They heard gunfire and looked back at the tipped car. The sound was loud, but muffled. It came from inside.
One of the officers trudged up the shifting slope of sand and struggled with the driver's side door. He was working in almost impossible conditions. The door was upside down and half covered in sand. The officer was also knee deep and falling as he tugged at the stubborn door.
John ran up with the other officer and helped pry the door open. They were finally able to wedge the door open enough to grab the sleeve of the driver. They pulled and as they did the door finally opened a little further.
"You know this guy?" the younger officer asked.
"Oh, Mike. Didn't recognize you," John said. "No. That's why I'm up here."
"Hear the gun shot?" the other officer asked. He was an older man that John had never met.
John fumbled with the driver's arm and started pulling. "It seems like I heard a thousand shots," he said.
Suddenly the sand gave way and the driver emerged easily, sending the tree men falling backwards. John had hold of the biggest part of the man. He worked himself into position to ID the man. The white sand stuck to the blood in clumps on the back of the man's head soaking the hair.
When John finally flipped him, his worst fear was realized. Lieutenant Frank Grimm's pallid face was peppered with sweat, blood, and sand.