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Trigger happy police officer fires shots near student dorms

riverrat10k

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"The suspect in Tuesday morning’s incident that prompted campus police to fire two shots turned himself in to the Henrico County jail Tuesday night, following a day-long search."

" An officer fired two shots at O’Leary, one of them hitting a police car, though Grainger did not see them because her roommate had yelled at her to get her head down. Original reports said that O’Leary had fired the shots and Grainger said that investigaters this morning told her that O’Leary had fired the shots."

http://thecollegianur.com/2011/12/06/suspect-shots-richmond-police-jail/24515/

Submitted without comment. Y'all can probably guess how I feel about this one.
 

Badger Johnson

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The school was shut down and when the suspect was found, police discovered that it was a pellet gun.

Man this is a confusing report. The cops fired the shots and it was a pellet gun?

The cops are shooting at a fleeing suspect trying to kill a person who MAY have had an illegal substance (possibly a misdemeanor?). Since when does a misdemeanor warrant the death penalty?

(Note it doesn't say the suspect tried to run down an officer).
An officer fired two shots at O’Leary, one of them hitting a police car, though Grainger did not see them because her roommate had yelled at her to get her head down.

Grainger is the officer. Why was her roommate there?

===
Also
Owens said O’Leary left the car and got away by foot.
Earlier in the article it said the suspect was found. But he wasn't found.
 
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ProShooter

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Man this is a confusing report. The cops fired the shots and it was a pellet gun?

The cops are shooting at a fleeing suspect trying to kill a person who MAY have had an illegal substance (possibly a misdemeanor?). Since when does a misdemeanor warrant the death penalty?

(Note it doesn't say the suspect tried to run down an officer).


Grainger is the officer. Why was her roommate there?

===
Also Earlier in the article it said the suspect was found. But he wasn't found.

You have totally mixed up different incidents, and different people.
 

peter nap

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I think your title is your comment.

To label the officer as "trigger happy" is unfair at this point until all of the details of what transpired are known.

That's very true Jim, except for two things.

First, we both know Riverrat personally and he's one of the more rational and slow to prejudge, of the local bunch. That says a lot considering it's a fairly conservative group to start with.

Second, the police are releasing statements and so far no one has mentioned being dragged or having been in the path of the car. The fleeing felon rule has been largely gutted and even if it hadn't, there was no indication of a felony being committed (unless you look at the Officer who appears to have attempted to murder the suspect).

This appears to be a simple possession of Pot and attempting to elude, both nonviolent misdemeanors.

This looks very bad for the Officer and if covered up or excused away, will reflect poorly on the PD and Commonwealth's Attorney.
 
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Badger Johnson

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You have totally mixed up different incidents, and different people.

Well I just read the article and it looks like a report on one incident. If you can 'unmix' them I'd appreciate it.

Did the cops shoot? Who shot a pellet gun? Why was Grainger's roommate there?
 

peter nap

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Well I just read the article and it looks like a report on one incident. If you can 'unmix' them I'd appreciate it.

Did the cops shoot? Who shot a pellet gun? Why was Grainger's roommate there?

Read it again and unmix yourself Badger.
One is the current incident and one is the closest thing they can remember to gunfire on campus.
 

riverrat10k

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Thanks for the characterization, I think, Peter. Not sure I agree LOL.

Jim, I thought about that title a bit and decided to go with it. I based it on info given about the charges against the guy.

http://www.wtvr.com/news/wtvr-shots-fired-university-of-richmond-campus-20111206,0,5541876.story

"O'Leary, 25, is charged with reckless driving and felony eluding of a law enforcement officer. "

Correct me if I am wrong, and I will be the first to plead "mea culpa" if other facts come to light, but I don't see that deadly force is a rational response to these charges. If he had endangered the officer, they would have charged him with that crime also.

Some other interesting tidbits from various news reports:

"At the time of the incident, the police who were on the scene determined that it really wasn't necessary for there to be an urgent alert," said Eckert"

So no danger after he fled at least. Implies they felt suspect was not armed.

"An officer fired two shots at O’Leary, one of them hitting a police car, ........"

Officer could not hit the broad side of car. He took a poor shot, apparently.

"University spokesman Brian Eckert said that the delay for the text was due to campus police’s judgement. He said that the police would have sent out a message earlier in the day had they determined there was an immediate threat to students."

Again, no threat from O'Leary.

"Original reports said that O’Leary had fired the shots and Grainger said that investigaters this morning told her that O’Leary had fired the shots."

The start of a whitewash? Grainger is a female student.

Unless I hear otherwise, I will stick with my "trigger happy" characterization.
 

riverrat10k

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Badger, read the original article CAREFULLY. Your reading comprehension is poor.

Nap is correct. The reporter is relating ANOTHER incident on campus as one of the few "gun" incidents at the U of R.
 

Badger Johnson

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There's a new article up posted at 9:21 (the previous one superseded?) It's more clear.

I'm not sure why Mr Nap is being so harsh. It's just a discussion, man.
 

ProShooter

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News reports aside (because we all know how accurate they are), I still think its a bit early to label anyone as trigger happy. Did the officer screw up? maybe. Did he see what he thought was the suspect reaching for a weapon? maybe....too many variables and not enough facts to make the call. If the officer screwed up, fine...discipline him and re-train. Until we know more, its only speculation.
 

riverrat10k

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OK, we can agree to disagree, Jim.

Just my opinion from the "facts" currently presented: the officer fired at a fleeing vehicle and missed at least once; poor shooting and the officer did the endangering.

riverrat
 

peter nap

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News reports aside (because we all know how accurate they are), I still think its a bit early to label anyone as trigger happy. Did the officer screw up? maybe. Did he see what he thought was the suspect reaching for a weapon? maybe....too many variables and not enough facts to make the call. If the officer screwed up, fine...discipline him and re-train. Until we know more, its only speculation.

That's all true Jim and it is indeed too early for a final call....but the reaching for the weapon statement didn't come for a while which makes it suspect of butt covering.

They'd been there for a half hour trying to get him to fess up to smoking pot with no indication of a weapon. If there had been, they could have done a personal weapons search.

The witness and initial police statement seem to agree. The guy put it in drive and drove away.

If legitimate reasons for the shots emerge, I'm all for him being exonerated but if not, he's too dangerous to leave in the department.
 
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wylde007

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If legitimate reasons for the shots emerge, I'm all for him being exonerated but if not, he's too dangerous to leave in the department.
Unless there is incontrovertible evidence that the officer or his partner were in immediate mortal danger, lethal force was not a justified response to this incident.

What's worse, the officer's shots landed nowhere near their "intended" target. He hit one of his own department's cruisers. What if he had injured or killed a fellow officer? This poor kid who MAY have been guilty of possession would be crucified for capital murder of a police officer, I guarantee it.
 

Badger Johnson

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Unless there is incontrovertible evidence that the officer or his partner were in immediate mortal danger, lethal force was not a justified response to this incident.

What's worse, the officer's shots landed nowhere near their "intended" target. He hit one of his own department's cruisers. What if he had injured or killed a fellow officer? This poor kid who MAY have been guilty of possession would be crucified for capital murder of a police officer, I guarantee it.

How can you have incontrovertible evidence? I think all you need is a fellow officer to allege whatever is needed.

Reaching for a weapon (post above)? If the kid is driving away and shots are fired at the rear of the car, I don't see how that is possible. Yet, if an officer says it, it will be believed. I do think the kid would be charged with capital murder in the case you outline.

Lessons learned?
Don't hotbox in your car on campus parked on the grass;
Don't flee the police because if they shoot at you it could lead to murder charges.
 
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