Earth to Tom Smith: The police didn't "shoot first and ask questions
later". They issued a lawful command which the gunman refused to obey.And no, Tom, the US Constitution does not give you the right to bear
arms on private property.
I would be fearful of being placed in a life-threatening situation with someone
holding a gun and not responding to commands to drop the weapon. There was no
way to determine the mental status of the suspect. Law enforcement did not have
history on the man (especially mental health history). But, I would also have
tried to wound the man instead of out-right killing him. Such a marksman (the
officer's one shot was lethal) could just as easily shot the suspect in the
upper arm or leg to disable.
Awful news, especially at the site of a peaceful temple.
I wonder what the people, crying foul over the police, would say had they let
him run, shoot, and kill either an officer or an innocent civilian?An officer was killed earlier this year after chasing after a kid with a
rifle. Question: Who's fault is it that the gunman is dead?Answer: The gunman's.
Agreed, the investigation must be allowed to run it's course. But come on,
people. Some are questioning the judgment of the police, however, it was the
gentleman with the shotgun who's judgment that we should be the focus.Let's assume he had a permit to carry the deadly weapon. And let's even go so
far as to assume that he'd taken the relevant gun safety training.His fatal mistake was made when he refused to listen to the police
commands.Take this out of the realm of the gun. Let's focus on
cars. Let's assume a man with a license was driving his car down the road at an
unsafe speed -- let's say in a school zone. If the man refuses to stop when
warned by the police, what will happen?Let's assume he survives the
chase, the answer is that he will lose his privilege to drive -- and he
should.The thing you bleeding hearts forget is that the officers'
job is to protect all of us; and when one person breaks the law (refuses to obey
the police), then they lose their freedom.Thanks, brave police
I stand by the cops!
Doesn't matter if he was shot in the back or not. If he was proceeding to
threaten the public with his shotgun then lethal force is justified. You don't
have the right to brandish a gun and threaten people, only for self defense.
For some reason there are always people who believe the police are the bad guys.
I dare say that many lives have been saved because we have so many brave men and
women who are willing to serve and protect the public. There is no way to guess
how big a tragedy was averted yesterday by the actions of the police.Thank
you to all law enforcement individuals.
Well let me be one of the "unintelligent ones". In a country where
the Constitution provides a legal to open carry a firearm, and the
"police" are sworn to uphold the Constitution, what gives the police
the right to shoot first and answer questions when clearly this individual did
not threaten the officers with a weapon. Until this man turned to confront the
officers, there was no reason to fire. Having been accosted by good old never
wrong and always truthful officers, my first impression is to run when I see
them driving by on the street. I want nothing to do with them. This is just
another Police Shooting in Utah. Does anyone know how many there were in 2010?
It seems like there is at least one a week in the news.
While the comments on this site have not descended into the ridiculous mess that
appears on the site for Salt Lake's other major paper, those speaking out
against the police in this situation seem naive. Police go through a lot of
training dealing with suspects who hold weapons, and firing on them is not the
first recourse.The truth is that police do their jobs, and sometimes
those jobs involve death. Police seek to aprehend; however, when a man with a
deadly weapon is flailing it around and fleeing the police, public safety is
more important than his presumed "rights."The theory of
Social Contract asserts that his rights were lost when he put other citizens' at
risk.As for shooting him in the back, I'm glad the police didn't try
and head him off just so they could shoot him in the face.
