Walked into a gunfight yesterday


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funbob
January 6, 2003, 03:36 PM
I was doing some grocery shopping at my usual store yesterday. Little did I know what was going down at the very next store...
As I was walking out into the parking lot, I saw another man running across the lot. Now, this is right about the time people are getting off work and making their stops on the drive home, and this is a rather large shopping complex with multiple stores so it was crowded -lots of people everywhere, people pushing carts, babies in strollers, the whole nine yards.

Well, turns out the store had just been robbed by this man now fleeing across the parking lot. What's more, someone inside on their cell phone saw what was going down and alerted the police. So, this guy makes it less than halfway through the parking lot when all of a sudden the cops roar into the lot from every entrance and form a perimeter around the edge of the lot. Genius robber robber starts running west and tries to hightail it towards a busy street on the other side of which lies an even busier WalMart parking lot.

The police will have none of this, they open fire, missing the guy completely. I've already long since taken cover seeing this coming a mile away so I'm relatively safe at this point. I can't say the same for the dozens of other people on the lot now screaming and running every which way. So, how does the guy eventually get himself caught? It's not the police bullets, he trips on a curb and cracks his head pretty good. I watched as they loaded him into an ambulance and carted him off.

Now, I don't know the specifics of the robbery and the media hasn't reported much beyond the basics yet. But based on what I saw, the police excersied very poor judgement in opening fire on this fleeing suspect and placed a lot of people in very serious danger. The police coverage in the area was sufficient, he would have been caught before he made it a block. What would be sufficient justification to shoot in your opinion? Brandishing a weapon, taking a hostage? I don't think the shooting was justified in this case.

Link to the story...
http://www.kobtv.com/archive/2003/january/06/armed_robbery.htm

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Yohan
January 6, 2003, 03:44 PM
What? Cops? Miss? Impossible!

Anyway, I'm glad that no one else was hurt- Thanks for sharing this amazing story with us.

GhostShooter
January 6, 2003, 04:12 PM
They shot towards a busy highway?!?!?http://www.stopstart.freeserve.co.uk/smilie/stick.gif

http://www.stopstart.freeserve.co.uk/smilie/2M16.gif

4v50 Gary
January 6, 2003, 04:28 PM
Wasn't fun, was it funbob but I'm pleased to hear you were alert and sensible enough to see cover. Now, as to the assailant who had a concussion, I know this is illegal, but the I would just disarm him, ID him, and take the loot as evidence. No arrest. He can find his own way to the hospital. It's going to cost the taxpayers $ for a CAT scan, Xrays & other related medical expenses. Of course, my own personal preference would result in huge liability (action in tort for negligence and violation of civil rights) if he were to die there. No, guess those policies are for the best.

Blackhawk
January 6, 2003, 04:42 PM
IMO, shooting was justified if the LEO saw or thought he saw the perp with a firearm.

The LEO will most definitely face a review board, and my bet is that he "saw a firearm or what I thought was a firearm in the perp's hand so when I saw that there was nobody downrange, I took a shot. Even though I missed, the perp tripped hurting himself, and ending the incident."

TheeBadOne
January 6, 2003, 04:55 PM
Damned if you do, damned if you don't. If said bad guy got away and hurt someone, then people would blame the cops for not doing everything in their power to stop a violent criminal. I'm just glad it all worked out, nobody is hurt, and another violent dirtbag is off the street. Hopefully they'll keep him longer than the ambulance ride took...:rolleyes:

jmbg29
January 6, 2003, 05:07 PM
he trips on a curb and cracks his head pretty good:D

OTOH if he's still breathing, not good enough. ;) :D

PATH
January 6, 2003, 10:37 PM
Before anyone starts ragging on LEO's let's see if we can get more in the way of facts. Monday morning quarterbacking is always so easy!

Standing Wolf
January 6, 2003, 10:56 PM
Who picks up the tab for the damage caused by the cops' misses?

Redlg155
January 6, 2003, 10:56 PM
Seems we have an update on the case...
An alleged armed robber inspired gunfire Sunday afternoon but the injuries he sustained are not the result of gunplay, according to police.

Officials say the suspect, whose name hasn't been released, entered a factory outlet near Zuni and San Mateo and demanded money.

A customer notified police using his cell phone and police were waiting for the man when he left the store.

"A struggle ensued," said Deputy Chief Ray Schultz. "During that struggle our officer did discharge his firearm. He did not hit the offender."

