Thursday, February 17, 2005

Road Rage

Road rage led to man being shot in leg (Knoxville News Sentinel - Registration Required)

Sometimes these things just write themselves.
"A case of road rage left a Clinton man with a gunshot wound to his lower left leg early Wednesday morning, Oak Ridge Police Department Lt. Alan Massengill said.


James E. King, 35, of Oak Ridge, admitted he shot [Joseph David Early, 42] with a 9mm handgun shortly after the Clinton man vandalized his 1988 Volkswagen Jetta."
Notice it was after...not before, or during, but after.
"Early jumped out of his car at the intersection of Melton Lake Drive and Oak Ridge Turnpike, broke both side windows on King's car and dented the driver's side door, Massengill said.

King shot Early as he was walking back to his vehicle, the lieutenant [Oak Ridge Police Department Lt. Alan Massengill] said."
Wow, it's a good thing Mr. King had a gun with him in the car. Otherwise Early might've actually made it back to his car without being shot. Was King trying to arrest him for vandelism on his own? If so, I thought it was in the handgun owner's creed to always shoot to kill, and not to disable. Either that or he's a bad shot. Or...well, see below.

Now, benefit of the doubt - Early may have been going for his own gun in the car for all I know. But at that point, King didn't seem to know this....and shot him anyway.

I wonder if he was trained in how and when, and when not to use a firearm? Could this legally be called self-defense?

I'm also going to assume for the sake of argument that both men were probably drunk off their skunks, and if you read the whole article for the details of the "chase" I think it's likely. Again, I don't know for sure. But that makes King possessing and using a gun even more frightening.

Had King shot Early while the attack/vandalism was going on I could understand it a bit more. But after he'd given up and was leaving...that sounds more like a shooting motivated by anger and vengeance than self-defense.

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