Sunday, September 13, 2015

IN: Police and Prosecutor find "Warning Shots" Justified in Purse Snatch Case

On 8 September, 2015, David Roberts from Owensboro, Kentucky, fired six shots at a vehicle in the crowded parking lot of the Eastland mall in Evansville, Indiana.  Roberts had a permit to carry his handgun.   The first shot was a warning shot into the dashboard.  The next five were at the vehicles front tires. 

The shots followed a double purse snatching from elderly women who were attempting to get their property back.   The incident was caught on video, which does not seem to have been released to the public, yet.  Police and the prosecutor, who was initially skeptical of police reports praising Roberts, both viewed the video.  From
Hermann said he was skeptical when he saw how the facts in the police report appeared favorable to Roberts.

“Then I watched the video and they exactly matched,” he said.

According to police reports, Deener and Blair reportedly each snatched a purse from elderly women. The women followed them while screaming for help.

Hermann said a group of eight to 10 people chased the accused purse-snatchers outside and blocked their car from leaving.

Police said one of the alleged victims, an 82-year-old woman, reached into the car and got her purse back. Deener then began backing up the car, dragging the other alleged victim by the passenger door and slinging her onto the pavement, causing her to lose her breath.
An Evansville police official made the following statement before the prosecutor made his evaluation.   From
"People have handgun permits and they're allowed to use those handguns to protect themselves or protect someone else," he said. "If he was protecting the woman who was knocked to the ground that would be perfectly fine."
The statements sound like one that a public affairs spokesman for Second Amendment supporters might make.

Examples of police praising armed defenders are becoming commonplace.  The image of armed citizens as a danger to police, pushed by disarmenters, cannot compete with the reality on the ground.  From
“It certainly appears that way to me. What he was doing was literally intervening in an attempt to prevent harm to somebody else," said Evansville Police Captain Andy Chandler. “I certainly commend him for coming to the rescue to help and assist elderly women.”
The fact that Roberts was from another state makes Captain Chandler's remarks doubly positive.

It doesn't hurt to have one of the original purse snatch victims, Betty Jones, collaborate the scenario that justified Roberts' actions:
“If [Deener] had gone forward, she would have run me over,” Jones said. “But instead, [Roberts] was firing at the tires and [Deener] backed up away from me. He was defending me. He was keeping me from being run over."

 I do not recommend warning shots as a policy.  But every policy has exceptions, and I am seeing more examples where "warning shots" are used, either to positive effect, or without harm, and/or are seen positively by police or prosecutors. 

Remember, the projectiles have to end up somewhere.  You do not want to harm innocents and you do not want to waste a limited number of shots.   However, the fear that "warning shots" are an indication that you did not fear enough to be justified in shooting, may be overblown.

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


Wireless.Phil said...

Captain Andy looks firmilar.

Horrifying moment a man is savaged by two pitbulls and left in a pool of blood on a New York street
September 12th, Daily Mail, co . Uk

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but I just do not see a reason for warning shots if you have a reason to shoot then shoot your target, that way you know exactly where the bullet is going.

Anonymous said...

"Shots 1 and 4 missed, so they were warning shots. 2,3, and 5 were on target."

Anonymous said...

That one person "doesn't see the reason" doesn't mean there isn't a reason, but then, "reason" there is just used because that person doesn't want to admit they are actually saying "they don't see the need to use warning shots. Gun Controller exposed - by their own words.

But aside from that, I am going to take issue with that comment that permit holders are allowed to....

Permits themselves are illegitimate and moreover the claim that government is empowered to "allow" self defense is the illegitimate base upon which permits themselves rest.

Some claim this is nitpicking on my part. To them I respond thusly -
Are you going to support and defend Bible possession and carry permits? Are you "allowed" by government to read the pages, too? Supporting one is the same as supporting the other. Rights are rights, and we ought start acting like it, before we are subjected to permits to attend church, or worse yet, permits allowing you not to attend Mosque.

Government is not there to give us its permission, folks. They are our privilege and immunities, rights in both the positive and the negative senses, despite black robed kings' claim to due process being whatever they wish it means at any given moment. Period.

Anonymous said...

I think one of the anonymous posters is referring to my comment about a reason for a warning shot. AND WRONGLY CALLS ME a gun controller. that could not be farther from the truth. I think a warning shot is an absolute waste of ammo. for instance IF YELLING STOP Has no effect and you have a reason to shoot then shoot. hit your target and you don't have to worry about where the warning shot might land. Where would you aim the warning shot, Most people do not aim a warning shot. If you shoot into the air where is that bullet coming down? If you shoot at the ground you might hit a rock and the that bullet back in your face. If you just shoot near the target, You might actually kill some thing or someone else. Nothing like putting a round through a neighbors window or into their car and what about ricochets? where will that warning shot land? I think warning shots are extremely dangerous. If you are not willing to make the first shot count don't draw the gun.