The New York man who caught the police's attention, and a rain of bullets, was by most accounts a terrible human being.
Prior to shooting his .22 caliber six-shooter revolver at the police, Steven Murray, 28, allegedly shot his mother three times and his sister twice in the face, reports the New York Post. His mother survived, but his sister didn't. He fled his home in the Polo Grounds projects and eventually came across a couple of police officers. He let a round or two out of his miniscule gun and the cops may have gone a little overboard with their response.
Eighty-four bullets fired later, with fifteen hitting paydirt, the firefight was over. Now, there shouldn't be much sympathy for someone who shot his 13-year-old sister, if he did in fact do so. However, does that justify the use of 84 bullets on a suspect who is innocent until proven guilty?
Just recently, the City of Los Angeles came close to settling an injury suit with a gang member who committed a drive-by for $4.5 million because one of the LAPD's bullets paralyzed him, reports the Daily News. The paralyzed gangbanger is not the world's best example of a human being, but it shows that the law applies equally to cops and robbers alike.
In this case, if you look at the numbers, an extended capacity magazine can hold up to twenty or thirty rounds. However, almost no one uses those magazines, as they are ridiculously unwieldy and prevent the shooter from using a proper two-handed grip due to the extended base that drops below the bottom of the magazine well.
Speculating that the officers would have used magazines with a fifteen to twenty round capacity, at most, that means they each reloaded at least once and probably twice. The suspect was then hit fifteen times. However, the officers have defended themselves to the New York Post, stating that the suspect pointed his gun at them repeatedly.
Police are allowed to use whatever force is necessary to defend themselves. They are not allowed to use excessive force, however. They do need to defend themselves, and when reacting in a split second to someone shooting at you, there isn't much time to consider how many rounds you should fire. It is better to overshoot than undershoot and have them shoot back.
However, for the sake of the NYPD's budget (and avoid potential lawsuits), they might want to consider a little restraint next time.
- Find a New York Personal Injury Attorney (FindLaw)
- Family of Kid Shot 90 Times by LAPD is Suing for $120 Mill (FindLaw's Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog)
- Police Misconduct and Civil Rights (FindLaw)
- Cops Fired 84 Times At Man Who Killed 13-Yr-Old Sister, Wounded Mom (Gothamist)