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Wed Jan 2, 2013, 11:37 PM

San Jose: Police say burglary suspect was fatally shot by citizen trying to detain him

Local newspaper just published this "armed citizen hero" story:

An attempt by an armed citizen to snag a man believed responsible for multiple vehicle break-ins at a large apartment complex went awry Monday when the suspected thief was shot and killed, police said.


"The preliminary investigation has revealed that the suspect shot the victim during an altercation," states the news release. "The shooting occurred as the suspect was attempting to detain the victim on suspicion of burglarizing vehicles in the neighborhood."

Witnesses at the complex reported hearing an argument, a single shot and screams. Emergency crews attempted to revive Soriano, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

San Jose police Officer Albert Morales said they encourage residents to be watchful, but to get authorities involved rather than attempt to catch suspected criminals themselves.

"Allow us to have the opportunity to go out and take care of it," he said. "There have been many times when we have arrived on scene and been successful apprehending numerous burglary suspects, while still inside the home or just afterward."

He added that citizens shouldn't resort to a potentially lethal confrontation "unless, of course, your life is in danger and you are acting in self-defense, then you have to do what you have to do."


Whose side are you on, the shooter or the police officer? Problem with Morales's statement is that the burglar may continue to harm the homeowner while the cops are on the way.

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Reply San Jose: Police say burglary suspect was fatally shot by citizen trying to detain him (Original post)
alp227 Jan 2013 OP
slackmaster Jan 2013 #1
Loudly Jan 2013 #2
gejohnston Jan 2013 #3
AnotherMcIntosh Jan 2013 #4
AtheistCrusader Jan 2013 #5
Lizzie Poppet Jan 2013 #6
hbskifreak Jan 2013 #7
AtheistCrusader Jan 2013 #8

Response to alp227 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 11:41 PM

1. I think that getting into an "altercation" with an armed person is usually a bad idea

 

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 11:50 PM

2. Police said "Don't kill someone like this no matter how good it makes you feel."

Police say "give us an opportunity to respond to the crime in progress before acting as judge, jury and executioner."

That's just a polite request from the people who are trying to keep society civilized.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 11:51 PM

3. B and E of an empty car?

call the cops and be a good witness. This might sound wimpy or whatever, I'm not going to get my ass beat or stabbed over a car stereo. I'm not going to run out the door and shoot someone defending someone's stereo either.
He added that citizens shouldn't resort to a potentially lethal confrontation "unless, of course, your life is in danger and you are acting in self-defense, then you have to do what you have to do."
Couldn't say it better myself.

That said, according to the comments, the city laid off cops and dismantled their burglary unit. I would have to look at that as a mitigating factor.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:09 AM

4. Just an ordinary burglar?

 

"According to court records, Soriano has a lengthy criminal history in Santa Clara County, with nearly two dozen cases covering theft-related and weapons offenses and domestic violence. At the time of his death, there was a bench warrant for his arrest."

http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_22300612/san-jose-police-say-burglary-suspect-was-fatally

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:52 AM

5. Insufficient Data.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:29 AM

6. I wouldn't confront a car burglar.

I'd call the police and hope they got there fast enough to catch him, but confronting him would be a bad idea for me. I'm too small to be any sort of deterrent threat, and my size (and gender) might tempt them into believing an assault would be the best chance for them to get away. Because I'm be armed, however, that could easily escalate into a situation like the one described here. It's not worth a human life (even some scumbag thief's...).

Because I choose to arm myself, I believe I have a greater responsibility to avoid conflict situations whenever possible.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 04:43 AM

7. I sentence you to death for the sake of my Blaupunkt.

So is it really worthy to "accidentally" murder someone for stealing a car or car stereo? Breaking into a car is a very different thing than breaking into someone's house, especailly if the owner is home. But FFS, call a cop and then get a new radio.

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Response to hbskifreak (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:49 AM

8. Hypothetical.

1. You investigate to get a description of the thief, to pass on to the police as a witness.
2. Thief notices you, and responds aggressively, chasing you.
3. You are armed, and the situation escalates.

Did 'you' do anything wrong here?

I personally would not attempt to apprehend anyone, law enforcement is not my function. But I would most certainly investigate any such activity, and try to get a description. If I do so, am I just stuck with a beating or worse, if the thief attacks me, and I happen to be armed? Should I not protect myself?

In fact, going beyond a description, I could see the property owner reasonably saying something like 'hey man, leave my shit alone, I just called the cops'. If this results in a physical attack, again, if the property owner is armed and responds, has he or she done anything morally wrong?

This is why I said 'insufficient data' above. What happened here could have been vigilantism, or something else.

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