A girl friend or a wife came to his rescue with threat that she would sue but Mary was there to tell her, “The Captain is trying to keep everyone
alive including the armed air marshals at the entrance”. The mention of the “Armed Air Marshals” seemed to do the trick of shutting her up.
So here we were, one foot away from possible freedom, yet knowing if the door was opened it would be like a locator beacon for the bad guy or guys.
Even though Mary's thoughtful statement seemed to shut the protective woman up for the moment, I was sure there would be hell to pay at a later date
if we survived that long.
I found out later the guy I had almost snatched bald headed was named Mark Armstrong and was a frequent flyer on our airline..
Looking around our group I spied one of the restaurant waitresses who had also gathered in our huddled mass of scared people. I asked her if there
were any big knifes in the kitchen? She seemed to think there were so I asked her if she could sneak into the kitchen and get all the big sharp ones
she could find? She was hesitant at first but Susan, one of my senior flight attendants, said she would go with her.
While all of this had been going on the occasional gun fire never ceased . A few single shots but no more auto burst. After each sporadic pause it
did seem like the gun fire was moving down the hallway towards our position.
Susan and the waitress with 6 other people returned with half a dozen knives and I was able to select a couple that should do the trick.
The emergency exit door had a wire that supplied power to the alarm light and bell when the door was opened. If I could cut the wire without being
electrocuted we would be able to open the door without all the bells, lights, and whistles . No problem in finding the wire but cutting it would not
be easy. I stuck the butcher knife between the wall and the wire and tried to pry the wire out a little so I could get the sharp edge of the blade
against the wire. Whoever installed this door alarm was a pro for there were two keepers holding the wire against the wall. As I pulled down upon the
handle of the blade the first keeper gave way but so did the blade of the butcher knife.. It broke clean apart. Susan just handed me the next biggest
knife while mumbling, “made in China”.
Now with the slight space between the wall and wire I was able to use the wall as a brace and the blade against the wire. Thank goodness the guy who
installed the wire used a mufti-strand copper wire instead of one big wire or I might not have been able to cut the darn thing ! I made short work of
the wire once I could get a sharpened blade upon it.
While I had been busy with the wire my out of breath prior foe (Mark the “open the damn door” man) had regained his footing and breath. I looked
at him and asked if he could take everyone down the fire exit to the outside and hopefully safety. He looked rather surprised at my offer but mumbled
something to the effect he would get everyone out.
I opened the fire exit and was greeted with silence except for new shots coming down the terminals main hallway; our hallway. Needless to say when the
door was opened people started moving.
After everyone had entered the exit there was just Mary and myself standing there. She had a butcher knife in one hand and her inflight over night
bag's handle in her other hand.
“Mary I am going to go tell the Marshals the exit is open and they are welcome to come and get to heck out of here “.
She nodded and said, “I will wait for you here”.
I started to tell her to go but I could tell she thought it was important to stay so I just tapped her on her shoulder and started my snake routine
once again as I rounded the short wall that hid the fire exit and the way back to the Sky Marshal's positions.
When we had entered the restaurant the crew and I had come from the same direction the shots were being fired . Next to the restaurant was a gift shop
and when we had passed the small shop I had seen a rather large Black woman who appeared to be working as a cashier. The reason I bring this fact up;
about the time I reached the Marshals location there was a loud woman's voice who said, “Don't you be point-en that thang at me or I will” Boom
and there was no more voice to utter a protest about anything. Whoever was doing the shooting was next door.
The Sky Marshals were both hunkered down with guns drawn and as I reached Marshal John, he held out a small .38 revolver he had carried in is leg
holster for me to take. I had not planned on staying, for my idea had been more of a slither by and tell them “lets leave” type plan. But as the
situation had developed it really was better for us to stay concealed or we might be caught out in the open spaces of the restaurant thereby ending
this game of survival in favor of the Bad Guy (s).
We did not have long to wait or even discuss any future plans for I had no sooner checked the .38 to be sure it had bullets than our bad guy arrived
at the restaurant entrance..
Since we were down below the big windows at the front of the restaurant the first thing we saw was what appeared to be the mussel of an AK-47 poking
around the door frame. If I had been alone that is where and when I would have gone for the rifle. This bad guy was no pro (was my first thought) for
exposing the mussel of his rifle in this manner would give anyone a chance of a snatch and grab for the barrel and enable a possible disarm.
Alas, except for an armed security detail airports are gun free zones and it is easy to shoot unarmed people if you have the desire for it;
professional or not..
Our bad guy was hesitating at the door way; I suppose trying to figure out where everyone was. Then out of the back of the restaurant I heard Mary say
in a rather loud voice, “ Hurry up he is here everyone out the exit” !
That was all our bad guy needed to go rushing through the doorway in hot pursuit of anyone who might have a chance of getting away.
He was met by at least 30 rounds of .40 caliber from the Sky Marshal's Glocks and for my two cents worth of pee shooter .38 fire, I hit him in both
his legs and the combat boots he was wearing; more than once.
Man it had been a long time since I shot a gun in a closed space and the sound had my ears ringing to the point of me thinking my hearing would be
damaged forever !
As our bad guy lay bleeding out he actually had enough strength to reach for some black plastic stone looking thing he had hung around his neck. I did
not know if this was a detonator for some explosive device or what, but, as the Marshals were doing a quick mag change I aimed for the black looking
stone and shot the last two shots my .38 pistol had in it's 8 cylinders. What ever the black thing was it shattered along with our new acquaintance's
wrist and fingers. We later found out that with all his body armor he had worn that day only 6 shots would have been classified as eventually fatal.
In all the excitement no head shots were used by the Marshals which surprised me ..? If there ever is a next time I know where I want to aim !
As the Sky Marshals were clearing the body of any more possible weapons Mary came running up with her butcher knife and for all intents and purposes
looked like she was ready to cut his head off.. Gotta love that girl, and I do in a professional sort of way.
edit on 727thk17 by 727Sky because: ..