Police gun down 83-year-old woman responding to 911 call she dialed

This is a discussion on Police gun down 83-year-old woman responding to 911 call she dialed within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Ladies & Gentlemen: It stinks of bad luck, but most gun battles are decided on the first shot or two. Would you be willing to ...

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  1. #31
    Member Array Tayopo's Avatar
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    Ladies & Gentlemen: It stinks of bad luck, but most gun battles are decided on the first shot or two. Would you be willing to let a non responsive, physically unidefieable body at night, in the dark, try for the first shot? What wasn't reported was she clearly identified as a female in light clothing, carrying s pistol? If not, I cannot fault the police too much

    .A true event which passed with me -->

    "The action sorta reminds me of the time my partner and I were backpacking down the west coast of Mexico in the 50's. There were 'no' roads then what-so-ever, then just trails.
    We hadn't seen any sign of people for three days except for one spot where a set of bare feet came out of the jungle to the beach and a hole in the sand, with broken Turtle eggs shells scattered around.

    We made camp in a wide dry arroyo for protection from the early morning breeze which to us was cold, since we were now acclimated, but had only one blanket apiece..
    After dinner as it grew dark we just watched the play of phosphorescence in the multiple lines of the waves, It was beautiful, similar to sheet lightning, but in continuous multiple layers. You could actually walk by the light from the waves with no moon light.

    We were quietly enjoying the view when I heard my partner hiss. I looked up and saw two figures, bent over, as if hiding, running towards our camp.

    We both had our pistols ready and as they approached the no pass zone ---"

    So what would you do, shoot or not ? Remember, if they passed the no pass zone they were within a few steps of reaching us if they meant harm.

    Don jose de la Mancha

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  3. #32
    Member Array Glhadiator's Avatar
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    This is tragic. My thoughts go out to the womans family.

    Now lets dig into the pulpy center. I don't know how many times I have read in this forum, "It's dark and someone levels a gun at me I'm taking them out!" And I believe that in every state (at least mine for sure) the moment someone has pointed a gun at you that you can defend your action as self defense because your life was in imminent danger. Survival requires action measured in seconds. I am confident that we all agree with this concept.

    Lets pretend we are the LEO that fateful night. We have been called to a house where there has been a reported prowler. It is dark. As we are clearing the perimeter we hear a gunshot. Our adrenaline surges. We must move quickly now as there is possibly a victim that has been shot and needs immediate assistance. Giving away our position we use our flashlight to sweep the area. There! Someone exiting the house with a gun!
    Our adrenaline surges even more. This isn't training and we aren't at the range. There is an armed BG running from the house. We yell at the perp to drop their weapon as we train the light and our gun on them. The BG doesn't comply with the order but instead turns and points the gun straight at the light...us! There isn't time to think. We pull the trigger to neutralize the BG.

    I am not 83 years old. Maybe you aren't either. But no matter your age, if we don't fully understand the risk involved when we decide to carry a gun then we should never pick it up. A gun can level the playing field for us, but it can also put us at a greater risk of harm as well. A person can reduce the risk involved by training. But even then a certain amount of risk will always remain.

    I don't blame the LE for this tragic incident.

    If you decide to step onto the field you better wear a striped shirt or be prepared to be tackled.
    tacman605 likes this.

    Serve my country, swear an oath to protect it, pay my taxes, fly old glory in the front yard, love and protect my family, honor the vets before me and help fellow americans in need.
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  4. #33
    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gottabkiddin View Post
    She made some mistakes for sure, none of which should she have paid for with her life.. A little compassion for the deceased should be in order IMO. Also my opinion, I think she showed more courage than some dudes I know. From what I read she was trying to walk to her daughters house with her gun for protection when the LEO'S happened upon her in her own back yard...
    Can old folks kill ya, absolutely. Would she have shot one of the LEO's, well I guess we'll never know will we as they shot first. I'm not down on the LEO's, I just think it sucks that a lady that lived for 83 years on this earth had to go out like that.
    Agreed, it's a sucky situation and lots of things happen that shouldn't, but she did contribute greatly to how things worked out and the LEO's shouldn't have to pay for her mistakes any more than the personal anguish they are currently experiencing.
    gottabkiddin likes this.

