Ga. cops shoot, kill machete-wielding teen

Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011 7:23 AM
Last updated 10:54 AM
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BUFORD, Ga. — Police shot and killed a 15-year-old boy who they say wielded a machete as he charged at the officers.

Gwinnett County police Cpl. Edwin Ritter tells the Gwinnett Daily Post the teen threatened to kill his family with the machete before the relatives locked themselves in a room at their home in Buford.

Police say they were called to the home on Windward Gate Lane around 3:30 p.m. Monday and were immediately confronted by the 15-year-old.

The officers and other witnesses told investigators the teenager exited the house and charged the officers.

Ritter said that despite commands to drop the machete, the boy refused to comply and was shot. His name was being withheld until next of kin were notified.

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justthefacts
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justthefacts 12/20/11 - 09:18 am
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They had to a another way

They had to a another way other than killing this young boy. Unbelievable.

Little Lamb
46394
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Little Lamb 12/20/11 - 09:33 am
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The overall situation is

The overall situation is indeed unfortunate, but I tend to agree more with the view of bclicious than with the view of justthefacts.

dstewartsr
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dstewartsr 12/20/11 - 09:39 am
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Spot on, bclicious.

Spot on, bclicious.

scoobynews
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scoobynews 12/20/11 - 09:42 am
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Let's see - crazy teen with

Let's see - crazy teen with machete charging police with loaded guns - I tend to think he must have had a death wish.

urright
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urright 12/20/11 - 09:50 am
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When I saw the headline I

When I saw the headline I knew someone was going to be upset that the deputies shot a poor child. I don't care how old you are, how big you are, what color you are--if you run at me with a machete, I'm going to shoot you. Not in the leg, not in the hand, in the center of your mass to stop the threat. My heart goes out to the family, though.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 12/20/11 - 10:08 am
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I don't see bclicious's

I don't see bclicious's comment, so I can't comment on it. If you read the story in the AJC it states the boy had mental issues. It also reports the Grandmother said the boy dropped the machete before he was shot. I don't think anybody who has read my comments over the years would confuse me with a bleeding heart liberal, but the boy was 15 for God's sake. I feel very sorry for the cops who will forever have to wonder if killing him was necessary.

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 12/20/11 - 10:10 am
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I'm sure there were other

I'm sure there were other options for the po-po but none would have been as safe for the public and the ofc. Putting a threat down is the primary objective, afterward, accounting for the perp's safety can be the focus. I see nothing to indicate over-use of force.

itsanotherday
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itsanotherday 12/20/11 - 10:44 am
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They had options. How far out
Unpublished

They had options. How far out does a taser reach? I don't know about his physical size, but I believe I would have taken him on with a baton if he was a skinny little typical 15 yo. Shoot him in the leg. It is obvious this kid had mental issues. I would say the same thing for an adult with mental issues though I wouldn't be as quick to say I would get as close to him.

Of course, this opinion is from the comfort of my lazy boy.

stillamazed
1488
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stillamazed 12/20/11 - 10:46 am
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I don't think that police

I don't think that police have to shot to kill to stop a person, they could have shot him in the leg to bring him down but I guess they are trained to kill and that is what they do. If the boy had a gun I could understand it. It is strange though how the grandmother says he dropped the weapon but other witnesses says he dropped it.

urright
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urright 12/20/11 - 11:02 am
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A person with a knife can

A person with a knife can cross a 20-foot area in the time it takes someone to draw and shoot their weapon. I knew the "they should have shot him in the leg"-ers would come out, along with the "What about a taser?" people. No--a taser, if they had one, would not be appropriate. We have this discussion every time. There is no accounting for a person's mental status on the streets. The police repond to the threat in a millisecond. Do not second guess them unless you are willing to have a person with a machete run at you. Grandma was probably the one who called the police. The good ole"I just wanted him to stop threatening to kill us--not get shot by the police when they do their job" defense. Classic.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 12/20/11 - 11:04 am
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I think I would take the

I think I would take the grandmother's statement with a grain of salt if I were on a jury. By the way, I've been a resident of Richmond County for about 27 years; registered voter, automobile tag, property taxes, whole nine yards; and I've never been contacted for jury duty.

I don't particularly want to be on a jury; except I would like to be on a special grand jury investigating corruption, fraud and waste in Augusta government.

KSL
131271
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KSL 12/20/11 - 11:21 am
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stillamazed, have you ever

stillamazed, have you ever taken a gun training course?

KSL
131271
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KSL 12/20/11 - 11:23 am
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The leg moving leg is a very

The leg moving leg is a very small target.

KSL
131271
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KSL 12/20/11 - 11:27 am
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Anyone running toward me with

Anyone running toward me with a machete is going to die if I have a weapon available, mental issues or not. I have no mental issues, that I know of, so, it's me against him.

Bruno
780
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Bruno 12/20/11 - 11:27 am
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People who use the "shoot him

People who use the "shoot him in the leg" reasoning usually don't have any training and thus little understanding as to what that entails and how it can go wrong.

KSL
131271
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KSL 12/20/11 - 11:28 am
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You are exactly right, Bruno!

You are exactly right, Bruno!

