Update: Everett police shot at man 17 times

Update: Everett police shot at man 17 times

This is a discussion on Update: Everett police shot at man 17 times within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I have taken the liberty of "bolding" a few sentences that I thought were noteworthy. Local News | Everett police shot at man 17 times ...

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  1. #1
    VIP Member Array JonInNY's Avatar
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    Update: Everett police shot at man 17 times

    I have taken the liberty of "bolding" a few sentences that I thought were noteworthy.

    Local News | Everett police shot at man 17 times | Seattle Times Newspaper

    ===============================
    Police scrambled back when the door swung open at an Everett man's home Nov. 8, 2008, and they found themselves staring at the barrel of a shotgun.

    The Everett officers were summoned to Dustin Willard's home by a 911 call reporting a possible burglary in progress. They took up positions around the house and rang the doorbell.

    What followed was sudden violence in the dark, according to more than 800 pages of reports from the official investigation of the shooting, released Thursday to The Herald under state public records laws.

    Willard was carrying a loaded 12-gauge shotgun. When he didn't immediately heed commands to drop the weapon, and pointed it at the uniformed officers, three of them opened fire, according to the police reports.

    A total of 17 shots were fired. Willard was hit four times. He died just inside the door of his home.

    Willard, 31, had been out enjoying a night of drinking with friends. He apparently was locked out of his house, and had kicked the front door and then stumbled loudly through his back yard before forcing his way through the back door.

    Neighbors mistook the noise Willard made as sounds made by a burglar and they summoned police.

    The fatal shooting was investigated by a special team of homicide detectives with the Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team.

    Their progress was slowed by turnaround times at the state crime lab. tests on DNA samples took 10 months. Ballistics testing took nearly a year.

    Snohomish County Prosecutor Mark Roe has yet to indicate whether he believes the police killing was legally justified.

    The Willard family in October filed a claim for damages with the city of Everett for up to $20 million. They've been in anguish, waiting for detectives to finish their investigation, said their attorney, Angelo Calfo of Seattle.

    "It's not as simple as Dustin pointed a gun at officers and they feared for their lives," Calfo said Thursday. "It's more complicated than that."

    Police rushed to the home in the 2400 block of 23rd Street about 1:45 a.m. after neighbors called 911.

    When officers arrived they spotted a muddy shoe print on the front door - evidence they believed that somebody had tried to kick their way inside.

    Lights were on in the home and a TV could be heard.

    Officers told investigators they followed procedure and quietly surrounded the house. Then an officer said he rang the doorbell, twice.

    Willard opened the door, leveling a shotgun, reports said.

    Positioned behind a utility pole, Everett police officer Sunny Radosevich said she began yelling "Gun!" when she saw the shotgun's barrel nose out of the front door.

    Officers Stephen Harney and Aaron Showalter were feet from Willard, near the porch. They told detectives how they scrambled back while bringing up their handguns and aiming at the man with the shotgun.

    "I yell, Police .... drop the gun,'" Harney was quoted in transcript of his interview with detectives. His voice was described as shaky as he recounted the shock of realizing that a real weapon - not a toy - was aimed his direction.

    "The only thought in my mind is this guy's gonna kill me with a gun. I didn't think that he was a homeowner or a burglar. It's a guy with a gun," he told detectives.

    Showalter described being transfixed by the shotgun's barrel as it preceded Willard through the open door. He told detectives he started to fire as he was backing away, heard gunshots and saw Harney fall. He didn't know the other officer had tripped.

    "At that moment I believed my partner had been shot and uh, I was in fear for my life," Showalter was quoted in the police transcript.

    Radosevich said she and the other officers were yelling at Willard to put down the weapon, but she opened fire after he appeared to move the shotgun into position to shoot police.

    "I think he would have killed the officers that were standing in front of the house," she told detectives. "He coulda killed me."

    The officers and Everett Fire Department paramedics unsuccessfully tried to revive Willard.

    Each of the officers was questioned by investigators after they reviewed their statements with an attorney, the detectives' report said.

    It will be up to Roe, the prosecutor, to determine if charges are warranted.

    Last year Roe charged Everett police officer Troy Meade with first-degree manslaughter for the June 10 killing of Niles Meservey behind the Chuckwagon Inn. The shooting happened as Meade was trying to get the drunken man out of his car.

    Meservey's family also filed a claim against the city. They're demanding up to $15 million.

    Willard's death has been difficult for his family. They remembered him as an upstanding man and have struggled during the yearlong investigation, said Calfo, their attorney.

    "Mr. Willard came to the door when the officers knocked. Not knowing their identity, he carried a shotgun for protection," Willard's relatives said in their claim for damages. "Under the circumstances, the officers' actions were, among other things, negligent, reckless and outrageous."
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch; Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
    -- Benjamin Franklin


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Willard was carrying a loaded 12-gauge shotgun.

    When he didn't immediately heed commands to drop the weapon, and pointed it at the uniformed officers, three of them opened fire ...

    A total of 17 shots were fired. Willard was hit four times.

    "Biased" reporting? I don't see much to indicate bias.

