Schuylkyll River Trail Shooting Final Update

Some of you might remember the case of a guy who was assaulted by some kids on the Schuylkyll River Trail while on bicycle, and took a few shots at them after they began fleeing with the legally licensed pocket 380 he was carrying with him on the trail. I covered this case here, here and here.

It looks like a month or so ago, he was exceedingly lucky to plea down to two counts of reckless endangerment, which is a class two misdemeanor in Pennsylvania, meaning it does not rise to the level of a disabling offense for firearms purposes. That said, I find it very unlikely any Pennsylvania Sheriff is going to issue this guy another License to Carry Firearms, using the “character or reputation” escape clause found in our permitting law. As I said, the circumstances, as they were conveyed in my final post, justified him drawing the firearm, but as soon as the kids started fleeing, the danger was over, and he wasn’t justified in shooting at them as they fled. He was lucky, in this case.

9 thoughts on “Schuylkyll River Trail Shooting Final Update”

  1. Yes, a lucky guy indeed. As you said “exceedingly lucky” to make a plea deal like that. And I’d say even more so for not having killed the kid.

    But, do you think this reflects the general attitude towards guns and gun owners in PA? In Jersey he’d have had a harder time in court, wouldn’t you say?

  2. We have 600,000 licensed to carry a firearm in this state. And that was the 2008 numbers, before all the states had a surge of licensees. If this guy was typical, we’d have a lot of shootings.

    He’s exceedingly lucky he missed, and yes, Jersey would have treated him more harshly because he would have had the gun illegally.

  3. Mike, I find it very odd that you only comment on these negative gun stories, but we never hear you chime in on defensive gun stories that maybe those reflect the majority of gun owners.

    Oh and also as a gentleman who admitted to criminally owning guns in New Jersey, why don’t you tell us how you made out?

  4. “And I’d say even more so for not having killed the kid.”

    Well, it depends. I don’t have any inside knowledge of the case, but I have visited the location. It is a death trap. There is no room to maneuver, and nowhere to escape to. It’s a long corridor between a chain link fence and a wall of trees/drop off into train tracks 10 feet below. If he had hit and or killed the kid, it would have given direct physical evidence of the circumstances at the time of the shots fired.

    So, if he really was shooting as the kid was fleeing, and hit the kid in the back at 50 yards, we’d know, and he’d be in the slammer, and deservedly so. If, however, the evidence showed that the kid was shot in the face at a distance of 3.5 feet, it would strongly suggest that the kid was in fact a threat at the time. If we ASSUME that the reports in the media are true, and the kid was fleeing, then everyone involved is lucky that the shooter missed. I’m not willing to assume.

    Let’s just imagine that you are being charged with multiple felonies, and the DA offers you a plea of 2 misdemeanors, no bar to weapons ownership, and probation, you might take it even if you know you were in the right rather than roll the dice on a court appearance. You might think that the DA has to PROVE you were wrong to convict you. WRONG. Since we don’t have the Castle doctrine outside our homes here in PA, you are basically on the hook to prove you weren’t wrong. With no physical evidence, what else could the guy do? On the other hand, if the DA had anything that actually proved that this guy was taking long range potshots at fleeing kids on bicycles, she’d have crucified this guy.

    Moral of the story? Don’t shoot unless you have to, and if you have to, hit what you aim at. Then SHUT YOUR MOUTH UNTIL YOUR LAWYER SHOWS UP!!!!1111eleventy!

    Oh, and MikeB? Stop being a criminal.

  5. Weer’d, Thanks for the reminder. I do usually comment on the “negative” gun stories. But there have been exceptions. I’ve made the occasional approving remark about a truly legit DGU. Once I remember having said, “Thank god she had the gun.”

    Sean, How do you get this? “if you know you were in the right rather than roll the dice on a court appearance.” How could firing several times at the retreating biker be “right?”

  6. But no comment on your criminal behavior? You’ve mentioned you’re narrow-minded and biased. But you don’t talk about your criminal behavior.

    You admitted to it, so why not let us know how you were able to skirt the law. Maybe we can close a loophole or two!

  7. “How could firing several times at the retreating biker be “right?””

    Re read my commend dummy.

  8. I agree that the prosecution would not have offered the deal if they really thought the man was in the wrong. This plea was to allow the state to satisfy those who were upset that a man shot at hooligans.

    This is the damn if you do and damn if you don’t case.
    The man was assaulted but there is only his word. he used a defensive weapon. The assailants say they were running away and it that is their testimony.

    The ironic fact is that if the man had not reported the shooting, it may never have come up. But since the assailants escaped they may have filed charges. So the question is often, you successfully deterred an attack with a gun. Do you report it and possibly get charged or keep quiet?

  9. It wasn’t just the testimony of the hooligans. There was a rear bike tire shot out, and the shooter himself mentioned he was a “hell of a shot” and they were 100 yards away when he took it.

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