"Gun fires", deli worker killed


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Preacherman
October 20, 2004, 09:48 PM
From the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/20/nyregion/20deli.html?ex=1099317110&ei=1&en=637186b5f7211114):

Deli Worker Shot to Death by Ex-Detective in Queens

By COREY KILGANNON

Published: October 20, 2004

The retired detective came into the Queens deli every day, always buying his Lotto tickets and two packs of Parliament cigarettes, employees said.

The former detective, John R. Malik, 60, always had a smile and a joke, often reminding employees good-naturedly that he still carried a gun on his hip, they said.

Yesterday, an 18-year-old deli worker, Manuel Chametla, died from a bullet to the chest from that gun, a .380-millimeter pistol. The police said yesterday that Mr. Malik was carrying it legally and that it might have discharged accidentally. No charges have been filed.

Mr. Chametla was working at the counter at 11 p.m. Monday when Mr. Malik walked into the Astoria Food Mart at 31st Street and 21st Avenue.

The police said that as Mr. Malik prepared to cash in a winning lottery ticket, his pager began beeping. As he reached for it, the pistol was dislodged. As he tried to catch it, the gun fired and the bullet hit Mr. Chametla in the chest, the police said. After telling another deli employee to call 911, Mr. Malik began performing first aid, the police said.

Mr. Chametla, a Mexican immigrant, died shortly after 4 a.m. yesterday at Elmhurst Hospital.

"The investigation is continuing and no conclusions have been reached about possible criminal charges," said Patrick Clark, a spokesman for District Attorney Richard A. Brown of Queens.

A law enforcement official said the police had separate accounts from Mr. Chametla, his co-worker and Mr. Malik.

"You have a shooting - the weapon is discharged - he's giving an account of how it happened, and they're going to try and evaluate the evidence and determine whether there was criminality involved," the official said. "Was there any kind of negligence that was so gross that it's criminal?"

The medical examiner will perform an autopsy tomorrow.

Mr. Malik's lawyer, John Murphy, did not return phone messages left on his office machine last night. A woman who answered the phone at a number listed for Mr. Malik said, "I'm sorry, we have nothing to say."

Mr. Malik, who had worked for the Police Department's Technical Assistance and Response Unit, retired from the force in May 2002. A regular deli customer, Patrick Franco, 59, of Astoria, said that Mr. Malik was "an outgoing person, a bit eccentric, but he let everyone know he's a cop."

"He's a big guy," he said. "He doesn't need a gun."

Mr. Franco, a Con Edison employee, said Mr. Malik often mentioned his pistol. Mr. Franco imitated a gunslinger's motion and said, "He would kid around with you and put his hand to his hip."

At the deli yesterday, employees gave different accounts of the incident, with some saying Mr. Malik had been showing off the gun to Mr. Chametla.

"But they were friends," said Koi Getbam, 44, a deli employee. "He was always telling a joke. He's a very, very nice guy. We talk every day."

Mr. Chametla's father, Noe Chametla, 40, said he used to work at the Astoria Food Mart with his son and knew Mr. Malik. He said he had trouble believing it was an accident.

"They say it's an accident, but I don't think it is," he said. "The man liked to joke around with the deli workers, not only my son, but the others. Sometimes I saw him trying to show off. He always said, 'I'm a police officer and I have a gun.' "

"I don't know what really happened," Mr. Chametla said softly, sitting in his darkened basement apartment in East Elmhurst.

He said that he rushed to the deli Monday night. "When I got there, the police didn't let me in," he said. "All the blood was cleaned up, and the police were talking very friendly to him. Then he was able to go home. I was expecting them at least to tie him up, arrest him. They never told me nothing. Not even, 'I'm going to be in touch with you.' "

Mr. Chametla, who moved here from Mexico 10 years ago, said his son, an aspiring musician, had moved here to earn money to send back to the mother of his child.

Mr. Chametla said he called his wife, Esperante, in Mexico yesterday morning to tell her the bad news.

"She was blaming me," he said.

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huntsman
October 20, 2004, 09:56 PM
sad story, but I thought .380s won't kill ???????????????;)

mcneill
October 20, 2004, 10:04 PM
A .380-millimeter pistol... What caliber would that equate to?

Jim

Zundfolge
October 20, 2004, 10:20 PM
A .380-millimeter pistol... What caliber would that equate to?

.0149606 caliber

Mal H
October 20, 2004, 10:30 PM
You'd think that bullet would go right through him and not cause much damage.

Hard to tell for sure from that story, but it sounds like he brandished his pistol both physically and verbally very often.

Firethorn
October 20, 2004, 10:46 PM
Criminally negligent?

