Were Some (Or All) of the Empire State Building Bystanders Shot By Cops?

The murder of a 41-year-old import company vice president outside the Empire State Building, and the subsequent wounding of nine people when police closed in on the apparent murderer, doesn't appear to be a high point in public safety. But would it matter if some or all of the bystanders were shot by cops rather than the original shooter? 

With the caveat that first reports are usually wrong, the story appears to be that Jeffrey Johnson, 58, approached his former boss Steven Ercolino and shot him in the head. After that, Johnson put his .45 caliber handgun into a bag and walked away, but he was tailed by a construction worker who notified two police officers assigned to patrol the Empire State Building (per a post-9/11 New York Police Department policy of providing security around major landmarks). When the cops approached Johnson, he drew his weapon again and the cops shot and killed him. It was at this point that the nine bystanders were wounded. 

The murder of Ercolino seems straightforward. Johnson had apparently raised workplace harassment complaints and in any event had recently been laid off. But the exchange of gunfire with the cops is more complicated. There are differing accounts of whether Johnson actually fired, and the eight-round clip in his gun is said to have contained one round when it was searched by police. 

Assuming at least one round was used to shoot Ercolino, that leaves six rounds Johnson may have fired in the shootout. To wound nine people, Johnson would have had to hit a civilian with every bullet, and at least three of them would have continued flying and hit second targets. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has already speculated that some of the bystanders were hit by police fire. 

As noted above, the facts are not all in. There is surveillance camera footage of both Ercolino's murder and the subsequent shootout, and ballistics testing will settle most or all of these questions. And even by the most hands-off definition of a nightwatchman state, stopping a murderer who is walking around armed on a crowded street, probably not in the best of moods, seems to fall within the purview of proper police action. 

Still, the construction worker was apparently able to follow Johnson, whose weapon was in a bag, without incident. For me this sad story comes back, as so many sad stories do, to the scene in First Blood when Richard Crenna advises the cops to let Rambo get away, defuse the situation, and pick him up in a few weeks, "working at a car wash in Seattle." (In this case they might have had to wait 99 weeks until Johnson's extended unemployment benefits ran out.) 

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  • ||

    Bystanders hurt, so?
    Pigs got the bad guy at least
    Good shoot IMO

    hth

  • ||

    We do not know how the civilians were wounded.

    For all we know a car swerved into a pack of people on the sidewalk when the driver was startled by the gun fire.

  • Xenocles||

    I'd hate to see the gun that causes a wound makes you look like a car hit you.

    On second though, I want that gun.

  • ||

    I have not seen an article claiming the injures are gun wounds.

    If you have please link.

  • Xenocles||

    When the news says that a shootout left X people injured, they mean "injured by bullets" 99% of the time. Zero of the radio reports or talk shows I listened to throughout the day mentioned a related car crash, so you tell me.

  • ||

    The crash was a hypothetical....guns going off people running around shit happens and people fall down run into stuff etc. they get injures that are not gun wounds. It happens.

    so you tell me.

    I am telling you. unless the reports explicitly say bullet wound then either it was not a bullet wound or the reporter does not know.

    In fact the article Tim links to says two people were already discharged from the hospital...one can assume their injuries were not bullet wounds. So we already know some in this report are not part of your 99%.

  • Xenocles||

    The news has been saying all day that some people were "grazed." You could totally be discharged same-day for that.

    It's possible that one of them was struck by lightning, too. It's also reasonable to expect the story to mention that if it happened. This really is pretty high-order sophistry on your part.

  • Jack-it||

    Wasn't JFK's head "grazed"?
    "grazed" is a matter of opinion.

  • ||

    I wonder if any of them gamboled.

  • Xenocles||

    Assuming arguendo that you can call JFK's wounds a grazing it still leaves a wide variety of lesser wounds fitting that one-word description, most of which are treatable in an outpatient unit.

  • alex griggs||

    They were just hugged.

    - Dave Weigel

  • ||

    They were just hugged.

    Good times

  • Slithery D||

    "In fact the article Tim links to says two people were already discharged from the hospital...one can assume their injuries were not bullet wounds."

    We can assume nothing of the sort! Any sort of superficial limb wound would just get stitched up and pushed out to go home. Hospitals don't just let people hang out.

  • sticks||

    (In this case they might have had to wait 99 weeks until Johnson's extended unemployment benefits ran out.)

    hah. good one.

  • ||

    That number was later revised to eight.

