But that doesn't excuse the news media's blathering about how poor David Estes was just a mentally ill regular guy and shouldn't have been shot by the police.
So here's a brief recap of the facts:
- Mrs. Estes calls 911 to report that David was involved in an argument and left their home armed with four guns and threatening to kill himself.
- About 30 minutes later a deputy sheriff sees David's red pickup truck in Paddock Lake.
- The deputy and other officers try to stop the pickup truck.
- David doesn't stop and leads police on a chase.
- Several attempts to stop the truck using stop strips (devices with spikes that can be put on the road to cause flat tires) failed becauseDavid avoided them.
- Finally David drove over a strip and his truck stopped about 9:40 p.m. near Highway C west of Highway 83.
- For the next two-and-one-half hours police tried to talk him into surrendering, at one point even firing a less-than-lethal beanbag round at David.
- At 12:15 a.m. David made a threatening movement with a rifle toward the officers at which time he was shot.
Contrary to the whining reported in the news media, the officers exercised extreme restraint and tried to resolve the matter without bloodshed. It was David who chose to escalate things. Regardless of whether his intention was "suicide by cop" the fact is that if you point a gun at the police they have every right -- and duty -- to use fatal force.
Yes, it's tragic that David had a history of mental health problems but he also had a criminal history. One can even be severely mentally ill and still not be a criminal.
It's like an alcoholic. They can drink themselves to death at home but, get behind a wheel of a vehicle and drive, and then it's our business. Should we not go after drunken drivers because they're alcoholics?
The nitwitness newsies, such as those at Channel 12 which showed us video of the grieving widow complete with all kinds of pictures depiciting David as a regular family man, do the public a disservice by enabling such rubbish.
None of the police officers involved in this incident went to work Saturday night thinking, "I'm bored. Maybe we can shoot David Estes today for a little excitement."
The only person to blame for David's fate is David. Period.