Yes. :(

The stakes are just too high when you're messing with firearms, and a former police officer should practice and retain weapon skills if he or she chooses to continue carrying.

Mr. Mysterious
October 20, 2004, 11:21 PM
This one is sad and depressing on so many different levels.

MAURICE
October 20, 2004, 11:23 PM
0149606 caliber

Anyone make a cleaning rod that small?

Its a shame someone had to die because of a stupid fumble like that.

Mr. Mysterious
October 20, 2004, 11:34 PM
Anyone make a cleaning rod that small?

Well, a grain of salt is like .02" and a human hair is .004". So maybe you could tie a grain of salt to a hair and use that as a make-shift bore snake.

Standing Wolf
October 20, 2004, 11:45 PM
...a .380-millimeter pistol. The police said yesterday that Mr. Malik was carrying it legally and that it might have discharged accidentally.

People who can't get the facts straight shouldn't try to masquerade as journalists. The .380 A.C.P. is a nine millimeter cartridge with an American caliber designation.

Bets on the legality of the Mexican "immigrant"?

pax
October 21, 2004, 03:55 AM
As he tried to catch it, the gun fired ...
If you start to drop your gun, let it fall!

Most modern guns cannot and will not fire when dropped. But every single one of them will fire when the trigger is pulled convulsively.

pax

The_Antibubba
October 21, 2004, 04:50 AM
It's nice to know that if I'm ever a retired NY Police Officer in NYC, and I negligently kill someone, I won't face charges. :mad:

outfieldjack
October 21, 2004, 09:08 AM
I bet he was brandishing....... Easy way to test his story....

Check his pager records and see if he did get a page at the time of the shooting!!!

That will go a long way in either proving or disproving his story...

mhdishere
October 21, 2004, 09:10 AM
"He's a big guy," he said. "He doesn't need a gun."



Am I the only one who noticed this line?

Range Ninja
October 21, 2004, 09:25 AM
The retired officer was definitely negligent. However, the guy who states, "He was a big guy he didn't need a gun.", is a complete moron. A guy that weighed 125 lbs. with a knife can be pretty deadly, plus I don't know to many 60 years old that get into a fight without keeling over.

Wingshooter
October 21, 2004, 09:46 AM
Am I the only one who noticed this line?

Sadly, no. You're not the only one.

A friend that I went to HS with had the same mentality. I'm a cop I have a gun, respect me, etc... Fortunately after he grew up a bit he decided he was a Police officer for the wrong reasons and went into another line of work.

A tragic story on so many levels. Hopefully stories like this one don't affect the future of the concealed carry by retired LEO's.

jefnvk
October 21, 2004, 11:19 AM
You would think that they ywould have a camera somewhere that would go a long way in proving or disproving the story.

armoredman
October 21, 2004, 11:43 AM
I know of another officer in my Dept who did almost the same thing - dropped his issue Glock 19, grabbed for it, and put a round through the bathroom wall, thankfully missing everyone on the other side. You are right - if it falls, oh well - modern pistols will NOT fire when dropped. Call the scratches on the slide and frame your punishment for screwing up by the numbers.
A lot of this story smells, foul.:scrutiny:

BTW, .38 millimeter - a needle gun!

TNGO
October 21, 2004, 11:47 AM
If you start to drop your gun, let it fall!
Most modern guns cannot and will not fire when dropped. But every single one of them will fire when the trigger is pulled convulsively.

Good advice.

Several years ago a police officer in my county shot himself in the leg with his issue Glock. News reports stated that he dropped the weapon and "it fired" when he tried to catch it, sending a .40 slug into his leg. Obviously he grabbed the trigger.

He ended up losing the leg.

El Tejon
October 21, 2004, 12:23 PM
See, mayo is bad for the heart.

DRZinn
October 21, 2004, 12:23 PM
- He did NOT dislodge his gun reaching for a pager. Or if he did, he had nowhere near adequate retention in his holster.

- Convenience stores these days have cameras covering the cashiers. Check that out.

- As someone has already mentioned, see if he really did get a page at that moment. I'd bet money he didn't.

- And even if he's telling the truth about everthing :scrutiny:, he still was criminally negligent.

- Oh, and no legal immigrant leaves his WIFE in Mexico.

Average Guy
October 21, 2004, 12:52 PM
Initially I thought the ".380-millimeter" reference was just careless. But then, an uninformed reader will likely read it and think, "380!? That's like...forty times the size of a 9mm!"

Intentional or ignorant?

Nippy
October 21, 2004, 01:14 PM
I should quit my job and become a reporter so I can spread truth to the world

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