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Followup on 4 cops v 1 felon in San Antonio

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Blackhawk, Jan 4, 2003.

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  1. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

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    http://www.mysanantonio.com/expressnews/story.cfm?xla=saen&xlb=180&xlc=911632

    4 officers recovering after shooting spree

    By Karisa King, Elaine Aradillas and Jesse Bogan
    Express-News Staff Writers

    Web Posted : 01/04/2003 12:00 AM

    In one of the most vicious attacks on police in recent years, a burly ex-convict turned a romantic dispute at a North Side diner into a shooting rampage that left four officers wounded with their own guns.

    The gunman, Jamie Lichtenwalter, a 26-year-old parolee who had become jealous after seeing his girlfriend with another man, was killed outside the Denny's restaurant on Northeast Loop 410 by a rookie officer who had been shot four times.

    "He ambushed all the officers, who weren't quite prepared for somebody quite that violent," Police Chief Albert Ortiz said at a morning news conference. "You never know when an explosion is going to occur. It changes not just from call to call, but from second to second."

    The four policemen wounded by Lichtenwalter — Officers David Evans, Michael Muñiz and Nathan Murray and Detective John Bocko — are recovering at two area hospitals.

    The shootings faintly reawakened some of the same questions about police safety and training surrounding the slayings of two officers two years ago.

    "We will review again to see if anything needs to change in terms of tactics and strategies," Ortiz said.

    Evans and Bocko arrived separately at the restaurant about 3:30 a.m. after Lichtenwalter's girlfriend told a manager to call police.

    Evans, a 51-year-old patrolman with 25 years of experience, and Bocko, an evidence detective who happened to be nearby when the call came, believed they had quickly defused the argument. Lichtenwalter had voluntarily handed over his girlfriend's car keys.

    But as the officers allowed him to leave the restaurant, his girlfriend whispered to one of the officers that Lichtenwalter, a former bouncer at several area strip clubs, might have a gun, police said.

    At that point and without warning, Lichtenwalter whirled and punched Bocko in the jaw, breaking it in several places.

    Witnesses told police Bocko fell to the floor "like a sack of potatoes," Ortiz said at the news conference.

    Lichtenwalter, described by police as having arms as thick as tree trunks, then turned on Evans, knocked him to the ground and wrested the veteran officer's .40-caliber Glock. As Evans lay on the ground without his bullet-proof vest, Lichtenwalter stood and shot him three times — in the chest, stomach and arm, police spokesman Gabriel Trevino said.

    The dozen or so diners in the restaurant ducked underneath tables. As several called 911, the police switchboard flashed with green and red lights.

    By that time, Bocko was back on his feet, but he was dazed and stumbled through the restaurant. The gunman then started firing at him, and he was grazed by a bullet across his back.

    "Wherever Bocko was bleeding, you could see the trail of gunfire following him," Ortiz said.

    When Lichtenwalter ran out of bullets, he kicked and pistol-whipped Bocko with the empty Glock, Ortiz said.

    Meanwhile, Evans staggered out of the restaurant. But Lichtenwalter was close behind — and now armed with Bocko's gun.

    A desk clerk at the adjacent Econo Lodge said he was in the hotel lobby when Evans began banging on the front glass window.

    "I could hear him pounding, just 'Bam, bam, bam,'" said Eric Detloff, the clerk.

    Trevino said they were unsure when Lichtenwalter grabbed Bocko's gun.

    "We feel he had already unloaded Evans' gun by the time he got to Bocko's gun," Trevino said.

    Muñiz, 22 and fresh out of the training academy five months ago, and Murray, a North Side patrolman with eight years on the force, were next to arrive.

    They spotted Evans in the parking lot and began helping him when Lichtenwalter opened fire.

    A bullet pierced Murray's cheek. Muñiz was shot in the neck and three times in the leg. He managed to exchange gunfire with Lichtenwalter at close range. Lichtenwalter, who was shot at least six times, collapsed on top of Muñiz and died, authorities said.

    When a group of backup officers arrived, Muñiz , too weakened to move, was still lying underneath the gunman.

    "It would have been understandable if (Muñiz ) had backed up and hesitated, but he didn't," Ortiz said. "I certainly have to admire that individual."

    From start to finish, the shootout lasted about five minutes, with Lichtenwalter firing more than two dozen rounds.

