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I scarfed this from THR, posted by Beren one of my fellow mod's ...... see what you make of it! Much food for thought - and that is an understatement. :mad:

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Traffic light shooting victim asks: Why?


What would you do if you were the victim? What if you were a witness? What if you were in the car directly behind the shooter?

http://post-gazette.com/pg/05166/521639.stm

Alexander Demitras planned to wrap up last weekend by going out for a bite to eat with his girlfriend. Instead he ended it in a hospital with five bullet wounds, a metal rod in his shattered arm and a few less organs than he started with.

On Sunday night, Demitras, 19, was shot in his car outside the Liberty Tunnels in an attack his parents said was utterly unprovoked.

If that is the case -- and police have not indicated anything to the contrary -- then the shooting of the Mount Washington resident would rank as a bizarre episode in Pittsburgh crime history and lend a touch of paranoia to any motorist pulling up to a stop light.

For if Demitras were a completely innocent victim who was shot for no reason, his parents wonder, then couldn't it happen to anyone?

"He's already having problems with, 'Dad, am I ever going to be able to get in a car again and sit at a stop light?' " Demitras' father, Alan Firetto of Scottsdale, Ariz., said yesterday. "There was absolutely no provocation. There was no verbal, no gestures."

Demitras' parents described their son as a clean-cut college student who holds down a job, has a steady girlfriend, doesn't dabble in drugs and keeps himself in good shape.

Leaving his home Sunday, he planned to pick up his girlfriend for dinner at a Subway restaurant. Demitras took Route 51 and around 8 p.m. arrived at the traffic light in front of the tunnels leading to Downtown.

Demitras wasn't driving a flashy car -- it was a 15-year-old Honda Civic with 140,000 miles and radiator problems, Firetto said. He wore a modest gold necklace with a St. Christopher medallion and two other pendants.

His mother, Jackie Demitras-Essel of the West End, laughed when asked if he might have been carrying a wad of cash out in the open. He had five $1 bills in his wallet, she said.

In short, Demitras' parents are convinced there was nothing about their son that would have attracted undue attention from someone with criminal intent.

"This is not a kid who runs in circles that you would expect something like that. Not that that's ever a justification for anyone to be shot," Demitras-Essel said. "All of us in this community should have the right to drive around and feel safe at a stop sign."

At the light, Demitras' car stalled. Firetto said his son told him he looked around, embarrassed, and another car pulled up on his left.

According to Demitras' parents, the driver of that car stared menacingly at their son. Demitras nodded, and the driver nodded back, they said. Demitras went back to fiddling with the key, the engine turned over, and then he heard a noise he thought was a backfire.

Instead, it was a gunshot -- the first of at least eight shots fired at him, his father said.

"He looked to his left, and he was staring down a gun barrel," Firetto said. "He's screaming, 'Oh my God, oh my God' and rolls over to the right defensively."

"He was very scared. He just felt like there was nothing he could do to avoid it," Demitras-Essel said. "He was just stuck. Fortunately, there were a lot of witnesses."

A description of the shooter's vehicle, a maroon Ford Taurus, was broadcast over the police radio. Officers spotted the car, tailed it and arrested Damon Woodson in front of a Downtown restaurant on Ross Street.

Police charged Woodson with aggravated assault and carrying a weapon without a license.

A police affidavit said Woodson confessed to the crime, but no mention has been made of motive.

Woodson and Demitras are the same age. Police said they know of no relationship between the two. A check of Pittsburgh Public Schools records shows, however, that both attended Schenley High School at the same time in 2003. Demitras went on to graduate last year, but Woodson left in November 2003.

Woodson's mother, Vida Wallace, said yesterday that her son has anger problems. She said he carried a handgun despite her attempts to dissuade him.

"He had an attitude and flared up about a lot of things. We really couldn't get through to him," Wallace said. "I didn't like him carrying a gun. I didn't approve of his street life. But there wasn't anything I could do as far as him being older."

Wallace said she had spoken with her son in jail but had difficulty understanding what he was telling her about the incident.

"He knows he was there. He knows something happened. But he's been having a problem thinking clearly for a while," Wallace said. She described her son as having "emotional problems."

"He had a hard time while he was growing up," she said.

Woodson has been arrested before. Court records show he pleaded guilty in April to drug possession after being arrested last summer. He was sentenced to probation for one year.

In February 2004, Woodson pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property, fleeing or eluding police and vehicle code violations stemming from a November 2003 arrest.

Wallace said her son has been on his own for the past two years or so, living with friends or a girlfriend or spending time in jail.

A preliminary hearing for Woodson is scheduled for Monday, but it is unclear whether it will go forward.

Demitras remains in Mercy Hospital and has a long road to full recovery. He was shot in the chest, abdomen, back and both arms. Doctors removed his spleen, one kidney and part of his pancreas. They inserted a titanium rod in his shattered upper arm.

"Alex's big question is he just wants to know why. 'I just want to know why he did this to me,' " Firetto said. "He said, 'I forgive the guy. I just want to know why.' In tears, he's saying this."
 

