Wednesday, January 21, 2015

GA: Armed Robbery Suspect Shot, Gun Walks off

As more and more people are legally carrying guns, there are more justifiable shootings and the crime rate drops.  A significant synergistic factor is the ubiquity of surveillance cameras and personal recording devices, such as cell phones and dashcams.

This shooting in Georgia illustrates one of the reasons why.  The event itself is fairly clear.  A robbery suspect, who is accompanied by three other people, pulls a gun on a victim.  The victim is armed, draws his own weapon, and shoots the suspect, who drops his gun.  From
There were three other people with the suspect at the time of the shooting. Police took two of them into custody. One left the scene. Police are still looking that person in connection to the incident. Officers are also still searching for the gun the robbery suspect brandished.
 "When the victim drove off, one of the other suspects did return moments later to retrieve that weapon and that's what we are looking for right now," said Lt. Mark Lavigne, a detective with DeKalb County Police.
While it is entirely possible that the police would have learned of the gun from the witnesses at the scene, it is not uncommon for accomplices to remove evidence from a crime scene.  In this case, there was video showing the removal of the firearm.   I recall reading of another case where the victim was pepper sprayed as part of the attack, and shot the attacker. 

The attacker later claimed victim status and stated that it was just a verbal altercation, and that he had been shot without justification.   The shooter was the one arrested; if it were not for diligent work on the part of the legal defense team, he could well have been convicted.  They found a surveillance video from a near by store that showed the attacker's female accomplice removing the pepper spray can from the scene.   If the video had not been found, the lack of pepper spray created a huge credibility problem. 

The number of violent crimes committed with accomplices is said to be about 50%, so the opportunities for criminals to destroy or remove evidence is high.

The ability to preserve evidence is another reason to stay at the scene of a shooting.  The first consideration must be for safety.   There are numerous locations where you might have to leave.  It might be a hostile environment in an urban area; you might be alone and need to summon help.  But if you can stay on the scene and wait for the authorities, it shows a presumption of innocence on your part, and may well help to preserve evidence.

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