“Apparently he knew how to take his shots,” Ava said softly. “He shot to kill. Not to randomly shoot into a crowd.” She paused, remembering seeing the shooter aim at the backs of a group of women. “I told you that at one point I thought he was going to do exactly that, but he stopped. He seemed to have something important to do right at that moment.”
“He may have been looking for the bathroom to end it. I’d like to see the statistics on why shooters do that in bathrooms; it seems to happen a lot. It’s like they don’t want any witnesses to their final act. Which is odd, considering they’ve just done the most publicly destructive act possible. I guess shooting others is glorious; shooting yourself still needs to be hidden away.”
“Wish they were available for interviews,” she said, twisting her mouth.
Shaver snorted. “Answers would be nice. Instead we’ll have to pick apart every minute of his last few days and see what we can find.”
“Ava? You okay?” Zander Wells asked behind her.
She turned in her chair, knowing her FBI colleague’s voice instantly. “Zander, what are you doing here?” She performed quick introductions. The men were shaking hands when Zander said, “The FBI is now involved. One of the murdered victims was under our surveillance because he’s the brother-in-law of a suspected international jewelry fence who’s vanished.”
“Suspected?” asked Shaver.
Zander met his gaze and gave a half smile. One brow lifted slightly.
Ava knew Zander had been loaned to Jewelry and Gem Theft. She’d been on vacation for nearly two weeks, using the time to get a jump start on the kitchen remodel of the home she and Mason had purchased two months ago. She hadn’t realized how out of touch with her office she’d felt until she saw Zander in his subdued suit and tie.
“Think he was our shooter’s target?” Ava asked. “Which victim was he?”
“Dick Olsen. He was the second death. He was shot in front of the movie theater.”
Ava nodded. “More people were shot after that. If that man was the target, why shoot so many more?”
“You’re reading my mind,” said Zander. “But I don’t like the coincidence. The bureau was closing in on this fence a month ago when he disappeared with three million dollars’ worth of gems. The brother-in-law and he were close. It was a good lead, but now it’s suddenly been snuffed out.”
“Definitely something to look at as we analyze the shooter,” Shaver added.
“That’s why I’m here,” Zander said with a casual smile, and he headed toward the incident commander.
Ava bit her lip. It was easy to underestimate Zander Wells. Nearly everyone did upon first meeting the low-key agent, but she’d noticed the sergeant was reserving judgment. Smart man. Zander’s talents became crystal-clear after one briefing. He had the memory of a supercomputer and the spry brain of a hacker.
Mason claimed the agent had a thing for her, but Ava didn’t see it. Zander was a good friend. Nothing more.
Suddenly she was exhausted. The sugary scone and caffeine hit were making her gut churn in a sour way.
Shaver was staring at her.
She blinked. “I’m sorry, what’d you ask me?”
How much longer will this take?
“I attend the yoga class three times a week,” stated Walter Borrego.
Mason lifted a brow at the man sitting across from him in the coffee shop. “You must like it.”
“I do. It’s easy on my joints, and I can do as little or as much of the positions as I’m capable of. My flexibility has improved drastically in the last year.” Walter had a bit of an Einstein aura. His white hair was rather wild and his eyebrows continued the theme. “I stay in the back of the class.” He leaned forward and whispered, “It gives the best view.”
Mason bit his cheek. “So you have several motivations to attend classes.”
Walter nodded conspiratorially. “Several,” he said solemnly.
Mason scratched at his temple and studied his notes. So what if the guy likes checking out the women in his class? “You’d stopped in the bathroom after class and were in one of the stalls when you heard some noise outside, correct?”
“Yes. My first thought was fireworks. Even though the Fourth was long ago. Gunfire didn’t even enter my thoughts.”
“Until someone fired a gun in the restroom.”
The bushy hair waved as Walter nodded. “The sound was deafening. I knew that wasn’t fireworks.”
“What did you see when you first went in?”
“There was one guy at the urinals when I went in. He had a youngster with him. The boy was playing in the water at the sink and singing at the top of his lungs as I walked by.”
Mason slid a rough sketch of the layout of the bathroom across the table. Four sinks were directly to the right of the door as a person entered. Past them on the same wall were four urinals. Four stalls faced the sinks from the opposite wall and another four stalls, sinks, and urinals mirrored the pattern behind the first row of stalls. He didn’t like that second area. Anyone in the first area was blind to who or what was in the second. “Remember where you were?”
Walter put a stiff finger on the first stall and added, “The father was at the urinal closest to the wall.”
“Did you see anyone else? Hear anyone else?”
He grimaced. “My hearing’s not the best. I mainly heard the boy.” He lifted a finger near the hearing aid Mason had spotted at the beginning of the interview. “And once he’d shot the gun inside, my ears were ringing like crazy. But I had the impression there were others in there . . . back around in this area.” He pointed at the second set of stalls. “I can’t say I heard anything specifically.”