They all have some sort of justification. James Holmes of the Aurora shooting thought his actions were necessary, as he believed taking the lives of others added value to his own life. Bryce Williams was motivated by who knows what, though he claimed it had to do with perceived racism and discrimination from his former co-workers - who he shot in a public place. In fact, he went on to claim he would be delighted to engage in a race war.
Which brings me to the recent freeway shooter. No, not this one. I'm talking about this one.
There's something to be said about how one can simply put on a uniform, and suddenly wicked deeds become heroism. But that's not necessarily for this article in the broadest sense.
Get your X-acto knives, kids. Let's dissect this one. I'll be bolding some key words.
All northbound lanes of the 215 Freeway reopened Saturday morning after a wrong-way police pursuit Friday in which a suspect was shot and killed after striking other cars in his flight.
The suspect, who was wanted in connection with a home-invasion robbery, died after a San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department deputy in a helicopter opened fire on the wrong-way vehicle and the man jumped out of the moving car.
Let's talk about bolded words.
The 215 Freeway is a well-traveled freeway, boasting commuters going to and from for a wide variety of purposes, ranging from average joes going to-and-from work, to people going to and from Las Vegas. The event in question happened on a Friday, so it's hardly a stretch to assume there were plenty of travelers heading home for the weekend or traveling to Vegas to blow their paychecks on starry-eyed fantasies.
A police pursuit - A police pursuit requires an individual, a police officer at that, to be giving chase. Human instinct is pretty firm in this case - run from what is chasing you, whether it's tigers or uniformed men very willing to use force. If not for this brazen pursuit, the suspect, quite likely, would not have chanced a wrong-way escape on the freeway.
Suspect - A person of interest in relation to a criminal activity. There is nothing that says this individual is necessarily guilty or innocent. We also likely won't know for sure. According to the article, the suspect died at the scene. Dead men tell no tales.
The helicopter opened fire on the suspect's vehicle - Remember, this individual is still a suspect of the initial crime. His newest crime of putting folks in danger is only a result of pursuit. The HeliCop is reminiscent of Judge Dredd, a fictional dystopic character that serves as a "street judge" - essentially a cop that has the powers of Judge, jury, and executioner. If opening fire is going to accomplish anything, one could expect death to be a result.
The suspect then jumped out of a moving car, on a freeway. As vehicles tend to rely on drivers to operate as intended, and it's safe to say individuals don't like being in the path of gunfire, disaster was the only likely result. Lets go back to the article.
The Yukon sideswiped at least one vehicle during the chase. After the suspect jumped out of the SUV, it crashed into another SUV with three people inside, officials said. The pursuit ended near Palm Avenue and Kendall Drive.
Three people were taken to a hospital with unknown injuries, sheriff's officials said. No additional information was immediately available on their condition, officials said.
Who'd have thought?
There is something to be said about those who think nothing of opening fire in a crowded, public place - let alone in a place where individuals aren't in a position to defend themselves either by State Edict or circumstance (I don't think cars can hide on a freeway).
One has to ask - if a private individual had opened fire on a freeway in the same scenario, would he be likened to a hero, or Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold?
The robbery for which the suspect was pursued evidently happened on Thursday, but the main attraction happened on Friday.
See quotes in the article from Lt. Mitch Dattilo. Plenty of talk about his units training and how it relates to keeping people safe. No talk whatsoever about the consequences of opening fire on a freeway, or about the people this training helped hospitalize.