Okay, our people are sealing the house once their investigation is finished and can only open it for her next of kin, so once he comes back, he will contact us to reopen it. I want him brought here for questioning once he makes contact. I don’t even want anybody to call him and let him know that he is a suspect. I want to see him face-to-face.”
All his junior detectives were scribbling down his instructions on their jotters. That was what they always did, but no doubt he would have to remind them of one thing or the other before long.
Ngozi gave Kunle a pointedly triumphant look, a look that said, “Didn’t I tell you?”
While the Homicide Divison of the LIPD was generally not qualified enough to resolve cases without his oversight, there was something about discussing ideas with them that gave him new insight into case details. Maybe it was getting the perspectives and opinions of multiple people on one case, but for whatever reason, they got things done faster whenever they got together like this to discuss everything in detail. And on some not-too-rare occasions, someone even got a groundbreaking idea that cleared everything up.
“And there’s still something else,” Tobi said, turning to face the large screen taking up almost the entire floor to ceiling space at the end of the room and the grid of grisly photos on it. “We have not still accounted for how exactly this Mrs Durojaiye was killed.”
“Is it the bullethole in the window you’re talking about?” Kunle asked.
Tobi nodded. “The whole thing is just. . . ” He gestured with a hand, indicating all of it. He didn’t know how exactly to put it into words. “Ko add up.”
“What if maybe the killer just shot the window and used something to scratch the wall to confuse us?” suggested Ridwan, another of his junior detectives.
Tobi shook his head. “Ko wa possible. Look at that picture of the window. Look at that hole. Can you see how the edges of the hole that didn’t break are bending in? That shot was fired from outside, not from inside. And the room is upstairs, so unless the killer can fly. . . And have any of you even thought about it? How loud is it when you fire your gun? This person fired not just one but two shots inside an enclosed space, and yet the gateman said it was screaming, not gunshots, that woke him up. It doesn’t make any sense.”
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He could see the confused looks on everybody’s faces. Looking at the photo of the round, bloody hole on the woman’s forehead, he spoke more to himself than to anybody else.
“It’s as if the person that killed the woman didn’t enter inside the room at all.”
“ ‘Didn’t enter inside. . . ’, ” Ngozi echoed. “But that doesn’t make sense, now. How did the woman die if nobody killed her?”
“I didn’t say nobody killed her, Ngozi, listen well. Do you remember what I told all of you when you first started with me? About reading a crime scene. Ngozi, tell me.”
“Read only what the evidence is saying. Don’t add or minus anything,” she said.
“Beeni. Until we get results from CSI about the footprints in the room, what the evidence is saying now is that no gunshots woke anybody. At least not the gateman. And since the gateman that was staying outside the house completely can wake up when somebody started screaming, he will surely have woken up if somebody shot inside the house. Since the gateman didn’t hear anything like gunshots, that means there were no gunshots. Not inside the house, at least.”
“No gunshots inside the house. . . ” Kunle muttered under his breath, lost in the photos on the screen.
Tobi had come to learn to read all of his junior detectives in all the time they had been with him, and he knew by the expression on Kunle’s face that he had hit on something.
“Kunle, is there something you want to say?”
Kunle looked at him, that look of deep thought on his face. Tobi raised an eyebrow. Kunle’s gaze drifted to the screen again. He scratched under his chin.
“It’s possible that the shot was not fired from inside the house,” he said.
Ridwan scoffed, Ngozi smiled and shook her head slowly, and all around the table there was general muttering. Even Cole looked like he thought the guy had lost his mind. Tobi himself was curious.
“Mmm-hmm? What do you mean?”
Kunle looked at him again. “I don’t know, sir, have you heard of a sniper before?”