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Jungle Doom -- A True Story

Toward the end of the story in Jungle Doom, Mike is confronted by a man with a gun.

If you haven't read the book yet, STOP READING HERE, and go do so. Then come back and hear the true story.

Author Arnold Ytreeide tells the true story behind that event:

"Long, long ago, for about a decade, I was a police officer working south of a big city. At the time of the incident I was a sergeant responsible for several other officers, and was good friends with another sergeant who was much bigger than me, but only a few years older. We attended the same church, and were also prayer partners. Both of us were absolute fanatics about officer safety -- we trained our officers to follow all the safety rules, and would never allow one to go on duty if we thought they weren't ready to be safe.

On the particular night in question, as I got ready for work, I realized I had washed the outer casing of my "bullet proof vest," but had forgotten to dry it. So, for this one night in my entire career, for this one time only, I decided to go to work without it.

Unknown to me, my sergeant friend had done exactly the same thing: his wife had washed the outer casing of his vest and forgotten to dry it. So, for this one time only, he came to work without it.

Late in the night (I almost always worked 11 pm to 7 am) the two of us were parked, window to window, talking. In fact, we were actually praying for each other, for the people in our lives, for our church, and so on. In the middle of our prayers a call came over the radio of a domestic disturbance. Usually this meant a man and woman fighting at home, and these were often the most dangerous calls we went on. All of our other officers were busy with other calls, so we said we'd take it, and drove "Code Three" (lights flashing) up to the apartment building of the disturbance.


We exited our cars and approached the front door of the apartment where the disturbance was located. As we reached the top of the stairs we heard a blood-curdling scream from a woman.

In an instant, all thought and training of officer safety left our minds (or at least mine.) When I heard the female scream, the only thing I could think of was a woman in distress, and I, we, were going to save her.

So instead of a carefully planned and carefully executed entry into the apartment, I busted the door open and pushed my way inside.

A small entryway and hallway to my left led to the rest of the apartment. At the end of that, straight ahead, was the kitchen, and just before the kitchen was a hallway running left and right. The woman screamed again -- we still hadn't seen anyone -- so I charged ahead and turned the corner to the right.

In front of me, and crammed into the short and narrow hallway, were two men fighting over a revolver -- a type of gun that generally shoots six bullets.

One man had control of the gun, and the gun was pointed directly at my chest, no more than five feet away.

The man looked up at me. A look of anger crossed his face. And then I watched him pull the trigger.

I saw the trigger pull back.

I saw the hammer of the gun, the part that makes the bullet fire, pull back.

I saw the hammer fall with the loud "click" of a revolver.

But nothing happened.

Three or four more times, as I was trying to get my body to move out of the way, I watched him pull the trigger, watched the hammer pull back, watched the hammer fall, with the gun pointed directly at my chest.

And each time, nothing happened.

By now my brain had sent orders to my muscles and I dove out of the way, into the kitchen. Behind me, and not knowing about the gun, my partner turned the same corner, faced the same guy, watched the same gun go through its firing sequence one or two more times. But I was still blocking the door to the kitchen, so all he could do was push forward. He dove at the guy and, I'm assuming, grabbed the gun.

In the kitchen now, I dove over the breakfast bar countertop and into the living room on the other side. As my partner still fought the man with the gun, I came up from behind and tackled the other man. We both got our guys under control and handcuffed, though I had to wrestle with my guy for a minute. I just had him up against the bar, and had just finished handcuffing him, when our backup arrived. They marched both men out and took them to the station.

As they were leaving, I was shaking and winded. It's not like on TV where cops are in a big gun battle and then calmly sit down for ice cream and a chat. In the real world, adrenaline and the reality of the danger you were just in puts the world a little out of focus for a few minutes.  But just at that moment my partner, friend, and prayer partner came over to me, also white and shaking a bit, and held out the gun to me. I looked at it, then looked at him, gave a nervous laugh, and said, "I'm sure glad that thing wasn't loaded!"

Without a word, my partner turned the gun so I could see the cylinder -- the place where the bullets are loaded. All six chambers of the cylinder contained a bullet, and on the end of each bullet, right in the middle of the primer which makes the bullet fire, was a perfect dimple made by the firing pin.

I don't remember much of what happened after that moment. The shock of what we'd just been through, and the realization of how close we had come to death, shook both of us deeply. But early the next morning, investigators took the gun and bullets, along with the brand new box of factory-made ammunition the bullets had come from, out to the firing range.

Every single bullet -- all fifty of them -- including the six the guy had shot at us, fired off on the first try, from the same gun.

I don't know why -- I have no explanation for it -- but for some reason known only to him, on that particular night, in that particular apartment, God said, "No no, not tonight. You're not going to hurt my children tonight." Then he sent an angel down to stop the bullets from firing.

So yes, the scene in Jungle Doom, where Mike faces a man with a gun but the gun fails to fire, is completely ridiculous and unbelievable.

Unless you happen to believe in the same God I do.

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