Decatur, AL police officer shoots and kills himself.....


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W Turner
October 2, 2003, 05:31 PM
Heard about this yesterday and meant to post it...........sad to hear. A good friend of mine was very close to this officer.


http://www.decaturdaily.com/decaturdaily/news/031001/officer.shtml


Minotaur

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J Miller
October 2, 2003, 06:35 PM
Minotaur,

I have no intention of putting this officer down, but I have a question.

That is, how and why would he or any other person point a gun at his chest while "cleaning" it.

I have been shooting and cleaning for almost 30 years and unless and untill the gun is proved to empty and unloaded and the action opened, it does not get pointed at any part of ME!

I realize that people can be distracted but, well I just can't see how one can clean a loaded gun.
It makes no sence to me.

Still his death is a great loss to his family, community, and department. My condolences to them.

Pangea
October 2, 2003, 09:00 PM
I was wondering why the flags at the schools and fire stations were at half staff today. RIP officer.

BowStreetRunner
October 2, 2003, 10:21 PM
welcome pangea and my sympathies to the officers family

einnor1040
October 2, 2003, 10:37 PM
Hey Pangea.

Glad you found this place.

That's really sad about the officer.

P95Carry
October 2, 2003, 10:57 PM
Sad in the extreme but . yet again as in these sorta cases ..... where were the four rules??

I have cleaned guns for 25 years .. and treat em no different now from first time ever .. respect' ....... care and THINK!!!!

TheeBadOne
October 2, 2003, 11:15 PM
R.I.P. Hope his family heals.

Holly76201
October 3, 2003, 01:03 PM
I mean no disrespect to the Officer or his family. Perhaps it WAS an accident. However, it's not unheard of for a department , out of a sense of duty to the officer and family, to term situations like this an "accident". Who Knows?

Pilgrim
October 3, 2003, 01:29 PM
Morgan County Coroner Russ Beard said he did not order an autopsy because he knows the cause of death was a gunshot wound.

"My job is to determine the cause," he said. "It will be up to the police to determine if it was an accident."


Awfully sure of himself, this coroner. No toxicology examination. No determination of whether the officer was conscious when the shot was fired. There is more to determining the cause and manner of death than just looking at a bullet wound. Then again, this coroner may a buddy and colleague of the coroner who examined Vince Foster.

Pilgrim

Erik
October 3, 2003, 01:52 PM
I have seen my fair share of LEOs and non-LEOs alike cover themselves with their own muzzles, and not just when cleaning or practicing with an "empty" gun. It happens. Terrible practice, and obviously one to be avoided, but it is nowhere near as unusual many apparently believe it to be.

TheeBadOne
October 3, 2003, 04:53 PM
Being that the gunshot is to the chest I'm more inclined to believe it was an accident (even more so if we knew where on the torso it hit).

4v50 Gary
October 3, 2003, 05:03 PM
RIP. Following the basic safety rules avoids tragedies. One of our members here did & had an "accidental" (not negligent) discharge but because the the rules were observed, no one was hurt.

Abenaki
October 3, 2003, 06:00 PM
Some thing to think about..............

Could it have been suicide?
If you kill yourself and your life insurance will not pay,but make it look like an accident and...........

No matter how it happend it is tragic in deed.

Abenaki

blades67
October 3, 2003, 11:54 PM
My heart breaks for his sons most of all.:(

p35
October 4, 2003, 10:45 AM
Historically, "accident while cleaning gun" is usually a euphemism for suicide and/or goofing off with a loaded gun. I have no way to say,of course, whether that's true in this case. Damn shame either way.

DeputyVaughn
October 4, 2003, 12:21 PM
I attended this officers funeral. I won't bother to speculate about his death. It's a tragedy no matter what. Robby was a good man and a good officer. He showed up on as backup on more than one occasion when I was too busy to answer a staus check for myself while serving a warrant.

Pilgrim, I also know the coroner "Russ Beard". I can assure you he is not part of the good ole boys network. He is very professional and knows his business. He was also appointed Sheriff for about a month after our former Sheriff, Steve Crabbe, died while in office. He earned my respect.

Scott

Pilgrim
October 4, 2003, 02:41 PM
Pilgrim, I also know the coroner "Russ Beard". I can assure you he is not part of the good ole boys network. He is very professional and knows his business. He was also appointed Sheriff for about a month after our former Sheriff, Steve Crabbe, died while in office. He earned my respect.

No disrespect meant to Mr. Beard. However, I have been a deputy coroner and what appears to be obvious is not always the explanation of what really happened.

Once upon a time before I became a sheriff's deputy and deputy coroner, one of my men in the Navy was found dead in the head (restroom, latrine, loo). He had vomited and there was a smell of alcoholic beverage in the vomitus. There were open beer cans in the man's room. The coroner quickly announced that it was obvious the reason the man died was he drank too much, passed out, and vomited. Being unconscious, he inhaled his vomit and drowned.

The executive officer of the squadron took this as truth and announced to the squadron at morning quarters the reason for the man's death, and preached on the evils of drinking booze to excess. A more thorough medical examination showed that the man had a very low blood alcohol level, and that he had not died by drowning in his vomit. He had a rare heart condition called Acute Interstitial Giant Cell Myocarditis. He died of a heart attack. Needless to say the coroner and executive officer had egg on their faces. I suggested to the XO it would be a good idea to explain to the squadron the real cause of the sailor's death and apologize for portraying him as a lush.

I am not familiar with the duties of coroners in Alabama. I do know that in California the coroner is required to perform an investigation into the cause and manner of death of all unattended deaths (deaths without witnesses and where an physician is unable or unwilling to certify the cause of death).

In the case of your departed brother officer, a coroner in California would be required to do a thorough examination and determine the cause of death (gunshot wound to the chest) and the manner (self-inflicted, accident, hands of another, or unknown). Maybe "unknown" was the determination of the coroner, but if it was my family member who was dead on the floor, I surely would like to know if the bullet in his chest came from the gun found at the scene. An autopsy would at least recover the bullet and determine if the bullet wound was fatal.

Many years later I was first on the scene of a "child not breathing" call. The child was an eleven year old girl who it had turned out had attempted suicide three weeks earlier by taking her brother's anti-seizure medicine. At first glance it appeared she tried again and was successful. The toxicology report showed that she had lethal levels of Tegritol in her bloodstream. It sure would have been easy to write that death off as a suicide. However I started the ball rolling, both in my capacity as peace officer and deputy coroner, and did a thorough investigation. The detectives picked up the ball. The result is the dead girl's mother is serving a life sentence without possibility of parole for murdering her daughter.

Pilgrim

Ala Dan
October 4, 2003, 04:54 PM
Sad situation, I hope he didn't have to suffer long. I will
offer a special prayer and my condolences to his family,
friends, and co-worker's.

Respectfully,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

RTFM
October 4, 2003, 05:26 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but if a fatal ND is classified as a "cleaning accident" instead of suicide, the life insurance co. will pay, but a suicide will forfeit the life insurance policy.

If this was truly an accident, then this was just stupid that a 22year vet had an ND at him self, I feel sorry for the family, I hope they pull thru.

RTFM

Pilgrim
October 4, 2003, 05:36 PM
It depends on the life insurance policy. I think a common clause in many policies voids the policy if the suicide takes place within two years of the date of policy issuance. After the two years the insurance company pays.

Pilgrim

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