A Nurse with a Gun

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Walking the Dog

Walking the dog is a solitary activity for most people. Walking the dog is a responsibility that builds a bond between man and animal. When I walk Ilsa, I sometimes think that she is the most perfect defense against a mugging. An attacker might doubt whether I am armed, or whether I might resist, although they would be wrong on either account. They would not doubt that the large black wolf-like creature with me would sink her fangs into their flesh if she felt I was threatened. Ilsa is a deterrent. Then, I read stories like this one from Terrell Texas.

On December 17, 2008, at approximately 10:20 PM, a citizen carried his legally concealed firearm while walking his dog in Ben Gill Park in Terrell Texas. He suddenly found himself surrounded by a pack of four teenagers intending to mug him. When one of the attackers pulled out a gun, the armed citizen responded with a gun of his own, and the willingness to use it to save his life.

The young thug with the gun, Markee Lamar Johnson, was shot in the head. His three cohorts turned tail and ran. They escaped in a black pick-up truck. The victim remained at the scene and called 911 on his cell phone. "I shot one guy. I think he's dead. He hasn't moved at all," the victim said.

Responding police found Johnson sprawled on the ground with incapacitating head injuries. His stolen handgun was near his body. "There's the gun right there that he had. He's moving, he's breathing still," said the victim, his cell phone connection with 911 recording his conversation with officers at the scene. The dog could be heard barking in the background. Johnson, a basketball player at Terrell High School, was transported to a local hospital. He was subsequently transferred to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, where he was pronounced dead.

The black truck, which belonged to a family member of one of the thugs, was discovered abandoned about two miles from the crime scene. Ryan Scott Patterson, 19, of Terrell was apprehended and charged with aggravated robbery. The other two offenders, while identified by police, are not yet in custody.

The citizen who faced a lethal threat while walking his dog was not injured. Police are not filing any charges. "I think in this particular situation, it would be a clear example of someone exercising their rights to protect themselves under the law," Captain A.D. Sanson said. The case will be referred to a grand jury.

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Blogger Unknown said...

Maybe the dog that the guy was walking was only a little dog....fortunately for him he had something else with a big bite.

At least the good guy (and dog) came out on the good end of this one.

11:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Terrell High School evidently decided to honor this would be thief armed with a stolen gun today. Way to go THS!!!!

11:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good shoot. Headshot in the dark. Good shoot.

12:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My sympathies for the CHL holder who had to shoot a kid just to have a peaceful walk with his dog. My sympathies for the kid's family as well.

However, I find it hard to sympathize for the kid. YOU are ultimately responsible for whatever YOU do. Most important lesson I was ever taught, and it was a hard lesson to learn...

12:37 AM  
Blogger Mikael said...

The tragedy is that this young man turned to crime, probably with some peer pressure involved, and I feel sorry for his family.

That said, I'm not at all sorry his intended victim shot him down, once he went down the road of armed robbery, he became a menace to society who most likely would keep doing it until someone put him down(with or without some jail sentences thrown in the middle), and sooner is better than later.

2:02 AM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Big dog, small dog, it does not matter. You as the owner have taught that dog not to bite and their are few breeds that the innate protection tendency, like you have, will overcome their training in a time of danger. That and imagine this scenario:

"Hey, nice dog"


"Mind if I pet him?"

"No problem, he won't bite"

Perp grabs collar.

"Good, your money or your life?"

Now I know several dogs and dog breeds that would come alive in that and that would be the end of the perp's hand but it has to do with breed, not just size. Look at Meredith Emerson, granted she had a lab, but there is no indication that the dog made any difference in her case. You train a dog to not be aggressive and then expect him to be aggressive when necessary, like with people, it does not happen that way.

6:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another breakdown in the victim selection process.

7:56 AM  
Blogger stbaguley said...

I don't do criminal law but if my recollection is correct, that should be felony murder for the ones who got away. Might surprise them to hear that, but if you commit a felony and someone dies in the course of it (and it isn't you) you are a murderer. (That was Illinois law anyway. Maybe its different in Texas.) What a waste. But, nice shot. I wonder what kind of dog he has that they would risk an attack against him.

8:51 AM  
Blogger Joker23 said...

I don't know about Terrell, TX, but in Missouri the three living muggers might very well be charged with murder. If anyone dies during the commission of a felony, those committing the felony can be charged with murder for the death.

There was an incident not too far from where I live a couple of years ago where two young men broke into a home in the middle of the night. The homeowner was there at the time. In Missouri that makes it first degree burglary since there was someone in present that was not a part of committing the crime.

The homeowner killed one of the burglars. The other burglar was charged with murder. Of course their families thought the homeowner should be the one charged with murder...

9:01 AM  
Blogger DouginSalcha said...

As one of my old commanders used to say, "Bullets are cheaper (than trials)..."

If you "shoot to wound" you still have a hostile (and in this case armed) opponent. If you "wound" him (and miraculously, he doesn't "wound" or "kill" you in return), you are now a witness at his trial. His lawyer will certainly attempt to make you the one with the "criminal intent".

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I think the saying, "Live by the gun, die by the gun," is quite apropos here. I also like "no honor among thieves," and I think it fits in this case, too.

I also have to wonder if Terrell High (which, for all you non-Texans, is home to a state psych ward) would've honored the victim had he been slain?

