Woman, 92, dies in shootout with police

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Lyle, Nov 22, 2006.

  1. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    Madison, Alabama
    #1
    It's unclear to me whether she started shooting as the officers approached her house, or if she started shooting once they kicked the door down and entered the house. Either way, it's a sad story. Given that the officers followed procedure and only returned fire once Ms. Johnston started shooting, I can't blame them for their actions. I do blame whoever it was that gave them this (apparently false) information that led to the warrant.

    Link
     
  2. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #2
    I agree, but lets admit it doesnt add up. How do you get a warrant for the wrong address? Why are you storming the wrong house? Then doing this at 7pm at night? knocking on the door but then breaking in? why not let someone answer first? Plus she had bars on her windows so that tells me its a bad area and the little old lady was most likely scared to death of a home invasion. Hence the gun she had for protection.

    Now if she's shooting at them and they are still outside that changes it all but the first question is why are they even at her house?

    Its time for the ambulance chasers for sure.
     
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #3
    Age has nothing to do with it. The fact that she's a woman, a granny, has nothing to do with it. It just makes for a better story.

    D'you think that the police should have asked for her ID to verify her age after she shot at them? No, you don't do a raid on a residence and wait politely for the suspects to open the door and offer you tea - get real. The reason you have a warrant, and go in at night, is precisely that the suspect is presumed to be either a risk for flight, or armed and dangerous. If it was a parking ticket matter, then a process server would have handed them a summons. Not a SWAT team.

    IF it was a mistaken identity (persumably, the warrant had the right address on it?) then its tragic that a mistake was made, and the police should institute procedures to lower the error rate.

    BUT - my biased opinion is that nobody needs to have a gun in a household for 'self defence' and that the legal defensibility in some jurisdictions to meet property crime with deadly force, is a societal cesspool.
     
  4. Felldownthewell macrumors 65816

    Felldownthewell

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    Portland
    #4
    It was a terrible accident, but since the police were fired upon before they opened fire (or so it seems), they were probably justified. My feelings on guns for protection are mixed, but at the moment I feel that as long as the government is armed, the people should be armed as well (although weapons in self defence are an entirely different matter). What I would be most happy with is a UK-ish solution where neither the police nor the populace has guns.

    Anyway, I'm sort of anti-police at the moment seeing as police is my town beat an unarmed, non-on-drugs, homeless man to death for "urinating in public" (he was never charged). The three officers, who multiple witnesses saw kicking and punching him repeatedly after he was tackled and hog tied, were exonerated by grand jury, saying that the death was accidental, and that 26 fractures on 16 ribs was 'caused by an officer falling on top of the homeless man while he chased him, even after the "officer who fell" testified he fell next to the man, not on him.

    Back on topic, however, this seems like an awful accident, for the obvious reason that 4 people were shot, but also because the police raided a house with a 92 year old woman in it in an obvious case of mistaken identity. I'm all for gettick crack dealers off the streets but get your intel right!
     
  5. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #5
    Just the fact the cops were at the wrong place should say something. We are dealing with lives here. Why are plain clothesman serving warrants? Something is wrong here. So you have non uniform men busting into her house at night in a bad neighborhood. Thats why they were shot and then they kill this old lady who had lived there 17 yrs? Sorry, cops are wrong for going to the wrong house,wrong for busting into her home and wrong for killing her when she is defending her life & property from guys who arent even in uniform.
     
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #6
    It was probably mistaken identity, but if they had the right address (ie: the person committing the crimes lives with grandma), and someone was firing at the police, even if it was just grandma, I think I'd shoot her too. Maybe her face wasn't clear because it was dark. Whatever. After 3 cops/people were shot, I think it's justified. Every shot fired at them is also potentially deadly. I'm not saying the police were right, but I'm saying that in this situation, there isn't a lot of alternative. Even if the police did what they had to do, they're going to look bad afterwards.

    It could be one of those no-win situations.
     
  7. AoWolf macrumors 6502a

    AoWolf

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    Daytona Beach
    #7
    I think the police were justified. She didn't come to the door when they knocked why? When someone knocks you don't run for the gun you see who it is. The fact that the neighbors had time to tell police that they had the wrong address says they didn't just barge in. Put yourself in their shoes you are told to search a house, you get their and there is no answer but all the neighbors are covering for the owner. They had to treat it as it looked. She also fired 3 rounds off the police she should have had ample time to stop when she saw they were officers. Something doesn't smell right about all of this.
     
  8. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #8
    It was.
     
  9. kentrox99 macrumors member

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    Atlanta, GA
    #9
    Let's get some facts straight

    Well, I live in Atlanta and will clear something up. The was NOT a case of mistaken identity or wrong address. The undercover police officers purchaced drugs from that address earlier in the day. They obtained a warrant and went back to the house. They knocked and nobody answered. When they broke the door down, they were fired upon by the elderly woman. All 3 officers were shot. Yes, it is a tragety that this happened. But, the officers were doing their job and had to shoot.
     
