Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

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Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby kiklion » Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:42 am UTC

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/li_m ... k1BN9DiLvN

New York Post

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2010/09/06/ ... -l-i-home/

CBS

Group of MS-13 men were fighting on the defendants lawn, after he went outside and told them to take it elsewhere, they lifted their shirts and brandished guns at him. He then went inside, grabbed a hunting rifle of his and fired shots into the air and in the ground in front of the men.

Although I do not know the specifics of the law and some details may yet emerge, I cannot understand how taking out a gun to defend yourself is illegal after a group of men essentially threatened to kill you/your family.

*edit*

If the charges stem solely from firing a shot into the air, then I am much more understanding as that is dangerous to the neighborhood as it could come down anywhere.

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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby Qaanol » Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:50 am UTC

The charges are reckless endangerment (for firing a gun into the air in a populated area) and weapons possession (I don’t know the local statutes, but he might have the 2nd amendment on his side.) If the articles represent the facts reasonably well (which we probably shouldn’t count on them doing) then I’d say either the charges will be dismissed, or he’ll be acquitted by a jury of his peers, or possibly be assessed a fine. Maybe be sentenced to a gun safety course. He should not go to jail for this.
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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby juststrange » Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:32 am UTC

He broke one of the cardinal rules - there are no warning shots. By the time you pull your weapon in a scenario like that, you should have already come to terms with the fact that someone could die. Drawing a weapon like that without being willing to use it full up is dangerous and hasty.

And as far as I am concerned, he should have shot them. Some gangbangers on my lawn, brandish guns at me when I tell them to gtfo, thats certainly falls under "direct threat to my life" and which point I ought to be able to just start shooting.

*edit* I see no reference to the MS-13 members brandishing guns etc in the articles. Where did that info come from?
Last edited by juststrange on Tue Sep 07, 2010 4:18 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby Texas_Ben » Tue Sep 07, 2010 3:04 pm UTC

article wrote:Grier is black

Found the problem.

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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby Chen » Tue Sep 07, 2010 4:26 pm UTC

Presumably the weapon was not registered or something or was illegal in and of itself judging from the weapons possession charges. Reckless endangerment seems fairly appropriate as well considering the dangers of bullets fired into the air.

It seems New York only allows deadly force to be used for trespass if there is reason to believe the people were going to commit burglary or arson which certainly doesn't seem to be the case here. He should probably have just called the cops.

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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby PhatPhungus » Tue Sep 07, 2010 4:36 pm UTC

Chen wrote:It seems New York only allows deadly force to be used for trespass if there is reason to believe the people were going to commit burglary or arson which certainly doesn't seem to be the case here. He should probably have just called the cops.


Judging by the second article, it seems to me that he had reason to believe that they were going to commit burglary, or murder.
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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby broken_escalator » Tue Sep 07, 2010 4:37 pm UTC

Isn't brandishing a gun classified as assault? I'm not familiar with NY laws but I know I read an article the other day where a woman simply had a gun drawn in her house and was charged for assault. But any-who, my line of thinking would be that if the gang members brandished their guns that is assault, and assault is a pretty good reason to use self defense when means of escape is not known.

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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby Tirian » Tue Sep 07, 2010 4:38 pm UTC

Qaanol wrote:The charges are reckless endangerment (for firing a gun into the air in a populated area) and weapons possession (I don’t know the local statutes, but he might have the 2nd amendment on his side.) If the articles represent the facts reasonably well (which we probably shouldn’t count on them doing) then I’d say either the charges will be dismissed, or he’ll be acquitted by a jury of his peers, or possibly be assessed a fine. Maybe be sentenced to a gun safety course. He should not go to jail for this.


In New York, criminal possession of a weapon is a nasty charge, and it is designed to be an open-and-shut case. You're allowed to have a gun in your home and at your place of work, but I think that precedent has established that you can't bring a gun into your own yard as long as you are safe inside your house. Plus, as has been noted above, warning shots are just no. (My dad tells the story about one of his Florida neighbors who was convicted of firing a warning shot into his lawn, so there wasn't even a remote chance of someone being endangered, but there you go.)

Of course, it's up the DA whether the case will proceed to court, but if it does it will almost certainly lead to a conviction with hard time. If I'm right that having a gun on your own lawn is a crime, then the prosecutors have an excellent track record of beating jury nullification.