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We go through 20 or more of these out here all the time and people go oh hum its California. The way it happens out here is a car drives up behind the victom and shoots them in the head usually. A car crash follows and traffic is backed up for miles. All of these good people deserved to have a normal life and carrying a gun and knowing all about defenseive measures in the world with a sub second draw will not save them. Until we can view the country on a map with some scheme to say look what is happening to our people we the people cannot address the situation.
 

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We had a similar shooting down here a few years ago and the cops discovered there was a new ritual for getting into the gangs. Kill somebody in cold blood for no good reason at all. The victim was a kid and helpless. I like to think that I'd have the sense to loosen my gun in it's holster and watch the other guy...but my spidey sense would have to be tingling first. That "little voice" is ALWAYS talkin' to me! It's almost always right, too. Then of course there is such a thing as God's will and it just being your time to "GO."
 

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Although not a shooting I recall reading on one of forums sometime ago about an incident in one of the Carolina. It seems a gang wanted to kidnap a girl and their technique was going to be lay in wait under her car and when she came out disable her by cutting the achilles in her leg. Well some guy spotted the jerk under her car and warned her and the boys in blue were called.
They, the BG's are always out there one way or another the question is how bad does it have to really be towards the ordinary man or women on the street? Can the ordinary folk really do anything about these situations?? Don't know myself but its hard to accept sometime!!!
 

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FortyFive said:
Although not a shooting I recall reading on one of forums sometime ago about an incident in one of the Carolina. It seems a gang wanted to kidnap a girl and their technique was going to be lay in wait under her car and when she came out disable her by cutting the achilles in her leg. Well some guy spotted the jerk under her car and warned her and the boys in blue were called. Can the ordinary folk really do anything about these situations??
I think they can. When I teach a student for the FL RTC permit, I ALWAYS include a mall/parking lot security portion and I always include the admonishment to look under your car for just this reason. It applies more to SUV's than low riders but it is still true.
 

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My thought is that the guy that did the shooting should NEVER see the light of day again! Like, lock the door, throw away the key...... Then weld the door shut!

But, that's just me! :biggrin:
 

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ExSoldier762-you may very well save some womens life by covering that, there are good instructors around like yourself and we never hear of them, they are local and quietly do their thing. :smile: While on this subject; my wife is small and slim she was standing maybe 20 feet from my older son who was at an atm and a guy(50 or so) comes up and puts his arm around her neck greeting her like she is an old friend. Scared her pretty bad. Stuff like this happens to women all the time I have to believe.
 

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There was a motive! This really doesn't appear to me as a random act of violence. It might have been opportunistic in the case of Woodson, but it was not random....IMO ! :smile:
 

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counterstrike

FortyFive said:
ExSoldier762-you may very well save some womens life by covering that, there are good instructors around like yourself and we never hear of them, they are local and quietly do their thing. :smile: While on this subject; my wife is small and slim she was standing maybe 20 feet from my older son who was at an atm and a guy(50 or so) comes up and puts his arm around her neck greeting her like she is an old friend. Scared her pretty bad. Stuff like this happens to women all the time I have to believe.
I also teach extraction from situations where some A$$HOLE is hanging around the neck uninvited, which btw, is a pretty good definition for the legal charge of BATTERY. Nobody has a right to lay hands on anybody without invitation unless it is incident to lawful arrest or lawful detention.

In such a case, she is fully justified in taking physical action but not lethal action. I'd recommend casually reaching down to the inner thigh and getting a grip via thumb and forefinger then twist the crap outta that tender area! You won't believe the HOWLS of agony that will erupt! Try it on yourself but go easy! While he is in shock from the sudden intense pain there are plenty of other viable options: Snap the edge of the foot against the side of the knee (works better if the knee is locked) and listen for the satisfying SNAP and more screams. Ram an elbow into the solar plexus or up into the chin....all kinds of neat things. OR she could reach into her pocket at the first touch and withdraw the stun device and stomp on his face while he's still twitchin' on the ground. There's other stuff including taking off, screaming FIRE!!! If you scream CRIME everybody will ignore the situation, but FIRE means they might get hurt.
 

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To answer your questions...

P95Carry said:
What would you do if you were the victim? What if you were a witness? What if you were in the car directly behind the shooter?
A) If I were the "attack-ee" (I hate to consider myself a "victim"), I'd probably do the same thing he did - lean over into the passenger seat, then if I could, bail out of the car on the right side to get more metal between me and the attacker. Then I would go to step two, return fire as appropriate. This being an urban intersection, I might not return fire immediately or at all considering the possibility of harming bystanders.

B) If a witness: get plate number and vehicle description. Call 911.

C) If behind the shooter: same as above.

If B or C, after shooter leaves (in great haste, I would assume), I would cautiously approach the victim's car and offer assistance as necessary. I say cautiously in case he is armed and is waiting to shoot his attacker when the latter comes over to finish him off. I would want to make sure I wasn't going to get shot while trying to help.

The above assumes that both men are unknown to me. If the victim was family or friend, I would get more actively involved.

