Showing posts with label robbery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label robbery. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cops crewman shot to death
as Omaha joins deadly meme

Bad boys, bad boys whatcha want
Whatcha gonna do when sheriff John Brown come for you tell me whatcha gonna do.
-- 'Cops' theme

Welcome to the worst day of Todd Schmaderer's life -- or at least a lead-pipe cinch for one of the top five.

The Omaha police chief welcomed the crew of the Cops reality-TV show to River City with open arms, seeking to showcase his officers' professionalism and, he hoped, improve relations with the community. Now a crew member of the show is dead -- fatally wounded by shots fired by one of Omaha's finest at the scene of a robbery in progress at a local Wendy's.

Officials know the sound man had to have been killed by police bullets. The fast-food robber was armed with a BB gun.

Clark Griswold doesn't know how lucky he was.

Welcome to the national narrative, Omaha. Welcome to the eye of the storm over police weapons, police tactics and police training. Welcome to the national conversation over shoot-first mentalities.

Welcome to public-relations hell. Welcome to our national never-ending tragedy.

A stupid robber with a fake gun is dead. That's tragedy enough. But when an innocent TV-show crew member gets killed in the process of a cop turning a perp into Swiss cheese, we're firmly into words-fail territory.

From today's Omaha World-Herald:
A crew member with the “Cops” television show was fatally struck by police gunfire as Omaha officers confronted a robber — who also was fatally wounded — at a midtown restaurant, law enforcement sources said Wednesday.

The World-Herald has learned that at least 30 shots were fired at the Wendy’s near 43rd and Dodge Streets.

Officials said it appears the only shots fired came from police.

The robbery suspect apparently had an air gun, a type of BB gun that looks like an actual firearm. He apparently was a prison parolee from Kansas, law enforcement sources said.

The names of the two dead had not been released at midday Wednesday. Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer has scheduled a press conference for 2:30 p.m.
I KNOW it's difficult being a police officer. God help me if I were forced to make a split-second, life-or-death decision in the dark of the night. God help me if I screwed it up, which I probably would.

Still, it's becoming apparent that what we're dealing with here is a nationwide, systemic problem of deadly proportions. Back to the newspaper account:
The TV crew member who died was a sound engineer, who holds the microphone during taping. The camera operator was not injured, nor were any police officers.

According to the show’s website, “Cops” crew members wear bullet-proof vests on the job.

The crew has been working in Omaha for much of the summer.

David Brown, president of the Omaha Chamber of Commerce, called the shootings a tragedy.

“We are deeply saddened that this happened and offer condolences to all of the family members involved,” he said.

The shootings occurred after an officer discovered a man, wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and white bandanna, robbing the restaurant, Deputy Police Chief Dave Baker said late Tuesday.

The first officer at the scene called for backup about 9:20 p.m.
The east-facing windows of the Wendy’s restaurant were riddled with bullet holes, and Dodge Street was closed for several hours.
The two shooting victims were taken to the Nebraska Medical Center in critical condition. They later died.
Officers honor TV 
crewman via Facebook

"AT LEAST 30 shots were fired. . . ."

"The east-facing windows of the Wendy’s were riddled with bullet holes. . . ."

The robbery suspect apparently had an air gun, a type of BB gun that looks like an actual firearm. . . ."

Something is very wrong here, and not just because an idiot felon and an innocent man are dead.

We have to be careful about saying too much that's too specific because, after all, we don't know what we don't know. We have to be careful because, in a split second . . . at night, you can't tell a BB gun from the real thing.

But we do know enough that we must admit that something's horribly wrong with the Big Picture here. Ferguson. St. Louis. A guy shot dead by Ohio cops because a scared Person of Walmart saw a black man with a BB gun (which he had just picked up in the toy department) and called police, who shot first and asked questions later.

SOMETHING is wrong, this we can say. The specifics, we're still grappling with.

But something tells me it has something to do with a nation amid a societal and cultural meltdown that, coincidentally, also happens to be armed to the frickin' teeth.

Last night, it was a stupid criminal and a TV guy trying to do his job. Two dead and an officer's life perhaps ruined. Nobody asked for that, I wouldn't think.

Tomorrow, it could be you. Or me. Or anybody.

Be afraid. Be very afraid here in Firearm Nation.

UPDATE: The police chief's press conference just ended. Here's what he said:
An Airsoft replica Taurus PT92
Three officers were involved, a detective and two patrol officers. The suspect, Cortez Washington, 32, fired at the officers with an Airsoft pistol inside the Wendy's restaurant. Schmaderer said that, judging from  footage by the Cops crew, that the Airsoft gun not only looked like a real handgun, but sounded like one. Airsoft guns fire plastic pellets, and Washington's was a replica Taurus PT92.

