WWW may be hazardous to your health

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Thread: WWW may be hazardous to your health

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array Chaplain Scott's Avatar
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    Question WWW may be hazardous to your health

    This happended in Billings last night:
    A man who shot a Wal-Mart co-worker during an argument at the store's loading dock Monday night has been released pending further investigation, according to the Billings Police Department.

    Billings Police Sgt. Jay Berry said that Craig Schmidt shot Daniel Lira after Lira allegedly hit him in the face. Schmidt, 49, fell backwards, and then used a small handgun to shoot Lira in the head, police said.

    Lira, 32, was taken to St. Vincent Healthcare and has been released.

    Yellowstone County Attorney Dennis Paxinos advised police that Schmidt should be released under a law passed by the Montana Legislature last session. The legislation, known as House Bill 228, may require the state to prove that the use of force is unjustified when a shooter makes a self-defense claim.

    Billings police received a call about the shooting, which took place at the Wal-Mart on King Avenue West, at 9:11 p.m.

    This is a breaking news update. For more details, read the morning report below.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    MORNING REPORT:

    One man was taken into custody and another hospitalized after he was shot in the head Monday night at the West End Wal-Mart in Billings.

    Billings Police Sgt. Jason Gartner said police arrested the suspect at gunpoint without incident outside the loading dock, apparently where both men worked. The victim, who was shot in the forehead, was taken St. Vincent Healthcare.

    Gartner said employees told police that the men worked together at the store and were unloading a semitrailer when the shooting occurred.

    "These guys knew each other. They had words and a shot was fired."

    Police arriving at the store at about 9:15 p.m. found a man who matched a suspect description on the east side of the building. Police later found a gun in the area, Gartner said.

    Inside the loading dock area, police found the gunshot victim. "Surprisingly, he was conscious and holding a rag over his face," Gartner said.

    Police searched the parking lot outside the loading dock and found a semiautomatic pistol, Gartner said. Police did not release the caliber of the gun.

    The victim's condition was not available at press time, but police detective Sgt. Jay Berry said he would be hospitalized overnight for observation. Police hoped to interview him at the hospital.

    The suspect was interviewed by detectives and was expected to be booked in to jail overnight. Police impounded the suspect's vehicle. Gartner said they did not know if the older-model white Nissan pickup was involved, but police impounded it as a precaution.

    Police talked with half a dozen co-workers who were lined up outside the building within the yellow crime scene tape that was stretched between light poles and shopping carts. Their accounts of the incident varied, Berry said, depending on where they were when the shot was fired.

    Employees were reluctant to talk to the media but did say the store has more than 300 employees. None of those approached were aware of any details of the shooting, which took place in a backroom area of the store away from customers and most staff.

    Employees were allowed back into the store at about 10:25 p.m. and customers were allowed in shortly after 11 p.m.

    Morriah Kovar said she and her friends were buying supplies so they can set up shop as vendors at Crow Fair, which begins Thursday. Her business, Native Sun, sells crafts, and she and her friends were buying supplies to camp during the weekend event. Their list continued to grow as they stood outside the Wal-Mart.

    When police responded to the call of a shooting, the initial information was vague, Gartner said, and officers treated the situation as if there could be an active shooter roaming throughout the store.

    Officers carry rifles and shotguns in their patrol cars, so they are able to respond immediately to similar situations and several officers took their rifles into the store, Gartner said.

    "They came in prepared for the worst," Berry said.

    Police and emergency services were called to the tire shop area of the store, on the east side near the load dock where the shooting took place. At least 10 Billings police converged on the store when the call came in. The store was quickly emptied of shoppers when they were notified of the shooting.

    Hundreds of people milled around the parking lot, many of them talking on cell phones.

    Kelsey Borsious and Tera Segura were shopping for cat toys when police came running in the store.

    "They had really big guns," Borsious said. And they yelled at the girls to leave the store.

    "There were seven or eight of them, it was like a SWAT team of cops," Segura said.

    The girls perched outside the doorway because they said they still need their items.

    "We're going to go back in," Borsious said. "I've got a lot of stuff I need to get."
    Be careful out there on your WW walks

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    Member Array Urk 22's Avatar
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    Thats crazy that the guy was shot in the forehead and was still conscious, I would assume he was shot at a distance and it was a really small caliber gun that he was shot with, something like a .22, what do you guys think?

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    A follow-up on the Gazette's website said that the handgun was .25 cal and that the shot grazed the side of the guy's head, from front to back

    I think that both of them are quite lucky. It will be interesting to see what further investigation turns up on this...............

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    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Urk 22 View Post
    Thats crazy that the guy was shot in the forehead and was still conscious, I would assume he was shot at a distance and it was a really small caliber gun that he was shot with, something like a .22, what do you guys think?
    Regardless of caliber, I'd bet on a grazing hit.

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    Further details:

    High points:

    1. shooter had CCL
    2. Shooter 49 yrs old, 150 lbs
    3. shootee 32 yrs old, 300 lbs
    4. shooter apparently fired from position on the ground after being knocked down.........

    Billings Police Sgt. Jay Berry said that Lira hit his coworker Craig Schmidt, 49, in the face. Schmidt, 49, fell backwards, and then allegedly pulled out a .25-caliber semi-automatic Beretta handgun and shot Lira, police said. The single shot was fired at a range of 10 to 15 feet.

    Lira, 32, was taken to St. Vincent Healthcare and later released. Police Sgt. Kevin Iffland said the bullet grazed the side of his head from front to back.

    Paxinos said that prior to passage of House Bill 228 authorities would have had probable cause to arrest Schmidt for assault with a weapon.

    Now, he said, they need more details about whether there was a history of aggression between the two men, what they may have said to each other when the incident occurred and other information that will shape whether it was reasonable for Schmidt to believe his life was threatened. Other details such as the size of the two men - Schmidt weighs 150 pounds and Lira weighs 300 pounds - could also impact whether a self-defense claim is reasonable, Paxinos said.

    "I'll have to do the investigation while the guy is free to move around," said Paxinos, who along with other county attorneys opposed House Bill 228 during the legislative session.

    The "castle doctrine" bill, which was sponsored by Republican Rep. Krayton Kerns of Laurel and supported by the National Rifle Association, sparked passionate debate about self-defense rights before passing the Legislature.

    "Once somebody punches you, and you're down and incapacitated, that person has already demonstrated an intent for violence and you can't tactically assume that they're only going to hit you once," said Gary Marbut of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, who crafted the bill.

    But those opposing the "castle doctrine" legislation have long argued that existing law already protects those acting in self-defense, and that the new code would only create unnecessary burdens for prosecutors and police officers.

    "There's just such a disconnect between words on paper and what happens on the streets of Montana and I think legislators had to be more sensitive to what's happening on the street," said Jim Smith, spokesman for the Montana County Attorneys Association.

    Aside from potential legal charges, it was unclear if either Schmidt or Lira will face any disciplinary action from Wal-Mart. Schmidt has a permit to carry the concealed weapon, but a spokesman for the company said it would be inappropriate to discuss whether Wal-Mart has a policy about employees carrying guns.

    "We are still gathering details at this time and we're now most concerned about the well-being of the people involved," Kelly Cheeseman said.

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    Just a quick update--just finished watching the morning TV news, they had no additional facts, but they were all whining and sniveling about the effect/impact of Montana's new self-defense law...........

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