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Like that time I accidentally cut myself 37 times

Headline: Driver Accidentally Killed By Lebanon Officer

But the article:

With a weapon drawn, police said McKinnley went into the ditch toward the car, slipped and accidentally discharged his weapon.

McDannald said he saw McKinley hit the ground and the gun discharge and thought Thompson had shot McKinnley.

McDannald then returned fire and shot Thompson multiple times, killing him. Neighbors said they awoke when they heard about 15 gunshots.

How the holy Hell, excepting that your carry rig is a G.E. Mini-gun, do you accidentally shoot someone 15 times?

27 Responses to “Like that time I accidentally cut myself 37 times”

  1. wizardpc Says:

    Also, how does one “return fire” when one was not fired upon in the first place?

  2. Robert Says:

    And all together now.. “Officer McDannald, after a short period of paid leave to get over his trauma, was cleared of any wrongdoing and returned to duty.”

  3. Mu Says:

    Will we get an “appropriate and restrained use of force” ruling from the DA?

  4. Jake Says:

    The headline truly is stupid and misleading, but did anyone read the actual story?

    McDannald said he saw McKinley hit the ground and the gun discharge and thought Thompson had shot McKinnley.

    He fired because he thought another officer had been shot. He saw McKinnley go down and heard a gunshot at the same time, making it a very reasonable conclusion. He fired until the suspect went down, exactly as he is supposed to. The number of shots given in the story comes from neighbors who say it was the shooting that woke them up. I would not consider it to be an accurate number unless it’s confirmed by physical evidence.

    This was someone who wrecked his vehicle running from the police. The idea that he might shoot at them is not unreasonable. It does happen, and they approached with that in mind.

    McDannald should get a pass and some good counseling. He reacted as he is trained to do, based on reasonable assumptions in a tense and risky situation. McKinnley, on the other hand, should face some serious consequences. All he had to do was index his finger along the frame while he was moving on uneven ground, and nothing would have happened except some bruising to his dignity. Instead, his negligent discharge got someone killed.

  5. SayUncle Says:

    I’m not opining on the officer’s conclusions, as the jury is still out on that one. Just the stupid headline.

  6. Jim Says:

    Here is a good idea:

    If you are a drunken, mouth-breathing parasite on society, with a suspended/revoked drivers license, DON’T RUN FROM THE POLICE!

    These officers, though probably incompetent and under trained, did society a favor. Each time you decided to drive drunk in my neighborhood you put my friends and family in danger. If the constabulary accidentally removes the danger, I can’t get too upset.

  7. DaddyBear Says:

    I’m leaning towards agreeing with Jake. While the moron who drove drunk and ran from the police didn’t deserve to die for doing it, he is the one who caused the whole situation to occur. Police don’t go out looking for people to gun down. This guy wasn’t executed. He died because he created a dangerous situation where an incorrect move caused his death. Whether or not the first officer was wrong for having his boogerhook on the bang switch, or the second officer erred in believing that the gunfire was coming from the criminal, this idiot broke the law, ran from the police, and put himself and everyone else on the street in danger. He’d still be alive if he’d either stayed sober or gotten a ride. I hope the policemen are held faultless.

  8. Otter Says:

    1) Running from the police /= the death penalty.

    2) But for cop 1’s actions (finger on the trigger) that man would be alive.

    We can all agree then man shouldn’t have run.

    ALSO I’m not sure cop 2 did anything wrong, but I’m really starting to question the automatic pass most law enforcement officers seem to get from the general public. In Maryland, my neck of the woods, we are seeing police abuse after abuse with no correction or even admittance of wrong doing.

    This just leads to more people not trusting the Police, which in turn leads to more crap like this.

    Each time a weapon is discharged by an officer, a REAL investigation needs to start taking place. Justice Scalia’s “New Professionalism” isn’t working.

    Otter

  9. JJR Says:

    Can anyone suggest a better, more reasonable one-liner headline?

    “Apparent Lebanon officer pratfall was alleged trigger for unfortunate use of deadly force”, maybe?

  10. Paul Says:

    I would say the headline was correct. I’m sure the officer with the ND is shamed. The officer who fired should be offered counseling.

    It was a bad situation caused by the driver as if he had not been drinking Officer #1 would not have attempted the stop. Further if the driver had not run, the officer #1 would not have been running along the road and the Officer #2 would not have been in pursuit mode.

    all the rest is fluff.

  11. Mu Says:

    I love how the article states “the officer returned fire”, instead of “the officer open fire on an unarmed man”. The reason why the officer opened fire doesn’t matter, he killed an unarmed man with multiple hits. Blaming the victim by saying he was drunk and shouldn’t have run is just hindsight, none of that was known to the officer at the time, he just went dirty Harry with every last bit of force he could muster.

  12. John Smith Says:

    Actually he died because he shot a police officer. OH wait he did not. Well guess he just had it coming then. Why is this news? Sounds like business as usual.