    Two patients who were brought to New York-Presbyterian Hospital Friday have been discharged

    So by my count we are down to 5 civilians wounded

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yeah, I think you have to give the cops the benefit of the doubt for now. To you're point though, police hit/miss ratios in shootouts is so poor (I'm sure all that adrenaline doesn't help), avoiding a shootout if at all possible should always be plan A. I'm sure they don't want to be in one either.

  • ||

    Every cop shoot out I have seen on the internet looks like a war zone shoot out.

    One cop fires they all fire.

    This makes sense for Marines fighting in a war. Overwhelming force and all that. I do not think cops policing civilians should really employ this tactic against a lone gunman.

    I will wait until I read how many bullet the cops fired and how many people they hit....until then I give no benefit to any party.

  • Gray Ghost||

    I will wait until I read how many bullets the cops fired and how many people they hit....until then I give no benefit to any party.

    Good luck. We're still waiting on exactly who shot who with what in the case of that asshole in College Station. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that all of the bystanders were plugged by the asshole, and it wouldn't surprise me if some of them were hit by cops. Rifle bullets can go a very, very long ways, even after you hit what you were shooting at.

    My guess? We won't learn about it unless the victims sue.

  • ||

    We won't learn about it unless the victims sue.

    and the chances of that are only like 1000%

  • Paul.||

    Cops want to discharge their guns. (see dogs getting shot) When one cop starts to discharge, it's prima facie ok for everyone else to.

    You want to be the one cop who didn't get to shoot at the bad guys when everyone else did?

  • ||

    Yeah I know...i live in libertopia where cops are trained to use specific methods when discharging their weapons even if it goes against their instincts and when they break their training they are sanctioned.

  • SKR||

    I once walked out of my apartment in LA and walked right in to a police standoff. No no they weren't there for me. Some maniac had hijacked a bus and had stopped about 200 feet from where I lived. I was behind the line of police. They all had guns drawn and were behind squad cars. They were so amped up, it looked like every muscle in their bodies was twitching. Very surreal.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I'm sure that some situations warrant getting jacked up like that. I wouldn't argue that there isn't a place for forceful police tactics. It's the rampant overuse of them when they are called for and the overall demeanor that any non-cop is an potential cop killer that lead to the vast majority of horrible things happening on a daily basis.

    It's being jacked up when it isn't called for that is the problem. You know. Like shooting dogs that are actively restrained.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    One cop fires they all fire.

    This makes sense for Marines fighting in a war. Overwhelming force and all that. I do not think cops policing civilians should really employ this tactic against a lone gunman.

    I will wait until I read how many bullet the cops fired and how many people they hit....until then I give no benefit to any party.

    Several months ago cops in LA fired more than ninety bullets at an unarmed teen on the freeway- it's a miracle that no one was struck by the stray bullets.

    The only explanation is that the dumbfucks heard a gun shot and then all opened up in a frenzy. Which is poor tactics even in the military.

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/201.....rmed-teen/

  • VG Zaytsev||

    One cop fires they all fire.

    Sometimes they don't even have to hear gunshots.

    Tyisha fell asleep in the car with the engine running, the radio on high volume, and a gun in her lap. When her family returned, they couldn't wake her up, and called 911 because they were concerned about her. The car was locked...

    The officers said they devised a plan to break the window, reach in and get the gun. The first attempt didn't work.

    On the second try, when the window broke, one officer reached in. Later he said that's when he heard a shot. As we know now, this was probably one of the other officers shooting in response to the sound of the window breaking.

    As the officer pulled back, they began shooting—between the four officers they shot twenty-five to thirty rounds, twelve of which struck Tyisha, killing her.

    All in response to a woman passed out in her own car.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Bullets are blessed when shot from the LE barrel. At least this is what the disease from the patriotic virus espouses.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    "the patriotic virus"

    Huh? I'm plenty patriotic and I don't want the police to start firing like Iraqi Army troops "death blossom" cone of fire.

    I don't thin "patriotism" has anything to do with lawforce worship.

  • ||

    I said this on another thread: I have known NYPD officers and detectives. Some of them explicitly told me how lax the requirements for weapon qualification are, and how there are still cops who fail it many times. The cops in New York have a very palpable attitude and belief that because they are the only ones allowed to carry, this somehow makes them magically superior in gun handling to non-cops, even if the non-cop goes to the range all the time.

    This shoot was probably totally legitimate, but having officers that don't even know how to control their weapons is not. Spray and pray is not a technique LEOs should be using, ever.

