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NEWS: Police Shoot a Baby Used as a Shield

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posted on Jul, 12 2005 @ 07:39 PM
Of course it is horrible that some lunatic used his child as a shield, but is it not the police who we as a society expect to act rational, and not the criminal? Sure lunatics will do crazy things, but I expect a police officer to have the sense to not shoot when a child is in the way, no matter how good of a shot the bastard thinks he is.!I find it sickenning that some cop had the audacity to take a shot when a child was clearly in the way, there is truly no excuse for that.

Besides all this, another thing that no one EVER mentions in these police shootings is the need to "shoot to kill" . Police are supposedly given training to shoot and are expected to keep up their marksmen skills. Why is it that all these cops always try to make lethal shots? Why can a cop not shoot someone just as easily in the knee as in the head? Being shot anywhere will make most people drop their weapon.

As a long time resident of LA I can truthfully say this is nothing new. The cops have been out of control here for quite some time, and unfortunately it shows no sign of stopping any time soon.

posted on Jul, 12 2005 @ 07:43 PM
Whatever happened to the SWAT team snipers?!?!?!?!?!

posted on Jul, 12 2005 @ 08:23 PM

Originally posted by Azathoth
Im sorry but there are other alternatives. One being a sniper team to respond and wait for a shot. If he would of killed the child then it would of fell on him insted of the police. Or if the suspect was in a building they could of used tear gas. At least they would of had a chance to save the child.


I have to agree.

I really wonder about the marksmanship training for these cops (cops in general) and the weapons. They seem to be going for volume of shots rather than accuracy.

I've seen a documentary where a cop used a sniper rifle to shoot a gun out of the hand of a suicide attempter who had the gun pointed to his own head. The suicide guy was being taped on video as it happened.

posted on Jul, 12 2005 @ 08:24 PM
You have my appologies if I was wrong. It's just that it seems as though we are under constant attack. I'm also touchy about law enforcement officers as I have friends among them. I have been under fire three times in my life and to expect them to make perfect decisions while under fire is not reasonable. Are you aware that this is the first time the L.A.P.D. has had a civilian killed in this type of standoff? Why not praise them for that???

posted on Jul, 12 2005 @ 08:31 PM

Originally posted by Blaine91555
You have my appologies if I was wrong. It's just that it seems as though we are under constant attack. I'm also touchy about law enforcement officers as I have friends among them. I have been under fire three times in my life and to expect them to make perfect decisions while under fire is not reasonable. Are you aware that this is the first time the L.A.P.D. has had a civilian killed in this type of standoff? Why not praise them for that???

I am glad they have had so few people killed in such away, however the image of the area given from the source makes me think it should have never happened and although the L.A.P.D. may have not killed an innocent person during this situation before, they have done other things which are just as bad and it has happend all over America as well.

Racism in the Police, Military, etc, as well as corruption is a problem which needs to be "ironed" out so the Public can respect Police officers like they should. However while you have them killing innocent people (such as Fred Hampton, et al) then you have a real problem and one which will only help to build divisions within a society, especially as diverse as America.

posted on Jul, 12 2005 @ 09:44 PM
Leave it to an article involving a child to get the most attention...forget international politics or terrorism. The child getting shot is more important than those starving or being maimed in the Sudanese slave trade. *Sigh* How awful human nature to say on thing then get all extatic over another.

posted on Jul, 12 2005 @ 09:49 PM
CAConrad0825, this has 4 pages of posts.

The ones talking about the bombs in London, over 30.

If we had more Spanish members, the one about Spain would have a lot more posts then this.

Fact of the matter is, Law Enforcement is an important issue.
There are American people on this forum, from this area.

Two plus two does equal four.

posted on Jul, 12 2005 @ 09:50 PM

Originally posted by CAConrad0825
Leave it to an article involving a child to get the most attention....

Hmm, I see the rest of rest of the world still turning (just as the rest of this site), with the same priorities in place.

Because major tragedy is occuring, does that mean to ignore the minor tragedies? Because there is war, nothing else is news-worthy? Nor of social consequence?


posted on Jul, 12 2005 @ 10:56 PM
Police marksmanship is to shoot center mass. You hit a suspect in the knee, and he can still shoot back at you. Shoot a suspect in the chest, and if he doesn't die, he is too hurt to worry about reloading and shooting back. This was a sad event, but police aren't taught to shoot to wound, they're taught to shoot to kill. It's easy to Monday Morning Quarterback this to death, and say they could have done this or that, but the decision made at the time when bullets were flying at you would be a lot different. As far as SWAT snipers,the SWAT unit could have been tied up somewhere else, or this could have happened before they could arrive on scene........

[edit on 12-7-2005 by Zaphod58]

posted on Jul, 13 2005 @ 12:36 AM
This guy was one horrible father.