    It was not his first brush with violence.

    In March 1993, Lichtenwalter, then 16, fired a semiautomatic pistol at a group of youths milling around an E-Z Food Mart in Universal City. Edward Lee Escobedo, 18, was left paralyzed from his neck down and died several years later.

    Universal City police Lt. Charles Dewey called that act a "cold-blooded random act of violence" and said Lichtenwalter did not know any of the victims.

    Prosecuted as an adult, Lichtenwalter pleaded no contest to attempted murder and received a 12-year prison term. He was paroled in July 2001 after serving seven years.

    "He showed no remorse whatsoever," Dewey recalled.

    He lashed out at the decision to parole him.

    "It's shocking they would let someone like that out of prison," Dewey said.

    Since his release from prison, Lichtenwalter had been meeting regularly with his parole officer and abiding by the terms of his parole, said Bryan Collier, director of the Texas Board of Criminal Justice parole division.

    Police said Lichtenwalter met his girlfriend, a 20-year-old stripper police did not name, while he worked as a bouncer at a local club. The two started dating in March. Though trouble soon surfaced in the relationship and Lichtenwalter erupted with periodic bouts of jealousy, his girlfriend told police he had never been violent with her.

    About an hour before the shootout, Lichtenwalter spotted his girlfriend leaving the Far West Rodeo dance club with a female friend and another man. He followed the three for a short time, but lost them and returned to his North Side home on Foster Road, where he lived with his parents.

    Under the pretense of needing a house key, Lichtenwalter called his girlfriend on her cell phone and lured her to his home, where he confronted her with a shotgun.

    He forced her at gunpoint to return to the Denny's restaurant, where he began arguing with the man.

    At an afternoon news conference, police officials seemed to anticipate the scrutiny and second-guessing that might come.

    Police trainers will scrutinize the video captured by a surveillance camera at Denny's, Ortiz said at the news conference.

    "They did the best they could with what was presented to them, and we just thank God that they're alive," Sgt. Andy Hernandez added.

    At the San Antonio Police Academy, cadets practice protecting their holstered firearm in training exercises.

    "It's a pretty grueling course they put them through," said retired police union president Jerry Clancy. "They put another man on you, and you have to keep your gun on you for two minutes."

    He described the drill as a drag-out fight.

    Trevino said weapon retention is taught throughout the 27-week training course for cadets. Periodically, the topic is taught in annual refresher courses for all officers.

    After the night shift roll call around 3 p.m. at the North Side substation, 20-year police veteran Frank San Miguel said there was a somber mood among the ranks. He said supervisors urged the officers to wear their bullet resistant vests and to stay alert.

    "A lot of the officers do get complacent, but this brings them back to reality," he said. The incident, he said, will make him tell himself at routine calls, "Hey, this is not just another call."

    The 2001 killings of SWAT Officer John "Rocky" Riojas and Police Officer Hector Garza, who were alone when they were shot, prompted union officials to claim that a staffing shortage was endangering officers. Friday's shootout returned police administrators and union leaders to the issue.

    "Anybody who says backup assures the safety of the officer doesn't know street police work at all," Ortiz said.

    But police union President Rene Rodriguez repeated the argument.

    "I think you can always claim that there's going to be certain isolated incidents where it doesn't really matter how many individuals you have, bad things are going to happen," Rodriguez said. "I think as a general rule, there is safety in numbers."

    Cynthia Murray, the wife of Nathan Murray, said officers drove her to University Hospital, where her husband was being treated for his injuries. She talked to reporters outside the hospital, wearing her husband's wedding ring and a miniature badge with his number, 1290, on a chain around her neck.

    As of late Friday afternoon, Nathan Murray was not speaking, but he acknowledged the presence of his family by wiggling his feet and hands. At one point, Cynthia Murray said, Jo Ann Murray, the officer's mother, told her son she loved him. In response, he held up his fingers in the American Sign Language sign for "I love you."

    To donate to a benefit fund for the four officers, send donations to City Employees Federal Credit Union, Account #751800-S1.

    kking@express-news.net

    Staff Writers Elaine Aradillas, John Tedesco, Jesse Bogan, Lisa Sandberg and Rebeca Rodriguez contributed to this report.