  5. #34
    Member Array JayTee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glhadiator View Post
    Lets pretend we are the LEO that fateful night. We have been called to a house where there has been a reported prowler. It is dark. As we are clearing the perimeter we hear a gunshot. Our adrenaline surges. We must move quickly now as there is possibly a victim that has been shot and needs immediate assistance. Giving away our position we use our flashlight to sweep the area. There! Someone exiting the house with a gun!
    Our adrenaline surges even more. This isn't training and we aren't at the range. There is an armed BG running from the house. We yell at the perp to drop their weapon as we train the light and our gun on them. The BG doesn't comply with the order but instead turns and points the gun straight at the light...us! There isn't time to think. We pull the trigger to neutralize the BG.
    Normally I'd be up to playing a hypothetical game but your portrayal of this scenario is a little too outlandish. First, I'd hope that cops are trained well enough to not make life and death decisions based on their adrenaline levels. Anyway, like I said, I doubt the scene went down like you described because I doubt that 83 year old granny was actually running from the house. Also, according to the article, they did have lights on her and saw her well before shooting her. That being said, I really hope we would all have enough between the ears to realize that this little old lady is not the "perp" as you say, especially considering that the old lady was the one who made the 911 call in the first place! At some point, common sense has to come in to play. But what do I know.
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  6. #35
    Member Array Glhadiator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayTee View Post
    Normally I'd be up to playing a hypothetical game but your portrayal of this scenario is a little too outlandish. First, I'd hope that cops are trained well enough to not make life and death decisions based on their adrenaline levels. Anyway, like I said, I doubt the scene went down like you described because I doubt that 83 year old granny was actually running from the house. Also, according to the article, they did have lights on her and saw her well before shooting her. That being said, I really hope we would all have enough between the ears to realize that this little old lady is not the "perp" as you say, especially considering that the old lady was the one who made the 911 call in the first place! At some point, common sense has to come in to play. But what do I know.
    I think you missed my point entirely. You did seem to understand that it was hypothetical. Perhaps I wasn't clear in making my point so I'll spell it out, or at least try to, better.

    I wasn't at any point trying to say that this was exactly how it went down. I don't have all of the details. But when examining an incident it is neccessary to place yourself into both perspectives. Otherwise you can only make a biased judgement. And lets not forget, making a judgement is what we are doing. We are reading the article and making a judgement based on the information we have available to us. Discussing the pros and cons so that we may learn something from it.

    Do you really think that the LEO isn't thinking he is seeing the BG in the backyard? A) There was a reported prowler. B) LE heard a shot C) They spot someone in the backyard with a weapon. If they aren't thinking that's a possible BG then they really don't know what they're doing.

    You stated that you hoped we would all have enough between the ears to know that this little old lady was not the perp. It would have been less insulting if you would have simply described to everyone just how you would have enough between the ears to have arrived at this conclusion under the conditions as described in the article.

    So you don't think adrenaline flows through the veins of LEOs? You can be trained to stop this flow? Making claims such as this don't strengthen your statement. What do you think fuels heightened awareness?

    In the movies the GGs always manage to not shoot each other. It doesn't happen that way in real life. In a life and death situation you don't get the luxury of cross-examination. Sitting on your couch after having read the article I don't doubt that you already know that an LEO shot an 83 year old woman. But I challenge you to take some training that would simulate situations like this and see how much you know in that 3-5 second window.

    Perhaps you just don't like LE. I don't know. But my guess would be that the LEO is in a real bad place right now regardless if it is determined a good shoot or not. It doesn't matter that this woman made a lot of mistakes that ultimately resulted in her death. This guy is gonna be in a bad place.

    Serve my country, swear an oath to protect it, pay my taxes, fly old glory in the front yard, love and protect my family, honor the vets before me and help fellow americans in need.
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  7. #36
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    I am trying my best to be polite in my reply, I already started over twice so let's try this one.

    First this is a horrible tragedy for both the family and the officers involved. I am sure the officers did not start their shift with a competition of who could be the first to shoot a senior citizen on their shift.

    Some things stood out in the article. She had never fired her gun before this night, She fired a shot through a window to scare off the intruder. She had neither her hearing aid or glasses on. The family should have either talked to her or shown her what to do in the event of a self defense encounter. As has been stated if she had neither glasses or hearing aid in how did she even know there was a prowler.
    Had this been some other individual who fired a shot through the window members of this site would have been having them for lunch but because of her age and circumstance and the fact that her life was ended she is given a pass by some so to speak.

    The comment has been made that the officers lacked common sense. Let's look at that. Officers respond to a prowler call. A shot is heard or reported. A person is seen in the backyard of the house and identified as someone with a gun. That person is given commands to put the weapon down and fails to comply and then points the weapon either intentionally or simply by turning in the direction of the officers. The officers respond to the threat of a person with a weapon by using lethal force to end that threat. Where is the lack of common sense? A grandmother/grandfather or for that matter a 13 year old can kill you just as easy as a healthy adult male with murder on his mind.

