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Phishermanjohn
April 5, 2009, 09:33 PM
There was an armed, retired LEO in the church:


Armed retired police officer saw shooting at Maryville church
'Mad scene' kept him from firing
BY BRIAN BRUEGGEMANN
News-Democrat



A retired Edwardsville Police lieutenant was in the congregation at First Baptist Church in Maryville and was armed when a gunman killed the church's pastor, but circumstances prevented him from shooting.



Retired Lt. Rich Dustman said he had neither a safe shot nor an opportunity to fire during the ordeal, in which the Rev. Fred Winters was fatally shot. Terry Joe Sedlacek, 27, of Troy, has been charged in the murder.



"There was kind of a mad scene," Dustman said. "I felt it wasn't appropriate."



According to police investigators and witnesses, Sedlacek walked to the pulpit, pulled a gun and opened fire on Winters, who was delivering his sermon.



The gunman's first shot hit the Bible held by Winters, causing what witnesses have described as a spray of confetti from the shredded text. Some witnesses thought they were seeing a skit or dramatic presentation.



The gunman fired three more shots at Winters; two missed, but one struck him in the heart. The gunman's .45-caliber Glock then jammed, and two church members tackled him. Dustman then helped subdue the gunman.



Dustman said he didn't want to discuss the March 8 episode further, out of respect for Winters' family and because of the pending criminal case against Sedlacek.



Edwardsville Police Sgt. Dennis Gunderson, who has spoken with Dustman about the shooting, said it's common for turmoil to erupt in such a scenario, and that there was nothing Dustman could have done to prevent the tragedy.



"That's basically what happened. As he was trying to get into a position to try to help, all of these people were suddenly in the way, and he could not shoot," Gunderson said.



"As (Dustman) was getting ready to, they took (Sedlacek) down and started fighting with him," Gunderson said. "He just couldn't take a safe shot."



Illinois State Police Capt. Mark Bramlett, whose agency is handling the investigation, said his review of the shooting shows there was really nothing anyone in the church could have done to prevent it or change its outcome.



"The incident happened so fast, and it was very chaotic," Bramlett said. "It would have been difficult for anybody to respond."



Investigators say Sedlacek had three clips for the gun, each holding 10 rounds. In his bedroom, police found a planner that had the day marked as "death day."



Madison County Assistant Public Defender Ron Slemer has said Sedlacek's mental health deteriorated after he contracted Lyme disease from a tick bite years ago. Church members and police have said he had no known connection to the church or to Winters.



Gunderson said if the gunman had continued firing, "I'm sure this officer could have taken care of it."



A federal law allows retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed guns.



"We're trained on when not to shoot, let alone when to shoot," Gunderson said. He added that if an untrained civilian had begun firing, "you don't know where those rounds might have gone."



About 150 congregants were in the First Baptist Church building at the time of the shooting.



Gunderson said some active and retired police officers carry their guns to church; some don't.



"That gets to be kind of a personal question with each officer. I know a lot of officers are looking at that themselves," he said. "I know a lot of officers are telling me, 'I'm going to start carrying to church.'"



Madison County Sheriff Robert Hertz said his deputies use their discretion on whether to carry a gun while off-duty, including at church services.



Hertz said he sometimes carries his gun at church, or at least has one in his vehicle.



"The events of a few weeks ago reminded me that, I guess you never know where this sort of thing is going to happen," he said. "So I've been a little more aggressive on arming myself off-duty, and church being one of the places."



Gunderson met recently with Edwardsville- and Glen Carbon-area church leaders, who asked him for advice on preparing for an emergency. One of his suggestions is for church leaders to identify congregation members who are active or retired police officers, firefighters, military personnel or emergency workers.



Those types of people, Gunderson said, could "just be aware of what's going on, and if something happens, they could also be the ones who take charge."



He likened it to a sheep dog guarding the flock.



"They're there. You don't always notice them, but when something happens, they come to the forefront and help protect the sheep from the wolf," he said.



Contact reporter Brian Brueggemann at bbrueggemann@bnd.com or 692-9481.



© 2007 Belleville News-Democrat and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved. http://www.belleville.com

Interesting. WE often have discussions about intervention in a public situation with a threat. This is what someone from a LE background did.

Discuss.

zoomie
April 5, 2009, 09:39 PM
He added that if an untrained civilian had begun firing, "you don't know where those rounds might have gone."
Because I'm sure a RETIRED civilian LEO trains constantly. Right? Right? Oh wait, probably not, because most current LEOs don't train as often as many of us. :mad: :barf:

"I'm the only one I know of here professional enough..."

Man the more I think about it, the more that attitude ****** me off! He can't say that just because he didn't have a clear shot that somebody else wouldn't have. Most churches are 180 degrees of people. He couldn't cover 179 of those degrees but he still blabbers the "only cops should have them" mantra.

kraigwy
April 5, 2009, 10:32 PM
Because I'm sure a RETIRED civilian LEO trains constantly. Right? Right? Oh wait, probably not, because most current LEOs don't train as often as many of us.

"I'm the only one I know of here professional enough..."

Man the more I think about it, the more that attitude ****** me off! He can't say that just because he didn't have a clear shot that somebody else wouldn't have. Most churches are 180 degrees of people. He couldn't cover 179 of those degrees but he still blabbers the "only cops should have them" mantra.

Were you there? Did you see the incident through the retired officer's eyes?

I doubt it.

We you ever a cop? Have you ever held back because you wern't sure of the shot or if it was the right thing to do? I highly doubt it.

Its easy to second guess someone from your nice comfortable chair hiding behind your computer screen, long after the incident happened.

For your information, Retired Police Officers can Carry concealed but they have to qualify just like active police officers. They have more then that, to qualify under HR 218, the retiree has to have at least 15 years in LE. During that time he/she does learn NOT TO SHOOT as well AS WHEN TO SHOOT. He learns and practices not to endanger incident people.

