A young male was shot and killed early Wednesday morning during an armed robbery of the private residence of a former St. Paul police officer, St. Anthony Village police reported.
Bradley Young, 23, a reputed member of a local street gang, had attempted to rob the house in order to gain money to pay for drugs, authorities speculated.
Young had been sought by Michigan authorities for the past two years after he failed to show up in court for sentencing stemming from a conviction on a charge of burglary in Detroit.
Drugs and street gang. The magic words. Now the world could dismiss Young, as if he had never existed. I wish I could do the same.
The phone rang. I picked it up without checking the caller ID. Richard Carlson. He wasn’t happy.
“A man called last night. He said my little girl was … Why didn’t you call?”
The answer was simple. I didn’t want to be the one to tell the Carlsons that their child had been killed. It was the hardest thing I had to do when I was with the cops and I hated it. Suddenly I realized if I put a badge back on, I’d have to do it again.
“The cops said they’d take care of it. They don’t want me involved anymore.” It was only partially a lie, I told myself.
“I know my rights. You’re involved if I say you’re involved.” Carlson was not crying, but I could hear the grief in his voice. It was hidden under the anger. “I want to know where we stand. The man, the policeman who called, he said you found Jamie.”
“Found her body.”
“Yes, sir. I spoke to her Tuesday.”
“The day before she was killed? Why didn’t you call?”
“Jamie wanted to speak with her husband before she spoke to you. Apparently, he didn’t know about her family. Jamie said she would call me later to set up a meeting with you and your wife. When she didn’t call I went over and found out why.”
“There was something about a child. A son.”
“He’s missing. Along with Jamie’s husband.”
I didn’t reply. After a few seconds, Richard Carlson asked, “Do you know his name? The papers didn’t say.”
“No, I don’t.”
“We have to find him.”
“Yes, we do.”
“I talked to a doctor. He said the child, my grandson could be a bone marrow donor for Stacy.”
“Will you find him?”
“The police have a better chance of doing that than I do, but I’ll try.”
“This husband, this Bruder guy …”
“Papers say he did it.”
“Papers could be wrong.”
“Tell me about him.”
“I never met the man. I only know what they said about him in the papers.”
“You think maybe when Jamie told him about us, about who she really was … ?”
I hadn’t thought of that.
“I don’t know. The fact he disappeared along with the child makes him look bad, but—I don’t know. If Bruder killed Jamie then he also killed another woman, Katherine Katzmark. Bruder could have done it, I suppose. Only it doesn’t feel right to me. Plus, there’s someone else involved.”
“A man named Bradley Young.”
“A gang-banger who tried to kill me after I found your daughter. He’s dead.”
“You make ’im dead?”
Carlson paused to think about it.
“McKenzie, can you stay on this for me? Not just because of Stacy, but—I hope Bruder didn’t kill my daughter, but if he did I want to make sure he’s found and punished. I want to make sure whoever did it is found and punished.”
I knew what he was saying.
“I can’t be there, Mac. I have another daughter, remember?”
“I want you to act as my representative, make sure the job gets done.”
“What job is that?”
I wanted him to say it.
He hesitated yet again, then answered. “I want revenge.”
If he had said “justice” I might have told him to go to hell. But revenge, that’s something a man can appreciate.
“We’ll see,” I told him.
“One more thing. Not important.”
“Did you ever find Merci Cole?”
“She’s in the Cities?” He seemed excited by the prospect.
“Yes. Why do you ask?”
“Is she okay? Is she—is she okay?”
“Yes.” And again I said, “Why do you ask?”
“No reason. Just curious. Is there anything else? Yes, I almost forgot. The body. The medical examiner won’t release the body. He said he has to maintain control of the remains until all forensic work is completed. That means he’s gonna cut her up, doesn’t it?”
“Everyone is being careful. They don’t want your daughter’s killer to walk away because they weren’t careful.”
“Whatever it takes. I’m willing to do whatever it takes.”