May 9th, 2008

A Firearms Expert Speaks

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

The armchair quarterbacks are already hot on the case in the shooting of barrister, Mark Saunders in his Chelsea flat on Thursday.

Amanda Platell, in her Daily Mail article "Did police really need to shoot this broken man?" she criticises the actions which led police officers to shoot dead a man who had been taking pot-shots with a lethal firearm out the window of his posh London home, both at neighbours & police.

Showing her astute & intimate knowledge of dealing with deranged men with guns she says, "Why couldn’t they have fired tear gas into the flat? Or used rubber bullets or stun guns instead of lethal force? Why didn’t they allow his wife to try to talk him out, as she desperately wanted to do?"

I’ll give her a clue, because they didn’t want to risk themselves or any other innocent person dying!

She says, "As for speculation that Mr Saunders had sought "suicide by cop", it’s a convenient story."

Someone who lived opposite gave a little more insight into a man who had clearly lost the thread, the witness, named only as Lesley, said: "There was a man opposite my house shooting into my daughter’s bedroom. He just kept on firing cool as cucumber. He didn’t even bother to open the window, he was shooting through the glass. There are bullet holes in my daughter’s bedroom wall. People were screaming at him ‘What the f*** are you doing?"

Reports say that on 3 separate occasions the ‘broken man’ fired at officers. They tried to negotiate but after five hours they entered the house, shots were fired & Saunders was hit five times. There is some criticisms that he was hit so many times by more than one officer. I’m reminded of the time an American Officer was asked something along the lines of "Why did your unit fire 56 times at this man". He is said to have replied "Because that’s all we had." 

It’s tragic when someone is killed in this way, but often they are masters of their own destiny. Whatever the reason he picked up a gun & started shooting at people the sad fact remains that there is a high chance you will be dealt with ‘appropriately’ and sometimes that means being shot dead. The fact that he happened to be a nice, rich & successful barrister is neither here nor there.

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