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Old March 8, 2013, 01:12 AM   #1
Aaron1100us
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Suicide at my local range

Just thinking, how many of us pay attention to the behavior of others the shooting range?

Just last Sunday, some guy took a handgun, stuck it to his chest and pulled the trigger. This is an open public range. A DNR official had been there 30 minutes before and noticed the guy was eating an MRE and acting strange.

The Sheriff's Deputies confiscated everyone's guns at the range. Guess it was to make sure it was his gun that shot himself. That would sure suck to have your guns taken away. They are going to sit uncleaned for who knows how long. And probably not handled very nicely.

http://www.kcrg.com/news/local/Man-D...?m=y&smobile=y
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Old March 8, 2013, 01:22 AM   #2
eman
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Very sad when something like this happens.
Glad I shoot at home and don't have to worry about disturbed people, other than myself.
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Old March 8, 2013, 01:35 AM   #3
Aaron1100us
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Re: Suicide at my local range

I agree. Too bad he didn't get help before. I grew up on an acerage and could shoot there. I've lived in a city for several years now and have to go to the public range. Only two around here.
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Old March 8, 2013, 05:34 AM   #4
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Sad, but not much you can do about things like that. Unless he told someone he was going to do it there really aren't any good warning signs. Eating a MRE and acting "strange" really isn't a good indicator that bad things are about to happen.
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Old March 8, 2013, 07:10 AM   #5
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It is a shame when someone takes their own life, I wonder what could have been so bad that maybe he thought this was the only way out. The family he left behind may never know why he did this.
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Old March 8, 2013, 07:56 AM   #6
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I have to wonder "Why there". I have heard of people who were not gun owners who walk into ranges, rent a gun, buy a box of ammo and take their lives. But this guy had guns.
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Old March 8, 2013, 08:01 AM   #7
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I have to wonder "Why there". I have heard of people who were not gun owners who walk into ranges, rent a gun, buy a box of ammo and take their lives. But this guy had guns.
Our range had a suicide like that a few years back. Now, the policy is that if it's your very first time there, they won't rent you a gun unless you also brought gun(s) of your own.

I agree that it's a horrible tragedy, but I also acknowledge that in the case of a determined suicide, there's not much you can do to stop them once they've decided.
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Old March 8, 2013, 08:29 AM   #8
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The Sheriff's Deputies confiscated everyone's guns at the range. Guess it was to make sure it was his gun that shot himself. That would sure suck to have your guns taken away.
Can someone please explain to me how this is justified? I don't see any way there can be a mistake about which gun was used and this seems to be wrong in many ways.
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Old March 8, 2013, 09:13 AM   #9
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Explain how that is justified? Sure, just it was explained. Who is to say that is was a suicide and not a murder made to look like a suicide. It is, after all, a homicide.

Sort of like with a lot of self defense shootings where folks don't understand why the person defending themselves was "treated like a criminal" (detained, often in cuffs, sometimes arrested), short of absolute evidence to the contrary, it is the job of the police to work out what happened and to determine the validity of the claims/evidence.

Keep in mind that while people do commit suicide at the range, they also commit murder at the range as well. Also as noted, it is somewhat unusual for a person to bring in his/her own guns for a suicide.

Quote:
A DNR official had been there 30 minutes before and noticed the guy was eating an MRE and acting strange.
Before buying my own place, I had been a member at 4 different ranges, but private and public. They all had strange people and people who acted strangely while there. Having such isn't unusual given the population. Lots of people act strange every day without doing a single thing wrong other than being strange.

So the guy was acting strange. He wasn't apparently acting strange enough to illicit a reaction from the DNR officer or anybody else at the range.
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Old March 8, 2013, 09:15 AM   #10
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Chances are good everyone's eyes were downrange when he fired the shot that killed himself and no one actually saw it happen. This is just good police work. It removes any possibility of someone later saying that it was murder, or an accidental shooting by someone else in the range. If there is ever ANY doubt about what happened there will be lawsuits later. Personally I'd want them to take my guns and do a ballistic test to elminate me as a possible suspect later. It also protects the owners of the range from liability claims.

Yes it is a hassle, but far less than having to testify in a trial later, or even have to hire a lawyer to prove It wasn't my gun. That is much harder to do after the body is buried, or cremated.
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Old March 8, 2013, 10:05 AM   #11
DieHard06
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I have a question on that. Did they take every single gun present or just the ones that were out and being fired? I know when my friends and I go, we have the gun we are firing and a small one concealed. Our range allows us to that as long as a gun is holstered or out on the table. Did anyone have to give up their concealed, but yet unfired guns?
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Old March 8, 2013, 10:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
I have a question on that. Did they take every single gun present or just the ones that were out and being fired?
By the time the police would get there, how would they know which was which?
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Old March 8, 2013, 10:42 AM   #13
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Does this range records shooters? I go to a local range that has CCTV... not sure if they record.
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Old March 8, 2013, 11:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Sort of like with a lot of self defense shootings where folks don't understand why the person defending themselves was "treated like a criminal" (detained, often in cuffs, sometimes arrested), short of absolute evidence to the contrary, it is the job of the police to work out what happened and to determine the validity of the claims/evidence.
Are you saying that just because you happened to be present in the range at that time, that it is acceptable for you to essentially be treated as a suspect in committing homicide?

I think it's different from your example above, where you yourself have committed the shooting and there is no question about that fact.
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Old March 8, 2013, 11:16 AM   #15
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Are you saying that just because you happened to be present in the range at that time, that it is acceptable for you to essentially be treated as a suspect in committing homicide?
1. Someone is dead and has a bullet hole in their chest.
2. You are there with a gun.

