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Thread: MS Deputy Shoots Suicidal Woman

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    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    Wow, what a dilemma....a citizen with a gun pointed at her head!

    This case might providesome insight into the general LEO-anti mentality about citizens with guns. Sure, an armed LAC is gonna be 99% + no threat. But then you get a goof with a gun like this woman....and your day is spoiled!

    In this instance, it looks like there wassimply no realistic choice. He had to shoot thewoman, as absurd as it may seem to shoot a suicidal person.

    Glad the officer is physicallyOK. (Though he may not be, mentally.)



    I wonder what an armed (OC or CC) LAC should do if they stumble across a weird situation like this? Doing an exit, stage left! seems like the only realistic thing to do...




    Deputy shoots distraught woman in self-defense


    Oct 31, 2009 1:59 PM EDT [/i]

    By Sylvia Hall

    JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A woman was in the hospital Friday night after a Jackson County sheriff's deputy allegedly shot her in the chest. Authorities say it all happened outside Doggie Town pet grooming business in the Hurley community, just before 11 Friday morning.

    "From what we understand, this was a domestic situation involving 3 females who were allegedly involved with one another," said Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd.

    Itwas apparently one of those women who walked out of the pet grooming business in distress Friday morning, pulled out a gun in the parking lot, and pointed it to her head. That's when someone called 911, and a deputy went to the scene.

    "From what he found at the scene, an unknown suspect had a pistol to her head, and she was screaming she was going to shoot," Byrd explained. "So the officer told her to put the gun down. She did not put the gun down. She went and turned the gun toward the officer. And that's when she got shot."

    Byrd said the deputy's bullet struck the woman in the chest. She was taken to Providence Hospital in Mobile, and later transported to USA Medical Center. Byrd has not released the name of the woman or the deputy, but said it appears the deputy did the right thing.

    "Of course the last thing any officer wants to do is to have to use deadly force," Byrd explained. "When officers are trained,its a last resort. And then when you've got a gun pointed at you and someone's indicating they're fixing to shoot you, you have to defend yourself."

    The Sheriff's Department is investigating, and they aren't the only ones. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigations and the District Attorney's office are also looking into the incident.

    "Anytime that we have an officer involved shooting, I will always call in an outside agency just to make sure that there is not any foul play of any type and to make sure the officer was justified in what he did," Byrd explained.

    Byrd said he expects to release more details as the investigation continues.

    WLOX spoke with Doggie Town's owners Friday afternoon. They said the woman knows one of the groomers who works there, but she is not affiliated with the business.

    http://www.wlox.com/Global/story.asp?S=11418435





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    Campaign Veteran Bookman's Avatar
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    This really peculiar for me because that's where I went to High School. Haven't been back there, though, since 1980. Back then this was a little town with a single stoplight. And IT blinked.
    "All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke


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    Im glad that the officer shot her, she could just have easily turned her possible suicide into a homicide, and seeing as she pointed the gun at the officer, yes im glad he shot.

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    It's called "suicide by cop". Not terribly common, but common enough that it has a name.

    In this case, had she shot herself in the head she would almost certainly be dead. The cop shot her in the chest, she is in the hospital and very well may recover as the news article didn't say she was in critical condition. BECAUSE the cop shot her in the chest instead of her shooting herself in the head she may recover and get the psychological help she needs. Yes, it is ironic on many levels.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    HankT wrote:
    Wow, what a dilemma....a citizen with a gun pointed at her head!

    I wonder what an armed (OC or CC) LAC should do if they stumble across a weird situation like this? Doing an exit, stage left! seems like the only realistic thing to do...
    Really Hank, the ONLY realistic thing to do? For sure? From you? Seems like a cop out on your part.

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    Regular Member Sonora Rebel's Avatar
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    If I were to encounter someone with a gun to their own head... OK... but intervention would only come if/when that pistol was pointed elsewhere 'til the LEO's showed up. Am I gonna prevent or try to preventtheir suicide.? No. Would i keep 'em under observation? Yeah... in case they changed their minds 'n started to shoot the place up or make the attempt. OR... go find a bar 'n wait for the 'bang'.

