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.
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.
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