    01/04/2003
     
  2. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

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    What in the hell was this guy doing out of prison in the first place?????? :confused:
     
  3. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

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    This is going to require some careful reading.

    It appears that the perp went into the restaurant unarmed, and ended up taking guns away from 2 LEOs in succession.

    Where did he get "arms as thick as tree trunks" other than lifting weights provided by taxpayers in a prison gym? If being confined without the ability to do strength building workouts is cruel punishment, so what? Let them do pushups or run in place to work off the stress. NO GYM EQUIPMENT FOR PRISONERS, especially not with tax money!

    How on earth would ANY condition-other-than-white person allow this guy to get within striking distance of them?

    What does 36 rounds of .40 S&W fired tell us about the round? I'm not liking what I'm thinking....

    I hope the obvious "lessons learned" from this tragic incident are not going to be covered up and ignored.

    Finally, if you were a CCW holder in the restaurant, would you have intervened?
     
  4. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

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    WonderNine,

    He was a model prisoner and parolee, but the crime for which he was convicted was callous and heinous. Some blissninnies believe in prison rehabilitation. Unfortunately, some of them are on parole boards.... :fire: :banghead:
     
  5. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

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    I wish the taxpayers would buy me some gym equip.

    :mad:
     
  6. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

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    My dislike for .40 (Short&Weak) is bolstered once again.

    I wonder what the officer that shot and killed him was using.

    Probably the same round though....

    Seems like most agencies use .40 nowadays.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2003
  7. Redlg155

    Redlg155 Member

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    Sounds like a lot of questions will be answered in the ongoing investigations.

    I'm peeved about the perp only serving a fraction of his sentence. That clearly is a problem with our Judicial system.

    I'm also wondering about what level retention holsters the officers had. With a correct holster you can literally drag an Officer around and the weapon will stay in the holster.

    I understand the initial Officers being caught up in the confrontation. What I don't understand is why the responding Officers failed to secure the scene first before attempting to render medical aid. Situational Awareness clearly went out the window. Shotguns should have come out instead of handguns.

    Oh well...Hopefully all Officers involved will come out of this ok. As for the BG...one less puke on this earth.

    Yes, but only AFTER the Officers were down. If you intervene prior to that the Officers have no idea who is a "freindly". For all he knows the BG now has a buddy who decided to join in.

    Good SHooting
    RED
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2003
  8. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

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    Wondernine,

    Muñiz had an issue Glock 22, .40 S&W, and shot the perp 6 times, close range, and NONE of his shots were instant stoppers as evidenced by the perp collapsing on top of Muñiz.

    Another of my questions is what ammo SAPD uses. I don't think very many agencies use FMJs, but I don't know.
     
  9. ahenry

    ahenry Member

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    Blackhawk,

    Additionally info sure seems to back up your initial assessment...

    :(
     
  10. dinosaur

    dinosaur Member

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    Usually plain clothes officers don`t have holsters that are as strong as the uniformed division since they`re usually concealed. That is unless he was a "Walker" type. Not a joke. How he got the uniformed officer`s gun is harder to explain but then again, nothing is impossible.

    When P.O. Phil Cardillo was murdered in the Harlem Mosque in the early `70s, Louis "17X" Dupree grabbed Cardillo`s gun and ripped the holster down the seam. A huge man, Dupree lifted Cardillo off the ground by the gun butt before it ripped.
     
  11. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

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    What I was getting at is the fact that he killed somebody and shot several others. From what it sounds like he got an 8 year sentence. There's no way any parole board can justify that no matter how much of a model prisoner he was.
     
  12. St. Gunner

    St. Gunner Member

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    Redlg155,

    I don't think they have shotguns, got a buddy in SAPD and I could swear he told me they are not allowed to have em in the car. The qualify with em but I don't think they carry em.

    Why has everyone started to neglect the .45 acp in Law Enforcement? It seems like almost every shooting I have read of in the last few years it has taken numerous rounds to stop the culprit and it is 9mm and .40sw. I'm not sure what I think about the DPS and their .357 Sig with Gold dots, I like the gold dot round, but it sure seems to be the cookies in a .45 caliber round.

    My question is how did the guy manage to KO one guy and the other guy not manage to get out of reach and bring his gun into play. If the guy was as big as the news is saying, you don't wrestle with him in place he can break you over a table. Not after you just heard the other guys jaw break when he landed a punch, and you can hear em let go from a ways off.