    I'd also ask what ever happened to "drop the weapon or we'll shoot!" It seems like the mere sight of a gun is grounds for a cop to start shooting.

  • ||

    A gun, a dog, a woman in her pajamas. It's all good.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Is it possible to view this place with repliers (created word for the moment) that fucking reply with cogent posts that are not designed for dry repetitive humor mimicked by a million other lonely shades of humanity?

  • Xenocles||

    Yes. Install reasonable, then find one of your posts and click "filter name."

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Doit. Now. I have ZERO desire to be liked.

  • ||

    Fuck off and die in a fire.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Youtube 101. You can't do better than this? I need a fucking nap...

  • ||

    You can't do better than this?

    Fuck off slaver?

  • ||

    Also, fried chicken,

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Make it a dirt nap.

    Hah! Now you have to add me to your filter too.

  • ||

    Is it possible to view this place with repliers (created word for the moment) that fucking reply with cogent posts that are not designed for dry repetitive humor mimicked by a million other lonely shades of humanity?

    Winter is coming

  • SKR||

    You're new here aren't you?

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Krist, no.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Is it possible to view this place with repliers (created word for the moment) that fucking reply with cogent posts that are not designed for dry repetitive humor mimicked by a million other lonely shades of humanity?

    U mad bro?

  • Stormy Dragon||

    All of the "dry repetetive humor" posters used to leave cogent posts. After a few years we learned that things are never going to get better and turned into bitter cynics. No we must laugh at the horror, or else we might start cryings.

  • Xenocles||

    I don't know. I kind of feel like if he's holding the weapon when you meet him you could try that, but if he draws when he meets you you are justified in ending him.

  • ||

    I mean that some kind of verbal warning is given. A guy with a drawn gun with his back to you cannot turn around and shoot you before you get him. Isn't a verbal warning warranted in such a case (just using it as an example where the gun is drawn)? or if he starts to draw, yell "out freeze or I'll shoot"?

    I realize I haven't been in that situation so it's tough to know.

  • Xenocles||

    No, I'm with you for the first part.

    I consider myself a good stand-in for a reasonable man, so I try and consider what I would do in these situations. To me, if I'm a cop responding to a shooting and a guy facing me pulls a gun from a bag, I'm going to shoot him if my gun is out or draw and shoot him if it's not. I have to assume anyone drawing a gun while facing a cop plans to shoot.

    I don't know the geometry of the situation, but it sounds like it was the case that he came out of the building, saw the cops, and pulled out his gun. I agree that the police in general have gotten too jumpy, but this seems like a righteous shoot to me. It sounds more and more like a painfully sloppy one, but righteous.

  • LarryA||

    A guy with a drawn gun with his back to you cannot turn around and shoot you before you get him.

    Given that he's acting, and you're reacting to his action, it's entirely possible for him to turn and get off a shot before you do. Also, a handgun bullet will not often instantly stop a person. Even a hit in the heart gives him half-a-minute or more to empty his magazine after being shot.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Also, a handgun bullet will not often instantly stop a person.

    This, with bells on it. The following youtube video is long (about 35 minutes), but I thought an interesting look at handgun wounding issues vs. rifle wounding issues, as explained by a trauma surgeon. I can't remember where I saw the link; if it was here, I apologize for re-linking it. Ignore the choad who blathers for the first ~2 minutes or so.

    Given that he's acting, and you're reacting to his action, it's entirely possible for him to turn and get off a shot before you do.

    Always worth re-linking to some of 'Lightning' Jim Zubiena's fine work. Ridiculous how fast some of these IPSC/IDPA guys can be.

  • johnl||

    Only if the heart is grazed. When your heart stops, you have less than 10 seconds worth of O2 in your brain.

  • Agammamon||

    "This shoot was probably totally legitimate"

    No, it probably wasn't - merely having a gun (even illegally) isn't grounds for the use of lethal force.

    Even if the guy had it out, that (in a sane world) would not be enough on its own to justify opening fire without any attempt to even talk him down. If a uniform pulls up, gets out of the car and has time to see the guy pull a weapon out of a back and *not* use it, he's got time to take cover, take aim, and at least demand compliance from the suspect.

    I understand he had just (alledgedly) killed someone, that still doens't put him outside of the prtections of civl society.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    It seems like the mere sight of a gun is grounds for a cop to start shooting.

    Or a water nozzle
    http://latimesblogs.latimes.co.....ozzle.html

    Or a pen knife
    http://www.ocweekly.com/2007-0.....y-cop-101/

  • VG Zaytsev||

  • The Late P Brooks||

    It seems like the mere sight of a gun is grounds for a cop to start shooting.

