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Spring Lake Officer Fires at Suspect

Posted June 18, 2007

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— A Spring Lake police officer has been placed on administrative leave after he fired his weapon at a man Sunday during an arrest, police said.

Officer Jose Garcia was serving a warrant on Shawn Smith, 36, of 106 Rupe St., at about 3 p.m. Sunday when Smith fled on foot, said Spring Lake Police Chief A.C. Brown.

Garcia chased Smith, and Smith pulled out what appeared to be a weapon, Brown said. Garcia fired his .40-caliber Glock pistol at Smith, wounding him, Brown said.

Brown said he didn't know how many shots were fired or if a weapon had been found at the scene.

Smith's condition was unknown Monday afternoon.

The State Bureau of Investigation is reviewing the incident.

Garcia has been with the Spring Lake Police Department for several months and has about three years experience in law enforcement, Brown said.

33 Comments

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  • redhairgirl74 Jun 19, 2007

    I would also like to say that I pray for Jose to come home safe after every shift, as well as all others in uniform that risk themselves to help others. If that means he has to shoot at someone to defend himself or protect innocent lives from a violent drug abuser/or criminal....then I say do what you have to do. It was not something that Off. Garcia wanted to do. He had to make a split second decision of his bodily harm or the suspect's. Officer Garcia could have taken a fatal shot but chose to do as he was TRAINED...two quick non-fatal shots. GOOD JOB OFFICER GARCIA!!!!!!

  • redhairgirl74 Jun 19, 2007

    First, I would like to say that I am a close, long-time friend with Off. Garcia. The news has reported some of the information correctly and some not. The suspect has a LONG violent history with the SLPD and other law abiding citizens. Police reports are PUBLIC documents and can be viewed upon request. If the news reporters and the people judging Off. Garcia would do their homework before speaking, they would know that there was a weapon and a violent history with this suspected drug abuser. To the "good" Rev RB: I am questioning whether you are a real Reverend? Seems to me you cast yourself in God's shoes to place judgement on others. Your ignorance on the subject is not an excuse. He was fleeing the police(Law abiding people do not flee.) and he WAS armed. People are innocent until proven guilty, he attacked the police, he's guilty. Also, it seems that you should pray for the healing of all parties involved and love everyone...

  • Derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Jun 19, 2007

    " what ever happened to the saying 'Halt or I'll shoot'? These young punks have no fear or respect for our police officer's."

    Been watching cop stuff on TV and in movies lately? ;-)

  • justanothercomment Jun 19, 2007

    "Are police permitted to shoot at a fleeing but unarmed individual. Didn't know that.

    Praying for the injured.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB"

    Your an idiot,

    praying that you shut up

    God bless

  • rainy39 Jun 19, 2007

    not what but *was*

  • rainy39 Jun 19, 2007

    "Garcia chased Smith, and Smith pulled out what appeared to be a weapon, Brown said. Garcia fired his .40-caliber Glock pistol at Smith, wounding him, Brown said."

    In the time of the "perp" running from the police how what the man to know that Mr Smith wasnt pulling out a weapon? If he DID have a weapon and shot the police then you would all be crying that the cop should have shot first. You cant have it both ways. Until WE know the whole story on whether or not a weapon was found on Mr Smith or near his person then we cant say, but I do know that policeman are trained for this type of situation and Mr Garcia did what he felt was best to do. My applause to him.

  • RYANROCCO Jun 19, 2007

    scum have it too easy these days..im all for officers shooting and killing if they feel the need too.

  • Adelinthe Jun 19, 2007

    Are police permitted to shoot at a fleeing but unarmed individual. Didn't know that.

    Praying for the injured.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • Arbi Jun 19, 2007

    what ever happened to the saying 'Halt or I'll shoot'? These young punks have no fear or respect for our police officer's.

  • banmewral Jun 19, 2007

    You are correct, the law clearly states you must be in fear of your life/and or at risk of serious bodily injury (which covers dismemberment, disfigurement, ect.) So technically you don't have to think they are about to kill you, but more of the fact that there is the possibility that they are about to do a great deal of harm to you at that time. The officer was well justified to have shot the suspect and I am glad the officer made the appropriate choice to do so. Afterall, the main thing is that our officers get to go home at the end of the day to see their families.

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