Waffle House in Tennessee Scene of Fatal Shooting *Updated*

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Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire.

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16 Responses

  1. Avatar Oscar Gordon
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    says:

    The naked truth is that this is going to expose us all to the mental health question much more fully.Report

  2. Avatar Michael Cain
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    says:

    We’ve got lots of lawyers here — is the father at risk of being charged with accessory to murder?Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Michael Cain
      Ignored
      says:

      There is some degree of responsibility there. Whether or not it is criminal, I have no idea, but it could be an interesting civil question.Report

      • Avatar Andrew Donaldson in reply to Oscar Gordon
        Ignored
        says:

        I’ve been looking but cant find specifics: LE turned the weapon over to father, who gave it back to son, reportedly. I’d like to know what conditions it was returned to the father on, probably goes a long way toward liability. Criminal and Civil liability will be two different things, of course.Report

        • Avatar Road Scholar in reply to Andrew Donaldson
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          says:

          A source I read said the guy had his ability to own firearms revoked (or some such language) which I take to mean he would not have been able to pass a background check. It also appears the father was present when the weapons were seized (apparently he was living at his father’s home) so presumably the father would have been aware of that fact.

          So, yeah, if he isn’t charged as an accessory at least expect a civil suit. He deserves some misery.Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Road Scholar
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            says:

            Passing a firearm to a prohibited person, whether you know they’re prohibited or not, is a felony. It’s not always pursued, but in a case like this, if he was prohibited, I’d be surprised if charges are not filed.Report

          • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to Road Scholar
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            says:

            It sounds like the seizure involved a state law in which a therapist is required to report to local law enforcement (a) someone who is a danger to themselves or others, (b) whom it is discovered owns guns (no duty to ask), at which point, local law enforcement (c) has the discretion to seize the guns and revoke the FOID card. There is some sort of post-deprivation hearing rights.

            None of that means that the person has received any particular mental health diagnoses or that the person is deemed to be a particular risk to shoot anybody. For example, a client seeing a therapist is a cutter, who reveals he owns guns. That the therapist doesn’t believe that guns hold any particular risk doesn’t matter. That is the one such situation I’ve heard about, and indeed when law enforcement came, they suggested the guns be re-registered in the spouse’s name so that she can come pick them up. I don’t think the state has the right to keep the guns; no crime or other wrong has been committed; so they are going to hold the guns until either the individual regains the right to have them or they are transferred. Also, worth considering that the therapist is pretty much done once the report is made, so what the spouse is likely to know about the circumstances of the seizure are going to come from the husband.Report

            • Avatar Road Scholar in reply to PD Shaw
              Ignored
              says:

              Hmm… Thanks for the info. Per usual the initial reports are incomplete and/or wrong in some respect. The report I read seemed to imply that the seizure was a consequence of the incident and arrest near the White House and that Federal LEO was involved. Always good to wait for the real info to shake out.Report

              • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to Road Scholar
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, I didn’t mean to state that was necessarily the reason for the revocation; it just seemed to me that was the most likely. I think all of the grounds for revocation tie into some other legal process like a conviction, involuntary commitment, dishonorable discharge, an order of protection, etc. If it’s unclear why the action was taken, the grounds I outlined (*) are more probable because there would not necessarily be any process unless post-deprivation hearing was sought.Report

              • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to PD Shaw
                Ignored
                says:

                Probably shouldn’t do this, but the White House incident doesn’t appear to have resulted in a conviction or mental health screening. He did community service and the charges were dropped. I don’t think this alone would be enough.

                The Peoria area papers say that there are no court records against him other than auto-related incidents. Police are saying that they’d had run-ins with him, but no charges were ever brought, though in one instance they got him to seek a mental health evaluation, so I suppose charges might have been threatened. But that wouldn’t be an involuntary admission. Still seems to be pointing to a discussion with a therapist where magic words were spoken, falling short of what would be needed for commitment.Report

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