Five Dead After Chinatown Fire Fight Escalates (Pacifica City Times)
By Judith Kaltrow
Residents of the city are in shock today after what started as a shootout in the North End of Chinatown resulted in a nearby apartment building being evacuated because of a small rocket explosion. As a result of the attack, 5 people are dead and another 17 are reported injured.
According to local officials, police and paramedics were called to the 2700 block of Stelman Street shortly after 11 am yesterday, in response to gunfire outside of a well known Chinese restaurant. Only moments later, one of the assailants began turning over nearby cars to form cover from police and according to some witnesses, return gunfire from inside the restaurant. Police put up a barricade at either end of the block, and soon after, the city’s own superheroes, The Protectors, arrived on the scene. After the assailants on the street refused to surrender to the heroes, the Protectors moved in to engage.
The resulting melee led to the close-range detonation of what is believed to be a 40mm grenade mounted on the underside of one of the rifles present, causing significant damage to the street surface on which it was detonated. Only moments later, a small rocket was fired from inside the restaurant, missing all the combatants on the street and exploding between the second and third floors of an apartment across the street. Thankfully, the damage caused by the explosion was stalled by the efforts of the Protectors, who used their powers to keep the building up while emergency personnel evacuated those inside.
Four people have been arrested, including two powered individuals known to police. When asked about the incident, Protectors member Glitch explained that the event was part of a “cross-gang war”, but later recanted, adding “it’s a little early to tell if this has anything to do with it.” So far both the Protectors and the City Officials, including the Police, have been reluctant to describe a long string of violent and often gun-related crimes that have occurred in the past several week as anything anomalous.
Some however, are quick to blame the rise in crime on a different source; The Protectors themselves. Local business man, and leader of the Human Safety Society, Preston Woodburn, held a rally and press conference, accusing the Protectors of being themselves “unsafe, and unfit to protect”.
“These so-called ‘Protectors’ have only served to increase the kind of violence they claim they are stopping. How can it be called coincidence that these rises in gun violence and street brawls have only begun to grow after this team of supposed ‘heroes’ showed up on the scene? I’m told that this initiative isn’t even supported by our own police commissioner. It’s time to take our safety out of the hands of these mutants and freaks and put it back into our own!”
When asked about his support of the Protectors Initiative, Police Commissioner Bradley said only that he had “no comment on the matter at this time’. When asked about the recent violence in the city he stated that “the city’s Organized Crimes Unit is investigating all leads”, and is “making progress”, but reminded citizens that the city “often sees a rise in crime this time of year, as students and youth who would normally be attending classes are left to their own devices.”
Later in the day, at his own press conference on the matter, Alexander Sukis, spokesperson and developer of the Protectors Initiative had this to say: “All I know is that if my people hadn’t been there today, and that rocket had gone off anyways, there’s a good chance that building would have come down, at least part of it anyways, and if that happened, this story would be about a lot more people being dead instead of injured.”