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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby mmmcannibalism » Tue Sep 07, 2010 8:19 pm UTC

I can possibly see the endangerment charge holding up for firing the warning shots into the air as opposed to into the dirt; other then that it is pretty clear cut self defense.
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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Sep 08, 2010 1:01 am UTC

$5 says the follow-up story is about a Florida man who was viciously murdered in the middle of the night in a drive-by...

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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby johnny_7713 » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:54 am UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote:I can possibly see the endangerment charge holding up for firing the warning shots into the air as opposed to into the dirt; other then that it is pretty clear cut self defense.


Self-defense to the best of my knowledge is not a valid defense against the charge of possessing a weapon illegally. It would be a defense against a murder/manslaughter charge, but that's not being brought here. Also, he had time to get and load his gun, but not to call the police?

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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby JoeKhol » Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:06 pm UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote:I can possibly see the endangerment charge holding up for firing the warning shots into the air as opposed to into the dirt; other then that it is pretty clear cut self defense.

I don't think it's clear-cut at all.

As far as I can see, there is only one reference here to the men having or brandishing guns (and indirect quote from CBS) which isn't mentioned in the articles. There are also quotes suggesting the man didn't know who they were, so it's not clear how the gang identification came about.

The bulk of the information appears to be coming from the suspects sister who could be, understandably, biased. There are lots of holes in the story as reported. We don't know the actual or perceived threat and we don't know the exact timing or sequence of events.

Luckily we have people employed to work these things out and their priority isn't to sell as many newspapers as possible.
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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby Tirian » Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:10 pm UTC

IANAL, but my research suggests that there is no defense against criminal possession of a weapon, assuming that the facts support that you possessed a weapon during the commission of a crime. Self-defense is a valid defense against the reckless endangerment charge (I looked up the statute yesterday but damned if I can find it this morning), but the rub there is that he was safe inside his house and took it upon himself to confront the gang outside instead of calling the police and waiting inside his house. I sympathize with his feeling that a family shouldn't be made to cower in their house, but a densely-packed society can't abide civilians firing rifles for crowd control.

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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby Роберт » Wed Sep 08, 2010 3:30 pm UTC

Tirian wrote:IANAL, but my research suggests that there is no defense against criminal possession of a weapon, assuming that the facts support that you possessed a weapon during the commission of a crime. Self-defense is a valid defense against the reckless endangerment charge (I looked up the statute yesterday but damned if I can find it this morning), but the rub there is that he was safe inside his house and took it upon himself to confront the gang outside instead of calling the police and waiting inside his house. I sympathize with his feeling that a family shouldn't be made to cower in their house, but a densely-packed society can't abide civilians firing rifles for crowd control.

Self-defense is never a good reason to shoot a gun into the air. If he shot the ground only, fine. If he some of the members of the large group of people who refused to leave his property... that may or may not be fine, but I wouldn't call it reckless endangerment. As it was, he could have shot babies in their prams or shattered the windshield of a bus and caused a terrible accident. Never fire into the air in a populated area - that is reckless endangerment. I don't see why this has anything to do with race or the case of Mr. White shooting someone in his driveway.

People are acting like he is in trouble with the law for defending himself and his family. He is in trouble because he did something incredibly stupid that could easily have killed innocent people, and he did it with a weapon.
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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby stdragon » Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:33 pm UTC

No he's in trouble because a certain state or city has laws that discriminate against peaceful homeowners who want to defend their property. In another state he would not be in trouble. The question is SHOULD he be in trouble? Or I'm assuming that's the question. The law is irrelevant.

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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby BlackSails » Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:41 pm UTC

stdragon wrote:No he's in trouble because a certain state or city has laws that discriminate against peaceful homeowners who want to defend their property. In another state he would not be in trouble. The question is SHOULD he be in trouble? Or I'm assuming that's the question. The law is irrelevant.


That is not why he is in trouble. Im totally pro-gun, but shooting into the air is reckless and stupid.

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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby SummerGlauFan » Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:50 pm UTC

Yeah, by firing into the air he's endangering people that are completely uninvolved in any threat against him, and that's illegal just in every U.S. city. I don't see how this could be taken out of context.

