Weirton Police Chief Rob Alexande

As a follow up to yesterday’s story about the  West Virginia Police Officer who was allegedly fired for not shooting a suspect, TTAG reader ‘sota’ points out that the Weirton PD responded to the story in an statement yesterday. Weirton Police Chief Rob Alexander described Hammill’s Post-Gazette article as “factually inaccurate”, denied that former officer Stephen Mader’s termination had anything to do with the incident involving Robert J. Williams, and went on to call Mader a “disgruntled employee”.

“(Mader is a) disgruntled employee doing a one-sided story, and that’s how that all got misplaced. His own statement contradicts his own tale to the Pittsburgh [P]ost [G]azette,” said police chief Rob Alexander.

They add[ed that] the termination was not about Mader not shooting R.J. Williams.

“He escalated that situation rather than deescalating it based on his own statements with that individual on that night,” said [Weirton City Manager Travis] Blosser.

The city officials also disputed the description from Sean Hammill’s recent article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about the incident. Hammill wrote that Williams had been shot “in the back of the head just behind his right ear, killing him.” Blosser, however, said that this was inaccurate:

“He was shot in the right temporal lobe,” Blosser said.”When you start running news stories that he was shot in the back of the head, you perpetrate an argument among people that isn’t factually accurate, and to share the facts: he was shot in the right temporal lobe. That was based on the medical examiners report and a press conference that the county prosecutor had as well.”

I am a Juris Doctor, not a medical doctor, so I’d invite healthcare professionals to assist in defining that language in the comments below, but I looked on that standard repository of all factual knowledge, Wikipedia, for information about the temporal lobe. The text contained a lot of medical terminology that I didn’t understand, but they did have a handy animation that made it look like one could have been shot “in the back of the head, behind the ear” and have the round land in the “temporal lobe”.

The temporal lobe is in red. Via wikipedia.org.
The temporal lobe is in red. Via wikipedia.org.

Or, I suppose, he might have been shot from a different angle and have the round end up there as well. I don’t know; that is beyond my area of professional expertise.

On the other hand, I do have some knowledge of the art of rhetoric and persuasion, and this smells to me like the Weirton PD is trying to get control of the story because shooting someone “in the back of the head…behind the ear” sounds a heck of a lot worse from a PR-management perspective than shooting someone in the ‘temporal lobe’, even though both descriptions might be completely accurate. (Especially when you have civil liberties activists and BLM types interested in the story because the person shot was black and all of the officers at the scene were white.)

It’s kind of like when people say Hillary “stumbled” at the 9/11 ceremony last weekend instead of “dropped like a 50 lbs sack of cement”.

Regarding the “shot in the temporal lobe” vs. “in the back of the head, behind the ear” question, any clarifications concerning the geography of the brain from folks in the healthcare professions would be most appreciated.

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39 Responses to Weirton, WV Police Respond to Story About Fired Officer Stephen Mader

  1. I wasn’t there. But I was born and raised in WVA. It’s a state that the democrats have a lock on. Or did when I left there. It was a very corrupt place, politically.

    Made Boss Hogg look honest.

      • Man, I honestly can;t comprehend how sad and empty one’s life must be, that they expend so much effort internet-stalking someone like this. I just don’t get it. No sarcasm, completely earnest sentiment here: I really hope you find some peace in your life.

    • I worked in WV for two years. Nothing has changed since you left. It has just gotten more violent since you left. The PA guys certainly appreciated the bars not closing until 3 a.m. though.

      • Who is this “Gray Man” of various incarnations that keeps popping up bothering those guys? I never comment on here but the persistence of the whole thing is getting creepy. Almost every article has an instance of it. What’s the story?

        • A few months ago he popped up stalking me and fww. Claims I called him a racist a couple of years ago but he won’t say what name he was using at the time. So he’s lying or fessing up to who he was will confirm my belief about him.

          Personally I believe it’s a guy named matt. He and I had some real knock down fights back then. He was, in his own words, a proud racist.