Mike Harbour
Helena, Montana

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gotta love the headline from the 11:58 comment's link: "YOUTH DIES FROM GUNSHOT". Why not something like "Armed Robber Shot and Killed by Armed Victim"? Of course this will be counted by the Brady Bunch as a child killed by gunfire. Grrrrr.

11:43 AM  
Blogger TOTWTYTR said...

I have no sympathy for the would be robber, none at all. He made the choice to rob someone and use a gun to do it.

Does Texas have a felony-murder rule? If so, the other three should be in some serious trouble.

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mikael said peer pressure is often involved, and I agree, BUT, he picked his peers. They weren't forced on him. If you Google the accomplice who was arrested, you will find a Ryan Scott Patterson from Terrell on Facebook, who seems to be the right age. Here's a link to the picture Mr. Patterson chose to use for his Facebook profile, to create his image, so to speak:


If you're known by the company you keep, well, this is the company Mr. Johnson chose to keep. If you try to look like a gangsta, and act like a gangsta, you will be treated like one.

Yes, I feel sorry for his family, but good riddance before he killed an innocent victim. But no matter what the bleeding heart reporter for the Terrell Tribune says about his being a "shooting victim", he was far from being a victim himself.

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lot of this thug's fellow students are trying to defend his actions, and castigating people for say he deserved his bullet, since they are hurting his family and friends with their comments.

Gee ... even Hitler had a mother and father ... this did not earn him any sympathy for his crimes.

This thug's family and school chums need to walk it off. I have no sympathy for them.

4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reading the comments to the article Anonymous linked to was just amazing.

He was described as a good kid, Sunday School attendant, had plans for the future, etc etc, in the wrong place at the wrong time, so on and so forth. A few even described the CCL holder as a murderer who should have "shot him in the leg" or something. Oh, and that if the CCL holder hadn't been walking his dog in the park late at night, it wouldn't have happened (as if some other victim some other place wouldn't have been robbed instead).

It's really disturbing when some of these almost-adult young people don't seem to understand that this "good person" was committing armed robbery! And that armed robbery is not only a crime, it's just plain wrong!

I understand that teenagers aren't fully adult and sometimes don't have an adult view of things, but I think by the time I was in high school I knew the difference between right and wrong, legal and illegal, and understood the concept of consequences of one's actions.

Another Nurse with a Gun

4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since the days of Lyndon B. Johnson and his socialistic "War on Poverty" a segment of our population has been given the erroneous idea that because they are 'poor' and 'victims' that they are morally free to do anything to anybody. It is time we called their hand, those whose culture imbues them with a feeling of entitlement to rob, maim and murder innocent people (including the innocent working people who have funded the "War on Poverty" with a ridiculous tax burden. Ironic.)

6:07 PM  
Blogger Old NFO said...

Good shoot, bad for the shooter as he now has to live with killing this punk.

7:53 PM  
Blogger Mikael said...

"Big dog, small dog, it does not matter. You as the owner have taught that dog not to bite and their are few breeds that the innate protection tendency, like you have, will overcome their training in a time of danger."

True enough, there are exceptions though. I once had the brother of a childhood friend, high on psych meds and escaped from the ward(diagnosed with pre-stage szichophreny), come over to my appartment, I didn't know he'd been commited even, but I noticed he was a bit hyper. I had visitors over, one of who had a dog. The dog could tell something was wrong, and that her owner was wary of the guy, so was gearing up to defend her. She had to keep the dog under tight control until the guy left.

It was a siberian husky. To quote the owner "When she's all tense and quiet like that, you can tell she's getting ready to fight to kill." Probably a remnant from wolves.

8:20 PM  
Blogger Doc said...

I also sympathize with the guy walking his dog who had to shoot this "youth" as the Terrell paper termed him. I went to look for their comments on their story but was unable to find them. The story itself was somewhat vague as they usually are in these cases. I live in Texas, but I'm not sure what law is, but I believe if you're involved in a felony and someone is killed. you're guilty of murder too. Also, the guy apparently made a head shot, which was good considering it was late at night.

10:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No winners here.

I get so tired of "...but he was a good boy!" Apparently not, with a stolen gun and a stolen truck. He was NOT a good boy. Went down the wrong road, and paid a price. Sorry about that, but when you point a weapon at someone, the response may not be what you expected.

11:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting... The link from the second comment here has mysteriously gone 404... Go-go conspiracy theorist powers!

Regardless, good on the man for being ready, willing, and able to protect himself against a thug. Maybe seeing their co-mugger blown away will scare the other three straight. Not counting on that, but I've no complaint with the results either way. The law-abiding citizen goes on living and generally being productive, the would-be "gangsta" won't be pulling that gun on anyone else ever again, and his partners get an object lesson entitled "The Wages of Sin".

1:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

+2 One POS gone and a stolen gun recovered, never to be used as a criminal tool again.
Tough break for the victim having to live with what is done.

Dogs can be similar to people in that they know when things are going wrong. My Doberman wouldn't fight for himself but when the wife and I wrestle, he sure does come after me.

5:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another Nurse With a Gun- It is unfortunate that so many of the youths are defending the perp however, those "youths" are part of the same thug culture that the perp is from. The thugs don't want their potential victims armed they feel that if anyone is to be killed it should be the victim. Our society has lost its children without a fight.

1:17 AM  

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