Sunday, October 28, 2007

October 27th

(Florida) Blind Man Shoots Home Intruder In Neck

According to police, Cevaughn Curtis Jr., 28, broke into Arthur Williams' house in Gainesville at around 3 a.m.Curtis, police said, knocked on the door, asked to be let inside but Williams refused. Curtis then tried to force his way into the home.The 75-year-old retired taxi dispatcher, who's been legally blind for the past 61 years, opened fire on the would-be-thief who kicked down his door, police said.

Police said Williams shot Curtis, who tried to flee but collapsed on the front porch, in the left side of the neck. He was taken to a hospital in stable condition.Police said Curtis was charged with burglary of an occupied residence and battery on a person over the age of 65.Officials are praising Williams for protecting himself.

October 25th

Police have arrested a juvenile after a homeowner kept him at gunpoint inside his home.It happened Tuesday afternoon in the 100 block of Derby Road in Pennfield Township.One of the two suspects got away. That second intruder turned himself in and had an arraignment Thursday in court.
It was the homeowner's handgun that helped him help police.“I came to the door, I was walking to the door like this, I don't know where they're at, they came to the door like this,” said Damon Ogletree.He took the concealed weapons course and has Navy medals for his marksmanship. Ogletree had no second thoughts about defending his home.“He was probably just as surprised as I was,” said Ogletree.
Two intruders had broke through a back window. Ogletree met one of them by his bedroom. That intruder's partner managed to get out the same way he got in. The one Ogletree first saw did not. “I'm like get your hands in the air, do not put your hands in your pockets whatever you do, and get them in the air, so he put them in the air and got on the ground.”
“That's their decision as a gun owner and homeowner,” said Captain Matthew Saxton. He says the decision is a legal one. But he wouldn't recommend it to everyone. “They gotta decide whether it's worth saving their TV or their life.”This was the third break-in at Ogletree's house in the last year. For him it was an easy choice. “I just can't believe the mentality of some of the younger kids that's running around, that think they can do this kind of stuff and get away with it,” said Ogletree.
The Sheriff's Department doesn't know if these two intruders are responsible for the other break-ins at Ogletree's home. This time though, nothing was stolen.

October 23rd

(Washington) No charges in fatal dispute at Puyallup, WA, gas station

TACOMA, Wash. -- Pierce County prosecutors have declined to file charges against a 21-year-old man who fatally shot another man at a Puyallup gas station.

The prosecutors say the shooter was justified when he shot 23-year-old Nicholas Cruz, of Eatonville, on October 7 at a Shell station.

The shooter told investigators he was sitting in his car at the gas station when Cruz approached and punched him several times, reportedly after breaking the driver's side window.
Police say the driver has a valid concealed weapons permit. They say he pulled out his .357-caliber handgun and shot Cruz twice.

Police say the men apparently were involved in an altercation of some sort before the shooting.

October 23rd

(Georgia) Man shot dead attempting to rob nonprofit

An employee of a Stone Mountain nonprofit association that helps war-torn refugees shot and killed a robber who forced his way into the office Tuesday evening around closing time, authorities said.

The robber collapsed and died near a rear door of the World Relief, an immigrant resettlement agency at 655 Village Square Drive, according to DeKalb County police spokesman Marcus Hodge.

Hodge said around 6:30 p.m. the two robbers entered through the rear door as two male employees, described as older men, were preparing to leave and lock the front door.

Both robbers were armed with handguns, and one of them acted as a lookout, Hodge said. The other demanded the victims' wallets, then put his gun to one employee's head and ordered him to open a safe, Hodge said.When the robber turned his back, the other employee grabbed a gun from his desk and fired several shots at the robber, Hodge said.

Hodge said he did not know how many times the robber was struck, or where he was wounded. Both robbers ran, though the wounded robber did not make it far.

Police were still searching for the second robber late Tuesday.The name of the employee who shot the robber was not immediately released Tuesday. He had not been charged late Tuesday, Hodge said, because the shooting appears to have been in self-defense.

