I just got off the blower with the Roger Witter. The Portland designer is all over the news, after he shot at an automobile driven by two thieves stealing iPhones from an AT&T store. It seems the press has left out several important details about the incident. The most important: the thieves drove a Chrysler sedan at his cousin, an employee at the store, moments before Witter fired his revolver. “These two guys grabbed the phones and ran out of the store,” Witter recounts. “The alarm was going off. It scared the crap out of me. My cousin who works at the store ran after one of them out one door. I ran after the other one out the other door. I saw the car coming out of the parking lot. It was facing us. I was yelling stop, stop, stop!
“I got down on one knee and drew my weapon [a Smith & Wesson .38 revolver] and aimed it at the grill of the car. It didn’t stop. The car was headed for my cousin. He jumped out of the way. I fired two shots.”
Witter rejects the idea that his actions put innocent bystanders in harm’s way.
“It was 8:30,” he told me. “The parking lot was empty . . . I told the police they were controlled shots. I told them I was aiming low, nothing above the hubcaps. But it doesn’t matter what I say. I’m the bad guy. I’m the guy with the gun.”
And now he’s the guy without the gun. A fact that hasn’t escaped his attention. “No one’s caught these guys. My name and face are plastered everywhere. Who’s gonna protect me and my family?”
It’s a question that led Witter to purchase a firearm in the first place, and receive his concealed carry permit.
“The crime in my neighborhood, Gresham, Lockwood, is escalating. The police are there only after a robbery, a rape, a burglary or an assault. It’s up to each individual to protect themselves.”
Which doesn’t really answer the key question.
“Was my life in danger?” Witter asks himself. “Was Duane’s?”
Witter leaves the question hanging.
“In hindsight, I wouldn’t have shot the car. At the time, I knew it was the right thing to do.”