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Penetration in gun fight

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Guy B. Meredith, Aug 15, 2005.

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  1. Guy B. Meredith

    Guy B. Meredith Member

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    Homeowner accidentally killed in fatal shooting of suspect by officers
    - Demian Bulwa, Chronicle Staff Writer
    Monday, August 15, 2005

    (08-15) 14:36 PDT Dublin (SF Chronicle) --

    Dublin police officers who shot and killed a knife-wielding man inside an upscale home inadvertently killed the owner of the home -- the brother-in-law of the assailant -- as he tried to protect himself from the assailant, police said Monday.

    Richard Kim, 49, died at 9:20 p.m. Sunday at Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley after being wounded by one of the bullets fired by the two officers in Thursday's shooting.

    Police said Kim was in an upstairs bedroom when officers fired at Kwang Tae Lee, 61, as he repeatedly threatened officers and tried to enter the room. Lee, who died after the shooting late Thursday, was visiting from Korea, Lt. Glenn Moon said.

    Autopsies for both men were scheduled for Monday, said Moon.

    The shooting is being investigated by the Dublin Police Department and the Alameda County District Attorney's Office, which is routine in police shootings. Neither of the officers involved were identified.

    Kim and his wife, Jee Kim, who is Lee's sister, live at the home in the 3000 block of Innisbrook Way, in a new subdivision. Lee and his wife were visiting.

    Officers were sent to the residence at 11:20 p.m. Thursday after neighbors called to report a loud altercation there that included the sound of a woman screaming.

    When the officers arrived, they saw what appeared to be a struggle when looking through upstairs window. As they went in the front door, they saw Lee, who was holding a large knife and running upstairs.

    The officers followed him and repeatedly ordered Lee to drop the knife, Moon said. He did not let go of the weapon and started to enter a bedroom, while making threatening movements toward the officers, Moon said.

    In an attempt to protect themselves and others in the home, Moon said, the officers opened fire at the suspect, fatally shooting him.

    At least one of the bullets went through the bedroom door and hit Richard Kim, police said, as he apparently tried to keep the door closed from inside the bedroom.

    It was not clear whether other people were in the home at the time.

    Officers at the scene said Kim appeared to have injuries to his face from the scuffle with Lee, and police did not know at first that he had been struck by one of the officers' bullets -- or that he was behind the bedroom door.

    "They had to make a decision very quickly," Moon said. "They knew there had been a struggle in the house before they got there ... and when (Lee) turned toward them, they had an obligation to protect themselves."

    Investigators said Monday they do not know what triggered the dispute at the home. Moon said the officers were focused entirely on Lee and the inadvertent shooting of Kim "appears to be a tragic outcome."

    E-mail Demian Bulwa at dbulwa@sfchronicle.com


    URL: http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2005/08/15/BAshooting15.DTL
    ©2005 San Francisco Chronicle
     
  2. CARRY'IN

    CARRY'IN member

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    They went uninvited into this guy's house and killed him by accident while blasting another guy who was upset and waving a knife around? Jesus. This seems to be happening more and more often around here. California cops have got to be the most trigger happy (I read somewhere D.C. cops were the worst statistically). My niegbor was going to call the cops on a hispanic guy that was throwing a tantrum in our nieghborhood a couple months ago. When she said she was going to call I snapped at her and said, "dont do that, they'll shoot the guy!" Her eyes got big and she said "OK" and went home. End of story. Coronach will probably post explaining it away as a "good shoot" or "justified" or some such nonsense. POLICE, PLEASE DONT HELP ME. 10 years ago I would have never thought I would say that.
     
  3. Guy B. Meredith

    Guy B. Meredith Member

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    Rather than a cop bash, I see this as an object lesson to anyone using a firearm in self defense. There have been endless threads on firearms forums about what weapon to use in home defense, overpenetration, etc. This is just a real life confirmation of those concerns.
     
  4. CARRY'IN

    CARRY'IN member

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    You must be the one who called the cops. Good job.
     
  5. Sharps Shooter

    Sharps Shooter Member

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    From what I read in the article, I don't see how it confirms anything about overpenetration. I read a bullet went through a bedroom door and struck the guy on the other side. For goodness sake, my pellet gun will probably penetrate the common hollow core door on my bedroom. Surely no one is arguing that guns that will send a bullet through an average inside door and kill someone on the other side have too much penetration for home or self defense.
     