Why wouldn't you expect to be treated as a suspect? If it was your brother on the ground, wouldn't you want the investigation to be thorough?
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Old March 8, 2013, 11:48 AM   #16
AH.74
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Quote:
1. Someone is dead and has a bullet hole in their chest.
2. You are there with a gun.

Why wouldn't you expect to be treated as a suspect? If it was your brother on the ground, wouldn't you want the investigation to be thorough?
You don't think it would be more apparent that what happened was self-inflicted as opposed to someone else shooting the guy from a side angle? It's also not as if the incident could then be staged afterward with other witnesses present.

I think from all appearances a good investigator could determine the likelihood of self-infliction without causing innocents to be made suspect of murder.
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Old March 8, 2013, 12:01 PM   #17
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AH.74
Quote:
1. Someone is dead and has a bullet hole in their chest.
2. You are there with a gun.

Why wouldn't you expect to be treated as a suspect? If it was your brother on the ground, wouldn't you want the investigation to be thorough?
You don't think it would be more apparent that what happened was self-inflicted as opposed to someone else shooting the guy from a side angle? It's also not as if the incident could then be staged afterward with other witnesses present....
Do you have any idea what the situation looked like when the police arrived? How would you, or any of us, have any clue what would be more apparent?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AH.74
...I think from all appearances a good investigator could determine the likelihood of self-infliction without causing innocents to be made suspect of murder.
Do you have any idea how to conduct an investigation of anything? Do you have any idea how to manage a possible crime scene?

Some of the general rules of conducting an investigation: (1) don't make snap judgments based on immediate appearances; (2) preserve evidence; (3) gather evidence; (4) review evidence; and (5) then start to draw inferences from the evidence about what happened.
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Old March 8, 2013, 12:06 PM   #18
AH.74
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Guy shoots himself in the chest. Body goes down, gun goes down.

Is it more likely to look like he shot himself, or that someone else did?

I have not heard of other similar situations wherein everyone present was treated like a suspect. Have you?
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Old March 8, 2013, 12:36 PM   #19
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Our range had a suicide like that a few years back. Now, the policy is that if it's your very first time there, they won't rent you a gun unless you also brought gun(s) of your own.
My range does the same thing, except you can't rent a gun AT ALL unless you are with a friend.
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Old March 8, 2013, 01:02 PM   #20
Gaerek
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Suicide at my local range

There was a suicide by cop near a local LGS within the last few years. Guy walked in, bought a pistol, bought a box of ammo and walked outside and started firing into the air. Cops responded and the guy started pointing the gun at the officers, challenging them to shoot him. They really didn't have a choice at that point.
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Old March 8, 2013, 01:25 PM   #21
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AH.74
Guy shoots himself in the chest. Body goes down, gun goes down.

Is it more likely to look like he shot himself, or that someone else did?...
Beats me. I wasn't there, and neither were you. You have no idea what the situation was nor what was apparent or not. You're just guessing.

And it is necessary to always follow proper investigation procedure. First impressions can be deceiving. If someone takes shortcuts because he thinks he knows what happened, and is wrong, the opportunity to discover the truth can be forever lost.
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Old March 8, 2013, 01:31 PM   #22
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Chances are good everyone's eyes were downrange when he fired the shot that killed himself and no one actually saw it happen. This is just good police work. It removes any possibility of someone later saying that it was murder, or an accidental shooting by someone else in the range. If there is ever ANY doubt about what happened there will be lawsuits later. Personally I'd want them to take my guns and do a ballistic test to elminate me as a possible suspect later. It also protects the owners of the range from liability claims.
I respectfully disagree. Some guy kills himself, and the police think they have the right to deprive EVERYONE near him at a gun range of their personal property - WITHOUT DUE PROCESS, and WITHOUT REASONABLE SUSPICION of any wrong doing on those deprived of their firearms. This isn't "good police work". This is 100% wrong!

BTW, the first line of the news article reads: "No foul play is suspected in the death of a man found with a gunshot wound at a shooting range in Swisher on Sunday evening, Johnson County investigators announced Monday morning."
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Old March 8, 2013, 01:38 PM   #23
Frank Ettin
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Originally Posted by Skans
I respectfully disagree. Some guy kills himself, and the police think they have the right to deprive EVERYONE near him at a gun range of their personal property - WITHOUT DUE PROCESS, and WITHOUT REASONABLE SUSPICION of any wrong doing on those deprived of their firearms. This isn't "good police work". This is 100% wrong!
You can disagree, but do you have any evidence to support your opinion?
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Old March 8, 2013, 02:04 PM   #24
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While the idea of confiscating guns during an investigation sounds reasonable to me the concern is getting your guns back.

Several years ago an Uncle found a dead body on his hunting property. After the Police arrived and assured the person was indeed dead they took the hunting party’s weapons as part of the investigation. Well, the Coroner ruled the cause of death as natural causes within a week. However, it took them a couple of months to get their firearms back. If I remember right it was more bureaucratic incompetence than an intentionally punitive act, but never the less they were deprived of their personal property for no reason.
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Old March 8, 2013, 02:31 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Barry Lee
While the idea of confiscating guns during an investigation sounds reasonable to me the concern is getting your guns back.
At a practical level, you are correct.

How and why all the arms on a range might be taken seem like reasonable questions. Presumably, the fourth amendment applies on ranges as well. In the absence of a warrant or some kind of articulable reasonable basis for a blanket seizure, taking a fellow's firearms simply because he was in the vicinity of a crime does not appear to be consistent with the protection described in the fourth amendment.

Criminal law is not my area, so I have no idea whether there is case law describing an exception under which this circumstance might fall.
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