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article imageOp-Ed: Gas station robber gets shot in the back while running off

By Jonathan Lam     Apr 2, 2013 in Crime
A robbery occurs in a Brazilian gas station. The robber seems to be getting away with it until an off duty policeman shows up out of nowhere like a ninja. The policeman takes a shot at the robber. Could injuries have been avoided?
Even if we do not understand what the reporter is saying, the video footage says it all. A hooded robber enters the gas station and makes his way towards the back. He then pulls out a gun when he is confronted by a man and seems to be telling him to get out.
The video footage shifts to a different camera view and we can see customers exiting the store. This indicates that the robber did not have any intentions to hurt anyone, he was probably just after the money.
Then at the 38 second mark in the video, a policeman peeks his head out from one of the snack shelves and readies his gun. The policeman seemed all ninja like hiding behind those snack shelves just waiting to ambush to robber.
As the policeman is hiding the robber walks out casually all looking like " Ah this was such an easy steal" only to find the policeman popping out and pointing his gun at the robber. At 44 seconds we can see that the robber makes a little hop like "Oh snap!" when he spots the policeman pointing a gun at his face.
As the robber runs out of the store the policeman takes his shot and the robber face plants to the ground. Consequently due to the parked van, we cannot judge the severity of the robber's wounds. It was later reported that the robber is not critically injured and was sent to a local hospital.
This brings upon the question could injuries have been avoided? The robber did not harm anybody, so was a gun shot really necessary to stop the robber? I am sure there are people out there who are furious with the fact that the policeman took a shot at the robber's back. Lets analyze the situation more closely
The robber shows that he is indeed armed when he enters the back of the store. There are people who comment on the video saying that either way, the robber displayed his gun which gives the policeman the green light to shoot. If we look at the footage, the robber actually conceals his gun as he walks out of the store. There is a possibility that the policeman is unclear whether the robber is armed or not. So is the policeman wrong for taking the shot?
What might have triggered the policeman to shoot was not the fact that the robber had a gun or not. It might have been that the robber made an attempt to escape. If the robber saw the policeman and instantly went down on the ground it is highly unlikely that the policeman would not have taken a shot. But this is not the case, the robber attempts to flee the scene which causes the policeman to fire a shot in his back.
What is my two cents on this case? I understand that the policeman did what he had to do to stop the robber from escaping, but what about using a taser gun? Instead of putting a bullet in the robber's back a taser gun would have equally diminished the robber's attempt to escape. Then again, what if the policeman did not have a taser gun on him? That would be a different story.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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