UPDATE: Bystander fires at fleeing car, hits wrong car | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

UPDATE: Bystander fires at fleeing car, hits wrong car

Posted By on Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 6:59 AM

PLUGGED: Photo from KATV in aftermath of parking lot gunfire.
  • PLUGGED: Photo from KATV in aftermath of parking lot gunfire.

As indicated yesterday, a bystander's decision to fire at a vehicle he believed fleeing a robbery at a nearby Arvest bank branch on Chenal Parkway had negative consequences. At least one gunshot hit the wrong car.

KATV reports.

So far, the man in medical scrubs who fired several shots from a gas station on the parking lot of a large shopping center has not been identified. I hope to learn more about what the police say regarding use of firearms in such circumstances. I hope they discourage it.

KATV said the bystander had a concealed carry permit and quoted the police as saying they were uncertain if any charges would be filed against him.

UPDATE: Sgt. Cassandra Davis has released the full report on the incident and summarized developments:

The suspect vehicle was located at 15000 Chenal Parkway. Investigation revealed that the owner of the vehicle lived in Building G, Apartment 201. Contact was made with the three occupants of that apartment. Two of the occupants were released without charges. The third, Milton Parker, black male, 1/12/90 of 5505 Cresent Dr. North Little Rock was taken into custody and charged with aggravated robbery, battery 1st, theft of property and possession of a firearm by certain persons in connection with the incident that occurred on the parking lot of the Arvest bank located at 16107 Chenal Parkway.

Mr. Charles Stearns, [he's 50] the bystander that shot at the suspect, was also released without charges pending a file review by the Pulaski County Prosecutor's Office.

Concealed carry permits can be revoked administratively, even if a charge isn't filed when a permit holder uses a weapon in an unacceptable way. Use of a gun by a permit holder is supposed to be reported to the State Police, which issues the permits. By the way: Police agencies typically prohibit their officers from firing at fleeing vehicles because of the potential for misfires. Generally, shots are to be fired to protect oneself or others, not to apprehend someone believed to be a crime suspect.

UPDATE: I asked Sgt. Cassandra Davis about police guidance relative to use of firearms and what the law says about their use. Her answer follows:

If someone is witness to a crime they are asked to contact police. Please provide information as to what they observed to operators. Detailed information about the suspect such as possible height, weight, hair color, clothing, vehicle used and direction of travel as well as any other identifiers will help officer locate and identify possible suspects. It is not recommended that they act in the apprehension of the suspect.


What does the law say about use of firearms?

United States Second Amendment allows an individual to own, posses and transport firearm(s).

Concealed carry requires a permit (See AR 5-73-309) Handgun open carry is not permitted in Arkansas.

A person has a defense to the crime of carrying a weapon when they are on a journey, unless the journey is through a commercial airport at the security checkpoint or is in checked baggage and is not a lawfully declared weapon

5-2-607 Use of deadly physical force in defense of a person A person is justified in using deadly physical force upon another person if he reasonably believes that the other person is
(1) Committing or about to commit a felony involving force or violence;
(2) Using or about to use unlawful deadly physical force; or
(3) Imminently endangering his or her life or imminently about to victimize the person as described in 9-15-103(a)(2).
(b) A person may not use deadly physical force in self defense if he knows that he can avoid the necessity of using that force with complete safety.
(1) By retreating, except that a person is not required to retreat if he is in his dwelling and was not the original aggressor, or if he is a law enforcement officer or a person assisting at the direction of a law enforcement officer ……

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