What a tragedy for everyone all the way around, except for the folks who didn't
die as a result of solid training and good police work. An obviously disturbed
individual is dead. Disturbed? Yes - walking around with a loaded shotgun at a
house of worship is not something normal, even here in AZ! A police officer is
probably a little shaken up with the knowledge he sent someone out of this
world. The poor family of the dead man must be heart broken. And it's now all a
very poignant Christmas memory for all involved. You are all in my prayers
Correct me if I am wrong, and I may be wrong, but the person with the gun has a
right to carry th gun, correct, if it is not concealed? I know you can carry a
pistol if it is holstered and not loaded, but I'm not sure in Utah weather it's
okay to carry an unconcealed rifle. Anyone? Maybe being on private property
carries some weight? If I am correct, then the police should not have even
asked him to surrender the weapon - I admit I haven't read the story - but
merely asked him his intentions and then made a determination. In that regard,
his rights could have been violated as far as the right to bear (unconcealed)
arms. However, anyone not wanting to be shot (maybe that was his purpose in the
first place) would cooperate, you would think, unless they have other
intentions.Someone please enlighten us on the law in Utah as far as
the article says the man was running away, in other words he was shot in the
back.perhaps he had re-thought his idea or position but did not want
to discuss with many uniformed officers yelling at him.if police
looked in half the cars in Utah they would find guns, not guns owned by trained
individuals but by people who have purchased a permit to carry.too
often people are shot to death by officers who are not trained to deal with
people only with triggers.a man lost his life and so far the police
have not proven he was guilty of doing something so drastic it should cost his
As the daughter of a former chief of police in southern California, I believe
officers are trained to shoot if their life is in imminent danger or the lives
of the public- and then you are to "shoot to kill". You don't aim for
their knee caps, etc. and give them the possible chance to shoot at someone
again. I agree with most of the comments; if someone is in a public place and
confronting others and repeatedly asked to put the weapon down, then keeps the
weapon and runs toward people, the officers have little choice. We have had too
many public shooting sprees in our country in the past 10 years or so to
hesitate and second guess the intentions of the gun toter; difficult and painful
decisions for police officers to make; officers involved will never be the same.
Of coarse sympathies go out to family of the shooter.
Let me see if I've got this straight.1. Man with shotgun on private
property.2. Man's car full of other types of guns and swords.3. Man
gets in verbal fight with visitors in parking lot.4. Police called. They
tell the man to drop weapon.5. Man refuses to drop weapon and runs away
with shotgun in hand.6. Police shoot man.Seems like the police
did a good job.
@WorfThere is no need to check anyone's rights. Per the
constitution, they are the same for you, me, the sane, the insane. It simply
doesn't matter who we are, we carry the same rights.Perhaps you mean
check their mental status. That would be ideal but nearly impossible. How many
times have you read the line "he was such a nice, quiet man" when
reading about some horrible event such as a mass shooting? Checking their
mental status (per records and neighbors at least) might reveal very little.Reference police carrying firearms - it is an unfortunate necessity. I
would imagine that most police officers would gladly give them up if they could
be sure that they would never encounter someone with a firearm and the intent to
do harm.As to procedure. Anytime there is a shooting (especially
resulting in death) there will be a detailed review of the facts.
Simply a sad situation all the why around. The man had to be mentally ill,
however the officer could not simply plead with the man as he is running away to
stop and get mental health assistance. Sometimes an officer is required to act
even if it meant that the person was shot to death.
Three things to remember here:1. If you bring a weapon to either a
golf course, a sporting event, or even on temple grounds, some good citizen is
going to call it in (to 911).2. If a cop tells someone to drop or
otherwise release their weapon and they refuse to do so, they can expect to be
shot. The cop does not care how many hours or months ago they were last on their
medication.3. It's called Suicide by Cop for a reason. Our thoughts
should be with the officer and his family, knowing that he was forced to take a
human life on Christmas Day. The rest of us should be thankful this brave
officer was doing his job.4. The Church wisely refrained from making
comment in an ongoing case. That said, the Church retains its essential interest
in protecting its assets from those who would do either the temple or church
members harm from the presence of armed intruders on its properties.
So if i understand right police always shoot to disarm first. Sadly the risk in
that is that the person could die. Just like hunting a deer your most likley
not going to kill it right away unless you hit it in the right spot, but there
is always that chance.
Let us see : 1. Carrying a loaded weapon 2. People feeling
threatened 3. Car loaded with weapons 4. Police called to serve
& protect 5. Indicidual can't/won't follow instructions 6.
