Wednesday, April 2, 2008

There's Always One

One of my fellow Platoon Sergeants, back in the day, used to say "There's always one."

What he meant, of course, is that there's always one person who can manage to screw up a good thing. Your platoon shooting for highest PT score in the company? There's one who's gonna flunk their PT test. Marksmanship? Yup, there'll be a bolo somewhere in the group.

Handgun carry permit holders are no different. While we hold ourselves up to be model citizens and the epitome of self control, there's always one who gets the wrong kind of headline:

Shooter of thief charged in death

Simmons, who lives at 989 Rock Point in the Pinewood Manor Apartments*, told police his car had been broken into four times in the past 12 months.

He told police he heard a noise outside, saw Watkins in his car, rushed outside and began shooting.

Watkins ran, but Simmons continued firing until the man ran out of sight, according to the affidavit.

A witness described hearing 10 to 12 shots, a pause, and then more shots.

Simmons then walked down the Pinewood Manor driveway to Raines, where he found Watkins lifeless, a police officer standing over him.

Simmons handed the officer his gun, a Smith & Wesson .40-caliber, and a handgun carry permit.

He was taken into custody.
Indeed he was. I can understand watching out for your property, and I also understand the frustration of being broken in to numerous times, but you don't gun dude down as he's running away from you. I'm sure the dead man was a choirboy and all, but still, in cases like that, you have to let it go. Here's the money quote:
Dist. Atty. Bill Gibbons said Tuesday his office believes the situation didn't merit the deadly response, because Simmons wasn't "in reasonable fear of imminent harm or death."
Yep. This guy was only charged with involuntary manslaughter, lucky for him. It could have (should have?) been a lot worse.

* You hear this place named a lot in the news. It's always bad.

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