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    Had she chosen not to point her gun at the cop, a response could have been to tase the woman causing her to drop the gun. I would have tried to do that if feasible. Obviously this is a tricky and tragic situation.



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    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    bohdi wrote:
    HankT wrote:
    Wow, what a dilemma....a citizen with a gun pointed at her head!

    I wonder what an armed (OC or CC) LAC should do if they stumble across a weird situation like this? Doing an exit, stage left! seems like the only realistic thing to do...
    Really Hank, the ONLY realistic thing to do? For sure? From you? Seems like a cop out on your part.
    Hardly, bohdi-ster.

    Think about it. Think of all that could go wrong. Think of the liability. Think of your lack of training in handling a suicide. Think of the lack of reasonable fear of severe injury/death....

    It's the perfect situation for an armed LAC to simply edge, if not run away.

    Of course, some folks (you, bohdi?) want to use their tool sooooooo bad...

    "If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail."

    A. Maslow

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    but if i walked away (which i would not) and she did kill herself i would think i could have kept that from happening, or if she went on a homicide

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    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    Sionadi wrote:
    but if i walked away (which i would not) and she did kill herself i would think i could have kept that from happening, or if she went on a homicide
    What are your qualifications for handling a situation like that?

    That you have a gun?

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    that you can talk long enough till 3 things, the police arrive, she puts the gun down and you can detain her, she points the gun at someone else.

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    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    Sionadi wrote:
    that you can talk long enough till 3 things, the police arrive, she puts the gun down and you can detain her, she points the gun at someone else.
    If she has the gun to her head.....what do you do?

    Do you pull your gun?

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    i keep ready to pull it, keeping something between me and her

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    HankT wrote:
    Sionadi wrote:
    that you can talk long enough till 3 things, the police arrive, she puts the gun down and you can detain her, she points the gun at someone else.
    If she has the gun to her head.....what do you do?

    Do you pull your gun?
    Wonder if anyone's ever tried offering to buy a suicidal person's gun as they're holding it on themselves. Pull the wallet, not the gun?

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    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    N6ATF wrote:
    HankT wrote:
    Sionadi wrote:
    that you can talk long enough till 3 things, the police arrive, she puts the gun down and you can detain her, she points the gun at someone else.
    If she has the gun to her head.....what do you do?

    Do you pull your gun?
    Wonder if anyone's ever tried offering to buy a suicidal person's gun as they're holding it on themselves. Pull the wallet, not the gun?
    That's a very interesting/very weird thought.

    Excellent post, N6.



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    Per other reports the woman tried pulled the trigger with the gun pointed at her head and it didn't fire. Then she pointed itat the deputy.

    Mississippi Press


    At that point the deputy had little choice. It's was alousy situation for the deputybut since she had already pulled the trigger once it was reasonable to assume she would pull the trigger again.




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    Regular Member ODA 226's Avatar
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    In Virginia it is legal for a cop to shoot you dead in order to prevent you from killing yourself....Strange but true!
    Bitka Sve Rešava!
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    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    ODA 226 wrote:
    In Virginia it is legal for a cop to shoot you dead in order to prevent you from killing yourself....Strange but true!
    But it's not legal for an armed citizen to do it!



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    HankT wrote:
    bohdi wrote:
    HankT wrote:
    Wow, what a dilemma....a citizen with a gun pointed at her head!

    I wonder what an armed (OC or CC) LAC should do if they stumble across a weird situation like this? Doing an exit, stage left! seems like the only realistic thing to do...
    Really Hank, the ONLY realistic thing to do? For sure? From you? Seems like a cop out on your part.
    Hardly, bohdi-ster.

    Think about it. Think of all that could go wrong. Think of the liability. Think of your lack of training in handling a suicide. Think of the lack of reasonable fear of severe injury/death....

