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Ugly: Family Suing After Phoenix Cop Shoots Homeowner Instead of Intruder

This is a discussion on Ugly: Family Suing After Phoenix Cop Shoots Homeowner Instead of Intruder within the General Gun Talk forums, part of the Gun Forums category; As reported by ABCNews.com: Family Suing After Phoenix Cop Shoots Homeowner Instead of Intruder Tony Arambula Was Shot Six Times After Calling 911 For Help ...

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  1. #1
    Gunatic Loyalist (Bow down) Janq's Avatar
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    Ugly: Family Suing After Phoenix Cop Shoots Homeowner Instead of Intruder

    As reported by ABCNews.com:

    Family Suing After Phoenix Cop Shoots Homeowner Instead of Intruder
    Tony Arambula Was Shot Six Times After Calling 911 For Help

    By SARAH NETTER
    Oct. 6, 2009

    When Tony Arambula managed to corner an armed intruder in his son's bedroom he expected police to come to his aid.

    Instead, a Phoenix police officer confused Arambula for the intruder and shot him six times before realizing his mistake, a moment captured on the 911 call with a simple "F**k."

    Even after realizing their mistake, Arambula said he was treated roughly, being dragged out of the house and transported briefly on the hood of a police car.

    Now Arambula, 35, who survived but faces a lifetime of pain, is suing the city of Phoenix and the officers who responded to his house that night.

    The lawsuit, filed in Maricopa County Court, alleges that Phoenix Police Officer Brian Lilly and his on-scene supervisor, Sgt. Sean Coutts, quickly conspired to cover up the mistake, not realizing that 911 was still recording Arambula's call for help.

    CLICK HERE to listen to Tony Arambula's 911 call to Phoenix police.

    Lillly has been cleared of any wrong doing by the Phoenix Use of Force Board, but the Arambulas are suing the officer, Coutts, the city of Phoenix, the Phoenix police department and a number of unidentified emergency workers for at least $5.75 million.

    "It's clearly unfortunate," said Officer Mark Spencer, president of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association which represents 2,600 officers. "Our officers feel terrible this occured."

    But, Spencer told ABCNews.com, PLEA also disputes some of the Arambulas' account, including that the father of two was shot in the back.

    "Clearly where the blame lies is with the bad guy," Spencer said, adding that the intruder put "everyone at risk."

    As for Arambula's actions that night, Spencer said, "I don't think he did anything wrong."

    He added, "We agreed with the board's decision that the officer's response and action was reasonable within police policy."

    According to the lawsuit, Arambula, his wife Lesley and their two sons were at home on Sept. 17, 2008, when they heard two gunshots outside shortly before an intruder crashed through their front window and pointed a 9mm gun at Arambula and 2-year-old Zachary.

    The gunman, according to the lawsuit, then took off down the hall into 12-year-old Matthew's bedroom. Arambula, who had sent his wife and toddler outside the house, retreived his own handgun and cornered the intruder who was shouting that "someone was after him and going to get him."

    After calling for Matthew, who had been hiding in his closet, and sending the boy outside, Arambula called 911 while continuing to point the gun at the intruder. Lesley Arambula also placed a call to 911 within seconds....

    The full story with a video report can be found at; http://abcnews.go.com/US/phoenix-fam...ory?id=8756441

    - Janq

    Comment:
    Comment:
    A KEY!!!! lesson to learn from this is that it is INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT that you POSITIVELY IDENTIFY YOURSELF as to the 911 operator in full.

    Describe yourself in very specific detail so that they can pass on to responding officers that you are the GG! Be this on the street or as in this case within your home.
    Especially so if you happen to be armed!
    Tell your wife/husband/mate/SO/parents/roommates or who ever else you might happen to be with to do EXACTLY same.
    Stating to the 911 operator that your name is Joe/Jane Blow is not good enough.
    It's a literal matter of life or death.

    As to the rest including attempted "I got your back" cover up et. al., well welcome to the real world.
    Last edited by Janq; 10-06-2009 at 11:22 AM.

  2. #2
    Gunatic Loyalist (Bow down) MrMcCrackin's Avatar
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    This is a very real concern.

    Also - phoenix pd has a bad rep for shooting first and askin later.

  3. #3
    Annihilator Mr. Head Gun brucelee's Avatar
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    Damn, that SUCKS! The great thing tho is that the guy lived... Imagine how much worse it would be if he died? Fatherless chilrdren, officer faces a death of an innocent, etc. etc.
    When in doubt, ask Adler.

  4. #4
    10111011 mattxander12's Avatar
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    I feel like something is missing from the story. I can't imagine an LEO coming onto a scene and automatically gunning down the person with a handgun. There would for sure have been some kind of "Police, put the gun down" type of command. As for sure as soon as someone identifiable as LEO of any kind, your gun gets holstered or lowered to the ground.

