Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Terror in Hungerford

Whatever Moves

Also wounded not far away was Lisa Maidenhall, 14, who said later that her neighbor, Michael Ryan, had smiled at her before crouching down to shoot her.  She couldnt quite believe she had been hit, but she ran into the house where her mother got assistance to save her after she collapsed.  She had been hit four times, but she would survive.  Ken Clements, walking with his family along the sidewalk toward South View, took the next bullet and died at once, as his son quickly leaped over a fence to escape.  The rest of the family huddled behind something until the shooter had passed.

Overhead, a police helicopter had spotted Ryan and had called out to officers on the ground to set up roadblocks around the South View area to prevent drivers from entering the danger zone.  No one knew for sure where Ryan would go next, but they tried to anticipate his intention.  A fire truck also raced toward the homes on South View that had caught fire but would find it impossible to get close.

PC Roger Brereton
PC Roger Brereton
A police officer, Roger Brereton, dove into the area and was met with gunfire that pierced his patrol car in at least two dozen places.  He took four bullets himself and died just after he called in his desperate situation: Ive been shot!  His car ran into a telephone pole.  Breretons killer just accepted this death as another kill.

Smiling, he shot at another car, but those occupants, while injured, escaped death.   That was not the case with a man out gardening on the corner of South View and Fairview Roads.  Another of Ryans neighbors, Abdul Khan, had come home to check on his family and encountered the gunman face to face.  He knew Ryan pretty well.  He had even assisted him in building the cabinet where he stored his guns.  But now, in Ryans eyes, Khan was the Enemy.  Ryan aimed and fired.  Khan took three bullets but survived. 

Then Ryan shot at an ambulance team who were backing into the narrow lane to offer victims assistance, sending them quickly from the area and effectively hindering the fire truck from making an entrance.   The row homesRyans and those of his immediate neighbors--continued to burn.  Black smoke now rose high into the air, alerting the neighborhood to what Ryan had done.  Emergency calls were made, but no one came.  Yet in another area of town, more police officers had converged, getting citizens to safety and blocking others from entering places where they assumed Ryan might go. 

Unfazed and unaware, he continued on his mission.

People who had learned where the shooting spree had begun wanted to get home to friends and families to make certain they were all right.  Ivor Jackson, whose wife had called him even as Ryan was aiming at her, asked a colleague to drive him home.  He saw the bullet-ridden police car with the dead officer, realized the shooter was nearby, and just then took three bullets in the chest and one in the head.  His friend was hit, too, dying as the car they were in hit the crippled police car.  Jackson would survive, but for the moment, he played dead.  Thats how he overheard what happened nearby, when Dorothy Ryan drove into the area.

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