          He finally got banned because during one of our clashes he made the statement that the only crime hitler was guilty of was not killing enough jews. The guy, Farago, that owns this site is jewish and his father survived the death camps.

          Yes, it’s creepy. There are only 2 people I’ve encountered on this site that I believe to be dangerously mentally ill. This is one of them.

  2. Both versions of the incident include “shot in the temporal lobe”.

    It seems to me it would be fairly hard to shoot someone in that location if they where charging you…unless you were in the Matrix or your Angelina Jolie.

    Also, the department doesn’t clarify exactly why Officer Mader’s employment was terminated.

    • So the officer was fired for not learning the bullet curve technique?

      Now the truth comes out!

      (by the way, Wanted features a Star Ultrastar, one of few films that do. For some reason I think that’s awesome)

    • Without seeing the autopsy report it would be easy to conjecture that the public officials commenting on this case, who are also not doctors, have mistakenly used the term “temporal lobe” when they meant to indicate that he was shot in the right temple. Such an anatomical mistake could also result from a confusion of “frontal lobe” and “temporal lobe”. That would certainly indicate that he was shot from the front, not the side or from the rear.

      Not stating this as a fact, just giving an alternate possibility.

  3. Mader doesn’t shoot a guy, is criticized for it by Boss Hogg, then Mader is fired — but not because he didn’t shoot the guy. Noooooooo. That was just a coincidence.

    Methinks that Chief Rob Alexander has a temporal lobe problem of his own, which leads him to think that we are freakin’ idiots and will believe any nonsense he spews.

    Hey — are the Alexanders related to the Clintons?

    • That’s WPD for you, Alexander’s been there for 20 years or more . He was just as cocky when I was a kid . Grisovoich is worse then him, if anyone got let go it should of been his crooked butt . All of the good officers retired. This town is where you beat the case you might as well move Cuz they’ll mess with you over every lil thing.

  4. When I read this story all I can hear is the dueling banjos and in my head I picture the Chief as the banjo kid from Deliverance.

  5. Who is this “Gray Man” of various incarnations that keeps popping up bothering those guys? I never comment on here but the persistence of the whole thing is getting creepy. Almost every article has an instance of it. What’s the story?

    • Just another deranged Hillary supporter. Probably off their meds and overheated, claiming to have pneumonia to cover for their mental defect.

    • I was wondering that myself, but at this point just let my eyes kind of glaze by his/her/its postings. (I’m making no gender assumptions…) After all, with a user name like that (or those, actually, he/she/it keeps running through variations), I presume the intent is to be ignorable.

    • He’s been stalking and harassing Former Water Walker and JWM for the last few weeks. (He’s gone after me once or twice, but not to the same degree.) I’m pretty sure he’s mentally unbalanced. Not in the standard troll way, but in an obsessive, borderline insane way.

      I can only assume that RF and Dan haven’t seen his antics, otherwise he’d have been banned.

  6. “He escalated that situation rather than deescalating it…”

    Yep. By pussyfooting with the guy. He started at level 1, but the perp started at level 5. He’s even “flicking his wrist,” FFS. Sgt. Freud wanted to talk about his abusive childhood instead, and unearthed some sort of traumatic memory, triggering the charge. It is amazing to me that critics who regularly insist police aren’t trained enough to employ lethal force will also insist they be trained as psychiatrists.

  7. Not a doctor yet (only a medical student) but I just finished neuroanatomy. Saying the victim was shot in the “temporal lobe” is no more specific than saying he was shot in the head. As described earlier, the bullet could have entered behind the ear at an angle which caused it to only pass through the temporal lobe, exiting somewhere around the eye. That would make both statements correct. Additionally, the exact opposite path is possible. Without entry and exit wound info, it’s really not possible to determine. I think they’re just playing a game of semantics and trying to obfuscate by using the medical examiner’s verbiage as “shot in the head behind the ear” just sounds bad.

