Police defend fatal shooting of UW student

Archangel M

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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28471710/#storyContinued

SEATTLE - Calling it a tragedy, Seattle Police on Friday defended their fatal shooting of an armed University of Washington student...

Murphy was University of Washington honor student and musician. He was a history buff who often wore vintage uniforms and collected WWII memorabilia, including a vintage German infantry rifle.

Early on New Years Day, police were called to the University District where Murphy had been firing blanks into the air to celebrate.

"He was holding the rifle in both hands. He pointed the rifle in their direction," said Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske Friday.
Police Murphy refused several orders to drop the weapon.

"We hear, ‘Sir put the gun down. Don’t reach for anything. Don’t move. Put the gun down.’ Really shouting loud, shouting quick," said Mark Kedziora, Murphy’s housemate.

"He raised the rifle and pointed it at them, and then briefly lowered it. He raised it again," said Kerlikowske.

Two officers shot Murphy several times and he died at a hospital.

Now this is a tragedy no matter how you look at it, the kid had blanks in the gun, but the cops just see a man pointing a rifle at them. The thing that irritates me every time I see one of these stories in the press is this little bit.

Friends also believe the situation Thursday morning could have been handled much differently.

"He was shot several times and I don’t see why … why so many times? Why not use a taser or why not a non-fatal area," said Lopriore.

"I know they were drinking and it’s New Year’s Eve and I think it could have been handled differently," said Shepherd.

I dont know which is more exasperating, having to explain how the real world works when people are pointing rifles at you or the media having to print that boilerplate bit each and every time a person is shot under these circumstances. Are there really people out there who believe that a rifle wielder should be tasered? Are there people out there who still think that police are trained to "shoot to wound"? Would they be willing to gamble their lives on the chances of a pistol shot "wounding" someone effectively enough to keep him from killing you?

I know that loved ones will say and think these things, I guess I wonder why the media has to keep grinding the mill on the "why so many shots?" "why not shoot to wound?" "Why not taser?".

If the guy was tasered and died then we all know what the resulting media attention would be focused on.
 

Carol

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Maybe UW needs to raise their admissions standards so they can attract students with enough analytical skills to understand

"firearm pointed at another human being " = "death threat"
 

Tez3

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We had a case over here where the police shot dead someone who was holding a replica gun. The clamour in the press was that the police should have known it was 'just' a replica and not a real one! The guy was brandishing a gun at people and wouldn't, like this case, put it down when asked firstly then told and warned.
 

Blindside

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There was another factor here, one cited in some of the articles as "large amounts of alcohol."
 

Cryozombie

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I have no issues with the actions of police in this matter.

I mean, it's not like they cuffed him on a train platform, rolled him over, kneeled on his back and one of them stood up and shot him in the head and murdered him in front of dozens of witnesses and several cameras.

*ahem* sorry, different story.

If someone was pointing a gun at me, I'd do the same thing... and I'd expect it done to me if I pointed one at someone else.
 

Tez3

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I have no issues with the actions of police in this matter.

I mean, it's not like they cuffed him on a train platform, rolled him over, kneeled on his back and one of them stood up and shot him in the head and murdered him in front of dozens of witnesses and several cameras.

*ahem* sorry, different story.

If someone was pointing a gun at me, I'd do the same thing... and I'd expect it done to me if I pointed one at someone else.


If you're referring to what I think you are, then that's not the facts of the story.
 

Andy Moynihan

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Either the kid was too drunk to reason or just too stupid to be in college.

Cop+backup cops+drawn weapons+shouted commands not to move and drop weapon= UNIVERSAL SIGN LANGUAGE for "you are screwing up, stop it".

My only sympathy is for the kid's family. The kid himself, he BOUGHT this, I'm sorry.
 

Andy Moynihan

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We had a case over here where the police shot dead someone who was holding a replica gun. The clamour in the press was that the police should have known it was 'just' a replica and not a real one! The guy was brandishing a gun at people and wouldn't, like this case, put it down when asked firstly then told and warned.

We seriously need to make use-of-force continuum a subject in school. For real.
 

grydth

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To me, based on the facts we have, this was an entirely justified shooting by the police. They had no way of knowing the rifle had blanks in it, and were faced by an erraticly behaving individual. In fact, it appears the LEO's went as far as anyone reasonably could to get him to drop the Mauser.
 

punisher73

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What bugs me is that the police have to "defend" their actions. WHAT? People always want to use hindsight into their judgement of police actions.