  13. John Smith Says:

    Oh and he was not accidentally killed. It was intentional. You do not empty a magazine accidentally unless they are issuing the police machine pistols now. I be he was only hit 2-3 times out of the whole mag. What do these guys do close their eyes and start blasting? What the article should say is “Cop pissed off because a drunken suspect ran away kills driver as punishment.”

  14. Sigivald Says:

    Mu: Very snarky.

    Except for that he had every reason to believe that the guy he shot had just shot another officer (and would thus almost certainly start shooting at him)…

    The dead guy turned out to be unarmed. However, a reasonable man at the time would have no reason to believe that. Cops don’t have built-in night vision and time-slowing devices, you see, such that they can tell that it’s the .005% chance that the shot was their partner being an idiot rather than the 99.995% chance of the guy they were chasing coming to bay and starting to shoot at them.

    It’s a bloody mess of a situation, but what it isn’t is that cop shooting someone he had any reason at all to believe was unarmed; the opposite, in fact.

    Any reasonable man would have thought exactly what that cop did, in those circumstances. Which sucks a lot for the dead guy, but doesn’t make the shooter some sort of villain, outside of your projections and fantasies.

    (And have you ever seen Dirty Harry? What the hell does it have to do with this? Nothing.)

  15. John Smith Says:

    Well it has to do with the fact that if you or I did that we would go to jail for a very long time regardless of the circumstances. You forget that police are supposed to be held to a higher standard of excellence because of the responsibility they have to society. With great power comes great responsibility. The police make a choice to do the job they do. If they make a mistake it nearly always means somebody dies. They put themselves in the situation by choosing that job. If they cannot live with the consequences of what they do and the punishment thereof then don’t do that job. Sort of like the police version of “If you can’t do the time don’t do the crime.” The driver died because the policeman ASSUMED. When you ASSUME you make and ass out of you and me. He did not think he only reacted. While reaction may save your life reacting and thinking always go together not separate. So the other cop falls and then a shot is heard at close range. What does that mean to you? The cop made a mistake and should be punished for it. He sure punished the drunk driver. We as civilians would be punished. Are you saying that we should let the cop go simply because he is “better” than us? Do you think if I fired a pistol 15 times into a car because I assumed that the driver was shooting at someone that I would not go to prison for quite a number of years? Why is it different for the police. All it shows me is that if you have a badge you get a free pass. Gee I wander why so many people hate cops. What was the last thing that went through that drunks head? Before the bullets that is….

  16. mariner Says:

    I’m usually a pretty reasonable person, and I don’t know that I’m willing to give a free pass to Cop 2. He fired based on a sound, without even seeing a weapon. That was not reasonable — only two of the three persons involved were KNOWN to be armed, and they were the two cops. Without KNOWING the perp was armed, Cop 2 was not justified in assuming that he was. Running from cops is not a death penalty offense in the United States.

    Cop 2 fired on a sound. Rule 4: “Be sure of your target and what is beyond”. If a hunter did that we’d be all over his sorry ass; let a cop do it and it’s all good.

    But of course cops are “the only ones” who get this kind of free pass.

  17. cm smith Says:

    Years ago… As I was conducting a “man with a gun” felony stop (he did have a gun) I heard a gun shot. I could see that the suspect was not shooting at me and I did not shoot.

    Another officer had an AD as he was drawing.

    It could have gone the other way. I was good, but I was also lucky.

  18. Linoge Says:

    And that, there, is the problem:

    Well it has to do with the fact that if you or I did that we would go to jail for a very long time regardless of the circumstances.

    My head-cold-and-drug-addled brain cannot come up with a decent hypothetical at this point in time, but place a pair of civilians in a similar set of circumstances, with a similarly-perforated innocent man.

    Do you think we will be offered counselling and allowed to return to our homes?

    Do you think “My bad” would be sufficient for us, and all would be forgiven?

    Do you think we could stroke a check for $400,000 (how much the city of Lebanon paid to this victim’s cousin’s family when they did damned near the same thing to him back in 2000) and call it even (assuming we had the funds)?

    Cop 1 failed at Rule 3, and Cop 2 failed at Rule 4, and now a man is dead. If the dolt behind the wheel had not fled from the police, he probably would not be dead now, but what if he had simply pulled over, and the same set of events happened there? Would you still blame him?

  19. straightarrow Says:

    Uh, I believe the story said it happened at night. The killer cop could see the target well enough to kill him, but couldn’t see there was no muzzle flash from the vehicle? Uh, I ain’t buying it.

    And isn’t it strange that the department categorizes this as “unfortunate” for the officers? A Hell of a lot more unfortunate for the wrongfully killed guy, don’t you think? Just think, if an honest competent cop had been there instead of these two clowns, nobody would have been hurt. MY! How unfortunate for these poor,poor officers. :::

  20. Vote For David Says:

    You guys are killing the joke with all your logic & reasoning & whatnot. Here, let me help answer Uncle’s question:

    BANG Oops!
    BANG Oops!
    BANG Oops!
    BANG Oops!
    BANG Oops!
    BANG Oops!
    BANG Oops!
    BANG Oops!
    BANG Oops!
    BANG Oops!
    BANG Oops!
    BANG Oops!
    BANG Oops!
    BANG Oops!
    BANG Oops!

