This morning I decided to take an early walk down the beach – a nice morning and the tide was low enough to allow me to walk north along the beach and then to the rocks. My walk would take me through the grounds of a nearby Manor House and gardens (public) which abutted the bay.
As I neared the pier in the picture – I saw a man walk onto the pier and heard him shouting. He continued to shout…but no other voices were heard. Suddenly, he exclaimed “Oh my God” and walked off the pier and quickly in my direction.
“Do you have a cell phone” he asked. “Yes” I said as I pulled it from my pocket. “Call 911 now – there are two bodies on the pier and they did not respond to my shouting. One of them has a rifle cradled in his arms and I see shotgun shells next to him”.
I immediately dialed 911 and when they answered, handed the phone to him – he described the scene and stated that he was the groundskeeper for the property. After he made the call, the two of us stood next to a tree about 50 feet back from the pier and started at the prone and unmoving bodies. He was very shaken up and we both commented that these things just don’t happen on Portsmouth!
Within 5 minutes the first men in blue arrived – and slowly walked down the pier with their guns drawn.
As the officers got closer, I thought I saw some slight movement of the person on the right – maybe the cop did also, as he seemed to be talking to the perp or making gestures.
Perhaps the dude on the right was unresponsive – the officers moved the rifle from the other guy’s arms and – lo and behold – the guy was very much alive! They turned him over and cuffed him.
Now it was time for the other dude – also very much alive – to get cuffed. It appeared that a pistol may have been recovered from him….and he was, in turn, cuffed and turned over.
Soon it was time for the perp walk – by this point, a dozen or more police were there…including the chief. After all, this was called in as perhaps a murder-suicide and they were expecting the worst. But all’s well that ends well – and it may just have been two drunk and stoned guys who decided to shot fish or birds off the pier. I even heard the police mention it may have been a pellet gun although the groundskeeper says he saw shotgun shells and one enlargement surely looks like it.
Nothing like a little excitement on the morning walk……