Let's look at what the police KNOW.

1) Shots fired call on New Year's Eve on/near college campus.
2) Rifle pointed at them when they challenge the suspect
3) Suspect refuses to put it down and points it at them again

Now, we get the media talking about how he was an honor student and a history buff with his vintage WWII rifle that he collected, AND it was only loaded with blanks. I don't know about the rest of the LEO's on board, but I have NEVER gotten or heard over the scanner a shot's fired call that told us to slow up, that it was only blanks. Blanks go "boom" and sound like the real thing.

Chris Rock should do another video on "How Not to Get Shot by the Police". RULE #1 "Don't break the law", RULE #2 "Do what the police tell you to do". It's not rocket science here.

Really, how drunk do you have to be when armed men are pointing guns at you and telling you to put yours down, that you think "I think I'm just gonna point this here rifle at them for kicks and grins, cuz it'll be funny" ?
 

Drac

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I don't know about the rest of the LEO's on board, but I have NEVER gotten or heard over the scanner a shot's fired call that told us to slow up, that it was only blanks.

Nor have I Bro.



Really, how drunk do you have to be when armed men are pointing guns at you and telling you to put yours down, that you think "I think I'm just gonna point this here rifle at them for kicks and grins, cuz it'll be funny" ?

Pretty drunk and a little bit mental...
 

Carol

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What bugs me is that the police have to "defend" their actions.

The barrel of the gun was pointed at a police officer.

Do you think the level of outcry would be the same he barrel of a gun was pointed at a more politically correct minority, such a civilian that was a black woman or a gay man? I think there would be less outcry in the latter case, and that bothers me deeply.

A death threat is a death threat, and a human being is a human being...regardless of whether one likes the person (or the type of person) that is on the receiving end of the threat.
 

Drac

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Do you think the level of outcry would be the same he barrel of a gun was pointed at a more politically correct minority, such a civilian that was a black woman or a gay man? I think there would be less outcry in the latter case, and that bothers me deeply.

Rest assured that somone would have turned it into a racial issue...

A death threat is a death threat, and a human being is a human being...regardless of whether one likes the person (or the type of person) that is on the receiving end of the threat.

If more people thought like you LEO's would have less problems after a shoot..
 

MA-Caver

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Either the kid was too drunk to reason or just too stupid to be in college.

Cop+backup cops+drawn weapons+shouted commands not to move and drop weapon= UNIVERSAL SIGN LANGUAGE for "you are screwing up, stop it".

My only sympathy is for the kid's family. The kid himself, he BOUGHT this, I'm sorry.
The kid was an honor student but having high grades and the intelligence to obtain them goes right out the window when you soak that brain in alcohol.

Cops, even university cops who often times are passed through a regular Police Academy and are in some cases actual officers themselves, tell you to put the gun down (real, fake, dis-armed--no firing pin, replica, whatever), PUT THE GUN DOWN!

But then he was too drunk to listen.

As to why so many times. In this forum it's been repeatedly said that one shot just won't always do it.
 

Steve

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Maybe UW needs to raise their admissions standards so they can attract students with enough analytical skills to understand

"firearm pointed at another human being " = "death threat"
Or, at the very, very, very least, "firearm pointed at cop" = "death wish"

It's a very sad story, but I can't fault the police in this case.
 

Carol

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Or, at the very, very, very least, "firearm pointed at cop" = "death wish"

It's a very sad story, but I can't fault the police in this case.

I do feel for the family of the young man, as well as for the University community. Its horrible for a parent to bury a child. Its terrible to lose a friend, and it must be devastating for a professor to hear that one of their students lost their life.

Sometimes people say things they don't really mean when they are grieving, and I certainly understand how some folks in the UW community are deservedly in shock.

I just really really really hope that the UW community can walk away from this understanding that the young man died because he was drunk and negligent, not because the police were bad.
 

Steve

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I do feel for the family of the young man, as well as for the University community. Its horrible for a parent to bury a child. Its terrible to lose a friend, and it must be devastating for a professor to hear that one of their students lost their life.

Sometimes people say things they don't really mean when they are grieving, and I certainly understand how some folks in the UW community are deservedly in shock.

I just really really really hope that the UW community can walk away from this understanding that the young man died because he was drunk and negligent, not because the police were bad.
What they don't mention in this story is that this same guy had the SAME incident occur 2 years ago, the police had confiscated the weapon, the dad argued for it to be returned and GAVE IT BACK TO HIS SON!

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008583971_webshooting02m.html
 
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