  6. Firethorn

    Firethorn Member

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    Sharps Shooter, I'd tend to say 'overpenetration' is anytime the bullet penetrates something that you don't want it to.

    And yes, it's easier to penetrate a hollow core door than the human body, thus, until we get some magical bullets, self defense rounds will punch straight through. I've read that even glasers will punch through a couple pieces of drywall and still be dangerous on the other side.

    So it is, indeed, an object lesson in rule 4. As well as the idea that, in combat, bad shots are almost a part of life. So cops need to try to avoid combat. It's not like you can just set up a nice safe shooting range.
     
  7. Matt G

    Matt G Moderator Emeritus

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    Unfortunately, this was a violation of a basic safety rule: Know your backstop. :(

    When the cops are called to a violent altercation, and find on arrival that one is ongoing inside, they have a duty to investigate. The "cops entered uninvited" argument is specious. If Kim had run upstairs with the knife and stabbed a lilttle girl to death while the cops stood outside the front door picking their noses, we'd all be (me included) hollering for their heads. In exigent circumstances, cops may enter.

    If the house was on fire, you'd expect the cops and the fire department to kick in the doors and go in to get out anyone that they could, within reason, yes? Same type of situation.

    As for the shoot, the decision to use deadly force on the guy sounds okay, though it would have been a great time to try a Taser.

    That said, the method of applying deadly force was obviously faulty. "Obviously faulty," because the outcome involved the death of an unintended victim. :(

    One question that I have is: did the bullet miss the original target and pass through the door, or did it pass through the original target and pass through the door and pass into the unintended victim? If so, what's the caliber and load? What was the weapon? What was the range and angle? How many shots were fired? Were any bullets stopped by the target?
    Well, strike that-- I guess I have a lot of questions. ;)

    An officer is still accountable for where his round's projectile ends up, even in a justifiable shooting. I have a feeling that this one will be settled by the City of Dublin with the Kim family in civil court, without criminal repercussions.
     
  8. grimjaw

    grimjaw Member

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    I'm sorry, I can't see from the article. Is this in California?

    They couldn't have tazered the guy? Maced him? Some other non-lethal means? I'm not saying the cops weren't justified in defending themselves if they were attacked, and I wasn't there to see the situation, so hard for me to judge.

    jmm
     
  9. Commissar Gribb

    Commissar Gribb Member

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    the police never break safety rules! that's why they hold monopoly on weapons over there.

    the homeowner must have been plotting with the knife guy to jump out at the last minute in a foul scheme to be killed by the irish cop. :banghead:

    I swear- in a society where you don't raise people alongside firearms and then put them through 2 weeks of orientation and expect them to be marksmen all of a sudden.. you're just asking for trouble.
     
  10. CARRY'IN

    CARRY'IN member

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    And terrorists could have been hiding in the closets to. You are not talking to one of the TJ hooker brainwashee's here. There was nothing right about this one. The cops stuck their nose into a family quarrel in a private residence and smoked the homeowner and his brother and law. They did not serve and protect- they intruded and killed. I realize that two policemen in body armor with hi-capacity semi-automatic handguns are at a big disadvantage against a pissed off Korean with a kitchen knife, but they might have been able to retreat back down the stairs. Oh, I forgot, cops dont ever retreat. They are control freaks and are terrified of having their authority challenged. Like I said before, it happens all the time around here. Last year they shot an old Vietnamese lady who came at them with a spatula. They sure served and protected her. As they did in a dozen other "justified shootings."
     
  11. Guy B. Meredith

    Guy B. Meredith Member

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    Commissar Gribb,

    Dublin, CA is just about 30 miles inland from SF.

    CARRY'IN,

    "You must be the one who called the cops. Good job." Huh??? Doesn't follow. I do not help grind anyone's axe. My own are noted in my signature.
     
  12. Werewolf

    Werewolf Member

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    This wasn't (on a macro level) true 30 years ago. It is - unfortunately - becoming more and more true with each passing year and I - for one - truly do not understand why.

