Charges wieghed in Whaleyville store shooting

Charges wieghed in Whaleyville store shooting

This is a discussion on Charges wieghed in Whaleyville store shooting within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Thoughts anyone? SUFFOLK, VA The Commonwealth's Attorney's Office has begun its review of the deadly shooting of a burglar by a Whaleyville store owner. Deputy ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array Flippinstk's Avatar
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    Charges wieghed in Whaleyville store shooting

    Thoughts anyone?


    SUFFOLK, VA

    The Commonwealth's Attorney's Office has begun its review of the deadly shooting of a burglar by a Whaleyville store owner.

    Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Will Jamerson said his office received the Suffolk police investigation into the June 21 incident Thursday afternoon. "It will be thorough," Jamerson said. "I can't tell you how long it will take."

    The owner of J&L Food Mart, James H. Durden Jr., shot 38-year-old Ernest Scott Roop four times through a window after a monitor near his bed alerted him to the 4 a.m. break-in.

    Durden, 46, told police that Roop pointed something at him from inside the store.

    Roop did not have a gun. Search warrants show that he carried a knife and sheath, but a city spokeswoman would not say whether he was holding it at the time of the shooting. A folding knife and a crowbar were also recovered from the scene.

    Charges for the fatal shooting could range from murder to manslaughter to none at all.
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    This really doesn't fall under concealed carry, but my thoughts are that I am glad that I don't live in VA, if they are thinking about pressing charges on the store owner for this incident.

    I am curious however about the shooting through the window, after a break in. Lot of details that are left out, like where the shooter was in relation to the burglar, and if possibly the crow bar could have been mistaked for a firearm due to the location/lighting or any other factors.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    'Durden the dirtbag' was there at 4 A.M. with a knife and a crowbar, and trying to get into the store...Mmmmm, let's see, he was a good man who was just trying to get inside early to set up his girl scout cookie display...NOT!

    I hope the DA sees this for what it is...a man who was threatened and feared for his life...from a dirtbag trying to break into his store.
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    Ex Member Array GreenHorn's Avatar
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    Sounds like a good shoot to me.

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    VIP Member Array Tom G's Avatar
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    I think the BG was where he shouldn't have been and The store owner had every right to shoot him. The BG had the tools to break in and a weapon. It seems like the BG have more rights Then the hard working citizen

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Bet the Burglaries around town took a big drop
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    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    As I'd posted in the original thread this guy is in deep brown trouble.
    VA has a history, recent history, of taking folk to the mat with anything but an extremely clean and clear shoot as related to use of lethal force. I'd provided a handful of recent case examples similar to this latest one and those others have also found them self waist deep in it.

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    Senior Member Array digitalexplr's Avatar
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    The story doesn't give anywhere near enough details to determine whether it was a good shoot or not.

    Was the BG already inside or just at a window? Where was the owner in relationship to the shooter? What window was the owner shooting through? How far away from the BG was the owner? Did the BG have the crow bar or knife in his hands? How was the owner's life threatened to justify lethal force?

    The story doesn't answer any of these questions.

    When you take someone's life and claim it was in self-defense, the evidence best be on your side.
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    When did owner call Poilce? If he simply went to the store to "defend" his property then there is a problem (this is assuming that the owner does not live in the back of or over the store). Although as a juror I would still have to ask why he was there with a gun simply because he saw a guy breaking in to his store at 4 a.m. I agree the guy was not there to stock the Coke or Pepsi display but there comes the "Why did you go there knowing there was a BG present?" That is why I pay taxes and insurance. [flame suit]

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    Look at the original thread. Much more detail and links to story.

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    Heres the original thread:

    Everybody first needs to shut up, and the newsies need to stop making thieves look like Boy Scouts.

    Police: Man killed in Suffolk break-in had no gun | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.com

    A man who was shot to death early Sunday by the owner of the store he had broken into did not have a gun, a police spokeswoman said Monday.

    James Howard Durden Jr. fired from outside his convenience store and in through a window at Ernest Scott Roop, 38, after he was alerted from home in the early morning hours Sunday to the break-in at his nearby business.

    Debbie George, the police spokeswoman, said Durden told police that Roop "pointed something at him," but she said she did not know if that was when Durden fired. In the store, police found a tire iron that they think Roop used, but it was not near his body, she said.

    Meanwhile, police tested Durden's blood for alcohol after they noted - and a breath test confirmed - the presence of it on him shortly after the shooting, according to a search warrant filed Monday in Circuit Court.

    Those details, as well as a review of surveillance camera footage, are part of an investigation into whether Durden, 46, was justified in firing his .45-caliber handgun at his J&L Food Mart in the rural village of Whaleyville.

    The case then will be sent to the commonwealth's attorney to decide whether it warrants criminal charges, George said.

    In general, the law is very grudging on private citizens' use of lethal force, but it is more clear on the right to kill to protect a life than on doing so to protect property, said Anne Coughlin, a criminal law professor at the University of Virginia.

