Stella read the incident report on the shooting written by the officers who had responded to the call. She thought it looked like this was going to be an open and shut case. They had listed the name of the perpetrator under the details of the victim. She suspected it would only be a matter of time before he was in custody.
Brian parked behind the patrol car outside the victim's house in Brunswick Street, Kilburn, a suburb still waiting for the arrival of the urban renewal movement transforming the city's public housing estates.
'Not my favourite suburb, Sarge,' said Brian, pressing the lock icon on the remote.
Stella looked up the street towards Prospect Road. 'There are worse places to live.'
They walked up to the tiny porch. Stella flashed her ID to the constable taking up most of the space outside the front door.
In the front room, immediately inside the door, a policewoman was sitting on a well-worn couch with a grey-haired woman clutching a box of tissues.
'I'm Detective Sergeant Bruno,' said Stella, 'and, this is Detective Constable Rhodes. We'd like to ask you a few questions, Mrs Barnes.'
The grey-haired woman looked up from her tissues.
'Were you here when it happened?' said Stella.
'Sitting right here, love. I told him not to get involved but he never listens to me, does he?'
'What didn't you want your husband to get involved in, Mrs Barnes?'
'That silly bitch next door was fighting with her boyfriend again. They were making such a racket we couldn't hear the telly. Jeff wanted to tell them to keep it down. I told him to leave it alone, it wouldn't go on for long. It never did. But he couldn't wait. Went out and told them to shut up.'
Stella waited. She didn't think Mrs Barnes would need much prompting now that she was off on her story.
'Next thing I know there's a bang and an almighty scream. I rushed out the front. Jeff was lying on the lawn. She was screaming her head off. The boyfriend got into his car and drove off.'
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