I'm very pro-gun, but I wholeheartedly support laws that keep people from firing their guns wildly into the air, warning shot or not.
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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby BlackSails » Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:57 pm UTC

Also, warning shots in general is really stupid.

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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby SummerGlauFan » Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:03 pm UTC

BlackSails wrote:Also, warning shots in general is really stupid.


True, but being stupid isn't illegal. Discharging a weapon into the air in a city is. I'm agreeing with you, I'm just clarifying for the people who don't seem to get it.
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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby savanik » Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:31 pm UTC

For what it's worth, you shouldn't shoot at the ground because that has the potential for lethal uncontrolled ricochets. Neither should you be firing into the air. The 100% proper course of action would have been to announce that he had a weapon, wait for them to either disperse or open fire, and defend himself if necessary.

He probably could've gotten away with just shooting them to start with, though, since they openly brandished weapons at him and he was at fear for his life, so long as he actually killed them and didn't just wound. Wounding people just causes more lawsuits.
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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby Chen » Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:42 pm UTC

savanik wrote:For what it's worth, you shouldn't shoot at the ground because that has the potential for lethal uncontrolled ricochets. Neither should you be firing into the air. The 100% proper course of action would have been to announce that he had a weapon, wait for them to either disperse or open fire, and defend himself if necessary.

He probably could've gotten away with just shooting them to start with, though, since they openly brandished weapons at him and he was at fear for his life, so long as he actually killed them and didn't just wound. Wounding people just causes more lawsuits.


I dont think New York has as lenient "castle laws" as some other places in the states. I don't imagine just shooting them all would have been justified in this case considering they were not actively threatening him and he was safe inside his house until he came out to confront them.

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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby Dauric » Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:54 pm UTC

savanik wrote:For what it's worth, you shouldn't shoot at the ground because that has the potential for lethal uncontrolled ricochets. Neither should you be firing into the air. The 100% proper course of action would have been to announce that he had a weapon, wait for them to either disperse or open fire, and defend himself if necessary.

He probably could've gotten away with just shooting them to start with, though, since they openly brandished weapons at him and he was at fear for his life, so long as he actually killed them and didn't just wound. Wounding people just causes more lawsuits.


Depends on your jurisdiction.

They were outside the home and not in the attempt to actively burgle or burn the home. New York's weak Castle Doctrine only applies to prevent burglary or arson.
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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby Lucrece » Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:57 pm UTC

So you'd have to wait till they get a good vantage point on you by confining you into the house and spreading out? Waiting for aggression by a gang of men who allegedly all carry guns is dooming citizens to an impossible defense.

Of course he fired a warning shot. Had he actually shot to kill without being shot at, it's obvious he'd be looking at gang retaliation. And cops being just corpse janitors, they've never been in the business of proactively protecting potential victims.

He should be charge for reckless endangerment. But I hope the sentence is no more than revoking his license and non-jail time sanctions for a man who under pressure fell into a stupid mistake.
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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby Spambot5546 » Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:06 pm UTC

Lucrece wrote:So you'd have to wait till they get a good vantage point on you by confining you into the house and spreading out? Waiting for aggression by a gang of men who allegedly all carry guns is dooming citizens to an impossible defense.

I'd like to think most places would be reasonable on the specifics. For example, if they're just causing trouble on your lawn you have time to call the police before they're a threat to you. If they're marching toward your porch with weapons drawn it's probably more acceptable to fire on someone who hasn't yet entered your home. Basically, while Castle Doctrine may not necessarily apply the normal rules of self defense still would.
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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby lowbart » Thu Sep 09, 2010 7:53 pm UTC

juststrange wrote:He broke one of the cardinal rules - there are no warning shots. By the time you pull your weapon in a scenario like that, you should have already come to terms with the fact that someone could die. Drawing a weapon like that without being willing to use it full up is dangerous and hasty.


I think unless more information comes to light and changes things, this paragraph wins the thread.
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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby Роберт » Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:45 pm UTC

lowbart wrote:
juststrange wrote:He broke one of the cardinal rules - there are no warning shots. By the time you pull your weapon in a scenario like that, you should have already come to terms with the fact that someone could die. Drawing a weapon like that without being willing to use it full up is dangerous and hasty.


I think unless more information comes to light and changes things, this paragraph wins the thread.