    It's the perfect situation for an armed LAC to simply edge, if not run away.

    Of course, some folks (you, bohdi?) want to use their tool sooooooo bad...

    "If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail."

    A. Maslow
    Your Hankness,

    Go read your own words. Then re-read mine. Never did I say a LAC should use a weapon to deescalate the situation. I am merely pointing out how socially irresponsible you are with your advice.

  20. #20
    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    HankT wrote:
    Sionadi wrote:
    but if i walked away (which i would not) and she did kill herself i would think i could have kept that from happening, or if she went on a homicide
    What are your qualifications for handling a situation like that?

    That you have a gun?
    :? I see your point, Hank. If I ever come across someone threatening to commit suicide in some manner I'll just tell them their going to have to deal with it themselves because I don't have a gov't certified qualification for handling the situation. :?

    Certainly just because someone carries a gun it does not qualify him/her to insinuate himself into any situation involving the misuse of a lethal weapon. On the other hand, there are situations where someone who carries may be able to help another and is more willing/able to intervene because of having a firearm.

    The same skill set that makes good police negotiators or psych intervention therapists are found in many business professions. There are many people in sales and management who learn very similar techniques to those taught in psych to talk down someone in crisis or at a high level of excitement. If interacting with someone such as in this situation, being armed yourself may very well increase your survivability or the survivability of others IF the suicidal person decides to be homicidal. A person holding a gun to their head threatening suicide is pretty much by definition unstable.

    I'm not suggesting that anyone who carries a firearm should just jump into such situations anymore than someone who stayed at a Holiday Inn Express should. However, IF you do carry and can defend yourself and others if the suicidal person starts targeting you or others and IF the authorities haven't arrived and IF there is indeed such a crisis and IF others are in potential harm's way and IF you have a proven skill set for dealing with crisis intervention, choosing to be involved until the authorities do arrive is not automatically a bad or reckless idea.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

  21. #21
    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    deepdiver wrote:
    HankT wrote:
    Sionadi wrote:
    but if i walked away (which i would not) and she did kill herself i would think i could have kept that from happening, or if she went on a homicide
    What are your qualifications for handling a situation like that?

    That you have a gun?
    :? I see your point, Hank. If I ever come across someone threatening to commit suicide in some manner I'll just tell them their going to have to deal with it themselves because I don't have a gov't certified qualification for handling the situation. :?

    Certainly just because someone carries a gun it does not qualify him/her to insinuate himself into any situation involving the misuse of a lethal weapon. On the other hand, there are situations where someone who carries may be able to help another and is more willing/able to intervene because of having a firearm.

    The same skill set that makes good police negotiators or psych intervention therapists are found in many business professions. There are many people in sales and management who learn very similar techniques to those taught in psych to talk down someone in crisis or at a high level of excitement. If interacting with someone such as in this situation, being armed yourself may very well increase your survivability or the survivability of others IF the suicidal person decides to be homicidal. A person holding a gun to their head threatening suicide is pretty much by definition unstable.

    I'm not suggesting that anyone who carries a firearm should just jump into such situations anymore than someone who stayed at a Holiday Inn Express should. However, IF you do carry and can defend yourself and others if the suicidal person starts targeting you or others and IF the authorities haven't arrived and IF there is indeed such a crisis and IF others are in potential harm's way and IF you have a proven skill set for dealing with crisis intervention, choosing to be involved until the authorities do arrive is not automatically a bad or reckless idea.
    I don't think you disagree with me, DD. I don't accept your suggestion that we do.

    But I think it best not to lose my main point: An armed LAC to interact with a suicidal gun wielder, as exemplified by the OP example, with a deployed gun.....is a recipe for utter disaster. It's the epitomy of cop wannabeism.

    If'n someone (an OC/CCer) has an itchin' to pull the ole pistola to talk someone down from their manic episode, it's much, MUCH better to walk away, all things considered. Run, if you have to. Run FAST if you can.

    Too many civilianguys with hammers out there (see Maslow). Even the cops, with near unlimited-liability, can't be expected to handle those situations well.

