May 26th, 2010 10:57 PM
Bad: CHL chases shoplifters... to shoot out their tires.
Fox KPTV 12: "I was just trying to stop robbery."
GRESHAM, Ore. -- A man arrested on suspicion of opening fire on two suspected iPhone thieves said he was just trying to do the right thing.
Roger Witter, 48, said he was at an AT&T store near Northwest Division Street and Civic Drive at about 7:45 p.m. Tuesday when he saw two men steal several iPhones.
Gresham police Sgt. Rick Wilson said Witter then chased after the thieves while armed with his gun. Witter ran to the corner and saw the men trying to drive away, so he decided to try to shoot out the car's tires, Wilson said.
“It just happened so fast. I was trying to do the right thing and stop a robbery. It just happened so quickly. I wasn’t planning on being a cowboy or any type of hero or anything like that. It just happened so quickly," Witter said.
Police said Witter fired two shots in direct line with the Gresham City Hall MAX stop park and ride. It's not clear if the shots hit the car.
Witter told police he was just trying to detain the suspects for police. He was booked into the Multnomah County Jail on charges of unlawful use of a weapon, unlawful discharge of a firearm, reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct.
"Those two rounds could have gone anywhere; in fact, we're still not sure where they went," Wilson said. "They could have struck an innocent bystander or damaged property."
Witter said he felt the good guy went to jail while the criminals got away.
“I was just trying to stop a robbery. I was trying to stop these guys so the police could come and get them," he said. "Maybe I went a little too far. But, at the time, it felt like the right thing to do."
Despite his intentions, police said Witter's actions were out of line.
"No matter how frustrated one may be with crime, it is not permissible to use deadly force in this type of situation," Wilson said.
Witter's concealed handgun license and his handgun were seized by police. He was released from jail Wednesday morning and was ordered to appear in court Wednesday afternoon.
Witter said he advises other people to think twice before they step in to stop a crime.
"I guess the message is don’t do anything and let stuff like this just happen and just let it go, I guess," Witter said.
The greater Portland area is relatively not gun friendly. There have been multiple protests lately over officer involved shootings. We had a protest when an officer was shot twice and then returned fire killing the suspect. I am amazed by the comments supporting this guys actions. Sometimes i don't get it.
This is my pistol, there are many like it but this one is special, this one is mine....
May 26th, 2010 11:02 PM
I was just reading this story on a news web site. IMHO, this guy exercised poor judgment and he will likely lose his ccw, unless the State of Oregon has something in the statute to legally protect him.
Duty, Honor, Country...MEDIC
¡Cuánto duele crecer, cuan hondo es el dolor de alzarse en puntillas y observar con temblores de angustia, esa cosa tremenda, que es la vida del hombre! - René Marqués
May 26th, 2010 11:06 PM
May 26th, 2010 11:56 PM
When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
"Don't forget, incoming fire has the right of way."
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