Only unbelievable if....

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jbuck919
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Only unbelievable if....

Post by jbuck919 » Sun Jan 15, 2006 4:13 am

LONGWOOD, Fla. - The parents of a 15-year-old boy accused of terrorizing classmates with a pistol warned authorities the weapon likely was fake before police shot him in a middle school bathroom, a family attorney said Saturday.

Christopher Penley, of Winter Springs, was accused of pulling a pellet gun in a classroom Friday and pointing it at other students. When he later raised the weapon at a deputy, a SWAT team member shot him, authorities said. Penley was clinically brain dead Saturday, said family attorney Mark Nation.

"His organs are in the process of being harvested," Nation said.

Officers who had responded to the 1,100-student school in suburban Orlando believed the gun was a Beretta 9mm, and didn't learn until after the shooting that it was a pellet gun.

The boy's parents, Ralph and Donna Penley, were in contact with authorities during the incident and told them they believed Penley did not have a real gun, Nation said. Ralph Penley went to the school to attempt to talk his son out of the situation.

"When he got to the school, they would not let him in and he was later told Christopher had been shot," Nation said.

Sheriff's officials Saturday did not return several calls from The Associated Press seeking comment on the lawyer's allegations.

Friends and investigators say Penley was bullied and emotionally distraught, and went to school that day expecting to die.

Patrick Lafferty, a 15-year-old neighbor who has known Penley about six years, said he wasn't surprised by what happened. He said Penley was a loner who "told me he wanted to kill himself dozens of times."

"He would put his headphones on and walk up and down the street and he would work out a lot," preferring to keep to himself, Lafferty said.

Kelly Swofford, a family spokeswoman and neighbor of the boy's parents, said the boy had run away from home several times. Her 11-year-old son, Jeffery Swofford, said Penley had said he had something planned.

"He said `I hope I die today because I don't really like my life,'" Jeffery Swofford said.

Maurice Cotey, 13, told WKMG-TV in Orlando that he struggled with Penley over the gun after everyone else left the classroom.

"He got me towards the closet door, he turned me around, and ... started to point the gun at me, so I started to grab for it. And he pulled it away and then I grabbed for it one more time, .... twisted it and I pointed it at him."

Cotey said after he put the gun to Penley's legs, the gunman kicked him into the closet, where the two scuffled further, before Penley ran out of the classroom.

The school went into lockdown.

From there, Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger said, Penley traversed the Milwee Middle School campus before ending up in a bathroom. By then, more than 40 officers, including SWAT and negotiators, were on scene. He refused to drop the firearm, Eslinger said, and was shot after pointing it at a SWAT deputy.

Jeffery Swofford said Penley had been in a disagreement with someone, allegedly over a girl. There was going to be a fight Friday, he said. "I heard a rumor that he had a BB gun, but I didn't think he really had one," he added.



Only unbelieveable if you have never discovered a student in the process of slashing his wrists in the boys' room. Only unbelievable if you have not had a cousin age 16 take an overdose of his grandfather's digitalis and end it all.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Gary
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Post by Gary » Sun Jan 15, 2006 4:44 am

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Last edited by Gary on Tue Feb 28, 2006 11:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Haydnseek
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Post by Haydnseek » Sun Jan 15, 2006 9:58 am

I have read several accounts of this incident that describe the gun as a "toy" or a "fake." A pellet gun is a weapon that fires lead projectiles of either .177 or .22 caliber using compressed air. They are sometimes used for hunting pests on a farm or even small game. It was a real gun although it was not as powerful as one using gunpowder cartridges.
"The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be." - Raymond Chandler

jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Sun Jan 15, 2006 10:23 am

Haydnseek wrote:I have read several accounts of this incident that describe the gun as a "toy" or a "fake." A pellet gun is a weapon that fires lead projectiles of either .177 or .22 caliber using compressed air. They are sometimes used for hunting pests on a farm or even small game. It was a real gun although it was not as powerful as one using gunpowder cartridges.
That was also my first thought and I hope I didn't imply that an officer should not feel endangered having one of these things pointed at him.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Haydnseek
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Post by Haydnseek » Sun Jan 15, 2006 10:32 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Haydnseek wrote:I have read several accounts of this incident that describe the gun as a "toy" or a "fake." A pellet gun is a weapon that fires lead projectiles of either .177 or .22 caliber using compressed air. They are sometimes used for hunting pests on a farm or even small game. It was a real gun although it was not as powerful as one using gunpowder cartridges.
That was also my first thought and I hope I didn't imply that an officer should not feel endangered having one of these things pointed at him.
You didn't but some of the writers of these news articles did, I think.
"The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be." - Raymond Chandler

jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Sun Jan 15, 2006 10:57 am

Haydnseek wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
Haydnseek wrote:I have read several accounts of this incident that describe the gun as a "toy" or a "fake." A pellet gun is a weapon that fires lead projectiles of either .177 or .22 caliber using compressed air. They are sometimes used for hunting pests on a farm or even small game. It was a real gun although it was not as powerful as one using gunpowder cartridges.
That was also my first thought and I hope I didn't imply that an officer should not feel endangered having one of these things pointed at him.
You didn't but some of the writers of these news articles did, I think.
I don't know where everybody else grew up but in my youth these things were called "air guns" of which a BB gun was a specific type. As recently as 25 years ago in Maryland it was possible for every kid on the block to buy one. I befriended a family with an 11-year-old boy way back then and when he got his air gun, which looked like a pistol, the first thing I saw him do with it was shoot a hole clean through the parallel sides of a milk carton. Our protective tissue would probably save our life with one of these, but we could easily be blinded in one eye or worse.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Jan 15, 2006 5:57 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Haydnseek wrote:I have read several accounts of this incident that describe the gun as a "toy" or a "fake." A pellet gun is a weapon that fires lead projectiles of either .177 or .22 caliber using compressed air. They are sometimes used for hunting pests on a farm or even small game. It was a real gun although it was not as powerful as one using gunpowder cartridges.
That was also my first thought and I hope I didn't imply that an officer should not feel endangered having one of these things pointed at him.
I lived across the street from the moron son of a developmentally challenged couple. The kid would patrol his yard with a pellet gun, shooting at small animals. One day he put one of those pellets thru our porch glass louvers all the way across the street. We reported it to the police, who did nothing about it except talk to the parents. Those things are not toys, as you and Haydn note, and they can kill under the right circumstances. I saw a picture of the gun: it looked like the real thing to me. This kid was a suicide looking for someone to do what he lacked the courage to do. The parents were too late to help if the kid wasn't already institutionalized. But you can bet they'll sue the cops, who did the only responsible thing, and the school.
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Scott in VT
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Teenager with pellet gun

Post by Scott in VT » Mon Jan 16, 2006 6:08 pm

This is a phenomenon most police departments are familiar with. It's called 'suicide by cop.'

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