No it doesn't. The cardinal rule he broke was don't ****ing fire a gun into the air in a populated area.
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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby StNowhere » Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:05 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:
lowbart wrote:
juststrange wrote:He broke one of the cardinal rules - there are no warning shots. By the time you pull your weapon in a scenario like that, you should have already come to terms with the fact that someone could die. Drawing a weapon like that without being willing to use it full up is dangerous and hasty.


I think unless more information comes to light and changes things, this paragraph wins the thread.

No it doesn't. The cardinal rule he broke was don't ****ing fire a gun into the air in a populated area.


The idea of a warning shot precedes the action of firing into the air. If he realizes that even the act of getting a gun indicates you should be ready for someone's day to be ruined, he doesn't fire into the air in the first place.

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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby johnny_7713 » Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:30 pm UTC

Lucrece wrote:So you'd have to wait till they get a good vantage point on you by confining you into the house and spreading out? Waiting for aggression by a gang of men who allegedly all carry guns is dooming citizens to an impossible defense.

Of course he fired a warning shot. Had he actually shot to kill without being shot at, it's obvious he'd be looking at gang retaliation. And cops being just corpse janitors, they've never been in the business of proactively protecting potential victims.

He should be charge for reckless endangerment. But I hope the sentence is no more than revoking his license and non-jail time sanctions for a man who under pressure fell into a stupid mistake.


So where exactly is it alleged that this gang of men all carried guns? The only account we have of what happened is from the suspect's sister, who as far as I can tell from the article wasn't even there at the time.

Also how is going back into your house to get a gun not waiting till they get a good vantage point on you by confining you into the house and spreading out?

More to the point if there were twenty men with guns on my hypothetical lawn I'd feel a lot safer inside my house, at least that has cover and concealment to hide behind while I'm waiting for the police to arrive. This is true whether I have a gun or not. Short of a machine-gun nest on your porch there's no way you're going to defeat twenty men on your own.

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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby Tirian » Fri Sep 10, 2010 1:34 am UTC

Роберт wrote:No it doesn't. The cardinal rule he broke was don't ****ing fire a gun into the air in a populated area.


If I were to break it down to a single rule, it's don't own a gun without knowing the law concerning gun use where you live. Maybe there are places where this sort of foolishness is covered by the Castle doctrine*, but a simple web search would quickly show you that New York isn't one of those places. A training course isn't required by law, but it's such obvious common sense if you're going to own a tool that is designed to kill people and whose misuse routinely lands people in jails and cemeteries.

* And I hope not. Good Lord, you're outnumbered 20-1, and you've not only given them just cause to defend themselves but fired off one round of a sporting goods store hunting rifle? How is this supposed to end well for you? He's lucky that he's only going to get 3.5 - 5 years in jail instead of being dead.

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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby Shivahn » Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:07 am UTC

Tirian wrote:
Роберт wrote:No it doesn't. The cardinal rule he broke was don't ****ing fire a gun into the air in a populated area.


If I were to break it down to a single rule, it's don't own a gun without knowing the law concerning gun use where you live. Maybe there are places where this sort of foolishness is covered by the Castle doctrine*, but a simple web search would quickly show you that New York isn't one of those places. A training course isn't required by law, but it's such obvious common sense if you're going to own a tool that is designed to kill people and whose misuse routinely lands people in jails and cemeteries.

* And I hope not. Good Lord, you're outnumbered 20-1, and you've not only given them just cause to defend themselves but fired off one round of a sporting goods store hunting rifle? How is this supposed to end well for you? He's lucky that he's only going to get 3.5 - 5 years in jail instead of being dead.


I realize that you probably don't mean it this way, but you're saying that people lose the right to self-defense if they're in a pinch. It's kind of a disconnect to go from "Firing in the air shouldn't be covered by castle doctrine" to "defense against multiple assailants shouldn't be covered by castle doctrine." They're pretty different situations.

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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby JoeKhol » Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:17 am UTC

johnny_7713 wrote:So where exactly is it alleged that this gang of men all carried guns? The only account we have of what happened is from the suspect's sister, who as far as I can tell from the article wasn't even there at the time.

This is an important point which stands repeating. So many people seem to be jumping to a judgement of this man based on some very sketchy and somewhat contradictory information. The validity of his actions clearly depend on the exact situation he encountered and there are far too many unknowns to come to any honest conclusion.
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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby Роберт » Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:04 pm UTC

JoeKhol wrote:The validity of his actions clearly depend on the exact situation he encountered and there are far too many unknowns to come to any honest conclusion.

