Frank and I had followed Elise Rivera all morning. We were watching her, when we spotted David in the airport terminal. We watched as he went into the gift shop, bought a magazine, and came out. We watched as he found a seat some rows from Saul and his family.
We were watching as Saul, his wife Rose, his daughter, and Sylvia all boarded Trans Air Flight 200 to Israel, while the rest of the family waived farewell. David’s attention was riveted on the little family.
Ours was on Elise Rivera as she went about her job of emptying trash cans. Frank’s body stance the whole time was tense as if he were waiting to spring into action. When the gate attendant closed and locked the boarding gate, he literally let out a sigh of relief. “She didn’t try anything,” I said. Too many people around, perhaps.”
Unfortunately, we’d both taken our eyes off David. That’s why we weren’t prepared for what happened next.
The boarding door was closed, the camera crews were packing up to leave, and Saul’s family was standing by the gate windows waiting for the plane to pull away from the boarding dock. Elise started loading her little cleaning cart, and suddenly David was on his feet screaming, REBECCA! REBECCA SCHUSTER!
“I guess he identified her from watching those tapes over and over.” “For whatever reason, he’d seen through her new disguise as Elise Rivera.
Next thing we knew, David was charging across the room brandishing a thirty-eight and demanding that Rebecca stop and put her hands in the air.
Everyone else around him had turned to stone transformed by the presence of a gun. Everyone except Elise Rivera. No. Elise ran for a door marked, ‘Employees Only.’ David went through after her. And Frank went after David, but not before telling me to get that plane stopped.
I was literally banging my fists on the gate attendant’s desk. “Call Security!” Get someone down here, now.” Little did I know, Security was already on the way.
I turned around and was facing Frank’s boss. “What are you doing here?, I asked.”
“I saw the two of you leave the office together. I figured you were up to something and I didn’t want to be the last to know. So, I followed you. Now which way?”
“Through the door marked, ‘Employees Only.’
Trans Air Flight 200 started rolling away from the gate unaware of the circumstances unfolding on the tarmac. Rebecca was running after the plane as if she were going to catch it. My heart stopped as I saw David aim the gun.
Part of me wanted him to shoot, for Sam’s sake, but a part of me knew that if he did, he would most likely be convicted of murder. I held my breath and prayed.
Frank lunged forward and caught David off-guard knocking him to the ground. The gun fired and Rebecca Schuster disappeared between the wheels of Trans Air Flight 200.