  10. poopyhead macrumors 6502a

    poopyhead

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    #10
    I'm also from atlanta (grew up in decatur/stone mountain) now live in Kennesaw

    Just from what I have heard from the local news

    police obtaind a no knock search warrant (the warrant was for the address of the woman who was killed this however does not mean that it was the address from which the police had earlier purchased drugs)

    they did not knock and announce, they simply broke down her door and luckily she was able to shoot three of them before they killed her

    she lived in a relatively bad part of town, they broke down her door with guns drawn while in plain clothes
    If i owned a gun and was in the same situation I would have done the same thing

    Atlanta Journal and Constitution article on the incident stating that plain clothes officers did not knock and announce

    http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/atlanta/stories/2006/11/22/1123metshot.html?COXnetJSessionIDbuild173=FlxfAi3B1194slnduGICPJ28JQ9BYfCdSpizIQhvlH8zw9MaAVWA!-1163132878&UrAuth=aN`NUOaNWUbTTUWUXUWUZT[U\UWU\UaUZU\U^UcTYWVVZV&urcm=y
     
  11. Felldownthewell macrumors 65816

    Felldownthewell

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    #11

    If this is true it puts a rather large spin on things...if I lived in a bad part of Atlanta and 3 guys with guns broke down my door and they weren't wearing some kind uniform then I would start shooting too. She must've had a quick trigger finger to hit 3 of them and they must have been beasts to be able to shoot her after being hit.
     
  12. Earendil macrumors 68000

    Earendil

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    Washington
    #12
    Beasts? Perhaps, but I think you'd be surprised what your mind and body will do in an adrenaline fill situation like that. Pain is a none entity, the limbs that work will be used to keep you alive.
    Personally I'd have to be shot a few more times before I would be unwilling to fire back... Of course after I was in the clear I'd cry like a little baby, even if I had just been glazed :rolleyes:

    Back on topic: Why would you wear street clothes as officers. If you are wearing a uniform there is at least a *chance* that you won't be fired upon. In street clothes, good guys or bad, your chance of getting return fire has got to be higher. Would it be so they could approach the house?
     
  13. Felldownthewell macrumors 65816

    Felldownthewell

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    #13
    True, but a bullet from a revolver at close ranger has some stopping power, especially if shot in the face and chest as one officer was, or in the leg, as was another. Maybe that is part of the training but those are some pretty big injuries to sustain and still manage to hit her several times, twice in the chest (meaning the fire must have been either extremely lucky or accurate).

    I don't know. It is never a good thing when one human being kills another. It is worse when the victim is an innocent old lady and when the killers are the police, the people who are supposed to protect you. It is hard to lay blame in this case: the officers were apparently wrong in the first place, then they entered in plainsclothes (albeit with bulletproof vests labled "Police", but I can't imagine they were that visible to a terrified 92 year old in the dark), which was wrong. However, she shot first, and they really had no option other than returning fire.
     
  14. Henri Gaudier macrumors 6502a

    Henri Gaudier

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    France
    #14
    "The only good grandma I ever met was pluggged full of holes!" says Police Defective Chip "Goodbye Granny" Striker.

    A lot of very efficient "protecting" and "serving" going on I see. And quite a few "justifieds" from the Mac Rumors right wingers.

    All in all - a nice start to my day.
     
  15. kentrox99 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #15
    Might want to check your facts.......Drugs were sold at the house and drugs were found at the house. Officers did identify themselves and marked cars out front. sorry to burst your bubble..
    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/10382628/detail.html
     
  16. poopyhead macrumors 6502a

    poopyhead

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    #16
    I dont think shouting police as you burs through the door is knocking and announcing futher if she was inside the house chances are she did not see the cars outside the house. Further, I did not state that it was the wrong house (ie it was the house listed on the warrant) but simply that police have been known before to put the wrong address on a search warrant. in fact there is a fairly famous supreme court case in which police lawfully obtained and executed a search warrant on the wrong house because one office had faultily transcribed the numbers. Once again I say good for her shooting 3 of them before they got her.
    and
    She was 92 I truly dought she could hear or see that well

    Should we really be killing people over drugs? It seems that one of the justifications for the war on drugs was crime and violence caused by the drug sub-culture (which for the most part I do not beleive), It seems that possibley all we have done is transfere the violence from a private thug sub-culture to a state sponsered and initiated thug sub-culture.
     
  17. pinto32 macrumors 6502

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    Location:
    PA
    #17
    What is up with not announcing that you are a police officer upon entry? Its not like they are trying to maintain an element of surprise: I think most people will notice you breaking down thier door. As this incident has shown, it is in the officer's own self-interest to announce thier titles. There's a lot of people that won't think twice about shooting an intruder in thier home; but shooting a cop takes some guts, due to the stiffer penalties, tougher prosecution, and the fact that you will get your ass beat if they ever get you out of the view of cameras.

