Joe Friday has been called before a shooting board of inquiry over a series of incidents culminating in several deaths. Joe and his partner Frank Smith testify on a case seen in flashback. A meat market is held up by two thugs, Daryl and Brian Sanchez, and their pal Tommy Lee Martinez. In the chaos the Sanchez brothers shoot and kill several people and have Martinez take the store owner and his wife out back to kill them; Martinez takes them out back, but shoots into the ceiling to make it sound like he killed them. Joe, upon finding the two people alive, realizes that Martinez was overcome by fear and guilt and that the Sanchez brothers will kill him if they learn the two witnesses are still alive, so Joe arranges for the two witnesses to be hidden and their faked deaths broadcast. A member of the Sanchez family, Estella Denoen, leads Joe and Frank to a crack house where Daryl and Brian once hung out, and there Joe and Frank learn that the Sanchez brothers and Martinez hang out in ...