Sunday, July 3, 2022 Jul 3, 2022
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Books

The SWAT Crisis Negotiator Who Helped Blow Up a Bad Guy With a Robot

Larry Gordon played an important role on that horrible day in 2016.
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Larry Gordon portrait
Family Guy: Gordon tried to raise his children to be culturally neutral. He sensed his presence made some neighbors uncomfortable. Elizabeth Lavin

Over the weekend, I told you about a Zoom I’m doing tonight at 7 with Jamie Thompson to talk about her new book, Standoff, about the 2016 shootings in downtown Dallas. It’s sponsored by Houston’s Brazos Bookstore. You can register for the gig and buy the book here. What didn’t dawn on me until this morning was that Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals starts at the same time. I think our Zoom chat just got a whole lot shorter. It’s funny, though. I can promise you that Jamie has no idea that hockey is happening tonight. The lady does not watch sports.

So then. Whether you can join or us not, here’s something for you to read. We excerpted a chapter of her book in the September issue of D Magazine. We are putting the excerpt online today. Perfect for getting ready for the Zoom or for skipping the Zoom to watch hockey.

The chapter we chose is all about Larry Gordon, a SWAT negotiator who played an important role in the events on that July night. He talked to the shooter for hours, after SWAT had cornered him in a hallway at El Centro. Eventually a robot was rigged with explosives. You know how it ended. Gordon is a fascinating character. As Jamie writes, he’s too blue to be Black and too Black to be blue. Having spoken with him a bit myself, I can tell you he’s also a really nice dude. A screenplay based on Jamie’s book has already been written. With good reason, it centers on Gordon. So I’m sure Jamie and I will talk about him tonight. Maybe we’ll even talk some hockey. You’ll have to Zoom in to find out.

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