Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DaisyFace, Jan 4, 2012.
Police kill armed eighth-grader in Texas school - Atlantic Broadband.net
What a terrible story....
This makes me physically ill. Just beyond words sad.
I wish we had more of the story. From what I read it could be taken different ways... I assume they needed to stop him, but kill?
Just read about this on the computer. It triggered profound sadness and an upset stomach. What a world! DDD
I don't know about US standards and such, but here... if the police feel it necessary to pull the trigger, they MUST shoot to kill.
Loaded situation... probably with a very long history...
IC, from what I know (and I am not LE so I could be wrong), we'd rather injure, take into custody, and put on trial.
I really, really feel for the school's kids and their families, and his family, too... There's certainly a long history. 8th grade and 15? Onyxx is 16 and in 11th...
I saw the age, too...
Clearly this student was struggling in some way to still be in Middle School at that age. Probably a very complex situation...
This is really sickening! But the truth is, when a police officer is confronted with a situation like this, where the officers lives are in danger from an armed aggressor who will not back down, they are taught to shoot to kill, not wound. This boy might have only been in the eighth grade but he was 15 and 15 year olds can and do kill people all the time, especially in gang related activities. And besides the danger he posed to the police officers, he had a loaded gun in school! What would he have done with that gun if he had not been stopped? Innocent students or teachers could have lost their lives. It's happened many times before. The police officers had no choice and were following policy.
My son-in-law is a police officer. Were he to be shot by a mixed up 15 year old, he would still be just as dead as if he were shot by someone older. My daughter would be just as much a young widow if the shooter were 15 and my grandson would have to grow up without his daddy, no matter what the age of the shooter. If faced with the same situation, my son-in-law would have done the same thing. It might haunt him the rest of his life but he would have done it because he had to. I worked in "the system" for 24 years and you have no idea how vicious and dangerous some of these juveniles can be, every bit as much as the older ones. It is a shame, but anyone who points a loaded gun at a police officer and refuses to back down can expect this to happen.
Yes, Donna, I don't at all fault the police. I dated a cop for awhile, and learned quite a lot into their insight and training -- and as you said -- I am very sure this cop will be haunted by this -- just as the family will be. I think why it makes me so sick is because we lost a difficult child in all of this. Somehow our societal system or his family failed him - and that makes me sad. Or maybe they didn't fail him - and it just is - regardless - it is sad, and there should be something more we as a community could have done to make this better. I know, I am such a dreamer......
Step, I DO know people in LE and NO ONE in the US Law Enforcement is told to shoot to wound. Just isn't a doable goal. It is VERY much harder than most would think to shoot someone in a certain area. It isn't something you can practice and if an officer pulls the trigger it is ONLY to save other lives from the subject they are shooting at. I spent a LONG time shooting with my father and was VERY VERY VERY good - qualified for a lot of things that the only reason I couldn't participate in was my age at the time. Shooting to wound someone is a recipe to get yourself and those around killed.
It saddens me deeply that the student was killed, but unless some evidence comes to light that the officer knew, one hundred percent, that it was NOT a firearm, he did not have a choice. He had an armed subject who did NOT respond to directions and there were other people who could be targets.
It is very possible for a law enforcement officer to be in BIG trouble if they did NOT shoot to kill. Could end up in more firearms training, sanctions or the end of a career, depending on what happened.
My heart grieves for the family of the student, for the officers involved who had to make that decision and take the action, and for all of the families with students or parents or relatives in the school when the student started threatening with a weapon. It is a tragedy all around. Officers work HARD to not have to use their firearms, but they cannot always avoid it, even if the armed person is a minor.
I stand corrected... I was going off of all the koi around here where if an officer even wings someone it is a HUGE deal and OMG they are in trouble for discharging their weapon. (Jan 2010, a deputy was killed - shot in the head - because they were not allowed to shoot at the perp, though he was shooting at them... So.)
I agree that it is a very sad situation. I also agree that the police are not at fault. A 15 year old with what appears to be a lethal weapon scares the bejesus out of everybody and rightly so. I feel for the student, his family, and the police officers. In a situation like this there are no winners.