No. It's an honest conclusion that him firing the gun into the air was reckless endangerment.
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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby Levelheaded » Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:18 pm UTC

JoeKhol wrote:
johnny_7713 wrote:So where exactly is it alleged that this gang of men all carried guns? The only account we have of what happened is from the suspect's sister, who as far as I can tell from the article wasn't even there at the time.

This is an important point which stands repeating. So many people seem to be jumping to a judgement of this man based on some very sketchy and somewhat contradictory information. The validity of his actions clearly depend on the exact situation he encountered and there are far too many unknowns to come to any honest conclusion.


No, regardless of the situation there is no reasonable justification for his actions.

He chose to go back outside with a gun and confront the (armed or unarmed) group on his lawn instead of contacting the police and staying inside. I think there is no reasonable reason he should have gone back outside and escalated the situation. Some people will argue that is justifiable under some perverted 'Castle Law' or self-defense ideal, but that's beside the point.

Regardless of the above, he chose to fire a warning shot into the air and endanger people around him. There is no circumstance where this is justifiable.

Even if he was justified to shoot and kill all 20 people on his lawn, that is NOT justification to fire unaimed shots randomly into the air. These are acknowledged warning shots, not misses or wild shots from an inexperienced marksman trying to defend himself.

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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby Anubis » Sat Sep 11, 2010 6:25 pm UTC

Man, there is a lot of misinformation in this thread.

1. Grier used an AK-47, not a "hunting rifle from a sporting goods store".

2. He owned the weapon legally, so he is not facing weapons charges.

3. He fired four shots into his lawn, not into the air. I suppose that's still dangerous, but not nearly as much.

Also, he says he knew that local police employ a technology that pinpoints the location of gunshots, and that his shots would draw police to his location very quickly.

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2010/09/07/ ... ith-ak-47/

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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby juststrange » Sat Sep 11, 2010 7:28 pm UTC

Levelheaded wrote:No, regardless of the situation there is no reasonable justification for his actions.

He chose to go back outside with a gun and confront the (armed or unarmed) group on his lawn instead of contacting the police and staying inside. I think there is no reasonable reason he should have gone back outside and escalated the situation. Some people will argue that is justifiable under some perverted 'Castle Law' or self-defense ideal, but that's beside the point.


And I would argue that. I should be under no requirement to retreat or play coward on my own property. If I say leave, you leave. If you threaten me, I should be under no requirement to de-escalate the situation, as I am not the one causing there to be a situation. Absolutely justifiable (the going back out and not backing down).

Levelheaded wrote:Regardless of the above, he chose to fire a warning shot into the air and endanger people around him. There is no circumstance where this is justifiable.


And I agree completely. Potentially killing innocent people is not acceptable. Firing shots without a good sight picture is bad enough.

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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby kiklion » Sat Sep 11, 2010 8:02 pm UTC

Anubis wrote:Man, there is a lot of misinformation in this thread.

1. Grier used an AK-47, not a "hunting rifle from a sporting goods store".

2. He owned the weapon legally, so he is not facing weapons charges.

3. He fired four shots into his lawn, not into the air. I suppose that's still dangerous, but not nearly as much.

Also, he says he knew that local police employ a technology that pinpoints the location of gunshots, and that his shots would draw police to his location very quickly.

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2010/09/07/ ... ith-ak-47/


This is largely because of the amount of incorrect information from news sites.

1.
http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2010/09/06/ ... -l-i-home/

"“They were swarming on the property,” so he got a hunting rifle he had bought at a sporting-goods store, she said. “He felt like: ‘I have to protect my family.’”"


2.

"Grier was arrested on reckless endangerment and weapons possession charges."

3.

"George Grier, 30, fired rounds into the ground and air from an assault-style rifle after arguing with a large group gathered outside his Long Island home Sunday evening, Nassau County police said Monday. No one was hurt."

On second thought, they were all made by the CBS article.

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Anubis
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Re: Man arrested for firing warning shots at gang

Postby Anubis » Sat Sep 11, 2010 8:36 pm UTC

The article I posted is more recent and relies on information from police and Grier's attorney rather than hearsay from the sister.


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