The chief said the cameraman entered behind the two officers the crew was riding with and was able to take cover, but that the sound engineer, Bryce Dion, got caught in the vestibule. After being hit by officer's gunfire, he said, the robber tried to escape through that vestibule as the cops continued to fire.

Dion was hit by a round which entered under his arm through a gap in his bulletproof vest. Schmaderer said he didn't think Dion was visible to the officers at the time.

The chief, in response to a reporter's question, said he hadn't slept since the incident.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

An inelegant crime-prevention tool

A 9 millimeter handgun will lose a pissing match with an SKS assault rifle every time.

And thus, Omaha finds itself with two fewer common hoodlums on the mean streets -- a duo who picked a fight with a better-armed shopkeeper and ended up dead.

Why? All because they were upset about some gold teefuses they'd ordered from a grillz-and-bling joint.

YOU WANT TO KNOW why newspaper reporters drink? Because they have to -- day in and day out -- write about mind-boggling deviance and stupidity, and they have to do it with the print version of a straight face.

this Omaha World-Herald story today:
The store owner who shot and killed two men Tuesday night won't face charges because he was defending himself after being shot at by one of them, Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said Friday.

Kleine said Marcel Davis, 16, and Willie Wakefield, 29, were upset about some jewelry that had been ordered from Andre McKesson, owner of Midwest Grillz & Jewelry at 6209 Ames Ave.

Brandon Boyce, a friend of Davis and Wakefield, said he, the two men and a fourth man drove to the store about 10 p.m. Tuesday to pick up a decorative mouthpiece known as a grill.

Boyce said that Davis and Wakefield went inside the store and that McKesson locked the door behind them. Boyce waited outside.

Boyce, 22, said Thursday that he could hear the men inside, arguing.

He recalled hearing, "Why you playing games with us, man? Where's our teeth? Can you give a refund? Then give me my teeth!"

During the argument, Kleine said, Wakefield pulled a 9 mm handgun and fired at least two shots at McKesson.

One of those bullets lodged in the wall above where McKesson had been standing. Two 9 mm cartridge casings were found in the store, Kleine said.

McKesson grabbed an SKS semiautomatic rifle he kept at the counter and fired 10 to 15 rounds at Wakefield and Davis, killing them, Kleine said.
IF YOU ASK ME, this sad story illustrates the rank tragedy of a minority underclass managing to do to itself what the Klan never could have accomplished at its pointy-hooded, malevolent zenith. How do you get to a point of such sociological deviance that you're willing to kill or be killed over ugly-ass gold dental adornments?

What level of familial and societal dysfunction produces such an animal -- one for whom the next logical step after "Where's our teeth? Can you give a refund" is to pull a 9 millimeter and start busting caps?

Thank God for thugs with about as much pistol skillz as brains. And for shopkeepers with better weaponry . . . and better aim.

(Not that honkies like me ought to feel superior for being, on average, marginally less violent . . . at least when it comes to disputes over gold teefuses. Every day, in every way, we're getting there. We're getting there. Hell . . . oftentimes, we ARE there.)

IT SHOULDN'T come to this.

William Wakefield and Marcel Davis Jr. ought to have had better upbringing, better opportunities and a fair shot at life. (No pun intended.) They ought to have been born into a world of order and nurture.

They ought to have lived in a milieu where the classroom held more appeal than the streets.

They ought to have been born into a country where "No child left behind" was more than a slogan. And where, failing that, the criminal-justice system was more than a crook-recycling program.

But they weren't . . . and didn't.

Damned sad, that.

WHAT HAPPENED on Tuesday night was a messy, bloody, horrendous and tragic solution to the problem of a pair of common thugs incapable of working and playing well with others.

Being that it was the only solution at hand -- and given the abject failure of all the others -- I suppose we should be happy with what we can get. That would be two dead crooks instead of one dead shopkeeper.

Happy. . . .

Zippity freakin' doo dah.

Lord have mercy on the dead . . . and on we the living.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Baby got dead. We're so shocked.

Baby will be wearing his grillz to his own funeral.

His mama says Marcel Davis Jr., 16, was picking up a set of dental bling when he got gunned down at a north Omaha grillz and jewelry emporium. He was planning to wear them to the funeral of an incompetent armed robber.

What some say -- and what the cops aren't saying -- suggests there's a lot more to the story.

But what is incontrovertible is that if Baby had had a crappy lawyer a year and change ago, he'd be alive right now. In November 2007, Davis had been charged as an adult after allegedly pointing a stolen handgun at an Omaha police officer he was fleeing.

The cop shot him in the leg. Tuesday night, somebody had better aim.

Between assault and using a firearm to commit a felony,
the teen could have been in jail a long, long time. Instead, ace defense attorney Bill Gallup got the case assigned to juvenile court, and young Davis recently emerged from the Douglas County Juvenile Detention Center.

