Monday, April 6, 2009

Maybe Binghamton, N.Y., can get a guy like Justin Garner to be its next police chief

Carthage, N.C. police officer Justin Garner

(Hat tip: The Corner)

While we're waiting for answers to questions about the slow police response in the Binghamton, N.Y. mass killing, it's well worth noting what happened in tiny Carthage, North Carolina (pop. 2021) a week earlier. A gunman killed eight people in a Carthage nursing home and wasn't finished when the killing was stopped this way:

The shooting spree was ended by 25-year-old Officer Justin Garner, who entered the nursing home alone as he responded to a 911 call. McKenzie said Garner, a training officer with more than four years on the Carthage force and a past winner of the department's officer of the year award, knew he was headed into a perilous situation, but didn't wait for back-up or a SWAT team to arrive."If that's not heroism, I don't know what is," McKenzie said.

Garner was the only police officer on duty in Carthage at the time of the shooting, but that didn't deter him from taking quick, life-saving action. More on it here:

When Justin Garner came across the shooter reloading a shotgun "he gave him several opportunities to put the weapon down," the uncle said. "I think he learned that if it ever happened again, he'll only tell the person once or twice to drop that gun."

Garner shot Robert Stewart, 45, a house painter who allegedly murdered seven residents of Pinelake and a nurse. Garner was shot by Stewart, getting hit with two buckshot pellets in his leg and one in his foot, the uncle said.

Of course, every situation is different. I have no doubt that Binghamton officers would have duplicated Garner's heroism in similar circumstances. In this case, it seems clear that they were held back by their chief, even though the shooting had already stopped. At a minimum, the chief knew that the receptionist who stayed on the 911 line for 45 minutes or so was badly wounded and needed medical help.

Any thoughts? Post a comment.

1 comment:

  1. If the gunman had just been a white man, ticked at the immigrants, things would have been a lot different.

    Debra J.M. Smith
    Informing Christians