I'm retired, I carry, I shoot, I train, I still instruct. DO YOU?

I'll agree not all practice as much as they should. I'll also bet there are plenty of civilians who carry and have lint in their barrels.

Like I said before TOO MANY PEOPLE IN THESE GUN FORUMS WATCH TOO MUCH TV. TV isnt life, TV isnt reality.

jbrown50
April 5, 2009, 10:35 PM
Quote:
"We're trained on when not to shoot, let alone when to shoot," Gunderson said. He added that if an untrained civilian had begun firing, "you don't know where those rounds might have gone."

Because I'm sure a RETIRED civilian LEO trains constantly. Right? Right? Oh wait, probably not, because most current LEOs don't train as often as many of us.

"I'm the only one I know of here professional enough..."

Man the more I think about it, the more that attitude ****** me off! He can't say that just because he didn't have a clear shot that somebody else wouldn't have. Most churches are 180 degrees of people. He couldn't cover 179 of those degrees but he still blabbers the "only cops should have them" mantra.

This guy is just making excuses as to why he didn't get involved. If I remember correctly, it was two 'unarmed' 'untrained civilian' church members who took the shooter down. They both suffered knife injuries because the shooter pulled a knife after his gun jammed.

Were you there? Did you see the incident through the retired officer's eyes?

I doubt it.

We you ever a cop? Have you ever held back because you wern't sure of the shot or if it was the right thing to do? I highly doubt it.

Its easy to second guess someone from your nice comfortable chair hiding behind your computer screen, long after the incident happened.

Your hero retired officer with his firearm could have at least kept the shooter from injuring anyone else with his knife, something that those two untrained civilians most likely prevented.

snevensmores
April 6, 2009, 01:58 AM
jbrown50...

An unknown person approached the pastor. Do you draw your gun then? Of course not, if you're responsible. Who would know what his intentions were at that time -- asking to be "saved," an urgent family emergency message to pass on to the pastor, etc.

What if this retired officer was sitting toward the back of the pews? Obviously there would have been a panic -- people running everywhere.

I don't know all the details, but I'll tell you something that obviously has STILL yet to occur to you -- a "no shot" is typically better than a "risky" shot.

How would you like to read the headline, "Gunman kills one, injures two, retired officer accidentally kills three." Now you'd blame the retired cop as much as the gunman...

Just because you have a gun, it doesn't make you a hero. A retired officer of that many years would know when (or when NOT) to take a shot. If the suspect's disarmed by the time you run up to the altar, it's certainly a no-shoot.

You do what you can, and, especially in this situation, the rest is up to God.

Concealed carry saves lives -- WHEN it's used properly and with discretion.

WC145
April 6, 2009, 06:17 AM
Gosh, I wish I read the same article that zoomie and jbrown50 did, that way I could complain about the retired cop, too. In the one I read the guy made a rational decision based on the circumstances and his years of experience and training. If he felt that he couldn't shoot without being sure that he wouldn't hit innocents then more power to him. Discretion is the better part of valor.

zoomie
April 6, 2009, 06:20 AM
I didn't complain about the retired cop's decision to not shoot. I'm sure it was the right one. I complained about the Sgt's elitist attitude. "It's a good thing nobody else except me was armed. Who knows what THEY would have done." Apparently Kraig shares his attitude that nobody else ought to carry except cops.

Dingoboyx
April 6, 2009, 06:24 AM
+1 snevensnores & WC145 :D

Muzza

Hondo11
April 6, 2009, 06:28 AM
I didn't complain about his decision to not shoot. I'm sure it was the right one. I complained about his elitist attitude. "It's a good thing nobody else except me was armed. Who knows what THEY would have done." Apparently Kraig shares his attitude that nobody else ought to carry except cops.

The article I read lists the retired Lt. as Rich Dustman. The quote you're so mad about was made by Sgt. Dennis Gunderson. If you're gonna get bent out of shape, at least make sure you know who/what you're mad at.

And to be honest, it's not a stretch to say that police officers are involved in MANY more actual, in-real-life, "shoot" or "no shoot" situations. The vast majority are "no shoots", but that only backs up that they would have more actual experience deciding when NOT to shoot than an average civilian.

zoomie
April 6, 2009, 06:54 AM
The article I read lists the retired Lt. as Rich Dustman. The quote you're so mad about was made by Sgt. Dennis Gunderson. If you're gonna get bent out of shape, at least make sure you know who/what you're mad at.
Fact is still that a current cop said a retired cop should be able to carry, but I should not because I'm not as good as them. That's the definition of elitist and that annoys me whether it comes from Ted Kennedy or a police Sgt. (Ted Kennedy also thinks he should be able to carry, but I should not.)

Brit
April 6, 2009, 07:15 AM
The crime (IMHO) was impossible to prevent, by any body. Except maybe the Paster himself, who on seeing a big black pistol emerge, used his bible as a projectile, or the lectern as a push into piece of furniture.

"The Lord helps he who helps himself" Comes to mind.

The gun in holster, gun in pocket, of any of the congregation would have meant nothing.

kraigwy
April 6, 2009, 07:49 AM
Apparently Kraig shares his attitude that nobody else ought to carry except cops.

I'd sure like to know where you came up with that line of BS.

No where is this or any other topic have you seen me say or indicate that.

pax
April 6, 2009, 09:22 AM
Interesting update -- thanks for posting it.

I'm going to go ahead and close this thread because at this point I do not see it going anywhere useful, and a few folks are right on the line of behavior acceptable for TFL. Closing this will give those folks a chance to calm down and reflect before posting again. I hate having to ban otherwise-good members who get a little too passionate and step out of line on topics like this.

pax