Police found a large amount of money on the suspect and believe he may have been involved in the robbery of a convenience store that occurred shortly before he robbed the factory outlet.

Perhaps you should call them and tell them they have their story all wrong?

Good Shooting
RED

TarpleyG
January 7, 2003, 09:05 AM
The police will have none of this, they open fire, missing the guy completely.

:confused: What about the "fleeing felon doctrine?" You cannot shoot at someone running away unless you are reasonably sure he will cause someone harm in his path. This doesn't sound right to me. Maybe just the media got it screwed up as usual.

GT

WonderNine
January 10, 2003, 03:45 AM
Now, I don't know the specifics of the robbery and the media hasn't reported much beyond the basics yet. But based on what I saw, the police excersied very poor judgement in opening fire on this fleeing suspect and placed a lot of people in very serious danger. The police coverage in the area was sufficient, he would have been caught before he made it a block. What would be sufficient justification to shoot in your opinion?

They have a brass pass. They can do whatever they want, because they are the police.

New_comer
January 10, 2003, 04:46 AM
What would be sufficient justification to shoot in your opinion? Brandishing a weapon, taking a hostage? I don't think the shooting was justified in this case. There was no mention that the perp was armed with a gun. If he had one during the rob, it might have been tipped off to the police earlier, hence their decision to shoot. Though I'd agree they've shown poor judgement in firing in the midst of a lot of bystanders.

A perp brandishing a gun may not even be enough justification to shoot him, IMO. Effort must be made to make sure the perp realizes the trouble he's causing, for instance calling it out to him at a safe distance. The police should be armed with long guns just in case the situation worsens and the need to shoot arises.

But if there was no weapon, I believe the perp should only have been pursued and physically subdued no matter what. The cops had the cars, batons, and the training to do this effectively.

Had the perp taken a hostage, then it would have become a different scenario altogether, along with a new set of rules. Here's where a professional negotiator would have to take over. Shooting the perp in a hostage situation depends entirely upon the assessment of threat to the life of the hostage.

JMHO. :)

Matt G
January 10, 2003, 05:01 AM
Hm.

As usual, we don't have enough info, and have conflicting stories.

funbob makes no mention of a physical struggle prior to the shooting, but the news story does. How about it, funbob? Did you see anything like that?

There is no mention of the manner in which the robbery took place in the store, nor of the type of weapon he had used.

Consider: could it be possible that a physical confrontation had just occured prior to your walking out, funbob? That same confrontation mentioned in the story, resulting in a shot fired? Consider, if you're a backup officer arriving on a scene, and you see one of your other officers wrestling with an armed felon at the scene of the robbery, and hear a shot fired just before that felon runs away? For all you know, the robber just fired that shot. You have a report that he's armed. And now he's running away.

Busy parking lot, and the guy's running to a busier one. You see a clear background behind the felon, and he's running toward that parking lot full of people getting into and out of their cars. What are the chances a carjacking is about to take place? Or a hostage situation? What if you don't take that shot, and the guy goes on to kill someone who doesn't get out of their car fast enough for him? You see it's clear behind him. It's across the parking lot, but that guy just shot your buddy, you figure. '

Hurry up. He's getting away. And he's armed.

COHIBA
January 10, 2003, 10:26 AM
you should have started shooting too. heck if the cops can justify it so could you.

ahenry
January 10, 2003, 10:52 AM
you should have started shooting too. heck if the cops can justify it so could you.

:what: :eek:

schild
January 10, 2003, 10:53 AM
I'm weird, I see "near the corner of Zuni and San Mateo" and I think gotta be Albuquerque!

