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Following the Gun: Every Stop Is Life Or Death For LEOs

Following the Gun: Every Stop Is Life Or Death For LEOs

The casket of Phoenix Police Officer Sgt. Sean Drenth, who died in the line of duty, is brought in for his funeral Monday, Oct. 25, 2010, in Phoenix. [AP Photo]

Washington Post via YellowBrix

November 22, 2010

McDonald didn’t say – maybe he didn’t have time – that Giddings had knocked a child off the bicycle.

McDonald caught up to Giddings, losing his hat along the way. The officer grabbed Giddings and drew his ASP police baton. The two fought. The felon threw the officer to the ground. Both drew guns, Giddings’s Taurus against McDonald’s Glock 9mm service weapon.

Shots were traded, and McDonald was hit several times, including a round that went through his shoulder and pierced his heart.

Giddings then stood over the officer and pumped more bullets into him. He hopped back on the bicycle, but before he could get away, two officers arrived in response to McDonald’s call for assistance. At least one exchanged gunfire with Giddings, killing him with shots to the head and chest, according to the police report. One of the officers was shot in the hip. The other was not injured.

The consequences

McDonald’s father, Larry, was working at a new job for a trucking company when he got the call. Larry McDonald was a retired Philadelphia fire captain, and a friend from the fire department who also had a son on the police force gave him the news that two officers had been shot. One was Pat, the friend said. The friend wasn’t sure how badly Larry and Patsy’s youngest boy was injured, but he tried to assure Larry that Patrick would be all right.

Larry McDonald frantically called his wife, who works as a receptionist at a school-uniform company. When Larry arrived at his wife’s business, officers were already there. They drove the couple to Temple Hospital, a 20-minute ride.

Scores of officers were gathered outside the hospital, so many that the couple could barely squeeze through the entrance. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter was there. So was Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey, the former chief in the District of Columbia.

Someone shuttled the McDonalds into a tiny, windowless room. Ken Linneman, a police lieutenant and childhood friend of Larry McDonald’s, broke the news.

“He’s gone,” Linneman said.

For his role in getting the Taurus onto the streets, Mack was convicted in federal court of making a false statement in connection with the purchase of a firearm and illegal possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of a controlled substance. He received three years in federal prison. Lashley was convicted of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and illegal transportation of firearms. He was sentenced to 10 years.

Indiana, 2003: Scott Patrick

The gun that killed Indiana State Trooper Scott Patrick, a .380-caliber FEG semiautomatic handgun, No. AK00885, was manufactured in Hungary. It was shipped to the United States, ending up at Chuck’s Gun Shop in Riverdale, on the southern fringes of Chicago.

Chuck’s occupies a red-brick building on a busy thoroughfare dotted with storefronts. Between 1996 and 2000, Chuck’s led the nation in the number of guns recovered in crimes – 2,370 firearms traced by police were originally sold there, according to a report by the Americans for Gun Safety Foundation. One of the weapons was used to fatally shoot a Chicago police officer in 1998; another was used to kill a Chicago officer 10 years later.

On Feb. 25, 1997, John Clinton, 44, and his buddy, Dave Johnson, 45, walked into Chuck’s. The men eyed the inventory for several minutes before Clinton pointed out the gun that he wanted. Clinton liked the .380 because it was small and easy to conceal, he would say later. He wanted it for protection but could not buy it legally because he was a felon. So Johnson bought it for him.

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