    Ask that guy who went to see who was pounding on his door in the middle of the night.

    Oh, wait, you can't.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    One of the downsides to strict gun control is, it seems, that LEO can become complacent and neglect their training. When confronted with an equal, they seem just as often to engage in panic fire as controlled response. NYPD's professional, expert weapons handlers should do better or give up their monopoly.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Some of the stories make it sound like he was laid off a year ago. Is this correct?

  • Gray Ghost||

    Put this in the TSA thread---I didn't notice that Tim had opened this one.

    [Anti-squirrel rant deleted]
    Anyway, regarding the NYC shooter, the AP is claiming that: the shooter had an 8+1 capacity pistol, that he shot his victim 5 times, and that one bullet was left in the mag. Even assuming he knew enough to reload the mag after he dropped the slide, that still only leaves 3 shots to wound 9 people. Not impossible, but I think it's a whole lot more likely that the NYPD just sprayed down the area.

    Those guys are giving Egyptian counterterrorists a good name...

    Now then, all the facts aren't in, we're speculating, yadda, yadda. But isn't it telling that we're already dreading/suspecting that the NYPD just hosed down the area and asked questions later? That wouldn't have been the first thought in my head, 10-15 years ago, but Diallo et al, have a way of changing one's mind.

  • LarryA||

    ballistics testing will settle most or all of these questions.

    Ballistics testing is designed to compare marks on intact bullets. Some of the wounded may have been hit by fragments of bullets that had already hit something else, or by fragments of brick, concrete, etc, from what a bullet hit.

    OTOH chemical analysis of bullet fragments compared with samples of what everyone was carrying might shed some light. The cops using 9mms and the shooter a .45ACP will help.

  • Bob J||

    I know this is a tragic story, but am I a bad person for reading it and my first thought seeing Johnson worked at an "import company" in NY was "Art Van De Lay"?

  • Agile Cyborg||

    I had a reddit flashback of umpteen years ago when reddit was actually likely relevant.

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    "Clip"? Really? On a blog full of gun nuts?

    "One of my favorite monthly reads is the current issue of Reason clip"

    ... Hobbit

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    Also,

    How could this happen in a gun-free zone?

    ... Hobbit

  • Archimedes||

    and the answer is MOAR GUNZ

  • Mr Whipple||

    So, Tim, bearish on the Empire State IPO?

  • Beefkins||

    "There are differing accounts of whether Johnson actually fired, and the eight-round clip in his gun is said to have contained one round when it was searched by police."

    "Magazine," not "clip."

  • Agammamon||

    Look, you're dealing with people who call APC's tanks and any rifle with a pistol grip and detachable magazine is an assault rifle. The sort of people who believe the .500 SW revolver is a concealable weapon and that cop-killer bullets actually exist.

  • SKR||

    Cop killer bullets exist. I mean cops get killed with bullets from time to time right?

  • Agammamon||

    Cop-killer rounds are the special ones with the magic teflon coating that can defeat body armor like it wasn't there.

  • Agammamon||

    Oh and they are special "supersonic" ammunition.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Was there someone actually arguing that? I've heard the Teflon BS (Teflon was a gimmick that did precisely jack and squat), but I haven't heard the "supersonic" thing before.

  • Agammamon||

    I've heard a couple of people (my father the most recent one) claim that supersonic bullets were illegal - because they were armor piercing.

    In my father's case I had the time (and inclination) to explain (and show the evidence) that almost all ammunition is supersonic - its the rare round that is designed to be subsonic.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Oh and they are special "supersonic" ammunition

    You really want to stay away from subsonic ammo.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    An APC, such as the M113, is a tank.

  • Agammamon||

    The M-113 is not a tank, any more than the M-2/3 is.

    Tracks are not a defining feature of tanks - a big honking gun and lots of armor on a vehicle designed to destroy enemy armor through firepower and maneuver is.

  • Xenocles||

    Did you know that a "tank" in MMOs isn't a vehicle at all, but a single character of great strength and fighting ability? It's almost as though the concept of a tank conveys something with strength and protection overmatching the situation it faces.

  • Agammamon||

    Which is another reason an APC is not a tank. APC's have pretty thin armor compared to tanks and are very vulnerable to fire from infantry weapons, some models provide crappy protection even from small-arms.

