COLORADO SPRINGS – Gunfire erupted without warning – a burst of rifle shots from a vehicle just 10 or 15 feet away that left two people crumpled on the sidewalk, bleeding and dying.
It was 10:51 p.m. on a Friday in June 2008, and the first sound the emergency operator heard was a scream, followed by the distraught, wrenching words of Nataly Cervantes, who’d dialed 911 seconds after the shooting.
“Please, hurry up,” she sobbed into the phone, haltingly. “Somebody shot my sister and my boyfriend. Please, hurry up.”
The woman’s sister and boyfriend had stopped on a street corner to tape up a homemade yard sale sign when they were cut down by an Iraq war veteran who derived a perverse thrill from shooting total strangers. The case would grab headlines for months, one of a series of violent crimes tied to soldiers stationed at nearby Fort Carson.