Cody put his head down and snarled and growled as he ran towards the Killer. The Killer moved the aim of his gun away from Colin towards Cody. Time seemed to slow, become as liquid as and as thick as honey. The Killer fired. Colin couldn’t shoot—Cody was in the way. The bullet from the Killer’s gun hit Cody. Colin saw how Cody’s body jerked to one side. Had the Killer hit him in his shoulder, or somewhere more lethal?
Cody kept going. He hit the Killer head on in his chest. He was still yelling like a berserker. The Killer was shoved back. His gun hand flew up into the air. Luigi had run to help Cody. Luigi grabbed the Killer’s gun arm and pulled it back. Cody had stopped his roar. Now it was silent except for grunts and panting. Cody was pummelling the Killer with his fists, and Luigi continued to grip the Killer’s gun arm. The gun dropped to the ground. The Killer tried to bend over to reach it. Letting go of the Killer’s arm, Luigi kicked the gun away, underneath the Corolla. The Killer twisted away from Cody, took one desperate look at Colin, and turned and ran, up the pathway to the Camel’s Hump.
“Stop!” shouted Colin. The Killer ignored him. Colin knew he couldn’t shoot a fleeing man. There was no immediate risk to life. It was unjustifiable. It would be little better than murder to shoot a fleeing suspect in the back. He thumbed on the radio and announced that the Killer had escaped, and that one of the victims was injured.
“We might need the chopper to airlift him out. Get them here ASAP! I’m going after the suspect.”
He went over to Cody and Luigi. Cody had fallen to the ground. He was bleeding profusely from a wound under his shoulder bone. To Colin’s untutored eye it looked as if the bullet might have broken the shoulder blade. But it had missed the heart and the lungs and the guts, thank God. Cody’s eyes were shocky and vague. Luigi was kneeling on the ground next to Cody, holding his hand, tears pouring down his face.
“You OK?” Colin asked.
Cody looked at him unseeing, Luigi just shook his head in despair.
“The police helicopter is close. They’ll fly you through to the hospital. You’ll be OK.”
“Go and catch him,” said Luigi, suddenly, his face fierce. “We’ll be all right. Just get him.”
Behind him, Colin heard a car arrive. He turned. It was the Woodend police car.
“Tell him what’s happened,” he said, gesturing to the other police car, and turned to run after the Killer.