Are some people just too stupid to live?
A seventeen year old Duncunville, Texas teen and his two friends are apparently toeing that line, and it is only because of Officer Ben Luna’s incredible reserve that the young men—the subject of a “man with a gun call” from a nearly hysterical woman—were not shot.
As Officer Luna steps out of his vehicle, gun drawn, he starts yelling commands. His first command to the three teens is to show him their hands.
The teen on the left simply refuses to listen, and keeps both hands in his jacket pockets, staring dumbly at the officer. His friend in the red jacket also acts as if the officer must be talking to someone else, and nonchalantly takes his time to sit on the curb, objects in his hands, one of which quickly disappears out of sight.
But as poorly as these two teens followed directions, raising the stakes of the call exponentially by hiding their hands in or near pockets where the officer can’t see what they’re doing, their seventeen-year-old buddy in the gray hoodie was even dumber.
Not only did he make what officers call a “furtive gesture”—a subconcious, reflexive touching of a concealed weapons to assure it really is concealed—but the suspected gunman raised his hands, but then advanced upon the officer.
Watch the incredibly intense video, filmed by the officer’s in-car camera, and imagine that you are the officer responding to the hysterical calls of a woman who is sure that she’s seen a real gun. None of three young men are doing what you tell them to do, two of them have their hands hidden in their jackets, and the third is walking straight for you.*
What do you do?
As Luna pulled up to the scene and saw the three, one of them, in a gray sweatshirt, is seen on dash cam looking back and seeing Luna. Then, it appears the teen moves something near his waistband.
“That’s what, in law enforcement, we call a furtive gesture,” said Duncanville Assistant Police Chief Brian Heard. “It’s highly concerning, particularly given the comments on this call.”
Luna exited his squad car, yelling commands at the teens.
Luna: “Hey! Get your hands up now! Get your hands up now! Get on the ground! Get on the ground now! Get on the ground!”
Teen wearing gray: [inaudible]
Luna: “No, I don’t care! Get on the ground!”
Teen wearing gray: “Look, it’s fake…[inaudible]”
Luna: “Get on the ground now! Don’t! Get on the ground now!”
The trio was not obeying commands.
“They’re fixing to either pull the gun out or they don’t really care what…what I’m saying,” Luna said he was thinking as the incident was happening.
Even though the teen said the gun was fake, Luna wondered if “he just trying to distract me looking at him, and these two could pull out a weapon. I’m not for sure.”
“And your heart’s pumping now?” asked FOX 4’s Shaun Rabb.
“Yes, it is,” said Luna.
Chief Heard says that even though the teen approached Luna with his hands up, the officer was at a disadvantage, because action always beats reaction.
“Even though the officer has his gun drawn, he’s on target,” said Heard. “If this man chooses from this position to draw and fire, he can draw and fire before the officer can see that, perceive that and stroke that trigger.”
Finally, the teen follows instructions and goes to the ground.
Heard says the BB gun that the teen had is a replica of a Beretta 92F that looked very real, so quickly determining whether or not it were real or fake would be difficult.
The teen finally complied as his idiot friends stared on in bovine detachment, still not complying themselves. Eventually other responding units arrived and there were enough officers to safely take control of the situation.
It was finally determined that the “gun” the hysterical female caller had seen was a very realistic BB gun, nearly identical to a Beretta 92. The young men, who had committed no crimes but who were almost deadly stupid in their actions, were allowed to go home… presumably to feast on paste and lead paint chips.
* I’m not particularly fast, but from a hand’s up “surrender” position I can consistently draw and fire a shot between the eyes within 1.4 seconds. There are many people out there faster than I am.