You Had to Have Been There

Have you ever told what you thought was a humorous anecdote only to find nobody laughed? Your reply is likely to be “you had to have been there”.

The same holds true for the happenings of June 22, 2003, except there is nothing funny about them.

There have been numerous commentaries in various opinion blogs on the web about these events. Most of the comments are favorable and supportive. A few, however, are malicious and mean.   In some, our family has been told to “rot in hell” because of what they assume (you know what assume stands for) they know based upon hearsay. Other opinions ask the question “How does the family know what happened if they were outside? Were they there?”   Although the content of the post was adversarial, the question itself is fair… how DO we know?

Well, to start with, we were on the scene. The presence of the police was never requested but, when they arrived on the scene, they assumed control. We parents remained in the house and in the same room as Christopher throughout much of the time the first two officers communicated with Christopher. At this time Chris presented NO threat and did not instill fear in us or the officers present.   They spoke to Chris and told him that they could wait all day if they had to. The two officers who initially responded were calm and cool and had the situation under control. They were in the same room as Christopher, within just a few feet of him, yet they never drew their weapons!

It was with the arrival of the two “cowboys” that the situation changed. When Terrell and Wood arrived dressed in their battle garb (protective gloves, bullet proof vests etc.), we were forced outside the house and told to wait in the yard. The demeanor of Wood worried the father very much. Wood appeared edgy and nervous, almost as if he was heading into a situation with a barricaded gunman with hostages. Nothing could have been further from the truth. During this time we (the family) were not present in the house but guess what? There was still a first hand witness to the entire shooting. It was Terrell and Wood themselves!

The deputies were wearing open microphones that recorded the events that transpired in the few short minutes after we (the parents) were removed from the premises until Chris’ horrible death. It is the dialogue coming directly off of these official police tapes that are some of the most dramatic and chilling evidence against Terrell and Wood. The tapes recorded Terrell and Wood tossing profanities (F— him) at Chris. They document Terrell stating “if he comes up here he’s dead” following which Wood calls to Chris to “come here” at which point Chris was gunned down with 18 shots! This is first hand testimony in the killers own voices.

As this scene was being played out, the family stood helplessly on the front lawn. When the gunshots broke out, they describe the sound as a “string of firecrackers going off”.

To the critics who make judgmental comments without the facts I say “You have had to have been there” We were