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    To be clear, you still advocate that people simply walk away, and nothing more correct?

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    HankT wrote:
    deepdiver wrote:
    HankT wrote:
    But I think it best not to lose my main point: An armed LAC to interact with a suicidal gun wielder, as exemplified by the OP example, with a deployed gun.....is a recipe for utter disaster. It's the epitomy of cop wannabeism.

    If'n someone (an OC/CCer) has an itchin' to pull the ole pistola to talk someone down from their manic episode, it's much, MUCH better to walk away, all things considered. Run, if you have to. Run FAST if you can.
    I disagree at your statements of absolutes.

    A "deployed gun" meaning the LAC is in an isosceles stance, weapon aimed at the suicidal person screaming, "Drop the gun, get on the f***in' ground, get on the ground!!!!!!" has a 99.9+% chance of being absolutely a bad idea and the epitome of "wannabe" especially if dressed all tacticool at the time.

    A deployed handgun meaning an LAC with crisis intervention experience, after directing someone to call 911 and summon authorities, nudging out around the corner of a solid brick building with the sidearm drawn and held along their leg out of the view of the distressee, just in case the distressee decides to go all Seung-Hui Cho on bystanders, then drawing the distressee's attention using verbal crisis intervention technique so others near the distressee can evacuate the area and then maintaining said position and technique until the authorities arrive and then happily standing down, briefing the authorities and going home, not a recipe for utter disaster.

    There is nothing about an armed individual in such an irrational state that is an absolute. Modern mass killers tend to be suicidal. It may take very little to turn the murderous intent from self to others. Certainly a very volatile and dangerous situation with a high chance for a negative outcome. People get caught up with the Oprahzation of mental health and think everything is a cry for help. Taking half a bottle of aspirin with a bottle of wine and then calling the first 10 people on your speed dial to tell them good-bye - cry for help. Standing on the roof of a car with a loaded and cocked .357 to your head screaming, "You want a piece of me world!" far past crying for help and very likely to kill themselves or someone else.

    Again, there are so very many variables involved that I can't even make a general statement as to whether or not I would get involved. If no other person other than the suicidal individual were at risk it would be HIGHLY unlikely that I would do much of anything besides ensuring 911 was called and trying to keep others away so the distressee can't harm anyone except him/herself.

    ETA: forgot to remove excessive quoting
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Taking half a bottle of aspirin with a bottle of wine and then calling the first 10 people on your speed dial to tell them good-bye - cry for help.

    Rather than a cry for help this is usually a cry for attention. Help is seconday but they just want attention and have no intention of actually dying.

    Standing on the roof of a car with a loaded and cocked .357 to your head screaming, "You want a piece of me world!" far past crying for help and very likely to kill themselves or someone else.

    This is an absolute shout for help and if they don't get it immediately they are going to kill someone, probably others and themselves. This is the trickiest of all situations that you must balance the probability of others being harmed before the person commits suicide. I don't believe than anyone really wants to die like that they just want things better and immediately. They are frustrated and will take it out on everyone including you and themselves.

    Every situation will be different and if you run into one holding a gun at their head you better be careful. If anything talk to them from behind a barrier. LEO may be more trained in this than the average person but they are not experts and I am not sure that there are any expers. There is a lot of talk about what should or can be done but it is all hindsight.

    As for standing on a car with a gun, it is a cry for help and the person doesn't really want to die. If all they wanted was to die they would do it quietly with no one looking. Otherwise why would they want everyone to know about it. Suicide by cops is wanting to get a few cops before they get me, an expression of anger.

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    Would it be safe to say that - only those that want to be talked out of harming themselves or others, can be, by just about anyone? While those that are hell bent on causing harm, can't be de-escalated by anyone.

    Someone that really wants to off themselves will do it in a way that no one can stop them, usually alone somewhere.

    I agree with deepdiver, whether or notI would attempt to intervene and/or howwould greatly depend on the situation.

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