IT WAS A BRISK morning on April 6, 2000. Shem Rasnik drove his 1987 Monte Carlo vigorously along Interstate 5, in pursuit of a place to gather his thoughts on decisions for his future. The wind blew trees back and forth as he found a secluded piece of federal property in Colville National Forest.
The brakes of his car screeched as he came to a complete stop. This area appeared to be a welcome retreat from his job as a criminologist for the F.B.I. The job had opened up doors for him to expand his life and career. Shem got out of his car then the driver’s side door creaked loudly as he shut it. Looking around, he found an old tree stump. It looked like an inviting place to sit and have a smoke.
His six foot two and three hundred fifty pound frame needed a rest from the drive. As he finished his smoke, he looked around to observe everything. A brisk wind blew from the northern direction, which made him turn his head that way. A bobcat ran away briskly when they made eye contact. It felt nice to be by himself in such a private place. The subtle sounds of birds chirping made him relax. His held his breath as a deer walked down from the northern ridge to snack on the vegetation nearby.
A stranger nearby crept like a thief in the night near Shem. He was oblivious of this stranger’s presence. This stranger stood there looking to disturb the peace that Shem had created. He walked with a slight limp closer to Shem. His six-foot frame could easily overtake him. Shem smelled a bad odor as this stranger crept closer to him. The crushing of little pebbles on the ground amplified as he got closer. Shem thought his mind might be playing tricks on him. He took a deep breath then exhaled to soften his mood.
The stranger pulled out a Glock Generation Five handgun then pointed it silently toward Shem. With his hands shaking, he pulled the trigger. The slug exited the gun, hitting Shem in the side of the head. His body shook as blood spewed from the wound. In haste, the stranger threw the gun into a nearby creek then fled to avoid any further detection. Shem lay struggling and clinging to his life. In a fit of desperation, he pulled out his cell phone and texted his father the word “help” then passed out. Blood seeped to the ground from his head staining the pebbles.