The headline read, “Cop-Shooting Fugitive Dies in Gun Battle with State Police and FBI”.
The incident itself was all too familiar — a disturbed guy with a lengthy criminal record shoots and wounds a small-town police officer following a traffic stop, then flees into a nearby forest. He is armed and desperate.
He breaks into a church, where he steals donation money, medical supplies, and food. He is then spotted with an assault rifle and a shoulder belt of ammunition, running through the church cemetery toward an abandoned house.
Never a good situation.
An FBI SWAT team and the State Police track him there and in the ensuing confrontation, an agent is wounded and the subject is killed. The automatic rifle is found next to the gunman’s lifeless body, suggesting he was bent on more violence had he not been stopped.
This man was clearly troubled and homicidal, arguably even suicidal, to shoot a police officer and then engage in an armed standoff with law enforcement. He represented a danger to himself and everyone around him until he was finally brought down in a hail of bullets.
We are a law enforcement family. My great-grandfather, George L. Bryant, was a small-town sheriff who died in the line of duty in 1908 and whose name is emblazoned on the National Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial in Washington, DC. My older brother, my husband, and I are all retired “sheepdogs”. My sister-in-law spent her career as a police dispatcher and my younger sister began her working life as a member of this same tight-knit law enforcement community.
Perhaps you will understand, then, why this divisive climate in our country right now between the protectors and the protected deeply troubles me.
For that reason, instead of posting something pensive and timely about Christmas today, I’ve decided to revisit a post I originally published in April 2013 after the Boston Marathon bombings.
The following perspective is taken from a book by Lt. Col. (Retired) Dave Grossman, Ranger, Ph.D., and author of On Killing; the Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill. Some of the statistics may bear updating but the sentiment remains valid. I hope it’s helpful: Continue reading Please Don’t Kick the Sheepdog – a reminder→
If you know, love – or are – a “sheepdog”, you will appreciate the following perspective, especially in light of recent events in Boston.
I’ve heard this idea attributed to various sources and I’ve seen it adapted several different ways, depending on the audience. But I particularly like this version my brother shared with me some years ago, taken from a book by Lt. Col. (Retired) Dave Grossman, Ranger, Ph.D., Author of On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill. Continue reading Please don’t kick the sheepdog→