Even worse is that the media has reported he was holding a pellet gun. You know the officers will be vilified for their actions because "it wasn't THAT dangerous". (Sure it is.) Regardless - if he was holding a darned squirt gun - he was threatening others.
Mutt - you are 100% right about this being a losing situation for all involved.
We had a situation where there was an armed stand-down (tac squad, whole bit) of a family van - because the kid in the back row was pointing a water pistol at other cars... but when they printed a picture of the water pistol, it sure looked real to the rest of us too - and by the time you're looking through a semi-tinted window, how can you tell? In this case, though, everybody in the van cooperated, there was no shoot out, nobody got hurt.
The officers have a split second to determine what the weapon is.
The police around here are stun gun crazy. Often they are used on unarmed kids who likely could be safely brought under control with appropriate physical interventions. Fortunately I am no expert in containment methods but that sounds like an ideal case for a stun gun..in lieu of a real gun. I'm not faulting law enforcement but the boy obviously was not on peer level and it makes me sick to read of another young difficult child with insuffient supports. Sigh. DDD
That's what i was thinking, Q is 15 in eighth grade... usually you think of kids with delays etc. though it depends on birthdays etc...he is at the beginning of Jan so early in the year. He only had two 3rd grade years...but he doesn't really know that, we changed districts and I just put him back in third grade because he had never really had oen second of third grade at the other district. It was all on paper but they mainstreamed him in second so it was stupid. But he is the oldest of most of the kids he knows for sure. Usually you think there must have been something.. If he was not originally from teh US maybe he started school late though.
The thing about a "stun gun" is that you have to get close enough to the subject to touch them with it! The police couldn't do that when facing what appeared to be a person with a loaded lethal weapon aimed right at them! Even if they had tried to use the kind of tazer that shoots electrified barbs into the subject from a short distance away, that takes some doing and setting up and this was a person with his finger on the trigger - a stray bullet could have gone anywhere! The police had absolutely no choice. Unfortunately this is a society where armed students have gone into schools and killed and injured dozens of innocent students and teachers and the police respond accordingly.
And don't forget ... all the boy had to do is drop the gun when they told him to and he would still be alive and well today! It almost appears to be a case of "suicide by cop". It happens. I feel very sorry for all involved but if you refuse to cooperate and you aim what appears to be a loaded weapon at police officers, they're going to shoot you!
Step, if you are in Southern OH then you have what seems to be a unique situation, in my opinion. Having lived there for years, I have NO idea how the cops don't just leave. The way a shooting is handled there is far different than it is in most areas. Less lethal methods like stun guns, pepper spray and bean bag guns, etc... are always a nice idea, but the media there seems to think that since those things exist a cop should try ALL of them before thinking of shooting. Given the problems in the area, which I am sure are NOT made better since we moved away, I find this a crazy expectation. I can, to some degree, see why the general public thinks you should try other things first, but honestly, if someone is holding a weapon and doesn't stop when told to, a person would be nuts or stupid to NOT shoot, in my opinion. I would hope that cops are not stupid because that doesn't bode well for the safety of the rest of us.
I CAN see how, given media reaction and the pressure the police dept feels from the media and the public uproar the media delights in creating, you would think they were trained to wound. It just isn't a realistic expectation, not any more than having one of our difficult children suddenly be "all better" and no longer have any problems.
in my opinion before ANY journalist can write something saying that law enforcement should shoot to wound someone, they need to go to a practice range and see exactly how hard it is to shoot a gun and hit center mass on a target. I have a feeling we would see a LOT fewer media reports about how LE should shoot to wound. Esp if the journalist can then think of trying to hit that target while the target is moving and trying to shoot back.
But the area Step lives in has had some really strange media reports about shootings and it HAS changed the way LE does their job - and made it FAR more dangerous for the officers.
...And not only is it far more dangerous for the area, but we also have problems with funding and budgets, meaning there aren't as MANY cops. (And I won't hijack the thread, but we also have lowered expectations for the tests because the hiring quotas for minorities weren't being met. Honestly, I don't care if an officer is GREEN and has buggy eyes and speaks like Marvin the Martian, if he's helping me COMPETENTLY, I'm thrilled.)
So did the kid have a pellet gun, or no? Oh - just read yes. Well - then - now I have a whole lot more opinions about this - but I will spare all of you.
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