While i object to the way police operate under some circumstances, this isn't one of them.
If someone is spraying bullets around they have to be stopped.
If they are using their own innocent child as a shield that doesn't stop their bullets from hitting officers and other civilians around.
They have to be stopped.

In the best of all worlds, with the guy holding a child i would have hoped the police would have gotten a sniper with a bead on the guy while they negotiated. With the sniper authorized to take the guy out if he opened fire and other officers are told not to fire, but only take cover. But they can't predict the future anymore than i can. They were probably hoping to negotiate the guy out of this situation.

20/20 hindsight is miraculous. If only you could have it ahead of time.

posted on Jul, 13 2005 @ 12:51 AM
here is what is being reported and, for the most part it is accurate:

Raul Pena threatened both his wife and his teenage stepdaughter in the hours before he took his 19-month-old daughter hostage and both died during a hail of police gunfire, authorities said today.

The wife and stepdaughter had called 911 and asked for emergency police assistance, saying Pena had threatened them, LAPD Chief William Bratton said this afternoon at a press conference.

"She indicated he threatened to kill her, kill the baby, kill himself, and kill the mother," Bratton said.

A combative Bratton expressed strong support for the 11 officers who stormed Pena's business office in South Los Angeles on Sunday in what he said was an attempt to save the infant, Susie Lopez. Pena had used her as a shield, holding her in front of him as he fired at police, wounding one officer, police said.

"He's a coldblooded killer, and it's as simple as that," Bratton said.

The police chief told reporters that it is "likely" that bullets fired by police officers killed both Pena and Susie. "That doesn't change anything," Bratton insisted, saying Pena's erratic behavior was responsible for the tragedy.

The LAPD and other agencies are just beginning their investigations of the incident, but Bratton firmly defended his officers. He listed the indications of danger his officers encountered before storming the office: the two 911 calls from Pena's wife and stepdaughter; Pena's taking both the toddler and teen hostage; his repeated firing of his weapon at officers; and his refusal to negotiate.

"In our discussions, he indicated very clearly that he was not going to go to jail," Bratton said.

In an earlier news conference, Pena's brother said officers should have been more patient.

German Pena said his family does not believe police accounts that his brother used his daughter as a shield.

LAPD officials said officers shot Raul Pena when they stormed an office in an attempt to rescue his daughter, Susie Lopez.

On Saturday, Pena had been served with a restraining order involving allegations of child molestation, police said. No other details were available.

The brother, his attorney Luis Carrillo, and the wife of the dead man, Lorena Lopez, said they were not aware of any court order against Pena.

"We did not expect this to happen to him," Pena said, speaking this morning through an interpreter. "He was a good person. It's been cruel what happened to my brother."

Flanked by lawyers and clerics who criticized the Los Angeles Police Department, Pena said his family — including nine siblings — were mainly confused and in pain.

"They should have acted more patiently, knowing that there was a baby in his arms," the brother said. "It's not OK what they did."

The decision to storm the office in which Pena hid came after a standoff of more than two hours, spurred by complaints that the man was firing indiscriminately on a street corner. When police responded, he shot at them while holding the toddler in front of him.

In several exchanges of gunfire, officers believed they had wounded Pena and hoped that by storming the office they could save Lopez. Pena fired more than 40 times at neighbors and police over the course of the confrontation, which lasted several hours, authorities said.

The criticism came one day after LAPD officials said the shootout occurred as they tried to rescue the girl. Instead, officers found themselves in a harrowing gun battle inside an office where Pena was holding out. The gunfire ended with the suspect dead, an officer wounded, and Susie lying on the floor, shot in the head.

The office was peppered with more than 60 bullet holes. One shot pierced a photo of Susie that Pena kept on his wall.

These were among new details offered Monday as officials tried to explain how the Watts shootout ended with the death of the hostage whom officers were trying to save.

But police were not able to answer two central questions: When the girl was killed, and who fired the shot.

Police Chief William J. Bratton insisted Monday that the officers had no choice but to enter the building, saying that Pena, whom police on Sunday had identified as Jose Raul Lemos, had repeatedly fired into the street, holding the girl in front of him and threatening to kill her.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called for the public to await the outcome of an internal police investigation into the shooting, and declined to comment on the officers' tactics.

Villaraigosa said the shooting was a tragedy and offered condolences to the girl's family, adding that officers had not intended for her to die.

"Not a one of them, not a one of them went into that situation with the intent to hurt anyone," Villaraigosa said. "They were doing their job.... We don't know exactly what happened, but we do know this: There was a man with a firearm shooting at the public, shooting at officers."

Bratton also offered condolences to the family but said that Pena is responsible for the girl's death, and condemned what he called the father's "callousness" and "cowardice."

The SWAT officers involved in the standoff were taking the girl's death hard, police said, noting that it was the first time since 1980 that a hostage died in an LAPD standoff.

