Robbery Suspect Nearly Wins Darwin Award By Refusing to Drop BB Gun

An armed robbery suspect in southeast Washington D.C. was shot by Metro Police after a foot chase after he unwisely refused to drop the BB gun he’d used in an armed robbery just moments before.

Police say officers in southeast Washington, D.C., shot a man who refused to drop a weapon that turned out to be a BB gun.

Police said in a statement Tuesday that officers were flagged down by pedestrians after a robbery and when they approached the suspect, he brandished the weapon. Police say he ignored multiple commands to put it down and officers fired.

The man was taken to a hospital with serious injuries and police say charges are pending against him. Police say a BB gun was recovered at the scene. No officers were injured.

The lack of simple reasoning skills common to many violent criminals never ceases to amaze me, and this case is no different. The suspect had to know that his BB gun was not going to be an effective tool to scare away law enforcement officers, and yet he decided to brandish it and refused to drop it even after multiple commands to drop it were issued by the officers who had closed in on him.

Did he have a death wish? A desire to commit “suicide by cop” rather than go to jail and possibly prison? We may never know.

What we do know is that police officers have the increasingly difficult job of protecting the wider citizenry and themselves after eight years of a presidential administration that has been openly hostile to law enforcement, and the stresses that anti-police activist groups have placed on the job have created the so-called “Ferguson effect,” where many officers as discouraged to forego proactive policing, and are instead in a reactive or defensive mode where they are slow to act if there is a significant risk that they could be involved in a potentially violent confrontation.

Hopefully that will change over time as a new President and Attorney General regain the trust of law enforcement agencies nationwide, and the much derided culture of the “Department of (Social) Justice will be forced out and replaced by professionals who see their careers as supporting local and state law enforcement efforts, not as a crusading civil rights clique pushing radical societal change through selective enforcement of the laws.