A career criminal has an out of wedlock child with a woman. He shows up for the child’s first birthday, only to find another man present, who also has a criminal record, but no felonies. The first criminal, enraged to find another man with the mother of his child, threatens to kidnap the one-year-old. The man without felonies fires a warning shot from a .38 to stop the threat.  The  career criminal goes to his car, pulls out a handgun and points it at the man with the .38, who promptly shoots him in the chest, killing him.  The handgun the felon retrieved from the car was a non-firing, realistic toy . . .

From redding.com:

Robison had a .38-caliber handgun that he used to fire a warning shot when the victim advanced on him. Deputies say the victim got what appeared to be a 9mm-handgun from a vehicle and pointed it at Robinson, who, fearing for his safety, shot the victim once in the chest. The victim later died at Mercy Medical Center in Redding.

The article calls the person shot the “victim”, though that appellation hardly seems appropriate.  He was out on bail, had felony convictions, and showed up in a stolen vehicle.

Most murderers and their victims have long histories. I am sure that this justifiable homicide will be listed as a firearms homicide of an “acquaintance” in the FBI uniform crime reports. It doesn’t fit the extremely restrictive definition of a justifiable homicide required by the FBI.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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68 Responses to A Woman, a Warning Shot, a Toy Gun and a Justifiable Homicide

  1. Wow. So much fail in this story… and through it all, I can’t help but feel sorry for the kid. Apparently his/her mom makes really great life choices.

  2. Just what every kid wants. Old daddy gets killed by new daddy at the kids birthday party. Can’t wait for the kid’s second birthday.

  3. A .38 special can do plenty of damage. That being said it is sure not to bright to challenge someone with your toy while they have a gun that you saw fire right in front of you. I personally think a lot of people in the gun world look right past the .38 to bigger calibers and high velocities. That being said the .38 is very controllable and has enough power. (with the right bullets and load of course)

    • Yep, it sounds like he had great shot placement too, which trumps all. (Even birdshot can kill if it gets in your trachea)

        • I don’t know what type of testing the FBI is doing but I had the chance to shoot inside an old farm house that was being destroyed. Shotguns loaded with 6 shot punched holes through doors, walls and cielings.

          This was near 40 years ago and the house was old at that time. Solid wood doors, plaster and lath walls. 6 punched raggedy holes thru it all. Inside the house ranges birdshot is absolutely leathal.

        • Floors, walls, and ceilings are much more brittle and inflexible than human flesh. Its like kicking a soccer ball into a glass window and shattering it and kicking it into a net. Glass is much stronger than cloth, but the net can absorb kinetic energy much better than hard glass, just like human skin, fat, and muscle can absorb hits (punches, birdshot, etc) that can go through walls with much less damage.

        • It depends on what you mean by “reliably”. Even the number 8 shot, in the link that was referenced, destroyed the first three inches of penetration. The link did not say, but there was likely *another* three inches of penetration beyond that. Most humans that you hit in the chest with such a load will die, and fairly quickly.

          If you have a very heavy human, with lots of fat and or muscle that has to be penetrated to reach vitals, they may survive such a wound, but I would not bet on it.

          Notice that the study was done with a stubby shotgun without a choke. Choked barrels make even a bird shot load deadly for a few more feet. Not that much, except for inside house ranges…

        • People who are not educated to firearms often ask me what it the best defense for home protection. I tell them that a 12 gauge shot gun with a pistol grip makes for very good home protection. The pistol grip because it is less unwieldy in hallways and close quarters. One, you don’t have to be that accurate. Two, up close and personal it is very effective. Three, as long as you don’t get fancy with the load and round, it loses it velocity and penetration ability after a short distance so you are less likely to kill little Johnny in the next room. (Note I said less likely) Last a shotgun is very intimidating even to the most hardened criminal. Still, even with a shotgun you need to practice and become proficient at using it. More to the point it is not about how to shoot but when to shoot. A lot of people miss this one, even good shooters.

      • A shot through the heart with a crappy loading is still a shot through the heart.

        Your ammo doesn’t have to be good as long as you are.