October 23rd

Tonight prosecutors are asking themselves if this is a case of self-defense. The Make My Day Law gives Oklahomans the right to kill intruders inside their homes. Something 40-year-old Jeff Dorrell did yesterday afternoon in his front yard. When he noticed a suspicious truck and found the front door open he immediatly went back to his vehicle and grabbed his pistol. " He has a concealed license so he has a right to carry that pistol."
Family Attorney John Zelbst says when Jeff approached the house he came face to face with the intruder. " At that time he chambered up the weapon and ordered the man to the ground and called 9-1-1." But while waiting for police, he says the intruder came after Jeff, "Jeff charges the pistol and grazes him probably because he is on the phone and sees the guy coming after him." Zelbst says the 17 year old laid back down but then tried to attack again, "Goes after the gun hand and jeff discharges and strikes him in the chest."" The gentlemen who owns the house and the intruder didn't know each other as far as we can tell now." Police say it was all caught on 9-1--1 audio tape, "People remember things different ways and when we have a recording we can go back to see exactly what happened and lot of time it can jar memory and say that's right it did happen that way."
But Zelbst says bottom line, this is a case of self defense. "It's not something he relishes in or enjoys or even brags about. it was a very traumatic experience for him to deal with too, to have shot somebody and they end up loosing their life."While in Lawton a family member of the 17-year-old approached us. He says Freddy didn't come from a broken home and says he was trying to change but was too involved with the wrong crowd. He also says the family doesn't hold a grudge against the homeowner---but wish the situation would have ended differently.

October 22nd

(Pennsylvania) Man killed in E. Liberty home invasion

An armed man was shot and killed early this morning after he and another man broke into a residence in East Liberty, police said. Shawn Davis, 18, of Duquesne, died of a shotgun blast to the head inside an apartment at 300 North Negley Avenue. He was shot at 3:15 a.m. and pronounced dead at the scene 10 minutes later.

Police said he and his accomplice, Rashawn Gibson, 20, of Garfield, tried to rob the occupants of the apartment."It was definitely a home invasion," said Cmdr. Thomas Stangrecki, head of Major Crimes. "We're still sorting it out." Detectives said Mr. Davis pointed his gun at the occupants and ordered them onto the floor. He and Mr. Gibson walked one victim to the rear of the apartment at gunpoint, then returned to the living room and approached the other victims who were hiding in the kitchen. When Mr. Davis pointed a gun at one of them, the man shot him in the head with a shotgun. Mr. Gibson jumped through a window to get away, but police caught him.

He is charged with burglary, robbery and criminal conspiracy.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

October 18th

After a robber cleaned out a Montgomery couple's home, the couple made him clean up -- at gunpoint.

When Adrian and Tiffany McKinnon returned to their Centennial Hill home, the husband and wife discovered that thieves had broke into the Ross Street residence and cleaned the house out of almost everything the family of five owned, said Tiffany McKinnon, crying as she spoke."Tears just rolled down my face as I walked in and saw everything gone and piles of trash all over my home," said the woman, who discov­ered the burglary Tuesday when they went home to pre­pare for the rest of their fam­ily's return after a week away. Reassuring her that every­thing would be all right, her husband sent her to her sis­ter's home a block away while he inspected the piles of ransacked items. It was while he was doing this, making his way back into the sunroom, when she said a man walked in the back door, straight into her husband."My husband Adrian caught the thief red-handed in our home," she said, a smile replacing the frown on her face."And what is even crazier, the man even had my hus­band's hat sitting right on his head," she said.

Adrian McKinnon held the suspect -- Tajuan Bullock, 33, of 2963 University Drive -- at gunpoint and told him to sit on the floor until he de­cided what he was going to do, she said. "We made this man clean up all the mess he made, piles of stuff, he had thrown out of my drawers and cabi­nets onto the floor," she said.

Once police arrived, Bul­lock complained to them about being forced at gun­point to clean up the home."This man had the nerve to raise sand about us mak­ing him clean up the mess he made in my house," she said. "The police officer laughed at him when he complained and said anybody else would have shot him dead. "That made the man shut up." Police arrested Bullock at 2 p.m. Tuesday on burglary and theft charges, said Capt. Huey Thornton, a Montgom­ery Police Department spokesman.

Bullock is being held in the Montgomery County De­tention Facility on a $30,000 bond.

October 17th

(Tenessee) Man Fights Off Home Invaders

An Eastview Drive man fought off three home invaders and traded shots with one of them on Tuesday night.Police said 30-year-old Courtney Brown was treated for several injuries, including a shot to the calf.Around 9:30 p.m.,

Chattanooga Police responded to a home invasion call with shots fired at 311 Eastview Dr.Upon arrival, officers talked with the victim, who said he was returning home and was backing his vehicle into the garage when three black males came out of the closet and attempted to rob him. Mr. Brown said he fought the three suspects and yelled for his daughter to call the police. One of the suspects got into the house and went upstairs to where the daughter had locked herself in the bedroom. The suspect then kicked the door in and demanded she lie on the bed and she would not be hurt. He then took her cell phone.

