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Family of police shooting victim wants answers (Their title)
WPMI NBC15 Local News ^
| Richard Allyn
Posted on 03/11/2004 5:37:54 AM PST by GrandEagle
(MOBILE, Ala.) Mar. 10 - A man is dead after Mobile police open fire in a crowded shopping center parking lot.
It started around 9:30 Wednesday morning in front of the Big K-Mart on Schillinger Road near Airport Boulevard.
Police say they were called because a man was driving erratically in the parking lot. When police arrived, 40-year-old Wayne Stewart was changing a tire. Officers say Stewart was bleeding and appeared very upset.
When they attempted to calm him down, police say Stewart pulled out a carpet-cutter and lunged towards them. It was then that two officers shot Stewart as many as eight times. Police say Stewart was upset about his recent break-up with his common-law wife.
But now, that woman is demanding justice: saying a small man with a box-cutter posed no threat to the officers.
I want to know why this little man is dead, Diane Stewart, who had been with Wayne Stewart for three and a half years, said. Why they had to shoot him 1, 2 or even 8 times, I want to know."
Wednesday morning, Stewart pulled out a utility knife while he was being questioned by Mobile patrol officers outside the K-Mart on Schillinger Road.
Police say he appeared intoxicated. His common-law wife says he was taking valium, emotionally distraught after they separated five weeks ago.
When officers ordered him to stand down, police say he refused and lunged toward them. The officers had their weapons drawn, said Mobile Police Chief Sam Cochran. At this point, they did fire shots, which turned out to be deadly shots. Eight bullet casings were found at the scene, along with the box cutter.
Stewarts common-law wife says she wants to know why officers used deadly force on her 118-pound husband, instead of a less lethal weapon.
Mobile's police chief says all officers are trained to use other, less lethal weapons, such as pepper spray and batons. Officers are also trained to use Tazer guns, but the force has only about 200 Tazer guns for a 500-plus man department. It's not certain whether the officers who shot Stewart Wednesday morning were equipped with Tazers. Chief Cochran says, We want to determine if there were other methods that could have been used, utilized in the situation to alleviate the threat, other than the deadly force used."
For Stewart's family, answers can't come soon enough. It doesn't matter what problems we had, he didnt deserve this, a distraught Diane Stewart cries.
The two officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave. In the meantime, the police department's criminal investigation unit and internal affairs will conduct parallel investigations.
A key question to be answered before the two officers return to active duty is whether the use of lethal force in the department store's public parking lot was appropriate.
While the names of the officers have not been released, we do know one has been on the force for 11 months, the other less than two years.
TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: crime; darwin; policeshooting; suicidebycop
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What is up with the military look? These guys look like clowns with guns to me. Do you think they have full length mirrors in the locker room down at the armory?
Law and order are one thing, looking like special forces wanna-be's is quite another.
Reguardless I do support the 'thin blue line'.
Are those really 'Jack boots'?
posted on 03/11/2004 7:18:34 AM PST
It is apparent that most of you do not understand how dangerous knives can be. It takes approximately 3 seconds for a person with a knife to reach a target 21 feet away. Real life is not Hollywood where armed thugs are disarmed without a shot being fired. Moreover, if you knew anything about guns you would know that it often takes more than one shot to stop a perpetrator. Especially a drunk emotionally disturbed one. I'm surprised that these good officers fired ONLY 8 SHOTS. Must of hit a vital area. If these officers did not use deadly physical force and decided to handle it 'the liberal way', they would have been seriously injured and possibly killed. It does not matter the size of the perp, he was emotionally disturbed. Got it, you Monday morning quarterbacks?
posted on 03/11/2004 7:23:12 AM PST
To: Blood of Tyrants
Would you argue that 10 unarmed men against 5 men armed with boxcutters SHOULDN'T use guns to protect their lives?
As usual you posed an interesting argument. No I wouldn't make that arguement. Your question made me ask myself why the difference?
I'll try and mak the case that the situation was dramatically different.
1)The officers had other options. 2)The guy wasn't trying to hijack K-Mart, or enec blow it up. 3)They were not at 35,000 feet with no room for error. 4)The passengers are not trained in disarmament of individuals. 5)The hijackers are at war with us. 6)There should be a difference between a police response and a military response. With the military, shoot first and ask questions later is more acceptable than a police action using the same mentality.
It is apparent that most of you do not understand how dangerous knives can be.
You very well could be right.
if you knew anything about guns you would know that it often takes more than one shot to stop a perpetrator.
