Texas Police Kill 8th Grader Who Was Carrying A Pellet Gun - U2 Feedback

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Old 01-05-2012, 01:58 PM   #1
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Texas Police Kill 8th Grader Who Was Carrying A Pellet Gun

Photo of the gun



BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) — The parents of an eighth grader who was fatally shot by police inside his South Texas school are demanding to know why officers took lethal action, but police said the boy was brandishing — and refused to drop — what appeared to be a handgun and that the officers acted correctly.

The weapon turned out to be a pellet gun that closely resembled the real thing, police said late Wednesday, several hours after 15-year-old Jaime Gonzalez was repeatedly shot in a hallway at Cummings Middle School in Brownsville. No one else was injured.

"Why was so much excess force used on a minor?" the boy's father, Jaime Gonzalez Sr., asked The Associated Press outside the family's home Wednesday night. "Three shots. Why not one that would bring him down?"

His mother, Noralva Gonzalez, showed off a photo on her phone of a beaming Jaime in his drum major uniform standing with his band instructors. Then she flipped through three close-up photos she took of bullet wounds in her son's body, including one in the back of his head.

"What happened was an injustice," she said angrily. "I know that my son wasn't perfect, but he was a great kid."

Interim Police Chief Orlando Rodriguez said the teen was pointing the weapon at officers and "had plenty of opportunities to lower the gun and listen to the officers' orders, and he didn't want to."

The chief said his officers had every right to do what they did to protect themselves and other students even though there weren't many others in the hallway at the time. Police said officers fired three shots.

Shortly before the confrontation, Jaime had walked into a classroom and punched a boy in the nose for no apparent reason, Rodriguez said. Police did not know why he pulled out the weapon, but "we think it looks like this was a way to bring attention to himself," Rodriguez said.

About 20 minutes elapsed between police receiving a call about an armed student and shots being fired, according to police and student accounts. Authorities declined to share what the boy said before he was shot.

The shooting happened during first period at the school in Brownsville, a city at Texas' southern tip just across the Mexican border. Teachers locked classroom doors and turned off lights, and some frightened students dove under their desks. They could hear police charge down the hallway and shout for Gonzalez to drop the weapon, followed by several shots.

Two officers fired three shots, hitting Gonzalez at least twice, police said.

David A. Dusenbury, a retired deputy police chief in Long Beach, Calif., who now consults on police tactics, said the officers were probably justified.

If the boy were raising the gun as if to fire at someone, "then it's unfortunate, but the officer certainly would have the right under the law to use deadly force."

A recording of police radio traffic posted on KGBT-TV's website indicates that officers responding to the school believed the teen had a handgun. An officer is heard describing the teen's clothes and appearance, saying he's "holding a handgun, black in color." The officer also said that from the front door, he could see the boy in the school's main office.

Less than two minutes later, someone yells over the radio "shots fired" and emergency crews are asked to respond. About two minutes later, someone asks where the boy was shot, prompting responses that he was shot in the chest and "from the back of the head."

Administrators said the school would be closed Thursday but students would be able to attend classes at a new elementary school that isn't being used.

Superintendent Carl Montoya remembered Gonzalez as "a very positive young man."

"He did music. He worked well with everybody. Just something unfortunately happened today that caused his behavior to go the way it went. So I don't know," he said Wednesday.

Gonzalez Sr. said he had no idea where his son got the gun or why he brought it to school, adding: "We wouldn't give him a gift like that."

He said he last saw his son around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, when the boy said goodbye before leaving to catch the bus to school. And he said nothing seemed amiss the night before when he, his wife and their son went out for nachos then went home and watched a movie.

Gonzalez Sr. was struggling to reconcile the day's events, saying his son seemed to be doing better in school and was always helpful around the neighborhood mowing neighbors' lawns, washing dogs and carrying his toolbox off to fix other kids' bikes.
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Old 01-05-2012, 02:23 PM   #2
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Kind of a biased thread title. Seems from reading the article that the shooting was justified.
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Old 01-05-2012, 02:33 PM   #3
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It was just the title of the article on Yahoo, so if it's biased it's their bias. Obviously the police didn't know at the time that it was a pellet gun.

The gun looks real to me (pellet guns have come a long way since I saw one) and I don't know what the police could have done differently in that situation. That's my "bias".
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Old 01-05-2012, 03:17 PM   #4
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It was just the title of the article on Yahoo, so if it's biased it's their bias.
Fair enough... I actually meant the article title. Just so used to referring to these things as threads.

It's an unfortunate situation, either way
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Old 01-05-2012, 03:26 PM   #5
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:46 PM   #6
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This sounds like one of those lose-lose, damned if you do damned if you don't scenarios. What would we be saying if police had done nothing and the kid's gun was real and used to gun down class mates? I'm not saying this particular individual was going to go there, but as far as the police response, it doesn't sound like they did anything unusual given the situation. I've had formal school-shooter training and it's all been from a "cover your butt" approach. If someone presents a weapon and acts erratically or does not follow orders we are trained to assume that person is violent and will use violence against us. I think some people also have this idea that police can go for a kneecap or some other non-fatal organ but in reality I believe they are trained to use their weapon only when warranted as deadly force. I'll ask my uncle what he thinks about this, he is a retired police captain and now a shift supervisor for the campus security department where I work.
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Old 01-05-2012, 05:45 PM   #7
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Looks to me like the police did the right thing. It's just unfortunate, though I'm sure Rick Perry is really proud.
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Old 01-05-2012, 05:49 PM   #8
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:16 PM   #9
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what's wrong with tasers again?
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:22 PM   #10
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Range.
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:23 PM   #11
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what's wrong with tasers again?
A taser requires you to get much closer in addition to that the thinking is that the shooter can get off one more round, either by a twinge of the nerves or adrenalin.
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:43 PM   #12
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:51 PM   #13
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Not sure what all the gangsta rap references have to do with anything...
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:22 PM   #14
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Not sure what all the gangsta rap references have to do with anything...
It has to do with lack of reading comprehension and jumping to preconceived conclusions
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:18 PM   #15
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I think there was only one gangsta rap reference, as Friggin' Cobbler was clearly naming a Pearl Jam song with a chorus of "glorified version of a pellet gun."
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