Irresponsible Gun Owner Of The Day: Officer Derek Carlile

Image courtesy www.king5.com

It’s never too early to start teaching them, but young children can’t be depended upon to live by the Four Rules of gun safety. That’s why responsible gun owners never leave their guns where children could even conceivably access them without adult supervision. One might think, after all their training we give our police officers (and all the trust we place in them) that they would all be ‘responsible gun owners.’ One might think that. But one would be wrong. From Seattle’s KING5 News . . .

STANWOOD, Wash. – The 7-year-old daughter of a Marysville police officer died Sunday after being shot by her young sibling on Saturday.

Police say at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday, two children were left alone in a van parked just off Highway 532 in Stanwood.

There was a gun in the car. One of the children picked up the gun and accidentally shot the other.

Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department says the van and gun is registered to a member of the Marysville Police Dept.  The young girl is the daughter of the officer.

The sheriff’s office says their parents were nearby when it happened.

The officer was later identified as Derek Carlile, who has (you guessed it) been placed on ‘administrative leave’ pending the investigation. The shooter was allegedly Carlile’s young son.

Just like fellow officer and IGOTD etective Ed Owens, (whose son accidentally killed himself after Owens allegedly left his loaded 9mm in an unlocked gun safe) Carlile has not been charged with any crime.

Responsible gun owners like myself want to know, why not? Every responsible shooter knows that if you’ve got children your guns must either be 1) locked in the safe or 2) secured on your hip.

No exceptions. No excuses. Ever.

If a 9-year-old boy is charged with reckless endangerment and felony firearm possession for bringing a gun to school, why aren’t trained police officers like Carlile and Owens (who should and actually do know better) charged with reckless endangerment or even manslaughter when their negligently stored gun is used to kill their child?

It may seem heartless to put a father in prison after a tragic accident that takes his child’s life, but if Detective Owens had faced felony charges last year after his son’s death, perhaps Officer Carlile’s daughter would still be alive today.

Sadly, we all know that would never happen. Owens are Carlile are police, a special fraternity that looks out for its own and police get special treatment. Some of them don’t think the normal rules apply to them, but unfortunately for their children the Four Rules of gun safety don’t care if you wear a badge or not.

46 Responses to Irresponsible Gun Owner Of The Day: Officer Derek Carlile

  1. avatarGS650G says:

    If a 5 year old is suspended for pointing a chicken finger and going “bang bang” I think it’s appropriate to charge a cop who leaves a loaded gun in a glove box with two small children in the car.

    But a 5 year old isn’t a Super Citizen now, is he?

  2. The officer should have been charged. Sorry, but never leave a gun accessible to a child. Never.

    • avatarChickenface McGee says:

      I had my own .22 rifle hanging on my bedroom wall when I was five.
      I choose not to raise idiot children instead of your police state solution.
      But go on with your bad selves.

      • avatarChristopher Kidwell says:

        Agreed, Chicken. The fact is that the child in question had been told numerous times to not touch his father’s gun and still did it.

        This was not a case of criminal negligence on the part of the father, this was a case of a child disobeying his parent after he specifically told him not to do something.

        Yes, it is exceptionally sad that a child is gone because of that, but ruining this man’s life will not bring her back.

  3. avatarSteve says:

    “It may seem heartless to put a father in prison after a tragic accident that takes his child’s life, but if Detective Owens had faced felony charges last year after his son’s death, perhaps Officer Carlile’s daughter would still be alive today.”

    yep, “heartless” is a good word.

    Sadly, we all know that would never happen. Owens are Carlile are police, a special fraternity that looks out for its own and police get special treatment. Some of them don’t think the normal rules apply to them, but unfortunately for their children the Four Rules of gun safety don’t care if you wear a badge or not.”

    Do you think that the officer in this incident being charged with a crime would somehow make this situation better? I don’t.

    Do you think that being put in prison would hold a candle to having your little girl die in front of you? I don’t.

