Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Yakima Police Officer Justified

I'm loathe to admit that any shooting is justified, but when you warn the guy to stop stabbing his victim and he ignores you, and the neighbors have already hit him on the head with a baseball bat to no avail, and then you shoot him, it sounds justified.

The only thing that makes me wonder about this story is the number of stab wounds. Is it even possible to stab someone that many times? How long would that take?

Other than that, I have to say, it sounds legit. Even the fact that Officer Joel Hansen fired once and when that didn't work fired again, in other words he didn't empty his gun on the guy, lends credibility to the claim that it was justified.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.


  1. "I'm loathe to admit that any shooting is justified"

    Why are you so opposed to recognizing an unpleasant but important part of reality? Really? Why are you so opposed to the notion of using a firearm to stop a murder from happening?

    "Is it even possible to stab someone that many times? How long would that take?"

    Yes. A few moments. I've read numerous times of people being stabbed dozens of times when they are murdered. Fortunately it is with knives as it is with guns - those most likely to use them in an offensive manner are those least likely to understand how to use them effectively. It takes one gross motor motion to slash someone to death, but it can take dozens of stab wounds to accomplish the same end. This is why I'd rather face a punk with a gun than a trained knifefighter. Guns essentially are just a mechanical means of stabbing someone - unless that hole happens to be in the right spot it won't kill.

  2. "Is it even possible to stab someone that many times? How long would that take?"

    Try this. Get a felt tip pen and a sheet of note book paper. Tape it to a wall at chest height. Now take your felt tip pen in your grip of choice; overhand or underhand, start slashing the paper. Do this for 60 seconds and then count the marks on the paper. An untrained person will be around 70 - 80 "stabs" I believe.
    Granted a piece of paper does not fight back and move, but it will give you an idea of how quickly multiple wounds can be inflicted, especially if the attacker has pined their victim.

    We did a similar experiment in my martial arts class one evening shortly after the Nichole Brown Simpson murders. The same question came up about multiple stab wounds. The only difference is we used our practice knives and counted strokes. The average count if I remember right was around 120. I recall my count was 118.

    As far as justifiable homicide, it is a well defined legal term and an unpleasant part of society. You are welcome to your opinion, but fortunately for those of us who may choose to not be a victim, your opinion isnt law.

  3. Yes, dozens of stab wounds is one thing, this is another. Even our martial artist, SRC, admits it takes 60 seconds, which can seem like an eternity depending on how you look at it, to make 70 stab wounds.

    I repeat, I find that number in the story a bit hard to take.

  4. My sister was murdered in 1973, she was stabbed by a knife 57 times in her home. I wish there had been some way of stopping that knife from killing her. I can't believe that our country still has lax knife laws that allow this thing to happen.

    I mean, stronger knife control laws reducing easy access to knives would reduce knife crime and make us safer, right?


  5. Mike,
    I am curious as to why you find the number hard to take?
    As far as the actual number of wounds involved, it is perfectly plausible when you stop to think about it. I do not know how this incident developed,but consider this. I understand that the average individual when confronted with an attack will put their hands up in a warding off pose; hands up and palms out. A single slashing motion from the upper left to the lower right could conceivably result in multiple wounds. Perhaps starting at the pinky continuing down across the aonther finger or two through the palm into the thumb. Depending on the force of the strike, it is possible to then hit the chest and perhaps the lower forearm. Two finger, palm, thumb, chest and arm. Six knife wounds for a single stroke.

    I dont know how ER Dr. count wounds, but I doubt that they take the time to reconstruct an altercation to determine wound count. I would think each individual laceration or puncture counts as one.

  6. SRC, That's interesting, multiple wounds with each thrust.

    Orygunner, Sorry to hear about your sister. It's still a lousy comparison.