I'm quite familiar with weapons. Your comment is especially true if they were carrying the standard 9mm. The .45 is my favorite.
I still think killing the guy as a first response was excessive.
As an ex-Dallas PD officer, any respectable officer that knows how to use their baton, or even fight for that matter, should have been able to deal with this efficiently without using deadly force...8 times????? Geez. ~sigh~
Hope they can live with what they did. It won't be as easy as you might think later on.
A well-conditioned young man picked up a 10 GAL jar of change [full!] during a family disturbance and raised it over his head and threatened to throw it at us. Did we frickin shoot him?? HEDOUBLEHOCKEYSTICKS NO! Could we have legally? Yes.
posted on 03/11/2004 7:30:35 AM PST
(The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.")
Had a bunch of computer problems for awhile and was away from FR. I see the song has remained the same, knee jerk, slam the cops threads still going strong.
Nice to see that some things never change.
To: 17th Miss Regt; Cap'n Crunch; Sloth; Kakaze; coloradan; Monterrosa-24; Captain Rhino; Rifleman; ...
Thanks for your comments. Many of you have given me food for thought. Gotta get back to work --- for now.
To: All; biblewonk
The moral of the story: "Never bring/swing a carpet knife to/in a gun fight" (especially when it's you vs. eight cops). Duh.
This reminds me of the local high-on-methamphetamine, disarmed punk "victim" who was recently shot dead by a LEO as the punk was attempting to drive off in the LEO's squad car. The LEO was deemed justified by some investigative body. The dead man's family remains p*ssed.
Sorry, folks but, I have nearly zero sympathy for a crazed, intoxicated idiot who tries something stupid within shooting range of an officer who's sworn to protect the citizens.
Do your drugs at home, and stay there. Otherwise, if anybody's going to end up dead, it had better be you.
posted on 03/11/2004 7:39:06 AM PST
(Just my opinion, of course. Your mileage may vary. You have the right to be wrong.)
The article says the guy was upset about the break up with his wife.
See! It's the womans fault! Always is. LOL
Pepper spray for an emotionally disturbed man? That would have pissed him off even more. Think about it. This guy charges two cops who had their guns drawn. He was not going to give them a hug, he was determined to do them harm and he was obviously not sane. Before you criticize know what you're talking about.
posted on 03/11/2004 7:42:37 AM PST
Somebody said use pepper spray???? hahahahahahahahaha
Their 'first response' was not to 'kill the guy', it was to stop the threat. Unfortunately for him, that required enough force to kill him because, and please read carefully, HE WAS EMOTIONALLY DISTURBED! By the way that was the only response available to those officers anyway, anything else would have resulted in injury to them. Cops are trained to shoot to stop the threat, whatever that takes.
posted on 03/11/2004 7:51:17 AM PST
Yes, I agree that there are potentially more options that a police officer on the ground has, but sometimes the police officer doesn't have time to implement those options.
Unlike ordinary citizens, police have no obligation to withdraw from a situation before it becomes deadly if there is no apparent threat to our or another person's life. The question is whether the guy advanced towards them in a threatening manner. If he simply stood there wit the box cutter in his hand and was shot, then it can be argued that he may have surrendered peacefully in a few minutes. However, if he moved towards them while they were yelling to drop the box cutter, the cops were right.
posted on 03/11/2004 8:03:06 AM PST
by Blood of Tyrants
(Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn’t be, in its eyes, a slave.)
picture = group target :-) Ma loves tightly bunched group targets
posted on 03/11/2004 8:10:53 AM PST
by from occupied ga
(Your government is your most dangerous enemy, and Bush is no conservative)
To: EAGLE7; Cap'n Crunch
I think I was the one who brought that up. I have no knowledge at all other than the "advertised" effects of the stuff. From your comment I gather my opinion was incorrect. I stand (or sit as it is) corrected.
Their 'first response' was not to 'kill the guy', it was to stop the threat.
Unfortunately I know someone who was there - a 40 or so feet away) and who personally spoke with some of those who watched it happen. The shots were simultaneous and without pause. probably less than 3 seconds. I believe it was their first response.
If it was a lone officer I could see it still maybe excessive, but with two of them there I just can't see it as appropriate.
I do feel sorry for the officers also. One was on the force less than a year, the other less than two years. Even when justified I would imagine that killing someone is a very difficult thing to live with.
I have made the mental decision that that is what I was going to do before. I thank God almighty that I out drew the guy and he stopped before fully drawing his weapon.