    APC's are designe to ferry infantry into combat with other infantry, some (like the Stryker IFV) can stick around and provide support and some have limited anti-armor capability (the M-2/3 can carry a couple of light anti-tank missiles) but they are not intended to go toe-to-toe with heavy armor.

  • Xenocles||

    And in law enforcement, an APC is as good as a tank. It's situational.

  • RBS||

    In the context of the militarization of american police forces the distinction between a "tank" and an "APC" is one without meaning and misses the point entirely.

  • Agammamon||

    And tanks in MMO's aren't know for their fighting abilities - they can tak a lot of damage and hold the attention of the mob but do crap for DPS.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    The first military vehicles called "tanks" were in use by the English before there was anything else with substantial armor to use them against. They were equipped with machine guns rather than artillery, and used against infantry and ordinary vehicles, and were used to transport soldiers through live fire and over rugged terrain, much like the modern APC.

  • ||

    "Magazine," not "clip."

    While I do understand the technical difference, the distinction has been effectively overcome by common usage.

    I've been shooting since childhood and nearly everyone I know uses the word clip when referring to a magazine. Let it go.

  • Xenocles||

    At one point the term "gun" itself referred almost exclusively naval crew-served large-bore weapons as distinguished from "firearms," but the usage evolved as it often does. Frankly I'm weary of the clip/magazine pedantry. The battle for the word is over, and the technical purists have lost. Everyone knows what the author meant.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Not really. "Gun" has been used to refer firearms since they've existed; the very first portable firearm was actually known as a "handgonne". The term also predated the invention of Naval cannons.

  • Xenocles||

    That really just makes my point again. What I said was that "at one point" gun nearly exclusively meant naval gun, and that was to support the idea that the meanings of words change over time. Sometimes they change back and forth.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    And the distinction between 'boat' and 'ship' is blurred by things like submarines and Great Lakes freighters.

  • Agammamon||

    Motherfucker - how do you post a goddamn link here?

    Thanks for any help.

  • Generic Stranger||

    You must sacrifice a dozen ampersands to the server squirrels, and if they find your gift to be worthy, they might let you slip a link or two in.

  • Agammamon||

    Do you have to use a knife, 'cause I'm a little squeamish.

    Also do they have to be conscious and agree to the sacrifice of their own free will? Are there any bees involved? I hate bees.

  • Generic Stranger||

    No knife needed. The Squirrels (PBUT) will do the deed.

    I do not believe ampersands are capable of sentience, so that is not a problem. And there are no bees, unless you want there to be bees. I believe that is part of Warty's ritual, along with other...unspeakable things.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    I blame the obesity epidemic. The squirrels remove regular ampersands, but if you want to insert a "Full Width" ampersand ... well the squirrels allow those fat bastards.

    To insert them it is & in the code.

    So then you could say that the H&R squirrels are furthering the perception that there are no svelte ampersands.

  • RBS||

    So what you're saying is John would fuck it?

  • GILMORE||

    Generic Stranger| 8.24.12 @ 7:45PM |#

    You must sacrifice a dozen ampersands to the server squirrels

    Yes.... yes...Ampersands.... FEED THEM!! FEEED!!!
    +! That was like 100

  • AlmightyJB||

  • AlmightyJB||

    Hit & Run doesn't like links or & since the upgrade.

  • Mensan||

    I see it, but I don't believe! How?

  • ||

    Bloomberg, upon hearing about the shooting, was relieved that at least there were no 32 oz sodas in the area.

  • Rhywun||

    Bloomberg: "“It does take a person to pull the trigger, but if they didn’t have the gun... We are the only developed country in the world with this problem.

    My god, what an idiot.

  • ||

    What problem would that be? A comparatively low violent crime rate?

    I think Mayor-for-Life Mikhail Bloombergovich just jumped a whole other shark right there. What a fucking retard.

  • Agammamon||

    Well, that *is* a problem for Bloomberg. Not having an especially high crime rate means that he has to use other justifications for increasing government control.

  • Rhywun||

    he has to use other justifications for increasing government control

    He's on it.

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  • Agammamon||

    Even the damn spambots can figure out how to link.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    But can they do ampersands?

  • Agammamon||

    They must have some sort of ampersand exterminating factory. The little guys are *this* close to going out forever.

  • DRM||

    Ampersands are alive and well and doing backflips.

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    See?

    It's merely the vulgar or common ampersand that's become scarce.