    As an example 35 years ago I was stopped by a Highway Patrol Officer in AL for speeding. I got out of the car as he did and reached for my wallet. In less time than the blink of an eye (literally) I had a 6 foot plus officer pointing his revolver at me and without ever raising his voice calmly said, "Sir please raise your hands where I can see them". (exact words - one tends to remember having a gun pointed at one). I raised my hands, told him I was just getting my wallet out for him and he said go ahead (didn't lower the gun though). Once he saw my wallet the gun went back into the holster and we concluded our business (I got off with a warning - military ID - headed back to Charleston Naval Base - he was an ex Navy guy - we shot the breeze out there on the highway for about 15 minutes).

    From what I've seen on the news and read if the same thing happened today I'd get shot at worst. At best the cop would just freak out, yell at the top of his lungs for me to get down, get down, spread eagle, hands behind my head and I'd end up handcuffed and probably charged with some BS crime just so he could justify to himself having over reacted.

    But I digress...
    What I do know (or at least guestimate) is that if the attitude as quoted above ever reaches its logical conclusion the police really will become the ENEMY...
     
  13. Control Group

    Control Group Member

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    Yeah, they could have been, but the cops didn't actually see a terrorist doing terrorism through a window before entering, so it's probably not analogous to the situation at hand.

    So, if a guy chasing you around your house trying to kill you isn't good enough reason for the cops to come in, what is? What's your idea of "serve and protect" in this situation? Sit outside until someone's been knifed? I've got the sneaking suspicion you'd be ranting and throwing around "serve and protect" as some kind of insult if the cops had hung out on the front porch while people were being slaughtered inside. I mean, a man's home is his castle, but I didn't realize that made him a feudal lord with the right to hand out death sentences completely immune from police interference.

    But if they use the advantage you glibly mention, you complain. If you don't want them to use their handguns, it's pretty disingenuous for you to argue that the handguns give them a big advantage, don't you think? Of course, they could have retreated. And I'm sure you'd be the first person showering them with accolades when they backed down the stairs and the assailant broke through the bedroom door and killed the guy behind it.

    That's a mighty fine generalization from an unsupported specific you've got there, Mr. B.
     
  14. HankB

    HankB Member

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    An excellent question - in one case, it's likely poor marksmanship; in the other case, perhaps (I wrote perhaps!) a poor choice of ammo for an urban environment.
     
  15. silverlance

    silverlance Member

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    i agree

    with the guy who said that these cops broke rule #whatever, KNOW YOUR BACKSTOP. this is SUPER important - just as I hand pick and test fire rounds in all my HD guns until I am sure I have got one that won't kill someone next door or in the next room, cops need to do the same.

    this is why I shoot wolf, s&b, etc, but I always shoot also at least one box of expensive federal tactical 133 or federal expander 9mm. it's not cheap, but I believe in not killing the woman I'm protecting or my good neighbors or my dog just to save a quarter or two per round.

    the fact that these cops' rounds not only went thorugh lee, but through a door, and then into kim with enough force to kill him says something about the rounds they are using - if in fact that is what happened.

    most likely, this is a case where (as they do down here), both cops unloaded both mags at lee as soon as he started coming down the stairs or bashing the door (it's possible that lee was even shouting in korean something angry while actually standing down and was mistaken for attacking - which btw, I always get suspicious when the phrase "threatening gestures" is misused), and one or more rounds TOTALLY MISSED lee and killed kim after going through the door.

    so, two things:

    1.
    certain (not all) cops need further training in non-lethal subjugation methods. I expect cops to know how to kick the crap out of a kitchen knife wielding suspect with even just a baton, let alone tazer, spray, etc. I expect this because I myself can do this - and have done so before. I suppose lee could have been one of kim jung il's supermen bodyguards, but i highly doubt it... and in any case he should have been tazed, sprayed, or both before contact anyway. or perhaps rubber baton, too...

    2.
    certain cops must be taught that shooting a suspect should not turn into a case of "let's all empty our guns just to be sure he's really dead so he can't sue us for life long injuries". here in LA, we routinely get cases where suspects get shot well over ten or twelve times. in one case, a woman was hit 47 times driving away from a gas station (you might remember this one - it was a black girl who had her boyfriend's gun on the passenger side, and when she tried to hightail it, they thought she was trying to run them over and opened up).
     