Consequences of his actions 7. Thanks for Police...
worf | 5:23 p.m. Dec. 25, 2010 Mcallen, TX Perhaps police officers
shouldnt carry firearm, what are you insane, if our police officers did not
carry guns to protect them selfs, our us there would be more shootings and the
police could do nothing because you have disarmed them. Its bad enough that gun
hatters what to take our second amendment rights away and leaving us defenseless
in our homes now you want us completely defenseless by taking guns away from the
police. Take Guns away and only the criminals will have them. Its a proven
fact take guns away and violent crime sky rockets. I know there are thus who
refuses to believe statistics, such as my 25 year old Daughter but there it is.
Thank you for the clarification. This version is much better.
@Joe Bauman:I don't know what article you are talking about but it isn't
the same article for which you are posting your comments. According to this
article the gunman was clearly brandishing a shotgun and refused to relinquish
it: "However, when police arrived, the man failed to comply
with their orders to stop and drop the gun and instead ran from police while
still holding the shotgun."Sorry, no coverup or conspiracy
there.@worf:"The officer should have should have checked
into his rights before shooting. . . . . . Perhaps police officers should'nt
carry firearms."Wow. You're joking, right? You are obviously
oblivious to the dangerous situations and kooks that policeman have to deal with
on a regular basis. Your mentality is beyond response.
Checked into the gunman's right? What, his right to shoot innocent bystanders
first? He was a threat and the officer did his duty and all the officers and
innocent bystanders will be safe and sound with their families tonight.
Those arguing that the police did not do the right thing and question their
judgement in situations like this are truly some of the least intelligent people
posting articles involving police shootings. Think about it people. If I had a
gun in a public place and the police ordered me to stop and put the weapon down;
and I ran, I would expect to be shot. How many times have we seen people, insane
or not (it doesn't really matter does it), go on a shooting spree and kill
innocent people. People are always saying things like "we should have
recognized the signs" before it came to this. Only criminals or those with
criminal tendencies can question the rightness of a police officer shooting
someone running away from them with a gun and not stopping when ordered. Get real!
from Fox News site:"...The man had been in an altercation with
another man in the parking lot outside the Oquirrh Mountain Temple of The Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in South Jordan, Fox13 said.The
confrontation began about 12:30 p.m. Police arrived shortly afterward and
repeatedly ordered the shotgun-toting man to drop the weapon, South Jordan
police Lt. Dan Starks said.When he refused, one officer opened fire,
The article did NOT state that the man who was killed was carrying a shotgun at
the time. Instead, it says, "At least one person noticed or spoke with the
man with the gun .... " That implies the police didn't see him with a gun;
otherwise, why mention that "at least one person" supposedly saw the
weapon? Why not report that after someone reported him, police arrived and saw
he was armed? This absolutely must be clarified. Was he or wasn't he armed
during the confrontation?
So tragic. My prayers go out to the family of the deceased, as well as the
officer who was forced to make that decision on Christmas and his family as
And if this man had gone on a shooting rampage in the adjacent neighborhood and
taken hostages etc.?Then What? Mr.KnowItAlls?Looks like
Suicide by Cop to me. I challenge anyone in America, in any jurisdiction, to
pull the same stunt, you'll meet the same fate.He knew the
protocol.It's time to put Political Correctness.Very sad
indeed, but a situation of his own making,Sorry.
Can't someone invent a way of diasbling someone from a distance? A Taser?
Disaster averted. Well done officers.Note to Public: If you walk
in public with a shotgun, you probably will get shot by local police.What's going on in society today? Crazy...
Thank you cops for making the tough choices, and doing what needed to be
done.We will learn more details as the investigation plays out, but
may never know the dead man's motivation.Way too many cases of
"suicide by cop" out there, which achieve the "victim's"
goal, but at a horrible price for the officers involved.
I wouldn't say that the fact that someone has a gun on their person is reason to
shoot. The fact that he has a gun, was probably intimidating temple visitors by
brandishing it, failed to cooperate with police, and ran is reason to shoot.