This is certainly a lousy scenario for the victim. It sounds like it was just a case of wrong place, wrong time. In the shooter's case, however, it appears that he was a time bomb, according to his mother's comments. As tough as it would be to turn your kid in, I think a responsible parent would have taken action rather than saying there's nothing she could do.

SSKC
 

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ExSoldier762 said:
I'd recommend casually reaching down to the inner thigh and getting a grip via thumb and forefinger then twist the crap outta that tender area! You won't believe the HOWLS of agony that will erupt! .
FYI: (I treated a bouncer for this "injury"), you can unload a can of OC down the front of someone's pants to great effect too.:eek: If you sweat or wet your pants, it only gets worse. Not exactly my first choice, and you probably will get hit, but more incapacitating over the next 5-10 minutes than the pinch (which does work very well!).

Back on topic: What are the carry laws like in Pitt? Obviously the shooter was carrying illegally. My thought is, if I get "the Look" from someone, I'm evacc'ing, or watching them for action that warrants a violent re-action. Taking a tire-iron to a gun fight really sucks....
 

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Rob72 said:
Back on topic: What are the carry laws like in Pitt? Obviously the shooter was carrying illegally. My thought is, if I get "the Look" from someone, I'm evacc'ing, or watching them for action that warrants a violent re-action. Taking a tire-iron to a gun fight really sucks....
Fotunately, here in PA we have very reasonable carry laws. "Shall-issue," and very few restrictions on carry (restaurants, bars, hospitals, churches all okay). No training requirement either (I have mixed feelings about that). All in all, a good place to be in terms of your 2nd amendment rights.

SSKC
 

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rstickle said:
My thought is that the guy that did the shooting should NEVER see the light of day again! Like, lock the door, throw away the key...... Then weld the door shut!:
Personally, if I were King he would not see the light of day, nor the inside of a jail cell, either. :mad:

But, that's just me! :biggrin:
 

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Amen Bumper,

We had some strange happenings here in Texas a number of years ago. There was a large gang that was located an several large cities that would drive around in a stolen car during the night with their bright lights on. When you flashed yours to get them to dim theirs, they would u-turn behind you and follow you to a stoplight or stop sign. They would then run up to the car from behind, drag you out and beat you senseless or actually shoot some victims and steal their car. It happened to several people. When caught, the gang members said it was a type of initiation into the gangs heiarchy. Have'nt heard much about it in a number of years.
 

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Bumper said:
Personally, if I were King he would not see the light of day, nor the inside of a jail cell, either. :mad:

But, that's just me! :biggrin:
I was being liberal!! :eek:uttahere
 

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Orange Alert

tex45acp said:
When you flashed yours to get them to dim theirs, they would u-turn behind you and follow you to a stoplight or stop sign. They would then run up to the car from behind, drag you out and beat you senseless or actually shoot some victims and steal their car. It happened to several people. When caught, the gang members said it was a type of initiation into the gangs heiarchy. Have'nt heard much about it in a number of years.
See, it's just one of my condition yellow quirks that whenever I flash my lights at some hi-beam bozo, I ALWAYS CHECK MY "SIX" immediately thereafter. If somebody were to pull a u-turn after that kind of event I'd go to condition ORANGE instantly, which is to say I start thinking "tactically" until I can verify the nature (or not) of a possible threat. But that's just me.
 

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In most instances, involving auto scenarios, I say 'floor it'. Someone runs up to your car at a stoplight, punch it, and turn right. You may wreck, you may not. If not, then you are safe, and even if you do, I find it hard to believe that someone will run out into the traffic with a crowd gathering to try again.
In the scenario listed, the victim had started his car. Had he floored it he would not likely have been shot five times, if at all. If someone behind him had hit the gas, he would have bumped the car forward, and out of the kill zone. Even better; if someone behind the shooter had rammed him, then it would have ruined his lane of fire, and maybe pushed him into an accident. You just better be ready for him to turn and attack you in that case.
Let us not forget that cars are weapons, too.
 

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Getting OUT of the KZ!

I ALWAYS leave enough room behind the vehicle in front of me to see the rear wheels. If you can see the rear wheels you've got room to manuever around that vehicle in an emergency. It is also a very good reason to own an SUV especially one with 4x4. A tall city curb can stop a Geo, or Nissan Sentra or any of those cute little cars that are SO good on mileage....COLD. In a hostile encounter they can get you killed. A truck/SUV 4x4 has the ground clearance to jump curbs and the sheer muscle to push obstacles out of the way.

Although I have to rather sheepishly admit to currently owning a Kia Sedona minivan, I've always been a truck person and adept (thanks to the US Army) at off roading. So I know the emergency limits of the minivan.

But my next vehicle is going to be a 4x4 and I plan on getting both the front and rear bumpers reinforced...just in case. Heck with that "crumple zone" if I hit somebody either by accident or design, I want to crumple them.
 

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yep...Ive gotta crew cab Fontier and the wife has an Xterra..both on 32's...roll over any curbs or what not.
 
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