  16. CARRY'IN

    CARRY'IN member

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    Ask a family psychologist or social worker and they will tell you the kind of altercation the police walked into in that house happen every day, probably every hour or several times an hour in this country. The odds are easily a thousand to one in favor of those people still being alive if the cops had not been called. Your "sneaking suspicions" cannot change that fact. People are brainwashed into thinking the cops are on their side. I question what price we pay for the good they do. You want to argue the police had a duty to go in the house, had a duty to not retreat from the guy with the knife, and had a duty to shoot him, go ahead. I am not with you, I am against you.
     
  17. Red Dragon

    Red Dragon Member

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    How many of your "family quarrels" involve one of your family wielding a large knife?

    Retreating back down the stairs is about as logical as telling the guy to trade up to a chainsaw and then giving him one. I doubt you would feel the same way if a knife wielding man was coming with the intent of killing you.
     
  18. Control Group

    Control Group Member

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    You have every right to disagree with me, of course.

    I do notice, however, that you didn't answer the question: if the police shouldn't come into your house when a guy is chasing you around with a knife, when should they? Put another way, if their duty doesn't include protecting you from being murdered when they are present and see it happening, what does their duty include?

    Me, I'm all in favor of police who see someone trying to murder me trying, in turn, to stop it from happening. Even in my own home. That would be the "protect" part of the whole "serve and protect" thing.
     
  19. GregGry

    GregGry Member

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    The thing that bothers me, is that people believe way to much that's on the news. The news reports the bad stuff, in almost all cases. Around here, I will hear about how a cop shot and killed someone, but its rare that I hear about cops actually doing a job well, and its not because they aren't doing a good job. If 2 cops shoot 2 people in one day, all of a sudden all 2,200 officers on the force are idiots that are trigger happy. Just like when it comes to so called corruption, 1 or 2 officers take bribes and do stuff they shouldn't be, and guess what, the people flip out (thanks to the media) now the entire police force is corrupt.

    The thing I don't get either, is people will hate cops because of what the media shows. Most people don't even know a cop other then for a couple minutes during a traffic stop. People are all to quick to blame the cop for writing the ticket, or shooting a suspect, when in most cases the cop did what he was justified to do. Innocent people will die when lead is in the air, but it wasn't like the officer purposely shot the innocent person in this case (well I suppose it could be the case, but highly unlikely). I give the police a benefit of the doubt when it comes to shootings, the same thing goes for your average gun owner.

    If the shooting was justified, then I have no issue. If it wasn't justified, be it a cop, or a citizen, they should be accountable. Bad cops do exist, and so do bad citizens. To judge an entire population by a few bad seeds is just stupid.
     
  20. GregGry

    GregGry Member

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    Also, so you know, a knife wielding man can run at you and stab you within about 10 feet, quicker then you can unholster your gun and fire. A man with a knife in close range is nothing to laugh over. Also, in my state, the police can't enter a home unless there is PC. In this case, there was PC.

    The struggle alone is enough to satify the requirments in my state. When they saw the man with the knife running up the stairs, and he wouldn't stop when they ordered him to, thats even more to add that to the PC list.

    Police have the power to tell normal people what to do, and when you don't listen, bad things will happen. When you don't listen, have a knife in your hand, and make threating movements towards officers, your asking to be shot.
     
  21. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    None. Zero. Zip. Nichts.

    Crazy people aren't welcome in my house.
     
  22. grimjaw

    grimjaw Member

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    Well, there's at least one every year at Thanksgiving dinner when it comes time to carve the turkey.

    Sorry, I couldn't resist.

    jmm
     
  23. Red Dragon

    Red Dragon Member

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    My family quarrels are solved with smaller knives and we both have 'em (ala west side story knife fight) :neener: :D
     
  24. Dead

    Dead Member

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    grimjaw,

    You beat me to it!
     
  25. CARRY'IN

    CARRY'IN member

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    Yeah, I really buy that; going into someones house on the premise of preventing violence against him and killing him and his brother in law is real logical to. And as a matter of fact I have that T-shirt and did not kill the guy.
     
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