This is the story of a gun.
It’s not an unusual story. This gun is no different from thousands of handguns just like it. This gun, a 40-caliber Glock sporting the serial number MPX753, was made for a deputy.
But it ultimately ended up in the wrong hands. This gun was used to shoot and wound two people on the streets of Boynton Beach. Its final stop was with a 22-year-old woman, who used this gun to shoot herself in the head.
Over four years, this gun traveled more than 5,000 miles, crossed an ocean and touched at least a half-dozen lives in Palm Beach County in ways no one ever thought it would.
This gun entered the world on Sept. 26, 2008.
That’s when it ended its 5,000-mile journey from a factory in Austria to the Glock distributor in Smyrna, Ga. There, it was packaged and sent to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office — part of a fresh batch of 1,500 Glocks ordered by the sheriff to rearm his deputies.
Serial number MPX753 eventually landed in the car of Deputy William Hodge, of the traffic division.
But on the morning of Oct. 22, 2009, Deputy Hodge called the cops.
In the middle of night, someone had smashed the windows of his Dodge in the Central Park neighborhood of Boca Raton. The burglar took everything inside: a pair of handcuffs, a badge, $250 cash, some credit cards, a bullet-filled fanny pack — and the Glock.
Several witnesses told the cops they saw a large white van drive out of the neighborhood. It left behind nothing but shattered glass.
Two years later, a white truck crept down Northeast 10th Street in Boynton Beach.
It was 1 a.m. on Sept. 19, 2011 — the dead of night — but the truck’s headlights were out.
People were in the road when the driver stuck a gun barrel out the window and pulled the trigger.
A woman took off running. A man hit the ground and took cover. The bullets missed everyone. But police determined they were fired from a 40-caliber Glock.
Police arrested a 22-year-old man named Willie Hardimon and accused him of the shooting. The police never found the gun. The State Attorney’s Office had to drop the case.
And the gun went on its way.
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