quiet smile. "What I meant was a few of our officers there across the room from you. All of varying heights. Maybe you could point out who was closest in height. I'd never expose you to the dangers of pointing out a suspect where they could see their accuser, I assure you." The new detail is added and the hardened detective gives her a smile of approval. "Si, that helps a lot." Backing the words of the chief. "What do you know about firearms? Do you think you would recognize the one he used in a photograph of one?"

"Revolver," Maddie answers with surprising ease, "Smith and Wesson, probably. .357 magnum? Cowboy gun, you know? Longer barrel." She smiles. But it fades soon after, and she looks down into her lap. "I would guess maybe 6 feet? 6 and a half? Hank was taller, but, they were both big men."

AJ is only slightly surprised that Maddie would know the kind of gun based on just sight alone. Something to question later, but for now, he remains siletn. Taking extra notes or writing down things to look into.

Penning in legibly, Ashlea writes along the notepad where she's taking abstract notes that are not part of the statement. The paper where she had written the names from the IDs. 'Contact DMV, inform them to alert us if any of these names attempt to apply for a new ID or license.' In other words, the names will be tagged in the system.
Her eyes flicker towards Maddie with a slow smile. "I love a person who knows their weapons. Well done." This goes on the page where the statement is being written out. Smith and Wesson Revolver, .357 Magnum. "I know just exactly what you mean and I'm impressed. An eye for details. You say he was wearing a Stetson and flannel and jeans? Did you notice his boots? Square toe? Pointy? We've got a few prints in the blood. One is clearly a Justin Roper, the other is a Tony Lama. The third is unidentifiable, but there's some scarring in the sole that would be particular to that boot only. Something like a fingerprint."

"I was born and raised in Calaveras, detective. I am not a stranger to the range myself. Father took me shooting as soon as I could stand," Maddie murmurs to Ashlea with a slight twitch of a smile on her lips. "I could not see his feet in the crowd. But Stetson and jeans, they are not, ah, uncommon in the Last Chance, si? Or in Calaveras, really." The way she says the name of the town; it comes with a Mexican flare, pronounced the way the word was meant to, unlike some of the less cultured locals. "There was a /stampede/ of cowboy boots, but, ah… No, sorry, I can not say." She frowns a little, apologetic. "I imagine it would be one of the bigger prints, if it one were his?"

AJ simply keeps his arms crossed, looking between Ashlea. SHe was really showing her chops! and…he is a little suspicious that Maddie seems to know so much to exact specifics. But, hey, always chance that she just knows the specifics required. Either way, AJ's eyes don't appear to move from Maddie, being silent…and letting the detective do some damned good work.

The estimation of height is written down and a smile is given as she considers the boot thing with the height. "Very astute. I'll remember that." With that, she slides over the paper, the statement, "Just sign that and if you remember anything at all, you'll let us know?" Ashlea offers over the pen as well.

Maddie nods, "Of course, officer." She takes the pen and scribbles down a quick signature, before standing. "I am certain the CPD has my number, by now." A wry smile. "If anything else is needed, do not hesitate to call, si?"

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