Coronach
January 10, 2003, 10:56 AM
Well, turns out the store had just been robbed by this man now fleeing across the parking lot. What's more, someone inside on their cell phone saw what was going down and alerted the police. So, this guy makes it less than halfway through the parking lot when all of a sudden the cops roar into the lot from every entrance and form a perimeter around the edge of the lot. Genius robber robber starts running west and tries to hightail it towards a busy street on the other side of which lies an even busier WalMart parking lot.This is what we call a "hostage scenario in the embryonic stage." It is all well and good to say that the police placed others at risk by going after the guy and opening fire, but about the time he grabs your grandmother and puts a gun to her head you will begin to re-evaluate your position on this.The police will have none of this, they open fire, missing the guy completely. I've already long since taken cover seeing this coming a mile away so I'm relatively safe at this point. I can't say the same for the dozens of other people on the lot now screaming and running every which way. So, how does the guy eventually get himself caught? It's not the police bullets, he trips on a curb and cracks his head pretty good. I watched as they loaded him into an ambulance and carted him off.Did you see the actual exchange? What was the backdrop?Now, I don't know the specifics of the robbery and the media hasn't reported much beyond the basics yet. But based on what I saw, the police excersied very poor judgement in opening fire on this fleeing suspect and placed a lot of people in very serious danger.Why? I can see how that could be the case, but I'm not sure that it is the case, based upon what we have before us.The police coverage in the area was sufficient, he would have been caught before he made it a block.Now that is absurd. One of the easiest ways to elude capture is to make it into a crowd of people, shed a garment, and just blend. Not to mention that allowing an armed robber into a crowd is also a nice way to place all of them in jeopardy.What would be sufficient justification to shoot in your opinion? Brandishing a weapon, taking a hostage? I don't think the shooting was justified in this case.Again, did you see the actual exchange, and all that led up to it? Did you listen to the information that the officers had as they approached? If not, you're not in a position to say what was justified and what was not justified. Only someone who is presented with all of those facts (like at a review board) is really qualified to say what is justified and what is not.

What about the "fleeing felon doctrine?" You cannot shoot at someone running away unless you are reasonably sure he will cause someone harm in his path. This doesn't sound right to me. Maybe just the media got it screwed up as usual.Lessee...this is a seven-sentance media story? 7 Sentances? And we're trying to decide if it is justified based upon this? I think TarpleyG has it right...theres a lot left out.

They have a brass pass. They can do whatever they want, because they are the police.Man...I GOTTA get a job with one of those departments! :rolleyes: Where does this misinformation come from?

There was no mention that the perp was armed with a gun. If he had one during the rob, it might have been tipped off to the police earlier, hence their decision to shoot. I'm guessing (yes, guessing) that someone who called in said he had a gun, or someone who saw it flagged down the popo and provided that (mis?)information. Or, perhaps he had an object in his hand that made the responding cop think it was a gun. Or, the cop just shot at him. All are possible, but the last is the least likely, in my experience. Also, the story mentions a struggle...lots can happen in that.Though I'd agree they've shown poor judgement in firing in the midst of a lot of bystanders.Why? it all depends on the specifics...which we don't have. Funbob might have them, but he didn't provide them. If it was a struggle, it was likely at close range, and possibly with a good backdrop (hit a curb...next to a building?) It could be recklessness...or it might not be.A perp brandishing a gun may not even be enough justification to shoot him, IMO. Effort must be made to make sure the perp realizes the trouble he's causing, for instance calling it out to him at a safe distance.??? :scrutiny:

The police should be armed with long guns just in case the situation worsens and the need to shoot arises.WHOAH! Your THR membership just got revoked. ;) Thats called Militarization of the Police, and its Bad. ;)But if there was no weapon, I believe the perp should only have been pursued and physically subdued no matter what. The cops had the cars, batons, and the training to do this effectively.Ideally, yes. But we don;t know what the cops were told re: a weapon...so this is speculation.Had the perp taken a hostage, then it would have become a different scenario altogether, along with a new set of rules. Here's where a professional negotiator would have to take over. Shooting the perp in a hostage situation depends entirely upon the assessment of threat to the life of the hostage.Hostage scenarios suck. thats why cops chase after the guy and don't establish a perimeter with innocent bystanders inside.

Mike

Gila Jorge
January 10, 2003, 11:01 AM
Can't believe there wasn't a friendly family dog to blast to smithereens with a sawed off shotgun.
Must have been a verrrry slow day.

Keith
January 10, 2003, 03:48 PM
I'm usually pretty quick to jump in on the anti-cop side because I think cops should be held to the same standards as citizens when they draw and shoot, and all too often that just isn't the case. In a case like this of course, there is no citizen analogy since the guy was fleeing a presumed armed robbery. A legitimate target for a cop, but not for a citizen.

So, we do have a fleeing felon and the valid assumption that he's armed - even if he's not armed he certainly robbed the store using the presumption that he was armed. He can hardly complain if he gets shot in consequence, can he?

So, some cop took a shot at him in a crowded parking lot... Hell, there could be 200 people around, but if the cop who shot had a clear line of fire, why not? We've all shot at the range when there was dozens of people all around us, that doesn't mean there was anyone in our line of fire.

Too bad he missed.

Keith

Chipperman
January 10, 2003, 05:47 PM
NOT hitting the perp may actually end up saving his job.
It all depends on how the review board sees it.

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