Good shoot

Under tough circumstances – the Boston PD fatally shot a man who turned out to be carrying a pellet gun.

Barker abandoned that car and then managed to steal a Boston police cruiser and lead cops on a high-speed chase from his Mattapan home to Dorchester, where he was surrounded and shot after he refused to drop what later turned out to be the pellet gun, BPD officials said.

Here’s where the problem occurs though.  Even though he had already carjacked a person, then stolen a BPD cruiser and let the cops on a high-speed pursuit, apparently his wife had told the police on the 911 call that he was armed with a pellet gun, and not a real gun.

“I don’t know what’s wrong with him,” she said, according to the transcript. “He’s in the street with a pellet gun. He just came home from work. . . . He is out of control.”

When cops arrived, they asked the dispatcher to ask Sanders if she was sure her husband was carrying a pellet gun. “I think (emphasis mine) it’s a pellet gun,” she said.

That’s where the problem arises, and that’s also what ultimately forces me to fall into the category of “good shoot” on this issue.  “Thinking” that something is a pellet gun is not good enough when lives are on the line.  When you’ve got a person who has already demonstrated a complete lack of regard for human life (via the two car thefts and high speed chase) pointing what appears to be a gun at you, “I think” isn’t good enough.

It’s a tough situation, and my sympathy goes out to the wife, as well as to the cops who had to pull the trigger.  The anti-police crowd are going to pile on to this like there’s no tomorrow, because they will often seize at any flimsy justification to paint the police as the bad guys.


  1. Not to mention, for all they know, she’s saying that to keep the cops from shooting her husband. I wouldn’t bet my life on the wife being right. Clean shoot on the part of the BPD.

  2. The law considers replicas or anything that could be construed to be a firearms even if it is later found to be not one. If it looks like a gun at five feet and is pointed at you like you, it is one.

    I’ve had to warn kids buying Airsoft replicas to not use them out in their neighborhoods or in sight of the public (illegal in most places anyway). Because if they do, they can get shot. And that is exact the words I use to them and to their parents.

    This was a justified shoot. He pointed what was, for all intents and purposes, a gun at a police officer. No arguments from me on their response.

  3. I agree. Even if the wife had signed an affidavit, sworn on a stack of bibles, crossed her heart and hoped to die…she could always have been mistaken.

    It sounds like this guy fully intended to commit “suicide by cop” and succeeded. It was a good shoot and thank God that he didn’t take any innocents out with him.

  4. Good clean shoot, no argument there. . . problem is now this lovely nanny state will try to take away all the pellet guns too. . . .

  5. Pellet guns can kill with good shot placement. I would have shot him also. Good shoot in my opinion.

  6. I’ll admit to be one of those who will criticize the police before congratulating them. But, in this case the police officer made a good call, the wife could have been mistaken, the fella show a propensity for violence behavior, and he has place people’s life in danger with the high speed chase. Granted, I wish he could have been taken peacefully, sometimes you are not given that choice.

  7. There are a certain number of “suicide by cop” cases each year where the disturbed individual confronts an officer with what only he knows to be a toy…like stepping off a cliff…except the cliff doesn’t have nightmares about it later.

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