    • The police used a .38 for years. S&W, Ruger and several other companies even made a Police Special or Security six. The ballistics of a .38 and a 9mm are not that different from each other. Put a .38 and a 9mm on a micrometer and they come out to .357 Muzzle velocity are about the same, bullet weight about the same. The only real difference was that the 9mm was in an automatic while the .38 and the .357 were designed for a wheel gun. The State Police in New Mexico were so stuck on the .357 round that they remained with the wheel pistol way past when all other departments had switched over to the 9mm automatic. Then Sig, necked down a .40 S&W cartridge to fit a .357 round. However that was about the time when most Federal and local police begin to switch over to the .40 S&W. Some departments still use the 9mm round, but this due to the false impression that the 9mm round is less deadly than the .40 S&W. The difference between the .38 or the 9mm and a .40 S&W? The 9mm is like a 140 mph VW bug, being hit with it will do you no good. The .40 S&W is like a 70 MPH freight train.

  4. What a charming family…

    At one year old, the kid will probably not remember it down the line.

    The kid may have gotten some tinnitus for his first birthday present, tho…

  5. Somebody says it here all the time but pulling a toy gun out after you’ve had a real gun pulled on you and warning shot fired clearly deserves a :

    Play stupid games, win stupid prizes…

  6. Another tragic example of how the continuing decline of marriage foments violence and the profound suffering of children without the love and protection of fathers or mothers. And the most common victims today are blacks and Hispanics, the very minorities that the anti-marriage Left claims to care about most.

    “Marriage equality” should mean that every child gets to grow up with his mother and father, married and in the same household.

    • In this case, neither of the parents were minorities, just good old American trailer trash, and baby daddy had just been released on parole (and had already stolen a car), so it would seem he hadn’t been around for awhile. I suspect drugs (meth) may have also played a role. We have a fair number of these people living in these parts. Except for burglaries, pan handling, and car thefts, they pretty much keep to themselves. But this type of domestic disturbance is not uncommon.

      But at the same time, there was another story in Redding.com, last week I think, where a woman in Anderson (a mostly blue collar town about 10 miles south) fired warning shots at her tenant, a man she wanted to evict, as he menacingly approached her during an argument. One of the five or so shots she fired ricocheted and struck him in the leg, leading to her arrest for assault with a deadly weapon. We’ll have to wait and see how that plays out.

      • In a society that celebrates and protects marriage, in which women seek marriageable men rather than occasional lovers, in which men agree to stand by their spouses and children rather than come and go as they please, it is much, much less likely that this situation would exist in the first place.

        Furthermore, unless a father is abusive to his child (and we do not have an instance of child abuse here – but jealousy in finding another man playing father), the child is better off in every area of life for having his father in the home. A child under the control of a step-father – or, much worse, under the control of a boyfriend – is significantly worse off, and is more vulnerable to abuse from the step-father or boyfriend (or from others).

        Here are a few statistics courtesy of David Blankenhorn, author of the key book on fatherless America (called, coincidentally, Fatherless America): http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wired-success/201106/the-decline-fatherhood-and-the-male-identity-crisis

        • You’re right; my bad. In a perfect world, I guess a lot of things would be different. Can there be unicorns too?

        • I’m describing the society that existed in America for centuries.

          Again, I recommend taking a look at the statistics to which I linked above.

        • Wow, what an ignorant view of the world. Don’t you think maybe people that are good at being married are also just good at parenting? Perhaps the same interpersonal skills could be applied to all types of relationships? Trailer trash meth heads do not have these skills, and will not suddenly develop them if they are compelled to become/remain married by whatever mystical force you’re suggesting. I’d much rather my own children be raised by gay polygamists or a single person that are good parents than a man and wife couple of trailer trash meth heads.

        • No, that’s just not the case. I recommend reading a bit about the history of marriage in America. Up until the 1960’s and 70’s, nearly everyone – of any ethnic or racial background, economic status, religious denomination, etc. – got married and stayed married. There were orphans, of course, and there were a very limited number of illegitimate children. Almost all children were raised by their biological, married parents.

        • It was also very common for the father to go away for from month to years for work, prospecting et cetera.

          The “traditional American family” is a myth. Yeah, there were more lasting marriages, but there were also a great many single-parent households.

          Not single caregiver, however; that’s why there are foundlings and grandparents.

