A man who was shot and killed by Provo police Saturday after he pointed a gun at officers in a grocery store, had earlier been trying to steal beer from the store, police said.In another article, it was reported the police fired 15 shots. This certainly seems excessive to me, police shooting 6 or 7 times each at a suspect. Granted, if he pulled a gun, he was asking for it, but the response seems a bit much.
He was still struggling with the employees when two police officers arrived about 8:40 p.m. One of the officers shot a Taser at Ethington, but it had no effect, Argyle said.
Ronald Ethington, 35, of Provo, was stopped by a Smith's employee who saw him shoplifting in the store at 350 N. Freedom Blvd., said Provo police Capt. Cliff Argyle.
Ethington produced an older model .357 revolver and pointed it at police. Both officers fired their guns and hit Ethington.
One of the officers tried to revive him, but Ethington died in the store.
Provo police had not had contact with Ethington before, and a search of Utah court records showed he had no criminal history.
His brother said Sunday the family is struggling to understand what occurred as they mourn his death.
"It's very shocking to us, especially if it's over a can or bottle or beer that this tragedy has happened," said Mikel Ethington, of Payson. "He was a great brother and uncle. He would do anything to make the kids laugh. He was very loving with them."
The brother's reaction seemed less than forthright, don't you think? Maybe he just doesn't want to speak ill of the dead or perhaps the family is planning on suing the police, but I find it hard to believe this was an isolated incident. What do you think?
Of course, I have my usual concerns about how the lax gun laws in Utah helped this tragedy to occur. I don't think the average drunk and belligerent shop-lifter in New Jersey carries a gun everywhere he goes. But in some states that's exactly the case.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.