Richmond has more than its share of homicides, and after a while you do not pay attention to the news. Today, however, as I was reading the paper I heard a familiar name mentioned on the evening news. Officer Tom McMahon had been shot and killed while trying to stop a suspect. Officer McMahon was shot while stopped in his cruiser after stopping the suspects car. The suspect was apparently suicidal as he aimed his handgun at the other officers arriving at the scene and was fatally wounded in the ensuing exchange.
Why does this one hurt so bad? Well, McMahan was known as the 'Christmas House Policeman' who decorated his home every year for all to come and see. My family usually visited him twice each season and he was always standing outside to chat. In fact, last Christmas I took Bill Glasheen's son Chad over to meet him and enjoy the spectacle. What a loss to the community.
Officer McMahon was a 21 year veteran, and knew what he was doing. He worked the 'Church Hill' precinct, one of Richmond's toughest, by choice. Van sensei - what can anyone do when someone chooses to end his life by ending another's?