        • Not a myth at all. Talk to any octogenarian about whether parents in his town during his childhood were married and whether the fathers were at home.

          Do you have any source for your extraordinary claim that “there were also a great many single-parent households”?

        • In the octogenarian’s time, yeah; however, the claim that it’s always been this way is false.

          Throughout much of American history, however, it was different; not unmarried, but in a great any cases not physically together a lot of the time.

          The myth is that there is One Tradition, here or anywhere.

  7. at first I though the ambulance was like, a trailer in a trailerpark.

    I was all like, “Oh yeah that’s typical”

  8. Good shoot.

    Fail only on the part of baby daddy thinking he’s going to unlawfully intimidate an armed man, something I’m sure he’s done many times before.

    This is why I carry.

    You can’t intimidate me with the unlawful threat of force because like this man, I’ll shoot you dead right there.

    John

        • Time and again n law practice, I’ve seen women who think a guy with a prison/jail record is their “light o’ love”. I feel sorry for this kid, cause Momma apparently will be a long time figuring out what makes a decent life companion.
          Baby Daddy with a toy gun going up against a real one as obviously no rocket scientist, so this kid may be cheated in the brain DNA already.
          In any case, one song lyric seems appropriate here:
          “Shot through the heart, and you’re to blame. You give love a bad name!”

    • I saw that had had the same thought. Me being the eternal optimist, I am hoping that the new guy had a couple of bad breaks and is currently an ok guy. He managed to protect his girlfriend and kid, that’s maybe a point in his favor. Hey, I can hope, right?

  9. Wow… There’s just no good way to slice that.

    Wait! Got it!

    When daddy II fired the warning shot, it reminded daddy I to retrieve the kid’s [unwrapped] birthday present from his car. Mean old daddy II then shot daddy I before he could present the present.

    Yeah…

    • They pretty much have that in “Progressive” China, with the “unintended” result of Male to Female ratio permanently skewed and a near future drop of eligible young caretakers for the older generation.

  10. Dr. Phil has an intense in-patient program for mommy and baby.. it’s his gift to them.
    the shooter will be flown to the opposite side of the country to deal with his newly diagnosed PTS, and
    Next week the victims parents will be trotted out on stage, and the audience served up the story of how his troubled childhood is to blame for the brandishing of the toy gun.

  11. I have no idea where Redding is, but after reading that story and the idiot comments, I assume it’s somewhere in hippy-dippy California.

    “Victim”.. Good grief.

  12. Was on my way from New Mexico to California pulled into a road side rest area somewhere in Arizona, after swerving a couple of times. Pulled out my sleeping bag and went to sleep on the bench seat of my truck. Woke up to a rather loud funny sounding frumph! and a baby crying. Stumbled out of my truck to see what happened and saw a man thrashing around on the ground by a late 60’s style station wagon. The right rear window was blown outward. A man was climbing out of the Station Wagon with a vantage Colt 1911. By the time I got over to the station wagon the dude that was thrashing around had died. Beside him was what looked like a mint condition Navy colt .45. When the cops arrived they got the story from the man that shot the dead man on the ground. He was asleep in the back of the station wagon with his wife and their 3 year old daughter. He woke up to a tap on the window, looked up to see a man pointing a gun at him. He reached down picked up his colt 1911 and shot him through the glass. (No wonder the baby was crying, it’s ears are probably still ringing.) One of the cops picked up the gun and after a few moments said, “It’s a replica gun.” Then the cop said, “If it had been pointing at me I would have shot him too.” Not sure if the dude was just playing around, or was attempting to rob someone with a replica gun, what ever the reason it didn’t work out well for him. The cop on the scene was of the opinion that it was pretty clear cut and dry case of self defense and that no charges would be filed against the man, but it was up to the DA. This happened back on the middle 90’s on Interstate 10 does anyone remember anything about this and if he was charged or not. It had to be around 92 or 93.

  13. I remember several “rest stop” self defense cases. I do not remember that one. A couple was murdered at the rest stop just East of Yuma a few years after that. A homosexual pedophile and the teenage boy that he was passing around to his buddies were the perps in that case. The internet was just starting to go about that time. I think I got my first .com account about then!

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