Just going through the thought process and deciding that I was going to shoot the guy was very emotional (after it was over). I had to take the day off work and go home.
To: Blood of Tyrants
Unlike ordinary citizens, police have no obligation to withdraw from a situation before it becomes deadly if there is no apparent threat to our or another person's life. The question is whether the guy advanced towards them in a threatening manner.
Again, you have a point. Not only are they not obligated to withdraw, they can't withdraw in a situation like this.
Off to work - re-thinking my position.
To: Blood of Tyrants
I see little resemblance to the two events. Here, you had two armed policement in a parking lot, and one guy with a boxcutter. I guess if you agree with the concept of 'shoot first, ask questions later', then you might be able to justify this to yourself. Those of use that are a little less bloodthirsty would probably question the situation a bit more.
posted on 03/11/2004 8:22:32 AM PST
(The Great Experiment is over.)
Ah, an honest man. God bless you.
From my experience pepper spray is useless. It's mandatory that we carry it but mine is only for decoration, I haven't used it in probably 10 years.
I can only go by what the article says and from my experience. I'm giving the cops the benefit of the doubt and this shooting looks legit to me.
The report says the guy was driving erratically in the parking lot.(don't know if his driving was putting people in danger)
It says he was emotional, highly upset and possibly intoxicated. It also says he had a carpet cutter and lunged at the officers with the carpet cutter in hand.
One thing I've experienced as a cop is this ''little guy'' probably had that ''little guy'' syndrome, which usually causes them to fight harder than the ''normal guy.'' And drunks generally don't feel alot of pain.
When I put this together, I see a little guy, pumped up, fired up, with a box cutter. What I'm thinking is "am I willing to take a few slashes with that razor and take a chance on disarming him without shooting him?" Because your gonna get cut.
If neither one of us has a tazer, sorry, he's getting shot. As you know, it doesn't take long to crank off a few shots with a handgun. You said all the shots occured at once. Tells me that both of them felt in danger and opened up just like they were trained to do.
That's my 2 cents anyhow. Take care.
To: Cap'n Crunch
He's dead because he was an apparent a$$hole.
Don't bring a knife to a gunfight.
Article doesn't say whether the parking lot was crowded, only that the shopping center was.
posted on 03/11/2004 8:45:37 AM PST
(Broken Glass Conservative, I'll even vote for a moderate if he's the most conservative candidate.)
To: Cap'n Crunch; Blood of Tyrants
Ok guys. Looks like I may have to at least partially back away from my position here. My opinion is probably somewhat tainted by some really bad experiences with the Mobile PD that causes me to distrust them.
Ill make a couple of them short: Traveling about 43mph in a 45 mph zone I was stopped and given a ticket for 64 in a 45. Not only was I not speeding, I had not been speeding. Neither was anyone else on the road. Said she clocked me on radar, since she didnt have radar I asked to see the reading and was told to stay in the car (as she put her hand on her weapon). I stayed put. I told her that she didnt even have radar so how could she have clocked me. Her response was prove it as she walked away smiling. At no time was I smart or disrespectful with her (would have been a bit stupid anyway, and I was taught to respect their position). May as well pulled her gun and robbed me on the side of the road. The only thing I could figure is that she didnt like my radar detector.
Anyway, went to kangaroo court, she lied through her teeth, her boss lied through his teeth, I paid the fine and court cost and learned a lesson.
A couple of more less dramatic things where the officer sat in court, looked the judge in the eye, and lied through his teeth. (Ill spare the details).
I moved out of the city, didn't like the driving tax.
Our Sheriffs department is very professional and at least honest. State police are also very professional and again honest.
Most every time Ive run into the city guys they have been egotistical smart a@@es. And not always on the business end of dealings with them either. The only difference I can tell between them and the State and County guys is training and attitude.
Each person and event should stand or fall on its own merits.
Depending on what actually happened close up the question becomes do I expect the officers to get cut up before responding, or disengage leaving this unstable person in a very busy place. The answer to that is absolutely not.
I am torn with my view because I also am not willing to simply walk off saying oh well, the guy shouldnt have pulled out the box cutter. My experience and distrust of the MPD probably caused me not to give the officers the appropriate benefit of the doubt that they most definitely deserve. I thank you two for your perspective. Our DA runs a very competent and through office. While I do not trust the MPD internal affairs I do trust his office.
Benefit of the doubt extended. Awaiting outcome of DA investigation to form final opinion.
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