Skip to comments.Deputy Fires at Car Driven by 12-Year-Old
Posted on 06/27/2005 10:19:12 AM PDT by Nachum
LAKELAND, Fla. - A sheriff's deputy trying to stop an erratic driver fired at the car when it lurched toward him, not realizing a 12-year-old girl was behind the wheel, officials said. Neither she nor her 6-year-old brother were hit.
Deputy Chris Hillsgrove and a colleague pursued the car Sunday, eventually blocking it between their two patrol cars. When the deputies exited their vehicles, the car lurched forward and backward into the two cars, then drove toward Hillsgrove, Polk County Sheriff's spokeswoman Michal Shanley said.
"He, fearing for his life, fired several shots at the oncoming vehicle and managed to jump out of the way as the vehicle sped by him," Shanley said. The car then crashed into a nearby parked car.
The officers couldn't see the driver because the car's window's were tinted, she said.
The deputies discovered the driver was a 12-year-old girl when they broke a passenger-side window to get in, Shanley said. Her 6-year-old brother was also inside.
The girl suffered cuts and bruises, but neither child had been shot, Shanley said. The shots had passed over her head.
The girl was charged with attempted murder, auto theft, driving without a license and other counts. Hillsgrove was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
The girl had asked for and received the keys to the car, which belonged to a family friend, Shanley said.
Why was the guy placed on leave, it sounds like he did the right thing to me.
And now I suppose there will be all sorts of investigations into the poor deputy by the libs.Shooting at a child! Imagine!
Discharge of a weapon often is often automatic cause for adminstrative leave.
No charges there?
Proofreading is my friend.
What? Charges against that family friend????
It sure sounds like a justifiable discharge to me. Thanks for the info.
Yeah, that to me is the real story.
Last time a car came at me I didn't get to shoot at it, and I wasn't even chasing it.
That girl is lucky she wasn't killed. What in the world was she thinking? And what was the "family friend" thinking? People can be such idiots!
Even had he known it was a 12-year-old, he would have been fully justified in shooting her to protect his life and the lives of other bystanders.
That's how it is when you play in the big leauges.
They always do that for pschological reasons. To de-stress.
"No charges there?"
She may have said she wanted to get something out of the trunk. I don't think it is illegal to give a twelve yr. old keys in order to get something from the car. I am pretty sure the family friend didn't want her to steal his car.
He did nothing wrong. He was acting to stop the vehicle by stopping the driver. Not knowing who was driving is absolutely immaterial, if his life was in danger. Would it matter if it were Santa Claus apparently trying to run hime down?
So if we lose the brakes in a vehicle and an officer is nearby, we may be killed. Nice.
Of course, if he shoots the engine or better yet, the tires, he might stop the car.
Standard procedure after an officer is involved in a shooting. He goes home on paid leave while the dpt investigates. Usually it lasts less than a week.
It also sounds like the deputy was complying with the Golden Rule:
You don't kill the driver. You kill the car!
Administrative leave or "Riding A Desk" is SOP every time a cop discrarges his weapon. My guess is that this will be determined a "Good Shoot".
"Of course, if he shoots the engine or better yet, the tires, he might stop the car."
I agree. He should have shot the engine, although the resulting blast may have done lots of collateral damage. I once saw an episode of Kojak in which the hero shot a speeding '74 Lincoln at 650 yards with a a snubnosed .38 Special. The car exploded in a huge fireball with the first shot. That's what the deputy in this case should have done. I know it would have worked because I've seen it happen on television.
Good grief! Where's the childrens parents? Also, why don't the police shoot out the tires of cars to stop them or to slow them down?
To stop a vehicle, police are trained to shoot the driver.
Reminds me of the total idiot at a public hearing one time crying up a storm because a perp that needed killing got kilt and she wailed..."Couldn't you just shoot the gun out of his hand?!!?"
Public school education + too much TV...
Not sure I understand about "killing the car" versus the driver? Can you explain that to a befuddled software guy?
That's what the Jackson Jury said too...
Well, if he did the right thing he did it incompetently; the driver wasn't hit.
Yet she was charged with auto theft. I wouldn't charge her with attempted murder either.
Well, we can at least thank our lucky stars it wasn't a God forsaken SUV.
Tires are sometimes very difficult to 'shoot out'. Bullets can bounce off of them.
The 'family friend' must have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time.
I don't know much about cars or shooting at them, but...if you shoot the driver, doesn't the car then go out of control? Again, I don't really know anything about it, but it seems to me that controlling the car might be the first course of action.
"Shooting out the tires", much like "shooting the gun out of the perp's hand", is a Hollywood fiction.
A gun is a rotten tool for stopping a car, and the police have much better tools for doing so (like those tire rippers that they pull across the road in high-speed chases). But when a gun is the only tool at hand the best way to utilize it is to use it to neutralize whoever is controlling the vehicle. Short of an incredibly risky and foolhardy attempt to gain access to a moving vehicle, this cop had no other effective options.
I think it was Steven Wright who told the story about messing with a hitchhiker. After he picked him up, he accelerated the car and told him, "Put on your seatbelt. I saw this in a cartoon once and I think I can do it".
The girl is very lucky to be alive, and needs some time at Juvenile Hall to contemplate her good fortune.
My favorite line from a western was I think Joe Kidd,...when he was aiming for the desparado escaping in the distance, pulled out the rifle for a long shot,...seconds later the rider falls off the horse,....bystander remarks, 'That was a helluva shot!',...The shooter drowls,,...'not really, I was aiming for the horse...'
It's a wonder the sheriff's deputy didn't have a heart attack when he learned who was behind the wheel.
Why not? It wasn't her car, she obviously wouldn't have a driver's license or insurance. The owner could not have legally given her permission to drive their car. also, almost running someone down sounds like attempted murder to me.
Why not? Because she is 12? If so, then it is the owner who should somehow be arrested for stealing the car. If the girl didn't steal the car, then she shouldn't be charged with stealing it.
also, almost running someone down sounds like attempted murder to me.
She's 12. I doubt she has/had any ability to understand that what she was doing was life threatening. Therfore, it would be manslaughter at worst.
It's always been my understanding that if you are driving another person's car without their permission that's stealing. Isn't it?
Yeah, but I thought the girl had the permission? I think we are just reading the story differently.
At the ripe, old age of 12, almost running someone down sounds like total lack of skill behind the wheel and probable absence of malice. If she really had the skill required to run the cop down and the malicious intent to do it, she'd have been able to keep him lined up with the hood ornament in spite of all his dancing around and he wouldn't have had a prayer.
Wow, I can't count how many times over the years I have had to dodge cars flying through parking lots. I guess they all could have been changed with attempted murder. And, yes, there were times I feared for my life as well!
You don't? Why not? Saves a bundle of money in the long run.
Cuts down on global warming, too. Fewer perps = fewer emissions.
Worked while I was growing up; then the 60s came along, and everybody got touchy-feeling, namby-pamby, thanks to all the bitching over killing S.E. Asian commie murderers, and just look at us now....
Because you have to be at a certain angle to have a chance of hitting the tires; the target is very difficult to hit; meaning that bullets will go flying around in a varying background (which may include people); if you do hit the tires and they are certain types of steel radials, they may simply bounce; and if you do manage to overcome all of that and puncture the tire, it may not stop the car.
Shooting at tires is really bad judgment.
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