"This has been extraordinarily traumatic for them, wondering if they possibly contributed to the death of a child," Bratton said.

"I am here to tell you they are in pain right now," said Police Capt. Scott Kroeber. "They are human."

Police officials offered the following account of Sunday's shooting:

They said that Southeast Division patrol officers got an "unknown trouble" radio call about 3:50 p.m.

They arrived at 10420 S. Avalon Blvd. in Watts, where they confronted an agitated Pena outside Raul's Auto Sales.

Seeing that Pena had a gun, the officers called for backup.

When additional officers arrived, Pena shot at them and officers returned fire. Pena retreated into his auto business and reemerged with the child in his arms. He continued firing at the officers, who pulled back. Pena went inside.

That began a standoff in which Pena remained barricaded inside, surrounded by police and occasionally taking random shots through the walls and out the doors of the building.

About 5 p.m., officers reached Pena by phone and tried to negotiate with him to release his daughter.

Shortly after, Pena's 17-year-old stepdaughter emerged from the dealership, caught behind a metal fence near the building.

Some officers moved forward to rescue the stepdaughter while others tried to keep Pena distracted on the phone. But as the police pried open the gate, Pena emerged with the toddler again and fired at them. Officers returned fire and succeeded in removing the stepdaughter.

By 5:40 p.m., police elevated the standoff to a tactical alert. Negotiations continued with Pena, who was also reportedly speaking on the phone to family members and neighbors during the standoff.

About 6:30 p.m., a SWAT officer in an armored vehicle known as a BearCat saw Pena at the back door of the building next to the closed garage door of the auto shop's repair bay.

Initially, police officials said Pena had his daughter in his arms at that point. But later, officials said they were unsure where the girl was.

Officers fired at Pena, who appeared to return fire, then fell back. He retreated into the office.

Thinking Pena was hit, officers decided to make their move by storming the building.

But when officers got inside, they realized that Pena, far from being disabled, had managed to retreat into the small, walled office at the front of the repair bay, and was firing at them through the walls.

The officers advanced toward him, according to Police Lt. Michael Albanese, who oversees the SWAT unit.

He said they held their fire even as bullets whizzed by them, trying to reach the open door of the office so that they could see Pena and the toddler.

As they advanced, the officers prepared to launch a flashing device to distract Pena. Just then, a bullet from within the office struck Officer Daniel Sanchez, 39, through the shoulder.

The other officers pressed forward toward the office's open door, and exchanged gunfire with Pena in the cramped interior.

Pena was felled by one bullet, got up and was shot a second time.

What remains unclear is whether the little girl was already dead when they reached the office, or whether she died with her father in the ensuing shootout, said Lt. Paul Vernon, a police spokesman.

Pena's family members gave a starkly different account of the toddler's death.

Relatives from both sides of her family said that Pena was an affectionate and involved father. They insisted he would never have harmed his daughter. They said he would not have used Susie as a human shield, and while they acknowledged that he kept a gun in the auto dealership, they said that he was trying to surrender when police shot him.

"I don't want an apology. I want justice," said Lorena Lopez, the girl's mother.

Pena's brothers told reporters that he was from El Salvador and had served in that country's military during its civil war.

He came to the U.S. more than a dozen years ago and started the used car and repair shop, but his business had fallen on hard times and he had been depressed, they said.

Authorities said they don't know of a motive for the events of Sunday. Vernon said that on Saturday, Pena was served with a restraining order related to a child molestation allegation.

A total of 11 officers fired their weapons during the standoff. A total of more than two dozen officers were involved in the incident.

The officers' actions are being investigated by the Police Department's Force Investigation Division, Bratton said.

The inspector general's office and the district attorney's office will monitor the investigation.

All shootings are referred to the district attorney's office for potential criminal charges, but it falls to the Police Commission to decide whether a shooting lies within department policy. Investigations typically take several months.

After the police tape was cleared away late Monday, members of both sides of the toddler's family entered the bullet-riddled auto dealership to search for mementos of their loved ones.

There were dozens of bullet holes in the building -- puncturing doors, walls, even the trash bin in back. Blood-spattered car purchasing contracts littered the floor, and one relative found a small piece of Susie's hair, and kept it as a remembrance.

They said the toddler was just beginning to talk, and already loved horses.

"My little niece -- she didn't live for very long, but she was beautiful. She was happy," said German Pena.

posted on Jul, 13 2005 @ 12:53 AM
Anybody catch the name of the sleezy lawyer thats representing the family?

