Ohio CHL holder unintentionally shoots innocent bystander

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Ohio CHL holder unintentionally shoots innocent bystander

Postby M-Quigley » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:07 am

http://www.record-courier.com/news/2017 ... lf-defense

He is charged with shooting the person he intended to shoot, and the innocent bystander. Admits to unintentionally hitting the innocent bystander, claims self defense on the other charge.

Some things from the article:

Standing trial for murder in the deaths of both men, Thomas scored a victory Tuesday when Portage County Common Pleas Judge Laurie Pittman dismissed two aggravated murder charges against him on a motion by his defense attorneys.

Pittman ruled there was no evidence to show Thomas acted “with prior calculation and design” on Jan. 7 when he shot and killed both gunman Brian Brack and innocent bystander Austin Tiller.

Four counts of murder and two counts of felonious assault remain in play for jurors, who will begin deliberating Wednesday following closing arguments.


In Ohio, he got his concealed carry weapons permit and bought a .380-caliber handgun. A small handgun, “if I glued it to (my palm) you wouldn’t be able to see it,” he testified.


Some of the partiers smoked marijuana, drank wine coolers, listened to music and played with Tiller’s virtual reality goggles.


Thomas chambered a round, leaned to his left and began to get up as Brack fired a shot next to his head.
Thomas testified he “fired as fast as he could to stop (Brack),” emptying his gun and ran into a back bedroom.


Earlier testimony showed three of Thomas’ shots entered Tiller’s back, while two more struck Dixon in the leg. Brack died of a gunshot wound to the chest in the hallway outside the apartment. One of the two shots he fired hit Thomas’ TV, while another hit Tiller in the leg.

On cross examination by Assistant Portage County Prosecutor Eugene Muldowney, Thomas said Tiller was an innocent bystander.

“But he’s dead, because you pulled the trigger? Three times, three separate bullets went in his back, didn’t they?” Muldowney asked. “Yes,” Thomas replied.

His eyesight challenged by the prosecutor, Thomas said he was able to see Brack’s gun at the doorway because he “saw a strange man standing there behind (Dixon), so I looked at him.”

“I have a perfect view of the doorway from where I’m sitting” in the apartment, Thomas testified. “After I saw a gun, I reached for my gun.”


The person that told me about this story offered the opinion that if the defender hadn't had a small 380, that he might've hit the alleged attacker without hitting the innocent victim. I'm not so sure about that. There are a lot of pertinent facts that I didn't find in this source.

Uniformed police usually carry full size handguns, yet there have been cases where innocent people have been hit in a shooting exchange. Also, it sounds like he was carrying chamber empty when the alleged attack started, and said he fired as fast as he could. Did he even aim the .380? It occurred in a room, but what was the actual distance involved? Also, there was no mention whether the defendant used drugs or alcohol or not, only that they were used by some at the party.
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Re: Ohio CHL holder unintentionally shoots innocent bystande

Postby TSiWRX » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:27 am

^ All good points.
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Re: Ohio CHL holder unintentionally shoots innocent bystande

Postby DontTreadOnMe » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:03 am

Thomas's testimony makes him sound like an innocent party who tried to deescalate the situation. Maybe, but the law-abiding aren't the only ones who claim self-defense. Criminals do too. They'll often claim anything to excuse their acts. I'd like to hear from the prosecution witnesses.

Ordered to leave, Brack responded: “N***** ain’t be talkin’ to my girl crazy,” pulled a 9mm pistol from his pocket and pointed the gun at Thomas’ head, Thomas testified.

Thomas chambered a round, leaned to his left and began to get up as Brack fired a shot next to his head. Thomas testified he “fired as fast as he could to stop (Brack),” emptying his gun and ran into a back bedroom.

Earlier testimony showed three of Thomas’ shots entered Tiller’s back, while two more struck Dixon in the leg.

So the other guy pulled a gun and had it pointed at his head, and Thomas manages to chamber a round and get off several shots, which hit the guy only in the back (or hit the bystander)?

Is that really believable? The prosecutor didn't believe it
“This room is a small room,” Muldowney said. “Whoever is shooting in response to getting shot at ends up being the loser in the gunfight, so to speak ... Five out of six (of Thomas’) shots hit a body. Look who walks away without a scratch on him: The guy who said ‘Brack got the drop on me.’”.


Apparently the jury didn't believe that either: Thomas guilty of murder in Ravenna double homicide
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Re: Ohio CHL holder unintentionally shoots innocent bystande

Postby Brian D. » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:47 am

The particulars of this event would seem to be someplace within good old Tweed Ring's "Iron Triangle of Trouble". Or on the border of it, anyway, at least the "with bad people" and "doing bad things" legs of the Triangle. Can't say about the "being in bad places" aspect, don't know my NE Ohio neighborhoods that well.
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Re: Ohio CHL holder unintentionally shoots innocent bystande

Postby TSiWRX » Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:41 pm

^ That, for-sure.

DontTreadOnMe wrote:Thomas's testimony makes him sound like an innocent party who tried to deescalate the situation. Maybe, but the law-abiding aren't the only ones who claim self-defense. Criminals do too. They'll often claim anything to excuse their acts. I'd like to hear from the prosecution witnesses.


Agreed here as well.

Ordered to leave, Brack responded: “N***** ain’t be talkin’ to my girl crazy,” pulled a 9mm pistol from his pocket and pointed the gun at Thomas’ head, Thomas testified.

Thomas chambered a round, leaned to his left and began to get up as Brack fired a shot next to his head. Thomas testified he “fired as fast as he could to stop (Brack),” emptying his gun and ran into a back bedroom.

Earlier testimony showed three of Thomas’ shots entered Tiller’s back, while two more struck Dixon in the leg.


So the other guy pulled a gun and had it pointed at his head, and Thomas manages to chamber a round and get off several shots, which hit the guy only in the back (or hit the bystander)?

Is that really believable? The prosecutor didn't believe it
“This room is a small room,” Muldowney said. “Whoever is shooting in response to getting shot at ends up being the loser in the gunfight, so to speak ... Five out of six (of Thomas’) shots hit a body. Look who walks away without a scratch on him: The guy who said ‘Brack got the drop on me.’”.


Apparently the jury didn't believe that either: Thomas guilty of murder in Ravenna double homicide


What the jury decided aside, just how fast a threat can make his/her back-side available is something that bears considering:

http://www.forcescience.org/articles/shotback.pdf

The way the exact scenario plays out along with just how fast the shooter is discharging follow-up shots - while not realizing that the threat has disengaged and is "turning tail," can be problematic. I think that most folks who have shot moving targets where this type of "aggression-engagement -vs- retreat-disengage" scenario will confess to either having shot the target as it was pulling away/turning away or, alternatively, witnessing some of their classmates or training-partners do the same, and that this can happen to even very, very experienced shooters.
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Re: Ohio CHL holder unintentionally shoots innocent bystande

Postby M-Quigley » Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:59 pm

DontTreadOnMe wrote:Thomas's testimony makes him sound like an innocent party who tried to deescalate the situation. Maybe, but the law-abiding aren't the only ones who claim self-defense. Criminals do too. They'll often claim anything to excuse their acts. I'd like to hear from the prosecution witnesses.


Although I didn't comment on it in the OP, I would've liked to have seen that also, particularly after reading this part of the link in the OP

Thomas, 27, was the only witness to testify in his defense.
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