Friday, September 28, 2007

Message to Robbery Victims in Richmond, VA: Don't Shoot Back

Here’s a story about a Baskin-Robbins manager who’s facing charges of felony dangerous discharge of a firearm when his store was robbed last month.

Career criminal Jerome Davis, 43, entered the store brandishing a BB gun made to look like a 9mm handgun, demanding all the cash in the till. Manager David Fielding, with his own real hand gun in his waistband, handed over all the money. Then the robber ordered everybody to go to the back of the store with him.

When they reached the rear of the store, Fielding pulled his own gun and opened fire. He shot three times while Davis fled from the store, then followed the robber out into the parking lot and fired eight more times. Davis was later found dead a short distance from his home. No one else was hurt in the incident.

This occurred in a neighborhood in Richmond, VA where armed robberies have been spiraling out of control. The store had been robbed once before in recent months.

It couldn’t be determined if the shot that cause Davis' death was fired inside the store or out. Hence, the charge of reckless dangerous discharge instead of manslaughter. It carries a maximum sentence of 6 years in prison.

The public response to the charge against the store manager has been one of outrage against the prosecuting attorney, Michael Herring. A petition has been circulated in the neighborhood in which nearly 600 signatures have been gathered opposing the indictment.

Mr. Herring has been quoted as saying the petition didn't sway him in his decision to seek an indictment. He didn’t think the trial of the robber should have taken place in the parking lot of the store, but he's willing to accept the decision of the Grand Jury.

He didn’t think the answer to the problem of escalating criminal violence was more guns in the hands of the public. But somehow, disarming the victims seems to be the right thing to do. The man is clearly an elitist.

Message to criminals: Carry a real gun during the commission of your crimes.

Message to armed robbery victims: Don't shoot back, lest you be charged with a felony and face the prospect of serving a long prison sentence.

I think the Grand Jury should do their duty and refuse to return an indictment. This is ridiculous.

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