    Are you going to hold mom responsible because she is complicit with her husband’s bad judgement?

    This family has enough problems right now. Putting dad in prison would not fix anything and would certainly make things worse.

    • avatarC-Ray says:

      I couldn’t agree more. It was a mistake, not an intentional vilation of the law that intentionally caused death.

      • avatarJames says:

        So why do the rest of us get keelhauled for similar mistakes?

        How does the wearing of a State-issued costume with shiny things pinned to the chest negate ones responsibility to their fellow human beings?

        It’s that exact thought process which allows officials to review videos of police beatings and tazerings and say that, “officers followed department procedures.”

        • avatarHelen says:

          Besides being a cop he is human, have you taught about that…?

        • avatarRobert Farago says:

          Yes.

        • avatarChristopher Kidwell says:

          James, the rest of us do not get ‘keelhauled’ anymore than cops do in the real world for things like this.

          The laws have gotten to the point where they expect people to be fortune tellers and seers in regards to ‘criminal negligence’.

          Unless a person actively and with malice does something that leads to the death of another person (like drinking and driving), there should be no criminal negligence.

    • avatarmatt says:

      “Putting dad in prison would not fix anything and would certainly make things worse.”

      That may be true, and is often true for most criminal offenses, but this officer and every other one out there, got ahead in life by putting good people behind bars just because a politician or judge says something is illegal. They are traitors extraordinaire, more than willing to sell out as many fellow countrymen as necessary just so they can make a little bit more money than they would in the private sector. We are simply holding them to their own standard.

    • avataroutwardhound says:

      “Do you think that the officer in this incident being charged with a crime would somehow make this situation better? I don’t.”

      Nothing will make this situation better, but a felony conviction on this officer’s record will get this reckless individual out of police service and remove his right to have guns around so he doesn’t kill his other child.

      • avatarChristopher Kidwell says:

        outwardhound, that is like saying that someone who leaves a pot on the stove and their child topples the hot water over on themselves should lose the right to boil water. It just doesn’t make sense in the real world and logical world.

    • avatarTTACer says:

      There have been plenty of parents who accidentally left their child in a backwards facing car seat in hot cars and they are usually charged, why is this any different? There have been plenty of parents who left guns lying around which were used to hurt or kill their children and they are almost always charged with something. This guy should at least get probation/community service, something.

    • avatarGS650G says:

      Sorry Steve, this needs to be a case in court so the all important message gets sent to other lackadaisical cops don’t leave loaded guns where kids can get to them.
      Just like us ordinary citizens. We would be arrested for this. Count on it.

    • avatarchatty says:

      Who’s to say?? how can anybody judge another without knowing all the fax? Who’s to say that he didn’t have it locked up in his van on every other day, and this 1 day. 1 terrible day that he forgot? We are all human and forget things. This man, this officer with or without being charged will have to carry this for the rest of his life. His son, asking all the time where is sister is, not knowing what has happened, and one day there will have to be a loving way to explain this. I feel that the only way or thought of discipline is to teach everybody about gun safety, repeating his story over and over again so that kids DO NOT pick up any kind of gun. I hate guns, especially toy guns that are looking so realistic that it is crazy and confusing to kids. I feel for the whole family. They took a termindous loss. There isn’t anything that anybody can say that Derek hasn’t said to himself, and that he will continue to beat himself up forever.

  4. avatarDerek says:

    “…when their negligently stored gun kills their child?”

    Please tell me that’s a typo…

  5. avatarST says:

    The story has not finished just yet.The DA still has time to charge for negligent homicide.Of course,before we get too ahead of ourselves the knowledge that the daughter has died effectively by the fathers own hand is enough punishment for all parties involved.I can’t see a jail inflicting more punishment than what this man is experiencing now,and will experience for the remainder of his days on Earth.

    • avatarmatt says:

      “I can’t see a jail inflicting more punishment than what this man is experiencing now,and will experience for the remainder of his days on Earth.”