    I can't believe that numerous people didn't get hit.

    The parole system is a joke, had a guy come to me looking for a job a few years ago, fresh off serving 3yrs of a 6yr for armed robbery of a Burger King. He was no more re-habilitated from crime than I am from shooting after attending a anti-liberty college for 10yrs. He made it a week doing honest work, then reverted back totally. The money is to good, the work to easy, and if you get caught the accomadations to comfortable. :fire:

    Maybe one day i'll get elected judge in my little County of Texas and we can start hanging folks in the town square.
     
  13. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Rehabilitation - doesn't. Now, rehabilitation through reincarnation does.
     
  14. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

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    St. Gunner,

    Can you find out from your buddy what .40 S&W round the SAPD issues? I'd sure appreciate it! :D
     
  15. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

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    That's the vexing part. I don't know if I COULD wait while the perp polished off the LEOs, and while the perp was busy with them would seem to be the ideal time to take him out....
     
  16. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    Make it even more interesting .......

    Let's say someone is carrying concealed without a permit, and saves a cop's life ... suppose they would prosecute?
     
  17. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

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    Probably.... :(
     
  18. Redlg155

    Redlg155 Member

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    Yes. They would release a statement to say that although your actions were honorable, we cannot condone the carrying of weapons illegaly. Then you would be charged for either a felony or misdemeanor in your state with a reduced sentence or probation as "punishment".

    Yes, but it also increases the mosquito population.

    Good Shooting
    RED
     
  19. St. Gunner

    St. Gunner Member

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    Blackhawk,

    Will do, i'll try to stop in and talk to him on Monday or Tuesday, he works till about midnight but normally runs into 2 or 3am depending on what happens and who he has to book. So he sleeps a good part of the day. He's off Monday and Tuesday, so i'll try to find him and ask.
     
  20. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

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    Thanks, Steve. That's an important piece of one facet of this puzzle. I'll greatly appreciate it! :)
     
  21. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    An instant stop is going to occur only if a bullet directly contacts and damages CNS structures or the bad guy experiences a psychological reaction to being shot.

    Lichtenwalter initiated an ambush-type attack on the first two officers and was successful. He was also determined. These two factors usually mean a bad guy is not going to experience a psychological reaction.
    More imporant is what structures the bullets damaged and how badly they damaged these structures, because this will determine, physiologically, why Lichtenwalter was able to react as he did to being shot.
     
  22. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

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    Exactly right, Shawn.

    I've got running battles going on (figuratively speaking) with the experts (including you, I believe) about where to place SD shots.

    Just because I have to assume that anybody attacking in an SD situation would be like this perp (strong, aggressive, pumped, and determined), COM shots are not going to be instant stoppers. In this case, Muñiz and the perp were apparently slugging it out like a couple of WWII battleships while the perp was charging Muñiz.

    If a perp can absorb 6 rounds of .40 S&W and end up bleeding out on top of you, you've shot him in the wrong place.

    I'm still contending that the head is Target One in closing, charging attacks.
     
  23. El Rojo

    El Rojo Member

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    All situations are different, but for me as soon as that guy got a hold of the officers gun, I would have started shooting. If the cops are in the restaruant and I am sitting there eating with my Glock 27 in my wasteband, I am going to naturally be paying attention to what they are up too. Then as I saw the guy punch the one officer, then grab the other officers pistol, I would have drawn and fired at that point. Those cops would have easily figured out who was who when the bad guy got hit and not them.

    In federal prison (at least in mine) the inmates do not get weights anymore. They have to settle for non-weight work outs. Of course that doesn't stop them from using anything that weighs over 50 to 100 pounds to do curls.
     
  24. Triad

    Triad Member

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    So what happens after two minutes? IIRC, one of the smart gun articles was saying 12% of the LEOs killed each year are shot with their own weapons. Seems to me that more and better training is needed.
    The victim didn't die until after the BG was in prison. Still no reason to let him out tho.
     
  25. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

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    I believe the perp got a 15 year sentence and was paroled after 7.
    It's highly likely that the victim died as an indirect result of his injuries. A person paralyzed "from the earlobes down" isn't likely to live very long in any event.

    The perp needed years tacked on to his sentence instead of getting parole.
     
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