Skip to comments.Ex-military marksman 'shot down sheriff's copter' (Jason Kerns former sniper in the US Marines)
Posted on 08/17/2005 3:16:53 AM PDT by Former Military Chick
click here to read article
Here is a local link
Sounds like the media is resurrecting the old "psychotic veteran" thing that we had to deal with long after Vietnam.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Authorities have charged a former Marine marksman with shooting down a sheriff's helicopter, alleging that he bragged to investigators that it would be no problem for him to "make that shot."
Jason Kerns, 29, was arrested late Monday in the Aug. 6 shooting, and faces charges including assault with intent to commit a violent felony upon an officer.
Along with the boast about his marksmanship, Kerns told investigators he watched from his neighborhood as the chopper went down, according to sheriff's records released Tuesday. The records, however, contained no admission of responsibility.
Kerns was being held on $1.8 million bond. Police said they did not know whether he had obtained an attorney.
Authorities said they recovered several firearms from the suspect's home, including a rifle they believe was involved in the shooting, along with boxes of ammunition.
Pilot Chris Holland and sheriff's deputy Ward Pfefferle were in the copter when it went down and suffered injuries. Pfefferle reported hearing a gun shot.
Kerns is a former lance corporal honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 2001, authorities said. He was a helicopter airframe mechanic who also worked as a marksmanship instructor, according to the sheriff's records.
Kerns told investigators the night the copter went down that he had been watching it hover low above a nearby golf course.
"I hate to say this but I was getting annoyed by the sound of the chopper because it was there so long," Kerns told investigators, according to the records.
He said he watched for a few more minutes then heard a "pop noise" and saw the copter crash.
Investigators questioned several people in the neighborhood and later went to Kerns' residence.
In an Aug. 8 interview, Kerns allegedly told an investigator who remarked that it would be difficult to shoot down a copter from a certain distance that he would be able "'to make that shot' at that distance with 'no problem.'"
Trajectory tests determined a bullet struck the helicopter's left pedal, one of the pedals that controls the craft. Had the bullet not hit the pedal, authorities have said it would have struck the pilot in the chest.
Holland, 43, suffered shrapnel wounds while Pfefferle, 51, suffered minor injuries. They were helping deputies on the ground who were investigating a burglary call when the chopper went down.
In an Aug. 8 interview, Kerns allegedly told an investigator who remarked that it would be difficult to shoot down a copter from a certain distance that he would be able "'to make that shot' at that distance with 'no problem.'
This was a dumb thing to say but heck any Marine should be able to hit a hovering helo at 400 meters, I can't say one way or the other if this guy did it or not but that would not be an unusual statment for a Marine to make. Marines are by nature confident about their abilities with a rife.
If this guy did it he deserves no special treatement but given the evidence they have, he may have just been an easy mark to pin it on.
I call BS on being to tell if the fragments came from his rifle, I am sure that they could tell that it was a .30 by the entry hole but after penetrating the airframe and striking the pedal I doubt that there would be usefull marks
HARTMAN: Do any of you people know who Charles Whitman was? None of you dumb***** knows? Private Cowboy?
COWBOY: Sir, he was that guy who shot all those people from that tower in Austin, Texas, sir!
HARTMAN: That's affirmative. Charles Whitman killed twelve people from a twenty-eight-storey observation tower at the University of Texas from distances up to four hundred yards. Anybody know who Lee Harvey Oswald was? Private Snowball?
SNOWBALL: Sir, he shot Kennedy, sir!
HARTMAN: That's right, and do you know how far away he was?
SNOWBALL: Sir, it was pretty far! From that book suppository building, sir!
HARTMAN: All right, knock it off! Two hundred and fifty feet! He was two hundred and fifty feet away and shooting at a moving target. Oswald got off three rounds with an old Italian bolt action rifle in only six seconds and scored two hits, including a head shot! Do any of you people know where these individuals learned to shoot? Private Joker?
JOKER: Sir, in the Marines, sir!
HARTMAN: In the Marines! Outstanding! Those individuals showed what one motivated marine and his rifle can do! And before you ladies leave my island, you will be able to do the same thing!
LOL. Thanks Gunny!
I'd be more disturbed about the case the press is trying to make by pushing stories like these.
I am continually amazed at the ignorance of some people.
This clown was a aircraft fixer, not a sniper. Marine snipers are not airwingers. They are mostly grunts who go through sniper school. Also, a Marine who qualifies as a "marksman" with the service rifle is qualified at the lowest possible level. Below marksman is "unqualified." Above marksman is "sharpshooter" and above that is the top, "expert."
Also, if he was discharged as a lance coolee, the chances are pretty fair he did not finish his full tour in the Corps and was a %#$!bird who got office hours and had other discipline problems.
Thank you for making that clarification. I do think that somehow his military background will play should he go to trial.
OK, OK, he shot the sherrif.
But did he shoot the deputy?
Hey, I exceded the speed limit by at least 10 MPH on my way to work today and I was a Marine in the mid 80's. There must be a 1 to 1 corrolation . I mean the MSM says so.
This person is my nephew. His mother says that he did not fire the shot. He states that his confession was beaten out of him. His mom is a very nice person and i tend to believe her. I do Wish him luck
If he was a marksmanship instructor and airframe mechanic then he was no sniper, but as an instructor he would have certainly qualified expert and was/is a very good marksman.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.