KSL
131271
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KSL 12/20/11 - 11:34 am
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Oh, and by the way,

Oh, and by the way, grandmother as a witness speaks volumes for his home life. Without a thorough investigation of the situation, I would not really form an authoritative opinion. But, this little blurb, well, where is the mother etc? Where is the father? Oh, I forget, the government has probably taken the place of the father. See how well that's working out?

scoobynews
3855
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scoobynews 12/20/11 - 11:50 am
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I guess the other story about

I guess the other story about the 15 year old who shot her mom in the back of the head had mental issues too. Yet the mom laid on the couch for a day before it was reported. She didn't have any trouble calling her boyfriend. Kids today are not the kids of ten or twenty years ago. Many are hardened early on in life with little care of others and consequences. Sadly this young man is dead but would any of his defenders be saying the same thing if he had used that machete to cut up his family before the officiers got there.

Willow Bailey
20602
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Willow Bailey 12/20/11 - 11:54 am
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It's drugs.

It's drugs.

sroney
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sroney 12/20/11 - 12:31 pm
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@ justthefacts: The AJC does

@ justthefacts: The AJC does say that the grandmother says the kid dropped it before he was shot- but ALLLLL of the other witnesses say he didn't. She's a liar who also said she never felt she was in danger... Gosh, I wonder why she and the rest of the family locked themselves in a room till the cops came to save them if they never felt "in danger"? She is just setting up for a lawsuit so she can sue the people who saved her life. Yet, there was still another way they could have chosen instead of killing the kid. Cops could have let him chop their own heads off while trying to reason with him. I think they made the right decision. I'll bet the cops kids are happy with the decision... Maybe next time the grandmother needs police they will choose the third option: watching from across the street to avoid being accused of wrongdoing.

Willow Bailey
20602
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Willow Bailey 12/20/11 - 12:32 pm
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My condolences to the family.

My condolences to the family.

Willow Bailey
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Willow Bailey 12/20/11 - 12:36 pm
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Lighten up on granny, she's

Lighten up on granny, she's undoubtedly experiencing a great deal of confusion and guilt regarding the event and all that led up to it. Thank God that you are not in her place this a.m. We think we know, and that we have all of the answers, but we just don't.

stillamazed
1488
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stillamazed 12/20/11 - 01:14 pm
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You are right Willow,

You are right Willow, opinions are all we have and KSL and Bruno, please don't assume to know me. I own a gun have for many years, and yes I have taken a course to know how to use it safely and yes I still stand by my belief that police do not always have to shoot to kill a person. I have shot a deer and it fell but did not die. Some of you may be ok with the fact that a 15 year old (supposed) mentally handicapped boy was killed but I am not , and I am just as entitled to the way I feel as you are. Further more, I bet most of you would feel different if this was someone you knew and loved but since it isn't it is real easy to be cold and uncaring about the situation. I am not saying that police need to allow themselves to be killed, I would never say that, but sometimes and in some instances I think better decisions can be made beside the obvious which is to kill.

Ushouldnthave
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Ushouldnthave 12/20/11 - 01:22 pm
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Maybe the police could have

Maybe the police could have blogged the weapon out of his hands, or maybe shouted some irrational and uneducated opinions at him.

itsanotherday
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itsanotherday 12/20/11 - 01:33 pm
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I'm with you stillamazed.
Unpublished

I'm with you stillamazed. Let's just say that I know I'm unaware of the totality of the circumstances, but it just seems to me there are non-lethal means of subduing someone with a big knife.

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 12/20/11 - 01:49 pm
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they could have aimed at the

they could have aimed at the ligament that controls the grip of a human hand in order to cause the suspect to switch the machete to the other hand. In the period of time it took to switch over, they could have converged and disarmed their attacker thus resolving the situation to everyone's satisfaction. I suppose the slightest miscalculation could've resulted in the death of an officer also, but by the calls for less-forceful tactics, this would just be considered an acceptable percentage of failure. no?

bjphysics
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bjphysics 12/20/11 - 01:57 pm
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Why didn’t they set their

Why didn’t they set their phasers on stun or shoot the machete out of his hand?

I'm kidding

tanbaby
1293
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tanbaby 12/20/11 - 02:19 pm
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tvveedie---shoot the ligament
Unpublished

tvveedie---shoot the ligament on the wrist of a 15 yr old in motion???? it ain't television...there is a small issue of aim involved i would think.....and if the wrist was missed, what about the people who may have been standing next door to see what was going on???? and if one of them got shot, then what???? "well sir, sorry we shot your wife accidentally, we were aiming for the boys wrist".....duh...

corgimom
33159
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corgimom 12/20/11 - 02:21 pm
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I'm with KSL. I don't care

I'm with KSL. I don't care who you are or what your issues are, if you come at me with a machete, yes, I will do whatever it takes to protect myself.

He charged the officers. He had homicidal intent, he had already terrorized his family members by threating them with murdering them.

His name has been released- it was Dawntree Ta'Shawn Williams.

http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/dpp/news/local_news/Gwinnett-Police-Identify...

Willow Bailey
20602
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Willow Bailey 12/20/11 - 02:25 pm
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I was feeling angry over all

I was feeling angry over all the disrespect and sarcasm towards those who have expressed concern and compassion for all life and the struggles of others, but then, I remembered, not to worry. Those who don't have any understanding, will get their opportunity, you can count on it.

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