Saturday, August 25, 2012

2 Dead, Several Wounded Near the Empire State Building

The Wall Street Journal reports

A laid-off apparel designer allegedly gunned down a former co-worker outside the Empire State Building on Friday morning, prompting a confrontation with New York police that killed the shooter but left nine others wounded on a crowded rush-hour Manhattan sidewalk.

The bystanders were most likely wounded by police in the 9 a.m. incident in the shadow of one of the nation's most recognizable landmarks.

Dressed in an olive-green suit and tie and carrying a black bag, Mr. Johnson hid behind a van outside the firm's office, then approached Mr. Ercolino and shot him once in the head with a .45 caliber semiautomatic handgun. Mr. Johnson then stood over the body and shot several more times. 

Mr. Johnson walked "very calmly" away from the scene, said police spokesman Paul Browne, but was followed by two construction workers who called for help to two police officers posted at the front entrance of the Empire State Building. The officers confronted Mr. Johnson, who took out his gun and pointed it at them from a distance of about eight feet. 

"He had the gun out and he pointed it right at them," Mr. Kelly said, citing surveillance video. Officers "returned fire when he pointed the gun at them." The officers fired a total of 16 rounds, striking Mr. Johnson at least seven times and killing him.

He bought the Spanish-made .45 semiautomatic handgun legally in 1991 in Florida, but wasn't licensed to possess the weapon in New York City.
From eight feet away, those cops only hit the guy with half their shots? Isn't such poor marksmanship unacceptable? People who carry guns, whether in law enforcement or not, must be better trained than that. Don't you think?

What about the ease with which people can buy guns in Florida?  Is that a factor?  I say yes.  Buying guns legally should be strictly controlled.  Fewer unfit people would have them.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.


  1. I wondered when you'd get around to this one. Various points make your position look silly here:

    1. You think that it's possible to predict that someone who bought a handgun twenty-one years ago would commit a crime all those many years later? How about telling us who's going to win the Super Bowl and what the next winning Powerball numbers are? This skill at prognostication of yours shouldn't be neglected.

    2. The whole of New York City is a kind of vast gun-free zone. Captain Picard, do you notice how Wesley isn't making it so? There are at least 300,000,000 guns in this country. Those guns won't magically disappear, even if you pass the strictest of laws. Care to try a better solution, one that we've been suggesting for a long time?

    3. We've heard control freaks tell us that the police are the only ones who have the professionalism and training to handle firearms. (I'm the only one professional enough to have a Glock .40...--for example.) And yet, the cops here are the ones who sprayed bullets around at random. That doesn't exactly fit your narrative.

    Yup, I'd say it's time for you to reevaluate your position.

  2. Something else you should note, Mikeb. The only ones who had those evil high-capacity [sic] clips [sic] were the police. Based on the caliber and round count, the bad guy had a 1911, a gun that comes in under the sacred ten-round limit.

  3. Updates:

    1. The bad guy in this incident had a Star handgun. Based on the reported round count (eight), it appears to be a Model P. That's a variant of the 1911 design made in Spain and used primarily in Latin America.

    2. According to a RAND study on NYPD training standards, officers are required to demonstrate twice a year that they can hit stationary targets at seven, fifteen, and twenty-five yards 78% of the time. It's worth noting that this is similar to the live-fire requirements of many states for a private citizen to qualify for a carry license. It's also worthy of your attention that those of us with such licenses tend to practice with our guns a lot.

    I await apologies from the gun control side, to be accompanied by admissions that you don't know what you're talking about.

    1. " According to a RAND study on NYPD training standards"

      Well, according to a Mikeb study, 92% of what you say is nonsense, Greg.

      Two can play at that "study" game.

    2. Read this:

      You only like data when it supports your position. Of course, what that translates to is you only like it when you can form a contorted interpretation of the data. You won't accept the FBI reports; you won't accept the CDC. Now you refuse to consider RAND. Why don't you just say that the Brady Bunch is the only organization whose reports you will take?