Sunday, June 14, 2015

MO: Would you Shoot a Suspect who Claimed to have a Gun?

 Link to Video:

Would you shoot a suspect who claims to have a gun?  That is the decision that Pharmacist Pete Spallito faced on Tuesday, the 9th of June, in Kansas City, Missouri.   In the video, Spallito is confronted with a masked woman who demands all the Oxycontin in the store.   She said that she had a gun in the bag that she was carrying, and placed the bag on the counter.   From
Pete Spalitto described Tuesday's events to KCTV5. He said that after the woman confronted his employee that the employee turned to him. The woman then demanded OxyContin from him.

He headed to the counter where he had his .45-caliber gun tucked away.

"I pointed it at her. I come into a good position behind the counter. I pointed it at her head," Spalitto recalled. "She says, 'I've got a gun in this bag.' I said, 'I've got a gun too.'"

The woman decided her best course of action was to flee and headed for a maroon-colored SUV with temporary tags. Spalitto gave pursuit until his hamstring had other ideas and he had to pull up. He is disappointed that he didn't catch her.

Pete Spallito decided not to shoot. If he had, he probably would have been justified. He could not know that the gun that the woman had in the bag was made of plastic, and could not fire.

This screen shot from a previous robbery attempt at another pharmacy shows what appears to be the same suspect and a bag she is using.

In the video, it is understandable why Pete chose to take the chance not to shoot. The woman is hesitant or unable to shoot as the Pharmacist move around behind the counter, retrieves a .45, and points it at her. Later, Pete shows a reporter that he has a Ruger LCP .380 as a backup gun.


The pharmacy where Pete works is independently owned. From the story:
He said he feels sorry for the employees of pharmacies owned by big chains who aren't allowed to carry a weapon.

"It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out if you're selling drugs in this day and age you should have a gun on you," he said.

Would you shoot if a suspect claims to have a gun? It depends on the totality of the circumstances. There are risks in not shooting, but there are risks and costs involved in shooting, as well.

Pete Spallito believes that he made the right choice. He regrets that he did not catch the suspect, and he pulled a hamstring while chasing her.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch


Anonymous said...

I will not second-guess him. He won.

Anonymous said...

What would be wrong with shooting a tire or two to stop the escape?