Luis Carrillo

This guy is pure evil. His main focus in life is suing the LAPD and LASD. Once this guy is involved, you can bet someone is after money.

posted on Jul, 13 2005 @ 12:56 AM
Heres a link to the picture of the little girl killed. She looks alot like one of my kids. Interesting. Suzie

posted on Jul, 13 2005 @ 12:57 AM
Notice how no matter what they do, they were always so nice, and involved with their children, and would never do anything like that? No matter how many people they kill, or what they do, be it serial killer, or this, you always hear "He was such a nice and quiet person and would never do something like this."

posted on Jul, 13 2005 @ 01:01 AM
Exactly. The police are not at fault this time. This is solely the fault of this loser father. At least we can be assured his place in hell.

posted on Jul, 13 2005 @ 08:03 PM
Before you get out your "Jump to conclusion" mats,

You might want to ask some questions.

you, know. Like the ones an internal affairs hearing might want.

1. When did the girl die?

2. Was she dead before being used as a human shield?

3. Is it possible to determine which gun any bullets in her came from? (this is often NOT possible, despite what you see on L & O.)

4. Did the officers realize that the perp was holding another person? (If she was wrapped in a blanket or jacket, then the officers might not have realized the perp was trying to use a hostage/shield.)

5. What were the lighting and line-of-sight conditions? (At night? Dust/smoke? In a building, over a wall, etc.)

6. What officer was in charge of the scene? Were his/her orders followed? (Did one cop go trigger happy and try a "stunt shot," or did someone not hear the call for "cease fire"? We used a different command, since perps will sometimes say "hold yer fire" to try and get the cops to think they've been ordered to cease.)

7. How was the scene altered in between the time of the incedent and any record/photos made? (Did bystanders or an unkown perp, or a guilty officer 're-arrange' the scene before photos?)

8. How many rounds did each officer enter and exit the scene with? What about the perp? Did he open some fresh ammo boxes before going postal? it happens--and can often solve real mysteries.

9. What were officers told before arriving on scene? Did the perp say the girl was alive? Did they believe him? Did an ex-lover swear that all children had safely gotten out of the scene?

10. Who debriefed the cops? What do those accounts say?

See, any one of those questions could give answers that would radically change our understanding of the incedent. But then, lurkers on a conspiracy website are not really interested in the application of reason and science (forensics) to establish facts.

They are interested in blame.

Like I said before, the bad money always drives the good money away.

posted on Jul, 13 2005 @ 08:26 PM

Originally posted by LA_Maximus
As usual the Police are the blame.

The mother who is blaming the cops should blame her Idiot husband instead...the cops are only tyring to do their jobs and its a thankless one at that.

I live in LA and I remember how the media started the riots after the Rodney King verdict. Good guys are Bad and the Bad guys are "victims"....well this POS also shot a police officer in the shoulder.

Skibum has got it right, this SOB is the only one to blame here.


I have to agree with Maximus here.....and unfortunately, as long as the U.S. allows citizens to own fire-arms, there will be many innocent that are killed by them (including children).

I personally don't see why anyone needs guns.....we don't kill for our subsistence, all our meat is processed, but there will be those die-hard hunters that will disagree with me.....oh well, I better go find shelter


posted on Jul, 13 2005 @ 08:53 PM
Well, without knowing the details, I tend to assume that the baby was alive until the firing start as it was being used as a "human shield", and it would make no sense for the guy to kill his own hostage.

But who knows? The details will come out.

I would like to add this though. I find it alarming that the police departments are training officers with military tactics nowadays. The military mindset is kill anything that poses the slightest threat, whereas in prior decades, officers were willing to take on some personal risk to avoid killing innocents (or even the guilty!), much like firemen take on such risks rather than just automatically demolishing every house that's on fire.

Not only that, but for some reason, the police corps are increasingly filled with ex-miltary who have had the "kill anything that poses the slightest risk" mentaility brainwashed into them.

Combine that with the post-9/11 police state mentality that anything but immediate compliance with authority is grounds for potentially lethal force (the lady who was taser'd for failing to put her cell phone down), and you have the makings of a truly frightening state of affairs.

posted on Jul, 13 2005 @ 09:06 PM
They're being trained like that because they lost so many cops to taking personal risks to save people. There were several instances where someone pretended to be innocent, then when the cops turned away to check someone else, they pulled a gun and shot them.

posted on Jul, 13 2005 @ 09:07 PM

Originally posted by spamandham
Combine that with the post-9/11 police state mentality.............

Ya know, I am of the rough sort that, now at 40+yrs, have been in more run-ins with the law than I could possibly remember. During those years, the police stance has simply NOT been as relentless / gung-ho / sieze all / force all / gun in your face that it is now, which it has evolved to since 9/11. Yes, I have had run-ins with them post 9/11, I do have the comparison. I swear to ya, the last time I was locked up [last summer], during the wall search, because of the protocols I was subjected to, I honestly was waiting to hear "drop 'em & spread 'em" ............ I damn well would have had the #t beat of of me due to it.

Damn, friggen well sad it is - I live in a "lock-down" nation, of which countless millions either sluff it off or say "go get'em".


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