The suspect was just asking for trouble by acting like that. The police did the
right thing. Take care of the problem before it turns into another Trolley
Square.As to the other side of the argument that the police should
have checked on their rights... Are you insane? I'm sorry, but you just don't
have the luxury of time or political correctness to ask the guy whether or not
you have the right to shoot him. How many innocent people have to be shot at,
or even killed, before you make that decision to take down the suspect? The
police did the absolute right thing in this case by making that call at 0 and
I'm grateful they took action before the suspect did.
The guy's car was loaded with weapons and the one on his person was clear reason
To Wer:It appears the man WAS ON the Temple grounds. The fence that
appears in the photo is around the Temple proper. The grounds are quite large
(11 acres) while the immediate area around the Temple is fenced in similarly to
Temple Square.Too bad that this occurred but especially sad on
this shot gun wielder had a confrontation with another man in the parking lot of
the temple. when police were called they called for th gun toter to
relinquish his weapon. after repeated calls, with the armed man heading towards
the crowd, the police fired and killed the shotgun man. this man was
threatening at least one other person. do you REALLY expect the police to
administer a MMPPI test before controlling the situation?
Over reacting Officer????that could have been deadly if he would have been
out a crime to kill others!Yet the officer could have Only Wound this man
not kill him.Yes we all Dont Know the Whole Story Do we?Let them Get
the Story all placed in the tragic story. Before we all jump in to
say things not right.Good thing some other person seen him with that
re:okaythenpre-judging? Not to hard, let's see, man walking around
with a shotgun in a public place, police ask him to put down weapon, man refuses
and runs away...public is now in jeopardy...who would in their right mind think,
"Oh, the man with a loaded shotgun is now running towards a crowd of people
after we asked him to stop and drop his weapon. Oh, he's is probably looking for
a nice person to give his gun too, someone he trusts who will take care of
it."Your going after the reporter under those circumstances?
An insane person with a gun is more dangerous than a sane person.That said, the police are often just a little to quick to shoot.
Worf......The officers acted in the best interests of those present. Remember
their motto...protect and serve they were doing just that. I don't think that
officers have time to find out whether he was hugged enough by his mom or dad or
if he had taken his medication that day. They have to act
The journalist obviously learned that the police feared for the lives of the
public by hearing that from the police. How else could that be known? The
motivations of the man with the gun may never be known. It is certainly
understandable why police would feel they needed to fire when the man didn't
comply and was running away holding a gun with innocent bystanders nearby. There will be an investigation and we'll find out as much as possible at
that time. All the same, it's a really sad tale. For someone to be
killed at the Temple on Christmas is really tragic. I feel sorry for him and
Why aren't Temples open on Christmas. In this case meant less people
in the area and that is good in situations like this.
The reporter seems to be prejudging what happened, or simply accepting as fact
the police version of events (stating that the officers were "fearing for
the crowd" when they fired). That may be true, but the reporter should add
"according to police," and we should wait until an investigation
before opining as to whether the shooting was necessary.
Why are some of us are so differnt.Good thing hes been caught soon
enough!Would have been a lot of innocent LDS killed or really badly
hurt.If this crazed man started using that weapon!!!Good to
know were being protected by a Community watch to take care of the area.Thank you to those Officers of West&South Jordan~
@ Worf: that is why all officers are placed on admin leave when their weapons
are used. In any case, police should always carry weapons. @wer: not
sure. It doesn't look like it but he may have been on the grounds at one time.
It really doesn't matter.I trust an investigation will take place.
We really do not know much of the 'why', only a little of the 'what'. Patience
is called for.
The officer should have should have checked into his rights before shooting.
Maybe he was insane or had some other mental problem and did'nt know what he was
doing. Perhaps police officers should'nt carry firearms. Were regulations and
The police are frequently called upon to make tough choices with little time to
react. I salute the officers for protecting the crowd and doing their job. Some
may "armchair quarterback" this in the days to come with the luxury of
hindsight, much more information, and no accountability for such opinions. My
feeling is just to say "Thank You" to the men on the "thin blue
line". I'm glad that only one person lost their life. Sad that such things
must happen to protect us.
Was the man on temple grounds?From the photo, it appears not so.