Friday, January 02, 2009

Idiot Wearing Nazi Outfit Points Rifle at Police With Predictable Results

Bad move Number 1: Wearing a Nazi outfit. Bad move Number 2: Pointing a rifle at police.

Naturally, the police come under scrutiny because they shoot the idiot.
The University of Washington student shot to death by police in the first hours of 2009 after pointing a World War II-vintage rifle at officers had an abiding fascination with the past, but no love of Nazism.

The 22-year-old student of German and Scandinavian history was wearing a Nazi-era uniform when two Seattle police officers shot him early Thursday morning near the door of his University District apartment.

According to police, officers were called to the 5200 block of 17th Avenue Northeast to investigate a report of two or three men firing weapons into the air. Officers say they fired on the man after he brandished what was described by witnesses as a bolt-action rifle.

The Maple Valley-reared man, whom the Seattle P-I is not identifying because his family had not been notified of his death, died late Thursday morning at Harborview Medical Center.

On hearing of his death, the young man's co-workers from Seattle's Red Mill Burgers gathered Thursday night at the chain's Phinney Ridge location to share their memories of him.

Hattie Taylor, a 20-year-old UW student at whose sorority house the deceased man worked, described him as a kind, if likably odd, young man.

"He wasn't a Nazi," Taylor said. "He was just fascinated with the past. ... He liked to dress up and have fun."

Taylor and others said he often showed up to work at Red Mill wearing antique clothing -- he recently went to work in a Union Civil War uniform -- and collected historical memorabilia. During his first day of work at Taylor's sorority, she said, he arrived wearing a military waistcoat decorated with military ribbons hoping to impress the girls there.

The morning of the shooting, the man had been firing blanks to celebrate the new year, Taylor said. It was a contention held by many of the 18 Red Mill employees gathered at the restaurant, who'd been told so by another co-worker who was at the deceased man's apartment when he was killed.

They also disputed police claims that the man pointed the gun at officers and criticized officers for firing on the man.

Officer Jeff Kappel, a Seattle police spokesman, said officers fired after the man aimed a military rifle with a long bayonet at them and refused to put it down.
Police "identified themselves as Seattle police very loudly and ordered him to drop the weapon several times," Kappel said. "The suspect failed to comply."

When the suspect pointed the rifle at police, two officers "fired (several times) in defense of themselves and the other innocent residents in the immediate area," Kappel said.

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