Mr. Brown continued to fight with the other two suspects and was able to get away from them. He managed to lock the door behind him. Mr. Brown then encountered the suspect who was inside the house and they fought in the hallway. Mr. Brown broke free, retrieved a handgun from his bedroom and started back to the front door area. The man who was still inside then fired a shot at Mr. Brown, striking him in the calf. Mr. Brown returned fire but did not hit the suspect.

All three of the suspects fled on foot.Mr. Brown was taken to Erlanger where he was treated for several cuts to his head and face and the gunshot wound to his calf. He was treated and released.Chattanooga Police are looking for suspect #1 who is tall and thin wearing a dark-hooded sweatshirt and dark pants. Suspects 2 and 3 were medium build with scarves over their faces and knit caps on their heads.All three of the suspects were armed with chrome handguns.

October 15th

A Joplin man reported thwarting a robbery attempt Saturday night in downtown Joplin with a handgun he was legally carrying.

Thomas W. Doyle, 38, 2931 N. Michigan Ave., reported at 7:28 p.m. Saturday that after he obtained some cash from an automated teller machine at Seventh Street and Virginia Avenue, he was approached by a man while parked in the 700 block of Virginia Avenue, according to Cpl. Chuck Niess of the Joplin Police Department.Doyle told police that the man pulled out a knife and demanded his money, Niess said. But the man fled when Doyle pulled out a handgun for which he has a concealed-carry permit, Niess said. No arrest had been made by Monday afternoon, Niess said.

October 15th

(Alabama) Elderly Woman Shoots Homeless Man In Her Laundry Room

Mobile police said an 81-year-old woman shot a homeless man this morning after finding him washing his clothes in her laundry room. Police spokesman Officer Eric Gallichant told the Press-Register that Ethel Sanders told people she heard noises in her laundry room. When she went to investigate, she found a man standing in his underwear near the washing machine. Gallichant said Sanders was carrying a handgun and shot the man when he came at her. He said Sanders fell to the ground and dropped the gun after firing. Gallichant said the man grabbed the gun, pointed it at Sanders and took his clothes from the washing machine. The man fled and Sanders called police just before 8 a.m. Officers caught the man at the nearby Plateau Community Center.James Penn, who is 25, was taken to University of South Alabama Medical Center. Gallichant said he is expected to survive. Upon release from the hospital, Gallichant said, Penn will be charged with first-degree burglary.

October 15th

A woman checking her mail was attacked and killed by a pack of dogs in south-central Oklahoma on Monday, authorities said.According to officials with the Ada Fire Department, the dogs belonged to the woman's son-in-law, who lived next door near Oil Center. Emergency crews found the woman dead just after noon, lying in a nearby street.Authorities said she had bite marks all over her body.When firefighters arrived on the scene, they reported seeing somebody shoot the dogs with a shotgun. Four of the dogs were killed, but the rest got away.

October 15th

An intruder who forced his way into a Kansas City home early this morning was chased off when a resident fired a shot through his closed bedroom door.

Kansas City police were called to the house in the 4100 block of South Benton St. about 1:50 a.m. and found signs that the front door had been pried open. A 69-year-old man told officers that he was awakened by the sound of the door being forced open. The man said that as he heard the intruder approach his bedroom he fired a shot from a .40-caliber handgun. The suspect fired a return shot and fled. Another man was sleeping in the house, but neither resident saw the intruder, according to police reports. The residents were not injured and there were no signs that a bullet hit the intruder.

October 15th

(Michigan) Gas station clerk pulled gun before he was shot

A gas station clerk wounded in a holdup Friday night was shot after pulling a gun on the robbery suspect, police now say.Grand Rapids police said the clerk, Eugene Earl-Evonta Eursher, 27, complied with the gunman's demand for money from the register but then pulled a handgun on the thin, bearded robber, who shot and critically wounded Eursher.Police first said there was only a confrontation between the alleged robber and the clerk. Police said they believe the suspect is the same man who robbed two other businesses, taking time to say "I'm sorry" during one heist.Eursher's parents said Sunday that they are not interested in the apologies of whoever pulled the trigger -- they just want that person off the street.Eursher is recovering at a local hospital from the gunshot wound he received at the Boston Square Shell station, which is owned by his father, Edward Earl Eursher.

