Slain officer's widow sues maker of his gun, suspect

Slain officer's widow sues maker of his gun, suspect

This is a discussion on Slain officer's widow sues maker of his gun, suspect within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; http://www.al.com/news/huntsvilletim...270.xml&coll=1 Slain officer's widow sues maker of his gun, suspect Saturday, September 01, 2007 By DAVID HOLDEN Times Staff Writer david.holden@htimes.com Owner of restaurant where ...

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Thread: Slain officer's widow sues maker of his gun, suspect

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    Slain officer's widow sues maker of his gun, suspect

    http://www.al.com/news/huntsvilletim...270.xml&coll=1

    Slain officer's widow sues maker of his gun, suspect
    Saturday, September 01, 2007
    By DAVID HOLDEN
    Times Staff Writer david.holden@htimes.com

    Owner of restaurant where fatal shooting occurred also named

    The widow of Huntsville Police Officer Daniel Golden, who was killed when his gun jammed while answering a disturbance call at a Mexican restaurant on Jordan Lane in 2005, is suing the man accused of shooting him, the restaurant owners and the maker of the gun Golden was carrying.

    Birmingham attorney Matthew C. Minner filed the lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of Donnesa M. Golden, the slain officer's beneficiary and widow, seeking unspecified damages.

    Las Americas LLC, which does business as Taqueria Jalisco Mexican Restaurant, also known as Jalisco Grocery, is one of the defendants. Capital murder suspect Benito Ocampo Albarran and the Beretta USA Corp., a weapons manufacturer, are also named as defendants.

    The lawsuit states that the owners and operators of Taqueria Jalisco were negligent and reckless by providing alcoholic beverages to Albarran while he was already visibly intoxicated.

    According to records in the Alabama Secretary of State's office, the registered agent of the Las Americas LLC is Jose F. Albarran, of 235 West Valley Ave., Birmingham.

    The lawsuit also claims that Beretta USA Corp. breached its performance warranty because Golden's firearm failed and he was killed in the line of duty, the lawsuit said.

    Minner and corporate agents for Las Americas and Beretta USA Corp. could not be reached for comment Friday.

    On Aug. 29, 2005, Golden responded to a domestic violence call at 2548 Jordan Lane, the lawsuit said. There Golden encountered an intoxicated Benito Albarran who initiated a gunfight, the lawsuit said.

    Golden was using a semi-automatic pistol made by Beretta in the way it was intended to be used, the lawsuit said.

    "During the course of that gunfight, the Beretta firearm malfunctioned and jammed, rendering Officer Golden defenseless," the court papers say. "Benito Ocampo Albarran, recognizing the officers plight, approached Officer Golden and, at point-blank range, placed his gun to the head of Officer Golden and fired two shots, fatally wounding him."

    The lawsuit asks that a jury determine an amount to satisfy the damages suffered by Golden's survivors.
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Argument for backup gun...

    This story provides the best argument for police officers to carry a backup gun. When the officer's primary Beretta jammed, a small revolver could have saved his life.

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    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    I wonder if the failure was due in part to:

    Poorly maintaining the weapon;
    Not replacing parts when required;
    After market magazines;
    Old ammo;
    Improper grip causing a malfunction;
    Lack of training.

    If the weapon was properly maintained and simply broke, the manufacturer should be held responsible.

    If it was another factor, then no. I can very easily see a stressed person gripping the weapon incorrectly, firing a few shots, having a feed failure or a failure to eject, and fumbling around without clearing the weapon and reloading to get back into the fight because his PD skimped on training.

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    Unless the duty firearm was left in the exact state it was in at the time of the malfunction, how will anyone be able to determine anything one way or the other?

    I'm sure there is a report of the incident, but will it include that level of detail? Just curious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pogo2 View Post
    This story provides the best argument for police officers to carry a backup gun. When the officer's primary Beretta jammed, a small revolver could have saved his life.
    My thoughts...exactly! (...and, the personal maintenance of his weapon!)
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    Senior Member Array Fragman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by falcon1 View Post
    Unless the duty firearm was left in the exact state it was in at the time of the malfunction, how will anyone be able to determine anything one way or the other?

    I'm sure there is a report of the incident, but will it include that level of detail? Just curious.
    I would imagine that in the case of an officer involved shooting, especially if an office died as a result of an apparent malfunction, that the crime lab would want to determine why it happened. Also, ast the gun was eveidence, I am sure it would have been 'tagged and bagged'.

    Of course, just because thats what I hope would happen, doesn't mean that it is. LEO who have attended the shooting of another LEO would be the best people to answer this one I think.

  7. #7
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    I would think the gun was unloaded and cleared for safety reasons so the department will probably never really know what caused the malfunction.