    Such cases are rare, and there is no recent Virginia case law on the topic, Coughlin said. Details such as how threatened Durden felt will come into play, she said.

    "This is a tough, tough call for a prosecutor," she said.

    Durden did not respond to a message left at his store Monday, and no one answered the door at his home.

    He was badly shaken by the incident, said Mike Fowler, a friend who was with Durden's family the day after the shooting. He said he was confident Durden did what he felt he had to do.

    The friends both own businesse s and have talked about how they would handle a burglary. Their consensus, Fowler said, was to shoot only if their life depended on it.

    "There's no way in hell James Durden would have fired on somebody unless he felt 100 percent his life was in danger," Fowler said. "If anybody thinks he went up there like John Wayne and started shooting through the window like a damn fool, they're crazy."

    The window, at the side of the store, had four bullet holes. Two men from Suffolk Glass Inc. replaced the 3-foot-by-7-foot pane Monday. One of them, Sam Morris, said he replaced the same window about six months earlier on another burglary attempt.

    Durden had been the victim of multiple break-ins, Fowler said. None had been reported to the police within the past two years, according to the department's crime analyst, George said.

    Less than half a mile down the road, Michele Dunning said her general store has been broken into four times since September. A suspect in two of the cases was being prosecuted, she said.

    Few other businesses operate on the road that runs through Whaleyville. At the Food Mart, farm fields border two sides of the parking lot. Durden's home is just across the street.

    Inside the store, business seemed to run as usual Monday. Three men smoked cigarettes at a small table between the soft drink coolers and the racks of bread. One of them, Emmett Jessee, said he felt sorry for the man who was shot but believed Durden was in the right.

    Over by the register, at least three surveillance cameras looked down. Another pointed out toward the gas pumps through the window Durden shot into.

    The call to police came at 4:04 a.m. from someone from Durden's home, according to the search warrant. Minutes earlier, a device similar to a baby monitor had crackled to life in the house, alerting the Durdens to the break-in, George said.

    Fowler said the couple kept the device by their bed. Durden's wife went along to check on the store, saw the man inside and yelled at him through the window to leave, Fowler said.

    About two minutes into the call to police, the caller said shots had been fired, George said. The search warrant said the caller told police an unknown man was dead in the store.

    That man was Roop. To friends and family, he was "Scotty."

    He had struggled for years with drug addiction, his parents said Monday from their home, where Roop had been living.

    He had a criminal record, including a felony burglary conviction in 2003 that earned him jail time and was revoked twice, according to online court records.

    He also had an energetic, playful way about him and a 13-year-old daughter whom he adored, his parents said. He had recently befriended a 6-year-old neighbor boy who has cystic fibrosis.

    "Whenever he was sober, he was a sweetheart," said his mother, Diane Roop.

    Scott Roop recalled the time his son insisted on camping out on the side of a mountain, way up past where his family's hunting party spent the night. Then there was the time his cheap reel broke on a big catfish, so he stripped to his underwear and jumped into a cold pond to pull the line in by hand.

    The Roops said their son tried to quit his drug habit several times. He'd get clean and start eating right and exercising for a few months, but inevitably he'd falter.

    "He was a kind guy," Scott Roop said. "That's the thing about it that's so disturbing."
    While I agree Roop had no business in the store at 4AM, that is not what is being looked at here. Durden was outside of the store, Roop was inside. Durden himself told police that Roop pointed "something" at him, not he pointed a gun, or he pointed a knife, but he pointed something. There was sufficient space for Durden to back away and await the police without escalating it to a shooting. How many times have we said on here that shooting is a last resort? I'm afraid Mr Durden is going to face charges in the shooting. Hopefully after all the evidence is looked at they will go for the least charge possible.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array digitalexplr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cvhoss View Post
    Look at the original thread. Much more detail and links to story.

    Hoss
    Read the other thread. Does not look good for the store owner!
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  13. #13
    Member Array keboostman's Avatar
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    I think the store owner had better find the best lawyer he can afford. From the information available here, it would be hard to make a case for self defense and, at least in VA, burglary is not a capital crime.

    Maybe it was the alcohol, maybe it was frustration or anger from being robbed before, maybe it was adrenaline, maybe it was poor judgment, maybe it was trigger-happiness or maybe it was just a bad night. Whatever it was, it would take some tall talking to get to self defense or justifiable homicide.

  14. #14
    Ex Member Array PNUT's Avatar
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    Looks like the store owner is in the wrong, looks can also be decieving, if the BG pointed something at him and he thought it was a gun ,that's a definite plus. He should have called 911 and observed the store from a bit of distance.
    Getting shot and killed is one of the perks of being a scumbag and stealing from people,

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array highoctane's Avatar
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    Dont know how this one is going to work out. Sounds like he could be in trouble.

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