  5. #5
    00000 kartoffel's Avatar
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    Man that sucks. Shows how dangerous friendly fire and misidentification can be. If the police respond to a 911 call at your house, they're going to be on guard. Make sure they don't confuse you for a bad guy.

    Arizona has castle doctrine. There was no need to "hold him at gunpoint". Cornering an armed bad guy is a risky proposition. Deal with the threat effectively by either (a) evacuating family to safety or (b) stopping the threat immediately. Standing there with the phone in one hand and a pistol in the other while Deebo lurks in the corner is simply asking for trouble.

  6. #6
    Gunatic Loyalist (Bow down) Blindeye_03's Avatar
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    I read this on another forum and it had a lot more info... here it is:

    let me know if you guys cant read this or need to register:

    http://www.georgiapacking.org/forum/...hp?f=2&t=18895

    Quote Originally Posted by Krasnovia
    From someone at the scene...
    Just a little info as the Officers entered the house they identified themselves several times and the homeowner never said anything just came around the corner with the weapon in his hand....I was out there and spoke with some of the Officers involved.
    and
    Just for more clarification on the story....Officers were responding to a burglary hot call one block over....as they arrive on scene another hot call comes out of shot fire one block away on Flower...as the Officers are out at the burglary house they hear breaking glass and a woman screaming from the Flower address....they run through the backyard, through the alley and come into the backyard of the Flower address....as they do so a woman, who is the homeowners wife, comes running out scream "he has a gun he has a gun" never saying who had the gun. The Officers announce themselves several times and enter the house. The homeowner comes around a corner with the gun angled upwards and turns to face the Officers as they're yelling at him. The Officer who shoots him thinks is the bad guy (there were reports the bad guy had a gun) and shoots the homeowner. They then find the badguy hiding in a back bedroom all cut up from jumping through the front window. Even though there was a hot call that came out of shots fired the Officers on the other block never heard any shots. It appears right now that the only shots fired were from the Officer but they're still investigating.

  7. #7
    Gunatic Loyalist (Bow down) Janq's Avatar
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    Agreed 1000% Kart.

    GTF out as _along_ with the family and leave Deebo inside the house for Five-O to come and find as well as detain.
    Or
    Don't waffle and equivocate. Take the shot.
    You have moral and legal justification to do so even in states where no castle law is in place by way of simply having applied lethal force to not defend your house (!) but so as to defend your _self_ and your _child_ from being victim of a felony. Duh.

    I do not at all understand why people get all caught up about protection of their _stuff_, insured easily repairable if not replaceable things, and forget about what is actually of importance....HUMAN LIFE.

    - Janq

  8. #8
    10111011 mattxander12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blindeye_03
    I read this on another forum and it had a lot more info... here it is:

    let me know if you guys cant read this or need to register:

    http://www.georgiapacking.org/forum/...hp?f=2&t=18895

    ahhh ... that was the "more info" I was looking for. GG definitely messed up bad. He should have shouted his location rather than going looking for the LEO. Regardless, his gun should have been made safe at that point knowing the cavalry is there. Definitely a GG "oops".

    As for the GG holding the BG at gunpoint...I can understand the situation. He did go after his last son, did he not? His family has safely gotten out of the house. The BG is already subdued at gunpoint in the process of protecting the last son. Would the situation not be more safe keeping the guy at gunpoint until authorities arrive, rather than leaving the BG in your house and leave reintroducing an unknown person with unknown weapons and unknown capability back into the situation? If the situation was already unfolded, I'd feel safer with the BG on the business end of my weapon than just "somewhere in the house", if I already had the BG on the right side of the barrel. Not to mention you'd be exposed vulnerable upon trying to exit.

    As for shooting the BG while he was subdued before exiting the house, that would be a hard one to sell as necessary at that point. It reminds me of the account of the pharmacist shooting the subdued BG a few months back.

  9. #9
    00000 kartoffel's Avatar
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    Agreed, Matt. I'm not clear on how the bad guy went from armed to "subdued". Was he still armed? Still conscious?

    I would not try to cuff, restrain or subdue a bad guy even if he suddenly acted like he was having a change of heart. It ain't worth the risk. Even if he wanted to get out of the house, cornering him in a bedroom typically means there's only one way out, and you're standing in it.

    Pull back to a reasonable distance and keep your defensive firearm trained on him. If he attempts to flee away from you and bystanders, awesome. If he comes toward you, rely on your training.

  10. #10
    Gunatic Loyalist (Bow down) Janq's Avatar
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    Agreed Kart.

    People who think that subduing a BG by going hands on and 'tying them up' or handcuffing is something that is easy and the BG will be completely submissive too...They might want to think twice on that.
    Not even cops have it easy doing so and they have numbers and guns and tasers on their side.

    Get out or shoot.
    Your only real choices as in a home invasion scenario such as this.

    - Janq

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