      Then you’ve never been to jail or prison. Although this guy who never get the real experience, he would be placed in administrative segregation for his own safety because he is a cop.

    • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

      We must never forget that some animals are more equal than others…

  6. avatarSebudei says:

    For all the folks who think he’s suffered enough without additional legal problems: do you support removing the punishment for non police citizens?

    Or are we not all equal under the law?

    • avatarmatt says:

      You know they’re superior to us. Now kneel slave!

    • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

      We must never forget that some animals are more equal than others…

    • avatarGS650G says:

      Bingo. can we all be cops so we don’t have to explain DGU through our attorney? Can we get administrative leave from our jobs instead of arrest without bail and crucifixion by the media?

    • avatarchatty says:

      I feel that every situation is different. If a parent leaves loaded guns all over the house, punish away.
      If a parent just leaves the gun in plain sight, stupid
      If a parent puts in a place that is not in plain sight, getting better
      If a parents puts in a safe GOLD STAR!
      If a parent never buys a toy gun, brilliant!

  7. avatarbontai Joe says:

    It’s a tragic situation. The guy has to live with what happened, but if it was any of us, we’d be arrested and face trial. Not knowing any more than what was in the original post, I’d say loss of job and benefits, probation, and having family services check on the situation for the remaining child, and being barred from any further carreer in law enforcement and loss of the right to own firearms would probably be what I would call for.

  8. avatarJOE MATAFOME says:

    I don’t believe he should go to jail but if this had happened to your average citizen, they would have been arrested on the spot. This family will never be the same after this tragedy and I really feel bad for the little boy(and girl) who killed his sister because the dad’s a moron.

    • avatarRon says:

      Finally!
      I had to read all sixteen (16) replies, but someone finally mentioned the true tragedy of this situation. The guilt this little five (5) year old boy will have to live with for the rest of his life due to the action of his asinine father.
      Yes it is sad that the seven year old girl’s life was cut so short by this action.
      Yes the father should be held to the same standard as the rest ( higher in my opinion).
      But imagine the hell this little boy is going through right now, missing his big sister and not fully understanding what happened.
      Then imagine the hell he will have to live in when he does fully understand. For the rest of his life.
      I just hope someone has the good sense to shield him from the descending vultures.
      Still he will have to return to his friends sometime. Even five (5) year olds have ears and ask questions.
      Like, “Where is your sister? My mommy said you killed her.”

      • avatarRon says:

        I realize due to further research that the age and gender of the second child has not been released as of this time.
        That was a misread on my part.
        Sorry.

      • avatarTina says:

        I’ve been thinking about this for days and can only see one solution… First, the father should go straight to the loony bin because that’s where he’s headed anyway. Second, he’s going to get a divorce… There is no way a marriage can survive this. Third, the wife should leave town immediately with the 3 kids and start over, never telling the boy who shot his sister what he did. He’s young enough that he’ll hopefully forget. No use ruining his life too. But basically, this family is destroyed.

    • avatarcz82mak says:

      I don’t believe he should go to jail but if this had happened to your average citizen, they would have been arrested on the spot.

      You do recognize and acknowledge the blatant hypocracy of that statement, don’t you? He should be treated like any other citizen, but he wont.

    • avatarchatty says:

      dad is not a moron. Don’t be so quick to judge!

  9. avataroutwardhound says:

    The officer absolutely should be charged. Never mind if it is “heartless” or “won’t change the situation” and he “will have to live with the knowledge” of his causing the death of his child. A conviction will remove his police credentials and remove his right to have firearms. Considering the facts are as reported, he was beyond negligent and does not need to be a police officer or own firearms again. He (and his spouse, apparently) left children age 7 and younger unattended in a motor vehicle – that in itself is a crime (at least where I live), not to mention leaving a loaded gun unsecured within the children’s reach. Not letting this reckless individual ever have police power again or legally own guns seems fitting and in the best interest of the public and his remaining family.