AND NOW he and a 29-year-old are dead after going to fetch some grillz, it says in today's Omaha World-Herald:

Marcel Davis, a Northwest High School sophomore, planned to wear his new grill at a funeral today, a great aunt said.

Instead, the family is mourning his death after police met with his mother outside the shooting scene this morning and confirmed what relatives already knew — Davis was shot to death at the Midwest Grillz & Jewelry store just before 10:30 p.m.

William J. “Willie” Wakefield, 29, also was killed at the store, police said. Davis’s great aunt said her nephew had gone to Midwest Grillz with an older friend. It wasn’t immediately clear whether Wakefield was that friend.

A third person was being treated at Creighton University Medical Center for a gunshot wound suffered at the scene, 6209 Ames Ave. Brandon Boyce, 22, of Omaha, walked into the hospital about a half hour after the shooting.

Police would not say what connection any of the three have to the shooting. Police also would not give details about what happened inside the store.

Preliminary police dispatch reports centered on a robbery attempt. Police today said they were seeking no suspects and had made no arrests.


Her nephew planned to wear it to the funeral today of a man killed while committing a robbery a couple weeks back, his aunt said.

Kyles said her nephew would not have been part of a robbery. He had been in trouble, she said, but he didn’t rob.

NO, HE JUST rode around in stolen cars and pulled stolen guns on Omaha cops. But noooo. . . .

"'Yeah, he got into some trouble, all kids do that, but as far as anything, he’s a good boy,'” Baby's mama, Alethea Goynes,
told WOWT television today. “'He don’t want for nothing, he don’t steal from nobody or nothing.'"

never the little darling's fault, is it? No matter how long the rap sheet.

But if the store owner's father is
giving KMTV television the straight scoop, Baby either was in the wrong place at exactly the wrong time, or he decided to add armed robbery to his repertoire . . . and it didn't work out.
The store's owner Andre McKesson tells his family three men came into the store about 10:30, one had a gun. McKesson claims he fired at the three men to save his own life. McKesson's father Flynn Franklin tells Action 3 News, "He was just trying to protect himself. Three guys tried to rob him and two got shot." Omaha Police have not confirmed the family's account of what may have happened in the store; police have said they are not looking for a suspect.
A YEAR and change ago, Goynes thought everything might work out for her baby boy:
"I hope he gets back on track and does the right thing," Goynes said. "I think this scared him. Hopefully, when it's all over, he can get back on track and go back to school and be the boy I know he is."
HE DIDN'T. In this case, you not only can cut the irony with a knife, you can slice it six ways from Sunday.

At any rate, all that counts now is that Marcel Davis Jr. died the boy we knew him to be -- the boy he was doomed to be through (lack of) nurture and (a deviant) popular culture. That's a tragedy.

And given how the Mother of the Year acted at one of Baby's hearings in late 2007, his funeral will be anything but dull.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Dial 'S' for stupid

Hi, you've reached the voice mail of Ruben the Robber. I'm not available to hold up your place of business right now, but if you leave your name and address at the beep, I'll be over to take your money and cap yo' ass as soon as possible.

Have a nice day, homes.


Yes, stick-up artists on the go now rely on callbacks to more efficiently relieve marks of their hard-earned cash . . . sort of like "If you've got the money, honey, give me a ring-a-ding-ding."

Chicago police say Ruben the alleged robber couldn't wait around all day for a muffler-shop manager -- the guy who could let him into a safe where the "big money" was -- so he left his cell-phone number with some shop employees Monday, along with strict instructions to call him when the manager got back.

AND CALL the would-be victims did . . . following the strict instructions of police officers. But unfortunately for the suspected dial-a-crook, waiting cops had no intention of letting him have that "big money" when he showed up.

They did let him have a slug in the leg, however.

I'm not making this up. Look, it's in the Chicago Tribune:

Ruben Zarate of the 5100 of West Schubert Avenue was charged Tuesday with attempted armed robbery and aggravated assault of a police officer, the Cook County state's attorney's office said.

The incident started about 8 a.m., when the masked man, armed with a revolver, came in to Velasquez Mufflers For Less at 2600 N. Laramie Ave. and began demanding money, said Jose Sida, 37, a mechanic.

Employees told him they had little money and couldn't open the safe, so the man left two phone numbers for them to call when the owner returned with the combination, Sida said.

"He said, 'You guys better call me because otherwise I'm going to come back to shoot you,'" Sida said.

Instead, an employee called Chicago police.

Officers dressed in plainclothes came to the shop and told employees to call the man, Sida said. The man returned about noon, wearing the same mask and black clothing and officers told the employees to get to the back of the shop, Sida said.

A police source said the teen pulled a gun from his hooded sweat shirt and at least one officer opened fire. Zarate's injury was not thought to be life-threatening, the source said.