    Let's say the officers did not fire and the woman fires another shot to "scare off the intruder" and kills one of the officers. What would the responses be then? Should they still hold their fire because it is grandma? Not if they want to live long.
    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

  8. #37
    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gottabkiddin View Post
    I'm gonna get nailed for this I know, but, what ever happened to, KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOUR TARGET IS BEFORE YOU SHOOT! Very sad situation.
    Not nailed, but taken to task. They new what there target was, it was a lady holding a gun pointed in there direction. How much more of a threat does an individual have to be, before we say to our officers its ok to shoot.

    This is a very tragic situation for both sides.
    Glhadiator likes this.
    Don"t let stupid be your skill set....

  9. #38
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harryball View Post
    Not nailed, but taken to task. They new what there target was, it was a lady holding a gun pointed in there direction. How much more of a threat does an individual have to be, before we say to our officers its ok to shoot.

    This is a very tragic situation for both sides.
    Taken to task.... I think not. Your judgment of what a deadly threat is by comparison to what I would consider a deadly threat are two totally different things. If I was a LEO and in the same exact situation, I believe I could convince the little lady that I was there to help and not to shoot me, therefore I wouldn't need to shoot her either. Yeah, this is a tragic situation, but AGAIN! Know your friggin target before you put it down... By some of the statements in this thread, I can get a clear picture that some of you would shoot into a bush just because it growled at you.

    I'm not after the officers badges and what not, but I'll almost bet anything that unlike the little old lady, excuse me, hardened would be criminal, that they had the option to stay behind cover and continue to try to make contact with a obviously frightened little lady; and if they didn't know it was a little old lady, they should have, then maybe they wouldn't have killed her.... Oh' and for anyone that says maybe they didn't have cover, to that I'd say, well they sure as hell should have. You just don't go head long like a banshee into a possible life or death situation, you approach it with caution and forethought. Face it, they messed up, she messed up. BUT, she's not the one with training, end of story.
    JayTee likes this.
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luke 22:36

    "If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." Thomas Jefferson

  10. #39
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    Let's posit this one a bit differently. How do you convince a scared armed person who has already squeezed off a couple panic rounds that you are a good guy there to help? On top of the tunnel vision and auditory exclusion most of us experience during an adrenaline dump, they aren't wearing glasses, so they can't really see your badge and uniform (if you happen to be a uni). They aren't hearing you because their hearing aid is on the table. They can, however, see you well enough to point that gun at you. What do you do?

  11. #40
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    Let's posit this one a bit differently. How do you convince a scared armed person who has already squeezed off a couple panic rounds that you are a good guy there to help? On top of the tunnel vision and auditory exclusion most of us experience during an adrenaline dump, they aren't wearing glasses, so they can't really see your badge and uniform (if you happen to be a uni). They aren't hearing you because their hearing aid is on the table. They can, however, see you well enough to point that gun at you. What do you do?
    Simple. Stay behind cover and let her make it to her sisters house alive
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luke 22:36

    "If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." Thomas Jefferson

  12. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by gottabkiddin View Post
    Simple. Stay behind cover and let her make it to her sisters house alive
    If the police had been privy to any of that info when they rolled up, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

  13. #42
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    If the police had been privy to any of that info when they rolled up, we wouldn't be having this discussion.
    Very true.
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luke 22:36

    "If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." Thomas Jefferson

  14. #43
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    Gottabkiddin. I understand your views but again we are taking for granted that there was even cover available we simply don't know. We don't know what the officers were told of the call. Again they could have rolled up gotten out and she shot out of her window or a neighbor could have been screaming "someone is shooting".

    As far as letting her walk to her sisters house as stated the officers did not know who she was or where she was going they simply could not let her walk off with a gun it can't happen.
    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

  15. #44
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gottabkiddin View Post
    Taken to task.... I think not. Your judgment of what a deadly threat is by comparison to what I would consider a deadly threat are two totally different things. If I was a LEO and in the same exact situation, I believe I could convince the little lady that I was there to help and not to shoot me, therefore I wouldn't need to shoot her either. Yeah, this is a tragic situation, but AGAIN! Know your friggin target before you put it down... By some of the statements in this thread, I can get a clear picture that some of you would shoot into a bush just because it growled at you.

