He hit the button for a ticket to enter the parking garage; it took forever for the gate to go up. He found a space on the second floor, grabbed the .357, and got out of the car. He shoved the gun into the front of his pants, pulled the tails of his shirt over the weapon to conceal it, and left the garage.
He walked two blocks—the same mantra going through his head every step of the way: What did you do? What did you do? He stopped when he saw a garbage can overflowing with trash and a big McDonald's bag sticking out the top of the can. He grabbed the McDonald's bag and kept walking, and at the next trash can he came to, he looked around to see if anyone was watching, pulled the gun out of his pants, stuck it in the McDonald's bag, and shoved the bag deep into the trash can.
Now what? He could hear sirens—but in New York you could always hear sirens. What was he going to do?
He did the only thing he could think of: started walking to his parents' apartment.
His dad would know what to do.
Two uniformed cops arrived at McGill's two minutes after the shooting. They had been only a block away, on a break, getting a slice, when they got the call. They arrived at McGill's so fast that the customers who'd been in the bar when the shooting occurred were still there, most of them standing, freaked out by what they'd seen. One of the cops was a bright Irish kid named Murphy—son of a cop, grandson of a cop.
Murphy walked over to the victim and checked for a pulse, knowing before he checked that he was wasting his time.
He called out, "What did the shooter look like? Anyone. Tell me quick."
A woman near the door said, "He was white, not very tall, maybe five six, dark hair, clean-shaven, dark sport jacket, probably blue." Murphy said to his partner, "Get that description to dispatch. The guy might be out there walking, maybe toward the subway or looking for a cab. Tell them to get cars patrolling a three-, four-block radius around this place to see it they can spot him. And to be careful—he's armed. Then call back to the precinct and get someone started on calling cab companies to see if they picked up a short white guy in a dark sport jacket near this bar. Go!" His partner, who was older than Murphy but used to taking orders from him, did what he was told.
Murphy looked at the customers, who were all potential witnesses, and said, "Okay. Now I want all of you to sit down exactly where you were when the shooting happened." Nobody moved. "Go on,"
Murphy said. "Sit down. Nobody's leaving until the detectives get here, and they'll be here in just a few minutes to take statements from you."
The detectives showed up fifteen minutes later, a couple of hefty old warhorses named Coghill and Dent, both two years from retirement. The first thing they did was stand in the doorway and take in the room, which was larger than expected from the outside. They noticed that the place was dimly lit, but bright enough for them to make out people's faces. Along one wall was a bar with twenty or so high-backed leather stools, and to the right of the bar was a small stage containing a baby grand and an acoustic guitar on a stand. They'd seen a poster near the entrance that said a pianist would start playing at eight and that at nine some singer they'd never heard of would be performing.
The entertainment probably explained why the place was so dark, with most of the illumination coming from small lights set into the bottom of the stage. There were maybe thirty tables in the room, but most were unoccupied. The place probably got busy after ten p.m., but at a few minutes before eight there were only about a dozen customers.
The dead guy was sitting at a table at the back of the room, near a hallway that led to the restrooms. Coghill and Dent walked slowly over to the corpse. The victim was a heavyset man with a five o'clock shadow, sitting upright behind a small round table, his chair against the wall. Dent thought he looked Italian and wondered if this could have been a mob hit.
The victim, whoever he was, was wearing a trench coat over a blue suit, a white shirt, and a blue and red striped tie loose at the collar. On his head was a flat hat, the type cabbies and newsboys used to wear. The guy's trench coat was still damp from the rain and his white shirt had turned dark red from three apparent shots to the chest.
"No shell casings," Coghill said.
"I noticed," Dent said, which meant the shooter had most likely used a revolver.
Dent figured the man had come into the bar to get out of the rain and have an after-work belt and, without bothering to remove his coat or hat, had sat down at the table. The drink he'd ordered—a martini with two olives—was sitting in front of him, but it didn't look as if the guy had taken more than a sip or two.
This excerpt ends on page 17 of the hardcover edition.