  21. Jake Says:

    If the dolt behind the wheel had not fled from the police, he probably would not be dead now, but what if he had simply pulled over, and the same set of events happened there? Would you still blame him?

    If the dolt behind the wheel had not fled, the same set of events would not have happened because the cops would not have had their weapons drawn. He does bear at least some of the blame.

    There’s no indication that McDannald could see the victim’s hands when McKinley went down. Depending on where everyone was positioned and who’s headlights were pointing where, there’s a good chance he might not have seen a muzzle flash from the victim’s position (had there been one). He might not have been able to tell that the shot came after McKinley fell. Then he had to make the decision whether to shoot or not in less than a second in a situation where a very significant number of people in the victims position do come out shooting (which is why their weapons were out in the first place).

    Grain of salt time, here. Realistically, there’s not a lot of the necessary detail in the article for us to make these kind of judgments correctly, and any speculation has to be done on the assumption that the facts we’ve been given are right (and I trust the paper to be accurate about as far as I can throw their printing presses). If the details we have change later on, I may change my opinion. Given what we’re being told, I would give McDannald a pass and some heavy duty counseling, and I would give McKinney a rope and a high place to tie it to, with very pointed instructions about doing the right thing.

    I’m all for holding cops to a higher standard, but at the same time, we do have to at least try to remember that they’re only human.

  22. Huck Says:

    Some of you are talking about Thompson as being a dumbass for running. When McKinnley NDd because he obviously violated rule #3, Thompson probably though that McKinnley was shooting at him and Thompson paniced and ran as most people would.

    But FIFTEEN rounds fired at Thompson by McDannald! WTF ever happened to fireing just enough to stop the suspect? Now if he only Thompson a few times it’s understandable, McDannald thought Thompson was armed. That seems to greatly reduce a LEO’s accuracy which greatly improves when the victim is unarmed or has his back to the LEO. Then they never miss.

  23. Jake Says:

    Huck said:

    Thompson probably though that McKinnley was shooting at him and Thompson paniced and ran as most people would.

    You’ve got the order wrong. Thompson ran when they tried to pull him over for reckless driving, leading them on a high speed chase until he wrecked. That chase is why they had their weapons drawn when they approached. McKinley was trying to pull him from the car when he fell and ND’d. It doesn’t sound like Thompson was even out of the car when he was killed.

    But FIFTEEN rounds fired at Thompson by McDannald! WTF ever happened to fireing just enough to stop the suspect?

    Two points:
    a) The number of rounds fired is an estimate by people living nearby who were woken up by the same shots they supposedly counted. It’s probably nowhere close to accurate, and there’s no way to tell from what we’ve been given if it’s high or low.

    b) How many shots should he have fired (if Thompson had actually been armed)? How many hits does it take to stop a suspect? If you can’t give me a number that works every time, you can’t say that fifteen is too many.

  24. Mu Says:

    Guess the guy was lucky he didn’t have wife and kids in the car, with that argument the cop could have reloaded and finished off the lot.
    We used to joke about cops carrying spare guns to plant on “accidental shooting victims”, they don’t need that anymore, they can just blame an accidental discharge and blast away.

  25. John Smith Says:

    The drunk driver is partially responsible because he ran. And he got punished, really really punished. Now it is the do keystone cowboys turn. They have to be punished too. One for negligently handling a firearm and the other for killing a drunk driver. You guys can justify killing him all you want. In the end he killed a man whose only crime was being a drunken idiot.

  26. Linoge Says:

    …we do have to at least try to remember that theyre only human.

    Fine. Then treat them like any other (non-badge-wearing) human would be in similar circumstances.

  27. Dave R. Says:

    McDannald should get a pass and some good counseling. He reacted as he is trained to do, based on reasonable assumptions in a tense and risky situation.

    Here is the problem I have. Officer reacted as he was trained, therefore he has no responsibility for killing an unarmed man over his partner’s negligent discharge. Neither is said partner responsible for anything, slips and falls and NDs happen to everyone, right? Alright, so we’re going to hold the trainers and force commander responsible for adopting flawed procedures? No? So, nobody’s responsible, but we can at least revise training and procedures so this result is no longer actively drilled for, right? No! The training procedures were adopted lawfully, there can’t be anything wrong with them. And the cop followed procedure, therefore everything is square. Well thank you, circular reasoning.

    The conclusion I’m left with is that police and their holster-sniffing defenders have adopted an “acceptable losses” approach to innocent civilian casualties. Police just want to go home alive at the end of their shifts! And if that means a few of the rest of us don’t, well, omelets and eggs, right?