Re: Don't think it can't happen to you.
Okay, so long as we're talking about ultimate dumbasses here, I've got one for y'all. I was at the scene of a burglary late one night, hanging out of a window and dusting for prints. From about a block away, I heard the heavy booms of several large caliber pistol shots. I called to see if our air unit was still up (it was), and asked for a fly by near the corner (Holt and Hershey) where I'd heard the shots. About 30-45 seconds later, I heard the chopper, followed closely by the big wobbly light from the sky. Over my radio, I heard the air crew note that there was a subject down at the intersection, and asked to roll another ground unit. In time, they added a request for a homicide unit on scene. I finsihed up the burglary, and made my way over to the other units. There on the ground near a phone booth was one of our local gang bangers, sporting several recently implanted large caliber holes in his chest and torso, now obviously deceased. Tragic to see such a thing. A promising future as a career criminal, cut short by senseless violence. It was in a deserted parking lot of a muffler shop, obviously closed at this time of the evening. No other witnesses, no suspect, nothing else at the scene.
About a week later, one of our traffic units stopped a guy for some petty violation, tail lights, registration, something like that. As the officer was approaching the rear quarter panel of the vehicle, the driver suddenly stuck his head out the window and began proclaiming (LOUDLY!) "I didn't mean to kill him, really I didn't!" Whoa. Time out, let's go back to the begining and talk this over. The guy was hooked up and taken down to the station. Seems that he was in that phone booth the week before, when he looked up and saw two of our local gangbangers coming towards him from 25-30 yards out. They split apart, and continued to advance on him, now trapping him in the phone booth. Having been the recent victim of yet another robbery a few weeks earlier, he clearly recognized what was up, and had taken to carrying a .45 since the previous incident. As the two Vato Locos drew closer, our late hero hit him up with "Hey man, how much money you got on you? Let's see it now!" Out came the 45, held down, and still not pointed at our two heros. Upon seeing the gun, and being apparently insulted that the victim had the audacity not to play the game fairly, hero #1 became righteously indignant about this new development. Fixing him with a steely eyed glare, he shifted into macho overdrive (a very bad idea) and declared, "You gonna pull a fookin' gun on me, you better USE IT!" What followed were the shots that I'd heard, as Vato #1 probably had a micro-second or two to regret his poor choice of words before suffering a dramatic case of lead poisoning. Vato #2 suddenly decided he needed to be somewhere else, and promptly headed that way at high speed. Apparently remembering that he, too, had a gun, he fired a shot or two over his shoulder as he hauled ass outta the AO. He copped to this after we rounded him up a few days later, and confirmed the victims account of the story right down the line. You wouldn't believe how indignant he sounded, all because some victim turned the tables on them.
Granted, the guy shouldn't have left the scene, but the DA considered the fact that he was scared for his life at the moment, and acted under great duress in the instant. He wasn't prosecuted for anything, and was released with a copy of the DA's rejection to prosecute, free and clear. Anyway, that's become my Number One phrase of the worst things to have carved on your tombstone; "You gonna pull a fookin' gun on me, you better use it!", especially when uttered while you're currently engaged in the commission of a felony for which the victim has every legal right in the world to shoot you graveyard dead, right then and there. Man but there are times whe I really miss police work!