    • avatarGS650G says:

      True all dat. We the people don’t get much consideration, or if we do it’s from a jury and judge after a long trial. Dropping charges and admin leave aren’t options for the masses.

  10. avatarRopingdown says:

    This is the third case in three months of an LEO leaving a loaded handgun unguarded within reach of children. One of the two prior cases involved a gun in a safe, where the safe door was left ajar and obviously unlocked. The LE community doesn’t mind or advocate against the loss of gun rights for completely non-violent malum prohibitum crimes. They nonetheless seem to think an actual homicide enabled by leaving a loaded weapon unguarded within reach of children should not have a least that result? I can’t discern their logic as relates to prevention of future homicides, and therefore conclude it is merely an interest-group double standard of the worst sort. They should (and many LEO’s do) take a different position on the issue. Leaving loaded guns unguarded in reach of young children clearly represents a greater disregard for life than, for example, committing a tax or accounting felony. No?

  11. avatarAharon says:

    “The shooter was allegedly Carlile’s young son”.

    RIP. Yesterday, MSNBC headlined the story that the little girl was shot by a sibling. Within the body of the story, MSNBC reported that the little girl was shot by her sister not brother. Either way, it doesn’t change the terrible fact that she is dead by the hand of another child, and that this killing could have been averted.

  12. avatarDr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

    IIRC from my CHL course this would be a class A misdemeanor in TX.

  13. avatarLH says:

    What you all seem to have overlooked is that this was an off-duty police officer (evidenced by the fact that his family was with him), who is required by law to carry a concealed weapon. It seems to me that a concealed weapon is of no use in protecting the public if the safety catch is on. The media has not stated where the child got the gun, except that it was in the car. Could it have accidentally fallen out of it’s holster before the dad got out of the car? You have jumped to conclusions with very little information. Where were the parents standing? How far from the car? Do you get your children out of the car when you pump gas? I don’t. How about if you’re returning a movie and you pull up to the curb and jump out to drop it in the slot? A child younger than five would have been restrained in a car seat, not roaming the car, but obviously this child was able to get out. One time I was driving down the highway and looked in the rearview mirror to see my two year old standing up in her car seat, dancing. Children are capable of things that we can never anticipate. Perhaps you should wait until more information is released before you sentence this man.

    • avatarRyan Fox says:

      The key-word in your post is “carry.” If a firearm is left inside a vehicle it shall be hidden from sight and vehicle shall be locked. If a weapon left in a vehicle yet is still accessible to others other than registered owner, the owner is in violation of conceal/carry laws and is responsible for any unauthorized use.
      “You can’t predict what children are going to do,” he said. “You need to unload and lock it up if you’re not carrying it. … It’s really not that hard to practice firearm safety.” ~Tacoma police officer Naveed Benjamin

  14. avatarKaw says:

    Everyone is so quick to judge! This family is strong, they will get through it together! Worry about yourself and how YOU can prevent it from happening to a loved one. You don’t have all the facts..you never will! Move on!

  15. avatarjrwoody says:

    I would like to say a few words about the above article and the comments beneath. I am a relative of the man in question, and I cannot believe the awful comments being posted here by, what I presume to be, good reasonable people!

    Do not believe everything you read in the papers. The media has made it their personal crusade to crucify him for an accident. The gun was not in plain sight, and he was not a reckless individual as you are all saying. He is a good man and a better father! How would you feel to have lost a daughter? And then only to be hounded by relentless reporters hell-bent on your demise? Take a step back, and realize that not all the stories you read are true.

    As for Derek, I pray he doesn’t face any more trauma over the death of Jenna. That will only come when folks stop accusing him of “Criminal intent” and “reckless behavior,” and let him live in peace.

  16. avatarItsLate says:

    Well he was charged. Went to trial. A hung Jury. Doubt he will be retried.

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