This Week's Special Article

Guns Don't Kill Kids, Irresponsible Adults With Guns Do

Should your doctor ask your child if you own a gun? Guidelines issued by the American Academy of Pediatric say "yes." They warn that "Children are curious even if they’ve had some sort of firearm training. That’s why parents taking responsibility for safe gun storage is so essential.” Doctors across the United States are being advised to interrogate children about mom and dad’s "bad" behavior. It sounds simple enough, but the problem is that the advice ignores the benefits and exaggerates the costs of gun ownership. Take a recent example from Massachusetts that was discussed in the Boston Herald: "Debbie is a mom from Uxbridge who was in the examination room when the pediatrician asked her 5-year-old, 'Does Daddy own a gun?' "When the little girl said yes, the doctor began grilling her and her mom about the number and type of guns, how they are stored, etc. "If the incident had ended there, it would have merely been annoying. "But when a friend in law enforcement let Debbie know that her doctor had filed a report with the police about her family’s (entirely legal) gun ownership, she got mad." Perhaps it was only a matter of time. Accidental gun deaths involving children get national coverage. News programs stage experiments with 5 and 6-year-olds in a room filled with toys and a gun. Shocking pictures show the children picking up the gun and playing with it like a toy. For years, the Clinton administration would show public service ads with the voices or pictures of young children between the ages of 3 and 7 implying an epidemic of accidental gun deaths involving children. With all this attention, the fear is understandable, but it is still irresponsible. Convincing patients not to own guns or to at least lock them up will cost more lives than it will save. It also gives a misleading impression of what poses the greatest dangers to children. Accidental gun deaths among children are fortunately much rarer than most people believe. Consider the following numbers. In 2003, for the United States, the Centers for Disease Control reports that 28 children under age 10 died from accidental shots. With some 90 million gun owners and about 40 million children under 10, it is hard to find any item as commonly owned in American homes, as potentially as lethal, that has as low of an accidental death rate. These deaths also have little to do with "naturally curious" children shooting other children. From 1995 to 2001 only about nine of these accidental gun deaths each year involve a child under 10 shooting another child or themselves. Overwhelmingly, the shooters are adult males with long histories of alcoholism, arrests for violent crimes, automobile crashes, and suspended or revoked driver's licenses. Even if gun locks can stop the few children who abuse a gun from doing so, gun locks cannot stop adults from firing their own gun. It makes a lot more sense for doctors to ask if "daddy" has a violent criminal record or a history of substance abuse, rather than ask if they own a gun. Fear about guns also seems greatest among those who know the least about them. For example, those unfamiliar with guns don’t realize that most young children simply couldn’t fire your typical semi-automatic pistol. Even the few who posses the strength to pull back the slide on the gun are unlikely to know that they must do that to put the bullet in the chamber or that they need to switch off the safety. With so many greater dangers facing children everyday from common household items, it is not obvious why guns have been singled out. Here are some of the other ways that children under 10 died in 2004. Over 1,400 children were killed by cars, almost 260 of those deaths were young pedestrians. Bicycle and space heater accidents take many times more children’s lives than guns. Over 90 drowned in bathtubs. The most recent yearly data available indicates that over 30 children under age 5 drowned in five-gallon plastic water buckets. Yet, the real problem with this gun phobia is that without guns, victims are much more vulnerable to criminal attack. Guns are used defensively some 2 million times each year. Even though the police are extremely important in reducing crime, they simply can't be there all the time and virtually always arrive after the crime has been committed. Having a gun is by far the safest course of action when one is confronted by a criminal. The cases where young children use guns to save their family’s lives rarely makes the news. Recent examples where children’s lives were clearly lost because guns were locked and inaccessible are ignored. Recent research that I did examining juvenile accidental gun deaths for all U.S. states from 1977 to 1998, found that sixteen states mandating that guns be locked up had no impact. What did happen, however, was that criminals were emboldened to attack people in their homes and crimes were more successful; 300 more murders and 4,000 more rapes occurred each year in these states. Burglaries also rose dramatically. The evidence also indicates that states with the biggest increases in gun ownership have had the biggest drops in violent crime. Asking patients about guns not only strains doctor patient relationships, it exaggerates the dangers and risks lives. Yet, in the end, possibly some good can come out of all this gun phobia. If your doctors ask you whether you own a gun, rather than sarcastically asking them if they own a space heater, why not offer to go out to a shooting range together and teach them about guns?

John Lott, Jr., is the author of Freedomnomics and a Senior Research Scholar at the University of Maryland.

Monday, October 15, 2007