    • Yeah, my thoughts exactly. Whatever the cops’ locations, they weren’t standing in a single file line. Assuming there was some separation, all it took was for the perp to turn his head from one cop to the other for the bullet to strike the side/back. Unless the newspaper was claiming a straight on direct shot to the back of the skull, which I didn’t see anywhere.

      You have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You don’t have the right to be free of the consequences of your stupid actions. Or your intentionally suicidal actions.

      • Since we are in America I do believe that gives anyone a right to decide if they want to take their own life or not , an Depression is a psychological issue. that is why we have psychiatrist . The lack of remorse you show are signs of what they call a social path , I’m 99% sure that’s worse then Depression.

  8. The thing is… it’s perfectly reasonable to ‘put one in his ear’ (or the back of his head). If a bad guy is aiming a gun and threatening to shoot someone and you happen to be behind him there is no caselaw that says you have to say “uh, excuse me” and wait for him to turn around before shooting him (although that would be hilarious).

    If there is justification for deadly force, it doesn’t matter what method or direction it comes from. Same thing is true for the video that shows a police officer running someone over with his car after the guy started shooting. People in the media \ facebook etc got their knickers in a twist because… I’m not sure.

  9. He was a rookie why didn’t anyone check the paperwork before it was signed , accidents happen . Profanities, illegal search ? The man had courage to stand to another man with a gun an try an help them instead of being a trigger happy coward ,more officers should be that way Instead of badge tripping buttholes. Officers are equipped with tasers I suggest they learn to use them instead of going for a kill shot ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE NOT A THREAT TO YOU! Us citizens ,believe it or not are able to tell justified from homicide regardless what people try an tell us otherwise. Officers are to serve an protect which means arrest people while still treating them as humans not just convicts , a judge determines if we are guilty so an officer has no right to judge ,no reason to be cocky ,your job involves dealing with people on a daily basis if your not a people person pull up a seat an enjoy the office space . I have been arrested by some of the best cops in WPD ,yes it sounds weird but they are just doing their job I can’t be mad at that Ha. Officer Debacco ,an Officer Eric Patterson are the two best REAL officers I have ever met in Weirton, Judge Gaughn them are the ones we need more of ,the ones who honestly care an want to help people better themselves ,not kill them or toss them away without a chance . Seriously, drugs are the biggest problems?look who we have protecting us .

  10. He was a rookie why didn’t anyone check the paperwork before it was signed , accidents happen . Profanities, illegal search ? The man had courage to stand to another man with a gun an try an help them instead of being a trigger happy coward ,more officers should be that way Instead of badge tripping buttholes. Officers are equipped with tasers I suggest they learn to use them instead of going for a kill shot ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE NOT A THREAT TO YOU! Us citizens ,believe it or not are able to tell justified from homicide regardless what people try an tell us otherwise. Officers are to serve an protect which means arrest people while still treating them as humans not just convicts , a judge determines if we are guilty so an officer has no right to judge ,no reason to be cocky ,your job involves dealing with people on a daily basis if your not a people person pull up a seat an enjoy the office space . I have been arrested by some of the best cops in WPD ,yes it sounds weird but they are just doing their job I can’t be mad at that Ha. Officer Debacco ,an Officer Eric Patterson are the two best REAL officers I have ever met, Judge Gaughn them are the ones we need more of ,the ones who honestly care an want to help people better themselves ,not kill them or toss them away without a chance . Seriously, drugs are the biggest problems?

  11. Dakota Givens ,18 yr old shot in the back of the head while walking away from the PULL UP WINDOW on the hill in Weirton WVa . It was considered justified. Nevermind the fact the store owner was selling illegal spice that the kid always went late at night an bought off the owner . His back was turned the cowardly ,drug dealing , piece of crap owner shot him cold blooded murder an they let him go, if the owner gave him heroin an he OD an died then the guy would of been convicted. WVa has their own way of doing things , in WVa your guilty until proven Innocent .

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