GUN Police Call Fatal Shooting Self-Defense - Updated Sister wants manslaughter charges

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by TL1000RSquid, Mar 20, 2007.

  1. TL1000RSquid

    TL1000RSquid ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    Police Call Fatal Shooting Self-Defense
    No Charges Filed

    POSTED: 5:50 pm CDT March 19, 2007
    UPDATED: 6:34 pm CDT March 19, 2007
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    DES MOINES, Iowa -- Police said that when a woman fatally shot someone who was trying to break into her home, it was a clear case of self-defense.

    NewsChannel 8 obtained a recording of the 911 call placed during a weekend shooting.

    Police said that when Terri Burgess tried to break into Shasta Bell's apartment, she was most likely under the impression Bell was gone for the weekend.

    Authorities said that what Burgess didn't know was that Bell had canceled her plans. Bell had served in the military and was armed.

    Police said that when Bell called 911 at about 3 a.m. Saturday, she didn't know she had already shot and killed the person outside her bedroom window.

    "Someone's trying to break into my house," Bell told a dispatcher.

    "What's your address?" the dispatcher asked.

    "Are they still at the window?" the dispatcher asked.

    "I don't know. I just fired … if you could send somebody," Bell said.

    "What do you mean you just fired at them?" the dispatcher asked.

    "Am I supposed to just lay here and let somebody come in on me?" Bell asked.

    "Do you mean you just shot at them?" the dispatcher asked.

    "Damn right. They were coming through my window," Bell said.


    Police said that on Saturday morning, Burgess went up the building's fire escape carrying a bag and a pair of scissors. Authorities said that Burgess pried at the window and cut away the screen and that's when Bell pulled the trigger.

    "Where is the gun now? Where's the gun?" the dispatcher asked.

    "In my damn hands," Bell said.


    Bell owns the apartment building.

    Police said Bell didn't know at the time that the woman outside her window who was trying to break in was a girlfriend of one of her tenants.

    Authorities said they are sure that the woman's intent was breaking into Bell's apartment.

    The dispatcher explained to Bell that police were on the way. She asked Bell to put her gun down.

    "I need you to put your gun down so when they cops get there they don't take you," the dispatcher said.

    "When they get here with their sirens on I will put it down. Otherwise you can go to …. You've lost your … mind," Bell said.
    :bowdown:

    Police said no charges will be filed against Bell. However, police said it is not an open invitation to use deadly force in any circumstance.

    "Everyone has a right to defend themselves, but know it will be scrutinized if you do take such action," said police spokesman Sgt. Todd Dykstra.

    Polk County attorney John Sarcone said there's no hard and fast line when it comes to justifiable homicide.

    In a phone interview, Sarcone said people don't have to be faced with deadly force in order to use deadly force to protect their property, life or someone else's life.

    However, the law said that a person must act reasonably in the same situation.

    Bell told NewsChannel 8 that she did not want to talk about the shooting
     
  2. Gimik

    Gimik New Member

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    fucking dispatcher. people really piss me off sometimes.
     
  3. [DWI]

    [DWI] Master of Nothing

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    I'd love to hear the audio tape, it might be the calmest 911 call ever, plus I want to hear the operator's voice change when you hear shots fired over the line.
     
  4. PanzerAce

    PanzerAce Active Member

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    um, sounds like the dispatcher was doing their job, preventing anything from happening to the person that called in.


    That being said, :bowdown: to the shooter.
     
  5. Gimik

    Gimik New Member

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    that transcript looks like a panicked dispatcher to me. And telling the caller to disarm herself when they have no idea if the threat is gone is a TERRIBLE idea - it could have gotten her killed (had things happened a different way).
     
  6. Gimik

    Gimik New Member

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    I completely understand, but in that case, they should inform the COPS that the homeowner has a gun, and not have a person in a self defense situation disarm herself right in the middle of it. Then the dispatcher stays on the line with the caller and acts as an intermediary with the cops. That's how I understood it should happen.

    In any case, you can bet your ass I'm not disarming myself until police have the situation under control.
     
  7. Gimik

    Gimik New Member

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    I'm perfectly willing to be cuffed until everything gets sorted out. Still better than disarming yourself in the middle of a defense situation.

    Hopefully you don't have to worry more about the cops than you do the bad guy, which is what the dispatcher is saying.
     
  8. TL1000RSquid

    TL1000RSquid ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    UPDATE Perp's sister wants charges
    http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070320/NEWS/70320006/1001/news
    Sister wants manslaughter charge in shooting
    TOM ALEX
    REGISTER STAFF WRITER

    March 20, 2007
    48 Comments


    The sister of a Des Moines woman who was shot to death over the weekend says her family believes a charge of manslaughter is appropriate because of the circumstances surrounding the case.

    Police disagree and have said they do not plan to file charges.

    "You can not shoot someone who is making noise outside your window," said
    Sharon Perry, older sister of Terry Burgess.

    Burgess, 45, was shot to death early Saturday on a fire escape outside a window to Shasta Bell's apartment at 621 28th St.

    Bell said she feared an intruder was breaking into her apartment, located on the
    second level of the building, about 3:20 a.m.

    She fired a shotgun through the window, hitting Burgess in the head and killing her.

    Police, after conferring with the Polk County attorney's office, decided that Bell fired in self defense and would not face criminal charges in the incident.

    "Terri was born in St. Louis to people of means and education," said Perry.

    "She had an opportunity to attend Drake University, but she fell in with the wrong group of people when she came here. She fell in with a criminal element.

