I woke up to the sounds of a gun battle this morning. At 7am, about 20 shots were fired in front of my home in Hoboken, New Jersey. I ran to the window in time to see a Black Ford Explorer racing backwards down Park Avenue. I went outside to compare notes with two dozens of my neighbors. A single police officer arrived 15 minutes later. Meanwhile, an old Hoboken guy started examining the 15 bullet casings that were laying in the middle of the street, until my neighbors and I urged him to leave them alone.
Another crowd formed further up the street, where two parked cars had bullet holes in their windows. I wandered up there to find out what had happened. There were literally dozens of witnesses who saw either the Ford Explorer, or two guys on foot shooting back at them. The shots lasted about 30 seconds, so there was ample time to run to the window, and at least three people were on the street when the shootout occurred. But the police were only mildly interested in taking down any of the eyewitness accounts. It turns out that the Ford Explorer had been shooting at the two guys on foot, who were returning fire. The Explorer continued shooting at them as it backed down the one-way street (Park Avenue). One of my neighbors even saw the guy inside the car as he leaned outside the passenger window shooting at the other guys, who were now running north up the street.
You would think the police would be interested in details like this, but no. I walked up to a cop who was now blocking the crime scene around the two hit cars to tell him that I had pertinent information that might be helpful, but the guy just screamed at me to back off. I approached him from an angle away from the two cars with bullet holes, and let him know I had some possibly helpful information. I told him that I had a license plate number, and asked if there was a detective I should talk to. This officer refused to talk to me, and finally just ordered me away from the scene. I wandered down to the other end of the street and finally found a cop who was interested in taking down my information.
Six hours later, the two cars with bullet holes are still sitting there, bullets presumably lodged inside of them. But there's no note on either car, no boot on the wheel to make sure that the owners can't drive the evidence away. Nothing. I guess because there were no known casualties, Hoboken's finest didn't really care to take eyewitness reports or even secure the bullets. This isn't supposed to happen in Hoboken. It's supposed to happen a half mile away, in Jersey City.
UPDATE: Three days later, the police blanketed my neighborhood with printed notices requesting any witnesses to call with information. I tried calling, but ended up in their labyrinthine voicemail system. Finally, I got through to a detective (four days after the gun fight) and gave him my information and license plate number.