    This is just one more case that proves that MORE GUNS do NOT solve problems. If this woman did not have a gun, 3 officers would not have been wounded, and she would not be dead. If indeed she was unaware of the dealing taking place on her property, that would have probably come out very quickly and she would have been free and clear. Even if she was in on it, what jury is gonna send away a 92 year old woman?

    I don't blame the cops for breaking down the door: that is standard proceedure for this type of take-down. You wanna get them before they can dump whatever they have down the toilet. I can't fault the woman for thinking she was under attack by a gang or whatnot.

    I DO blame the cops for not announcing who they were, and I DO blame the deceased woman for having and using a gun without knowing who she was shooting.

    I disagree that this is a no-win situation though. I am sure that this type of incident happens all the time, however no one ever hears about it because it is not a 92 year old woman involved. Hopefully, this will cause departments around the country to examine thier proceedures so that EVERYONE is safer.
     
  18. Xeem macrumors 6502a

    Xeem

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    Location:
    Minnesota
    #18
    I don't think we should be congratulating anyone that shoots 3 police officers doing their job. Not only that, but if you really doubt she could hear or see very well as you stated, should she be using a firearm?
    Let's take the woman's age and sex out of the story, and see how it reads...

    An undercover police officer purchased narcotics from a man living inside a house in Atlanta. Police obtained a "no-knock" warrant for the house, and returned just a few hours after the drugs had changed hands. Although not required by the warrant, the police did knock and announce themselves, but upon entering the house they were fired upon, with three officers sustaining injuries. They returned fire, killing the shooter, and an immediate search of the house then revealed more suspected narcotics, although the dealer himself was not found.

    Would anyone cry brutality if the story was phrased this way? These are the facts of the case (some argue against the fact that the police announced themselves, but most sources say that they did); anything else in this particular case is just periphery.
     
  19. poopyhead macrumors 6502a

    poopyhead

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    #19
    I feel that it is a travesty that 3 police were wounded and that a 92 year old woman was murdered defending her life and property
    I, however, feel more for the woman than for the 3 wounded police officers

    my main problem with this case is that
    1. someone who seems not to be involved (or only tangently involved) in the case was killed. (you would think that the police would attempt to discover who actually owned and lived in the house before initiating such a warrant)
    and
    2. police, given power by the state, have the right to destroy property, invade privacy, dispossess one of their liberty, and create situations in which the innocent and not so innocent are killed simply to fight a loosing battle against the sale and use of narcotics.

    I think it is time that the US ends its state sponsered terrorism against its own people and rescind laws that have turned americas youth and infirm into criminals and enemies of the state.

    Just an after thought

    why wasn't the man selling narcotics arrested at the time he sold them to the police instead of police obtaining a warrant and then returning to the house several hours later. If he was arrested at the time of sale police could have searched the house at that time or at the very least could have secured the premises, obtained a warrant, then searched it and no one would have died.
     
  20. pdh1 macrumors newbie

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    Aug 22, 2005
    #20
    "I think it is time that the US ends .."

    "I think it is time that the US ends its state sponsered terrorism against its own people and rescind laws that have turned americas youth and infirm into criminals and enemies of the state."

    So nobody is to blame for their own actions? People made them become thugs, gang bangers, and drug dealers?

    By 'state sponsered terrorism" do you mean actually arresting people who commit crimes? Oh, the humanity!
     
  21. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    Mar 17, 2004
    #21
    From the multiple sources I've read, it looks like the policemen were in street clothes, not in uniform, and the old lady had been prepared by her children because there had been a lot of recent reports of people breaking in houses and attacking the occupants, and they had recently bought her a gun.

    The old lady perhaps couldn't hear the policemen announcing themselves as police, and just saw them bust the door, and grabbed her gun and started shooting. They shot back.

    Sad misunderstanding :(
     
  22. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #22
    Yes, they're called "warrants", issued pursuant to the Fourth Amendment.
     
  23. nitynate macrumors 6502a

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    Clearwater, FL
    #23
    I love old people.

    Thats a shame.


    *messes with stupid apple in ear headphone because it is painful*
     
  24. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #24
    A terrible tragedy...I'm inclined to think that the woman thought she was defending herself...

    Even so, I'm more worried that the police officers in question will be villainized over this. They have a very difficult job and I wonder how many of their loudest critics would have the courage or mental toughness to do it, never mind doing it better.

    Whatever led up to the exchange of fire, I feel the officers were justified in returning fire, if only to protect themselves. We all know that the police are far from perfect, but every time something like this happens the police are nearly always presented by the media as guilty-until-proven-innocent.

    Also, anyone who purchases a gun for self defense should take firearms safety training as well as home-defense training. Having a weapon does not necessarily make you any safer - in this case it may have cost the woman her life.
     
  25. cslewis macrumors 6502a

    cslewis

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    #25
    It's certainly unusual, considering that old lady's age. What an event!
     

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