    "But she was not a violent person, and she was not breaking into that apartment."

    Perry said she has spoken with friends of her sister who told her that her sister was intoxicated Friday night. Friends told her she should go home.

    "She was intoxicated and was trying to get in her apartment," said Perry.

    "She lived with Brian Ashby in one of the other apartments, but she couldn't get in. I'm sure that's why she was at that window. She was trying to get inside just to lay down."

    Police said they found a fire extinguisher and a pair of scissors near the body --indications, officials believe, that Burgess intended to break into Bell's apartment.

    Investigators have said Bell travels frequently. She had arrived back in Des Moines only a couple of hours before the shooting.

    "Terri was 100 pounds soaking wet," said her sister. "She wouldn't know
    burglar tools from bubble gum.

    "She was intoxicated and was trying to find a way into the building where she lived with Brian Ashby. She couldn't get in to Brian's apartment because she didn't have a key. She knows this woman who shot her. She was just trying to get inside and lay her drunk self down."

    Perry said, "What she did was not breaking and entering. She did not have an arm or leg inside. That's not breaking and entering.
     
  9. Aequitas

    Aequitas If it keeps on raining, levee's going to break.

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    I'm confused, I thought nothing ever exciting happened in Des Moines.:confused:

    And I fail to see the correlation between weight and knowledge of burglary tools. And BOOM, headshot!
     
  10. Paul Revere

    Paul Revere OT Supporter

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    i can understand where the sister is coming from, but shes going to have to wait for a tox screen to see what her BAC was :dunno:
     
  11. Gimik

    Gimik New Member

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    Being drunk does not absolve you for attempting to break and enter. Why the hell was she climbing the fire escape? This is just rediculous.
     
  12. lt1aggie

    lt1aggie what?

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    agreed.

    to answer your question: "She was intoxicated and was trying to get in her apartment," said Perry." Bad pronoun usage, but I think she means the lady that got shot was trying to get in to her own apt.
     
  13. Thunderbear

    Thunderbear Yggdrasil's Forester.

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    -Tick tock, tick tock til Ragnarök-
    Which, ipso facto, means breaking and entering, albeit to your own apartment. :hsugh:

    Gene pool's a little deeper today, folks.
     
  14. Gimik

    Gimik New Member

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    it looks to me (from the articles) that she didn't have an apartment in there. She was supposedly trying to break into a friend's apartment.
     
  15. Slick26

    Slick26 Gun|Bike|Cigar|PS3|Beer |Whisky|Night Crew

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    The fact that she climbed the Fire Escape to get to the second story apartment of the owner of the apartment complex speaks volumes to me about her intentions; intoxicated or not.
     
  16. Slick26

    Slick26 Gun|Bike|Cigar|PS3|Beer |Whisky|Night Crew

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    It said right in there that she lived in that apartment building with her boyfriend, Brian. She didn't have a key to get in :rolleyes:
     
  17. Gimik

    Gimik New Member

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    ah I see. I'm still not sure I believe that she wasn't breaking and entering. I guess drunk people make all kinds of dumb mistakes though. :dunno:
     
  18. Aequitas

    Aequitas If it keeps on raining, levee's going to break.

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    Being drunk is never a legitimate legal excuse though because it's a willful act. (Unlike mental retardation which can't be prevented.) Drunk or not she was breaking and entering. If you're drunk and are behind the wheel when you hit a pedestrian you'll still be charged with at least manslaughter.
     
  19. Slick26

    Slick26 Gun|Bike|Cigar|PS3|Beer |Whisky|Night Crew

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    Oh I'm with you on that, 100%.
     
  20. Anders 7

    Anders 7 I aim to misbehave OT Supporter

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    I dunno? Is death the answer? I'm all for protecting yourself and gun ownership but blindly shooting through a window? :dunno:
     
  21. Slick26

    Slick26 Gun|Bike|Cigar|PS3|Beer |Whisky|Night Crew

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    Any person with common sense and doesn't have a death wish or illegal activities on their mind would have knocked first. Sounds like she knew the owner of the property was going to be out of town and was trying to take advantage of this to rob her dry.

    I'm not saying death is the ultimate answer here either, but as far as I'm concerned, she got what was coming to her. At 45 yrs old she should have realized trying to crawl into someone's window - especially unannounced - at any time of day or night, in this day and age we live in, is going to be asking for trouble.
     
  22. Anders 7

    Anders 7 I aim to misbehave OT Supporter

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    Ya I know she made a dumb choice but I'm considering is the use of force justified. What if a kid threw a frisbee up there and was trying to get it unstuck then gets shot up? :dunno: The shooter didn't seem to be aware of who or what was at the window or what they were doing she just shot. Self defense and gun ownership are good things but a little but of responsibility and reasoning need to come along with it.
     
  23. Slick26

    Slick26 Gun|Bike|Cigar|PS3|Beer |Whisky|Night Crew

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    What does she need to do then? Wait until the intruder is fully inside and pratically on top of her before shooting?
    I see your point too though. But what we don't know is if she had a clear view of the intruder. Maybe the blinds were open. If they weren't then, we'd need to know if she opened them first to see who was there. That would be reasonable in my mind.
     
  24. Anders 7

    Anders 7 I aim to misbehave OT Supporter

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    Not saying she did wrong. Not enough information. :o
     
  25. Slick26

    Slick26 Gun|Bike|Cigar|PS3|Beer |Whisky|Night Crew

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    Agreed.
     

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