  • YangFooo||

    Those IDIOT cops need to learn about muzzle control. I think every PUNK cop that shot an innocent bystander should be jailed for life!

    www.Anon-PCs.tk

  • free2booze||

    If the bystanders were shot by the cops, then they couldn't have been innocent.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Everyone is guilty of something

  • Paul.||

    We're all dying.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    Except the innocent, who have nothing to fear, since they've done nothing wrong. QED

  • Agammamon||

    There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

  • free2booze||

    But would it matter if some or all of the bystanders were shot by cops rather than the original shooter?

    They may have been bystanders, but they sure as hell weren't innocent bystanders. They must have been guilty of something. It's not like a cop would ever shoot a person without having a legitimate reason.

  • I love me some liberty||

    Alternative math option exists too...

    one in the chamber leaves remaining amount +1

  • Alex||

    I don't know what to think until Dunphy weighs in.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    lulz

    sarcasmic v derpfee - the new "Point Counterpoint". "derpfee, you ignorant slut..."

  • Archimedes||

    Just because you're on vacation from work doesn't mean you have vacation from eating healthy.
    Anybody want to share tips on how to eat healthy while on the road?

  • Xenocles||

    What's your definition of healthy? Are you vegan? Paleo? Etc?

  • Xenocles||

    I'm going to go to bed before you answer, so I'll just say at the risk of ridicule from the others that my go-to option is the local Whole Foods if there is one. They can support just about any diet, and though they have a lot of exotic junk food if you're actively looking for healthy they generally have a good selection of ready-to-eat food. It can get more expensive than other groceries but it meets my needs while the others don't and it's significantly cheaper than restaurants.

    The one in Pasadena, for example, has a wine bar that often offers a meal special - this usually translates into a full meal and a glass of wine for $10-15, with tip not expected.

  • GILMORE||

    fresh possum-squash, lightly basted in soy sauce.

  • GILMORE||

    just as a local-area guy...

    the empire st building corner (34th 5th-6th) is so #@*()$ touristed up during the summer you can't move 100 feet without 1000 people being crowded around you. If there was ANY gunfire at that time of day... accidents happened. Someone could fire a super-soaker and hit 100 people in one gush.

    Just saying. Its one of those corners which locals avoid even getting near because of the human-density crowding factor.

  • ||

    CNN has a video up of the shooting on their front page. Looks like a nearby security camera. There's no audio, but it looks like the cops catch him up from behind, the guy turns and draws, the two cops draw, and then there's a brief standoff (I imagine the cops are telling him to drop the gun at this point). Then they shoot him. It's over pretty quickly. I don't think the cops had much choice but to shoot the guy in this instance.

  • Agammamon||

    I'm ambivalent - yes he did threaten the cops by pointing it at them, but he didn't fire and they had time to break and take cover.

  • Agammamon||

    Though I could be wrong about that - I didn't see any indication that the police fired either (well other than the guy dropping to the ground). So maybe he did fire and its just not apparent in the video.

  • ||

    Looks clean to me, even if the shooter was not firing...though it looks like he was.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Nothing clean about shooting 9 innocent bystanders because you can't shoot straight.

    In that situation, one(!) of the cops should have done a double tap, then stopped and assessed to see if he needed to shoot more. That would have limited the collateral damage. Instead, it looks like they came close to shooting to slide lock, and probably only stopped because they realized they were hitting innocent people.

  • ||

    I was referring to the the video. It did not look like the cops fired that many times.

    today i read an article that the two cops shot 16 times....

    yeah that seems excessive to me.

  • Spokanite||

    Too many guns.

  • ||

    Yep. The Cops have too many guns.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Lets say the bad guy used a knife instead of a gun to kill his boss. What would have changed about this situation? It's likely the police would have reacted in the same exact way. The death and injury count would be the same.

    Nope, the problem here is piss poor training.

  • Alice Bowie||

    In the words of the great BOBBY Chong:

    "Guns don't kill People...Cops kill People"

    Keep DOPE Alive everyone.

    Would you believe i'm in Medellin Colombia right now ?

  • CE||

    ABC News is reporting that all 9 bystanders injured were shot by the cops. They shot at the suspect 16 times and hit him 10.

  • CE||

  • Libertarian||

    Too bad NYC cops don't have the nerve of unarmed construction workers.

  • Libertarian||

    I assume that Nanny Bloomberg has flown to the White House in order to learn the intricacies of collateral damage:

    Mr. Obama embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties that did little to box him in. It in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.
    -- Glenn Greenwald

  • Tejicano||

    If the bystanders tried to run away then they were obviously criminally connected co-conspirators. If they didn't try to run then they were well disciplined co-conspirators.

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