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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Wednesday, October 12: A Busy Day in The Shooting War on Crime

12:15 AM
Kansas City, Missouri
     Just after midnight, an out of control vehicle crashed into a grocery store. A man at the accident scene started shooting at the driver who was still inside the car. When the shooter didn't drop his handgun, a Kansas City police officer shot and wounded him. The subject has yet to be publically identified.

11:00 AM
Myrtle Creek, Oregon
    In this town of 3,500 in southern Oregon, John Bocock, 58, shot and wounded 51-year-old Vincent Lytsell outside a real estate office. The two men had been arguing. After the shooting, Bocock fled the scene on foot. When encountered by local police officers, Bocock refused to put down his handgun. Myrtle Creek officers shot him dead. Bocock believed that Lytsell had been sleeping with his estranged wife.

5:00 PM
Indianapolis, Indiana
     City police shot Jarvis Clay after a foot pursuit following a traffic stop. When the 27-year-old pointed a handgun at the pursuing officers, they shot him in the leg. This year in Indianapolis, the police have shot and wounded two other men in separate incidents.

7:00 PM
Downey, California
     When two Downey police officers approached a man standing near a palm tree fire (I didn't know people set them on fire), he drew a knife and charged them. The officers fatally shot the subject. A week after the shooting, the dead man has not been publically identified. As far as I can tell, there has been only one piece of reportage on this case. Police involved shootings have become that ordinary.

7:00 PM
Lower Burrell, Pennsylvania
     On October 2, Charles Post, 33, fired shots at his boss at a construction company in a neighboring Pittsburgh area town. As a result of this incident, Post was wanted by the authorities. On October 12, Post shot and killed Lower Burrell K-9 officer Derek Kotecki outside a local Dairy Queen. After the shooting, police officers chased Post on foot into a wooded area behind the fast food place where they shot the fugitive in the head, chest, and abdomen. Post, who had an extensive criminal history dating back to the late 1990's, died at the scene.

10:00 PM
Tacoma, Washington
     After a police officer tried but failed to pull over a motorist driving without his headlights, the sergeant drove to the driver's house and waited for him to come home. When the suspect pulled into the parking lot of his apartment complex he saw the police car and sped toward it in an aggressive manner. The officer fired six to eight shots into the approaching vehicle, hitting the driver in the neck. The car then crashed and burst into flames. Because officers pulled the suspect out of his burning car, he survived. They had saved a man who had tried to kill one of their own. This was the third police shooting this year in Tacoma. The earlier incidents were both fatal. (In November 2009, a gunman burst into a Lakewood, Washington coffee shop near Tacoma and shot four uniformed police officers dead. It was a targeted ambush by 37-year-old Maurice Clemmons who was killed a few days later by police in Seattle.
(See: "Armed and Dangerous: Who the Police Shoot and Why," September 22, 2011)

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