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.