Sunday, September 2, 2012

Wild Shoot Out in Mississippi - No One Hit Except a Bystander

Local news reports

Hattiesburg Police Department spokesman Lt. Jon Traxler said a Thursday night shooting started with an argument between three men and ended in a shootout in the parking lot.

The three shooters fired at each other multiple times, striking only a female bystander's hand, producing minor injuries, Traxler said. He said the bullet only "grazed" the woman's hand.

Police responded to the scene at about 8:20 p.m. and charged Earene Williams, 25; Joshua Hilliard, 23; and Gary Underwood, 23; with aggravated assault. Each is held in the Forrest County Jail on a $25,000 bond per charge.

Williams also is charged with possession of a firearm after felony conviction, for which he is also held on a $25,000 bond.
Now let's see what we can understand from this story without reading too much into it.

1. Only one of the shooters was charged with being a felon in possession of a gun.  That means the other two were lawful gun owners up until the incident. That means that some unspecified percentage of so-called gun owners are really dangerous characters like these guys - let's call them hidden criminals.

2. Three out of three, or 100% of the shooters were such poor shots that they missed their targets entirely.  I'm not gonna say from close range because that was not mentioned in the article.  What the article does say is they did hit at least one innocent person in the process, luckily not seriously. That means that when gun owners use their guns for legitimate or illegitimate purposes, a certain unspecified percentage of the bullets hit the wrong targets.

What's your opinion?  Are they fair conclusions to be drawn from the story?  Is there anything else?

Please leave a comment.


  1. "Are they fair conclusions to be drawn from the story? Is there anything else?"

    Let's see, you concluded that people break the law, regardless of the law, and it takes less NYPD officers to shoot more innocent bystanders than some yokels in Mississippi. Yep, sounds like you've got it.

  2. From my reading of it you are 9 times more likely to be shot by the police in NY than in a three person shootout in MS not involving any police.

  3. We'd need to know more about what exactly transpired to conclude that the other two men were "hidden criminals." That is to say, if Williams fired first, and the other two merely returned fire, then that could be considered self defense. If one of the other men fired first, then they would appear to be what you term "hidden criminals." It's all pointless speculation unless we know what happened.

  4. This is the first news story that I have ever seen where someone shot a bystander in a shootout. (I am not counting incidents where law enforcement officers have shot bystanders.) Apparently it almost never happens because we would hear about it.

    Beyond the fact that it almost never happens, the other good news is that it would virtually never be serious. The odds of pointing a gun in a random direction and pulling the trigger when the barrel just happened to be pointing at a vital location on a bystander is just about nil.