Adam Powell, the serial felon who attempted to murder two police officers at a Vallejo (CA) Starbucks, failed in his attempt because he was unaware that his illegal, cobbled together short-barrelled AR-15 had suffered a malfunction as the result of a previous shooting.
It is plausible that the malfunction occurred earlier in the day in an incident where Powell’s two-year old son was shot and critically wounded. It is not yet known at this time whether the boy was hit by a negligent discharge from Powell, injured himself with an improperly stored firearm, or if Powell intentionally shot his son.
The firearm, which has no legible serial number or manufacturing data on the lower receiver, was suffering from a common and obvious malfunction easily clearable by anyone with even a basic familiarity with firearms.
You can see the bright silver partially-extracted cartridge case hanging out of the illegal SBR’s ejection port.
Vallejo Police Department public information officer Lieutenant Jeff Bassett also confirmed that Powell was wearing soft body armor, similar to the Level II armor commonly preferred by law enforcement officers. In the past the media has claimed that suspects were wearing body armor (for example, the Aurora (CO) theater shooter) when they were only wearing load-bearing vests. In this instance, the would-be cop killer was wearing armor.
There has been some social media speculation that Powell’s botched attack was an attempted “suicide by cop.”
Lt. Basset told Bearing Arms that was clearly not the case in the incident. Powell was heavily armed and armored and wanted to murder these two Vallejo police officers, and was simply incompetent.
The two officers that were Powell’s targets and who subsequently shot him are currently on administrative leave as a preliminary investigation into the shooting concludes and they undergo department mandated post-shooting counseling and debriefing.
They should be back on duty soon.