    I'm not after the officers badges and what not, but I'll almost bet anything that unlike the little old lady, excuse me, hardened would be criminal, that they had the option to stay behind cover and continue to try to make contact with a obviously frightened little lady; and if they didn't know it was a little old lady, they should have, then maybe they wouldn't have killed her.... Oh' and for anyone that says maybe they didn't have cover, to that I'd say, well they sure as hell should have. You just don't go head long like a banshee into a possible life or death situation, you approach it with caution and forethought. Face it, they messed up, she messed up. BUT, she's not the one with training, end of story.
    There are a lot of dead LEOs out there who thought they could talk people out of doing stuff. My first call out on my department's Peer Support Team was to a neighboring county for two deputies being killed by someone they were helping and just talking to. They believed they could talk to the guy and calm him down and take him to the hospital. If they hadn't believed so much they might be alive today. If they hadn't believed so much they would have been the ones at their kids birthday parties and weddings instead of me and some of my coworkers.

    The officers knew that they were pointing their weapons at a little old lady who was pointing a weapon at them. Did she know she was pointing her weapon at police officers? Maybe she did. Knowing nothing of her history (medical etc) do we know enough to say that this was not a suicide by cop? It is a perfect set up for one. The folks at church would be much more sympathetic (suicide being a sin) than if she ate the gun. The inusrance people might even pay double indemnity on this.

    I think there is more to investigate here.

    As far as having the option to stay behind cover goes I must disagree with you. She chose to leave the security of her house to wander out into the dark. She is the one that went out the back instead of going out front to meet the officers that she had summoned. Checking the perimeter requires movement. Frequently that requires moving in the open. That is the situation that she created, not the officers. The officers have a shot fired and an unidentified person leaving the house armed. How far should they let that person walk while they try to make contact with anyone inside the house? Should they just let her wander off while they go in and clear the house?
    Infowars- Proving David Hannum right on a daily basis

  16. #45
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcp1810 View Post
    There are a lot of dead LEOs out there who thought they could talk people out of doing stuff. My first call out on my department's Peer Support Team was to a neighboring county for two deputies being killed by someone they were helping and just talking to. They believed they could talk to the guy and calm him down and take him to the hospital. If they hadn't believed so much they might be alive today. If they hadn't believed so much they would have been the ones at their kids birthday parties and weddings instead of me and some of my coworkers. The officers knew that they were pointing their weapons at a little old lady who was pointing a weapon at them. Did she know she was pointing her weapon at police officers? Maybe she did. Knowing nothing of her history (medical etc) do we know enough to say that this was not a suicide by cop? It is a perfect set up for one. The folks at church would be much more sympathetic (suicide being a sin) than if she ate the gun. The inusrance people might even pay double indemnity on this.I think there is more to investigate here. As far as having the option to stay behind cover goes I must disagree with you. She chose to leave the security of her house to wander out into the dark. She is the one that went out the back instead of going out front to meet the officers that she had summoned. Checking the perimeter requires movement. Frequently that requires moving in the open. That is the situation that she created, not the officers. The officers have a shot fired and an unidentified person leaving the house armed. How far should they let that person walk while they try to make contact with anyone inside the house? Should they just let her wander off while they go in and clear the house?
    Quote Originally Posted by tacman605 View Post
    Gottabkiddin. I understand your views but again we are taking for granted that there was even cover available we simply don't know. We don't know what the officers were told of the call. Again they could have rolled up gotten out and she shot out of her window or a neighbor could have been screaming "someone is shooting".As far as letting her walk to her sisters house as stated the officers did not know who she was or where she was going they simply could not let her walk off with a gun it can't happen.
    Obviously you guys have valid points and good reasoning behind your thoughts. Again, I'm not overly down on the officers for the situation they rolled up on. Could it have been avoided, I believe so. What should they have done differently, again I have no idea as I wasn't there, I'm just frustrated that, most likely a sweetheart of lady was shoot down by accident. All i can think is; If we simply take the line of thought of, oh well it's all her own fault and the officers have no fault at all. Just what's to stop the next similar situation should one develop. IMO, this type of situation should be thoroughly examined and scrutinized for procedural options so this type of thing never happens again. All I know is , there's gotta be something better than; I see a shadow with a gun and it's not responding to my commands, so I'm gonna kill it.




    I'll let you guys have the last word on the subject as I'm at a loss for words regarding the whole situation. IMO, it's just a shame and incredibly sad she died the way she did..
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luke 22:36

    "If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." Thomas Jefferson

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