    I would also like to know why the officer was alone. In some parts of Virginia, just the sight of a holstered weapon brings the cops out in force.

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    The entire crime scene would be documented with video/photographs before anything is touched. Any issues with the firearm(s) would be noted , and photographed including any stoppages . The firearm would then be unloaded and bagged as evidence , as would the mag(s) and any loose ammo /cases in the area ( separate bags ) . This would all be sent to the lab for the firearms technition there to examine and determine just why the pistol apparently malfunctioned. .
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Repairs View Post
    The entire crime scene would be documented with video/photographs before anything is touched. Any issues with the firearm(s) would be noted , and photographed including any stoppages . The firearm would then be unloaded and bagged as evidence , as would the mag(s) and any loose ammo /cases in the area ( separate bags ) . This would all be sent to the lab for the firearms technition there to examine and determine just why the pistol apparently malfunctioned. .
    Beat me to it. The only other thing to add/reinforce is that they WILL make a determination as to why the gun failed. Why? Because they will want to know how their officer died, and if the equipment failure is a one time event or do they need to review/revise the department's policy and approved equipment.

    Sad events like this are scrutinized very closely. Most agencies try to learn from these events so that they don't happen again.
    I will support gun control when you can guarantee all guns are removed from this planet. That includes military and law enforcement. When you can accomplish that, then I will be the last person to lay down my gun. Then I will carry the weapon that replaces the gun.

  10. #10
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    I think the lesson here is this:

    I remember my Grandfather's words as he was instructing me on the safe use of his WWII service pistol, a Colt .45 1911 that he purchased from the govt. as he returned to civilian life: "Would you bet your life on this weapon? Take care of it like you would, and it will never fail you". It may well be found that proper care and cleaning will have been the cause. Certainly, Beretta makes a fine weapon and I doubt it could have been a mechanical failure, especially with a duty type weapon. It does, however, give much credence to the opinions of previous posters about having a backup gun, especially in that line of work. having a backup gun would have allowed the officer to at least transition to another firearm and possibly survive. The fact that the BG was able to walk up to the officer and pull the trigger speaks volumes.
    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined". - Patrick Henry

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    Senior Member Array bzdog's Avatar
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    I have a Beretta 92FS and it is a very reliable firearm. However, after a number of years I started to have reliability issues. It got very bad.

    After a fair amount of research, I ended up replacing the recoil spring, the mag springs and removing and cleaning the extractor claw.

    It is back to 100% reliability.

    Lesson? Two actually.

    1) Standard field breakdown and cleaning is not enough. You need to know what additional issues are common to your firearm and deal with them just like your car needs 50K service in addition to it's 3K oil change.

    2) You need to put in regular time at the range with your setup to make sure it is working correctly. If I had left the Beretta in the drawer, I wouldn't realize it was having issues. This is why I practice with the ammunition I carry, clean it the same way each time, etc.

    These may not be the case here, but I wouldn't be surprised. If this comes up as the reason, hopefully the department will put processes in place to help avoid this type of thing.

    Certainly I think if I was a LEO, I'd absolutely carry a BUG.

    I also think places that don't have LEOs work in pairs are putting them at risk. Perhaps it's cheaper, but two is MUCH safer than one IMO.

    -john

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    "During the course of that gunfight, the Beretta firearm malfunctioned and jammed, rendering Officer Golden defenseless," the court papers say. "Benito Ocampo Albarran, recognizing the officers plight, approached Officer Golden and, at point-blank range, placed his gun to the head of Officer Golden and fired two shots, fatally wounding him."
    While the BG is approaching what is Officer Golden doing? There is something wrong with this picture. The LEO has a jammed firearm, the BG walks up to him, puts a gun to his head, and fires two shots. How about hit the BG with your jammed firearm, you try to tackle him, you do something. You don't just stand there and take it.
    George

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    Senior Member Array rangerman2003's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr_cmg View Post
    While the BG is approaching what is Officer Golden doing? There is something wrong with this picture. The LEO has a jammed firearm, the BG walks up to him, puts a gun to his head, and fires two shots. How about hit the BG with your jammed firearm, you try to tackle him, you do something. You don't just stand there and take it.
    I got to thinking the same thing, why not use oc spray or something, there had to be something he could have done, but then again I was not there, and I also want to know why there was no BU with him, here there is always two cars that go.
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    It's sad that a LEO lost his life in the line of duty.
    Very rare to hear of a Beretta jamming up during a critical moment these days.
    They are usually unstoppable "feed and function" demons.
    Lots can go wrong though if any firearm, magazines, and ammunition are not maintained and in tip-top condition.
    Not a happy time when any good person loses their life in such a senseless manner.
    The real blame is with the person that shot him though.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pogo2 View Post
    This story provides the best argument for [people] to carry a backup gun.
    Yup.
    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?
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