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Christmas shopping is interrupted as an older man seems to recognize a younger man carrying Christmas presents. He attacks the younger man with a foreign language and then with a knife, and during the fight stumbles into the street and is hit by a police car.
Since it's the night before Christmas Eve, Chief Johnson and Captain Raydor decide to interview the younger man together in the interest of time. They determine the two were father and son, Albanians, and Muslim. The son, Armand, says that they were estranged because he married a Christian.
Brenda's parents and Fritz are wrapping presents at the station, and Brenda introduces Sharon (Raydor) as a friend. Her parents are very excited. Her parents have come with a giant surprise for Christmas. They're moving to LA!
A visit to the dead man's house reveals that his daughter was dead with her throat slit inside her house, fully decorated for Christmas. There is also a dog and it appears the woman has a son.
The coroner believes that the woman had a past that included torture.
The boy says his uncle was killed in the war. When Armand arrives at the station, he recounts an awful story about his family when they were in Kosovo and attacked by the Serbs. His sisters were kidnapped and tortured, and instead he ran. He said his father would rather mourn him than be so ashamed. Armand wants to take his nephew and his wife becomes very angry, and concerned about her own family.
When the discover that the boy lied about his whereabouts and the father was attacking Armand at the same time his daughter was being killed, so could not be the killer. Armand's wife is now fiercely protective of the son, and Pope intervenes and arrests him.
Raydor can't go on her vacation because of the boy's arrest. Instead of a quick interview the boy makes up a story. Brenda's mother suggests they let him use the internet so they can spy on him. He contacts his aunt, but they arrive at her house and she is dead.