    The big question that comes to my mind is: When the commands to drop the gun were issued, how much actual time transpired from the point of issuance of the command and the start of gunfire? With a barrel of a 12ga shotgun pointing at one's face, my guess is the actual time was very small ... but that's just a guess. "Instantaneous" might frankly not be enough time for most people.

    Tough situation. View it from the perspective of a responding officer, as if you yourself were coming in response to a call of a burglary / break-in. If it occurred according to the reports, that the door opened in response to a "knock" and a shotgun was immediately leveled at the visitors, then it's hard to see that responding officers are supposed to have done anything else.

    As for 17 rounds, I can see four officers shooting several times each, in a situation where they were being covered by a shotgun from a few feet away. Absolutely.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
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  3. #3
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    Based on the story as printed, it sounds like a justified shooting. Failure to obey commands, especially when armed with a shotgun, is a good way to get shot.
    Freedom doesn't come free. It is bought and paid for by the lives and blood of our men and women in uniform.

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    A very sad situation indeed. I doubt that the alcohol assisted in the homeowner's response time to drop the shotgun. It certainly didn't help his judgement as to why police might be at his door, wondering if someone had broken in.

    One of the many reasons why I don't drink anymore.
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Another drunk only this time he broke into his own house,knowing how people under the influence react to commands,I'm assuming that he was trying to process the commands,and thinking I'm in my own home and I have every right to be here
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  6. #6
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    Mr. Willard came to the door when the officers knocked. Not knowing their identity, he carried a shotgun for protection," Willard's relatives said in their claim for damages. "Under the circumstances, the officers' actions were, among other things, negligent, reckless and outrageous."
    False.

    It is too bad that a man was shot while in his own home, but if you point a shotgun at police officers, what do you think will happen? If he had not been such a drunk fool, he would have never found himself in this mess.
    "a reminder that no law can replace personal responsibility" - Bill Clinton 2010.

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    Another drunk ...

    knowing how people under the influence react to commands,I'm assuming that he was trying to process the commands ...
    If drunk enough, I can see how a person's inability to process the situation quickly enough could easily go past the time allotted by the LEO's prior to opening up on him.

    Makes you wonder, though: what inspired him to answer the door with a shotgun in hand.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
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  8. #8
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    Good Gawd... if you point a gun at a cop, there's a very good chance you are going to get shot... A LOT!

    SHEESH!
    ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!

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  9. #9
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    You want to have/see a lot of problems? Consume a lot of alcohol, and wait around...Murphy's Law says that it's just a matter of time.

    The cops here probably had little time to make a difficult decision...I see not fault with the LEO's reaction.
    The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.

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    Senior Member Array dsee11789's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    Makes you wonder, though: what inspired him to answer the door with a shotgun in hand.
    They surrounded the house. Maybe he saw people with guns outside.

    Sounds like a good shoot to me and it sounds like they have a prosecuter who likes prosecuting cops. I'd like more info on the other incident where the Officer was charged with murder.
    Last edited by dsee11789; January 30th, 2010 at 05:22 PM.
    Exodus 22:2 "If a thief is caught breaking in and is struck so that he dies, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed"

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsee11789 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    Makes you wonder, though: what inspired him to answer the door with a shotgun in hand.
    They surrounded the house. Maybe he saw people with guns outside.
    Exactly, which makes me wonder what inspired him to open the door, shotgun or not.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array dsee11789's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    Exactly, which makes me wonder what inspired him to open the door, shotgun or not.
    Probably because he was hammered. That's why guns and alcohol don't mix. People feel invincible when they are drunk or high.


    Most of us answer the door with a pistol. But we keep ours hidden. Maybe he always answered the door with a shotty but this time because he was drunk he made a huge booboo.
    Exodus 22:2 "If a thief is caught breaking in and is struck so that he dies, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed"

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    "Mr. Willard came to the door when the officers knocked. Not knowing their identity, he carried a shotgun for protection," Willard's relatives said in their claim for damages. "
    Think the LEO's and the relatives will be invited to the White House to hash this out?

    Michael

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array dsee11789's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlr1m View Post
    Think the LEO's and the relatives will be invited to the White House to hash this out?

    Michael
    Nope cuz the president doesn't have a biased personal interest in this.
    Exodus 22:2 "If a thief is caught breaking in and is struck so that he dies, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed"

  15. #15
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    I somewhat disagree with this was justified---First, what is unknown with certainty is if the police actually announced themselves as police. Second, we don't really know if he had the gun pointed at them or up, or down---we only have one side of the story. Third, he was in his own home at 1 am. Yes, shouldn't have opened the door with or without shotgun in hand, but the very same scene likely would have happened if he was sober or not. I doubt anyone gave him time to put the gun down. Or, they could have interpreted a motion of the gun as an act of aggression even while he was trying to put it down.

    Alcohol and guns don't mix. But neither does rushing into an unknown situation make for good careful work or prevent accidental shootings and accidental (unwise) arrests of the sort we frequently read about in the news.

    Blame!! There's some for both sides here.

    And then there is this--"Their progress was slowed by turnaround times at the state crime lab. tests on DNA samples took 10 months. Ballistics testing took nearly a year."

    The above has a peculiar sound to it, as if something, like the investigation, is being slowed down deliberately.

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