This happened a few days ago, but I’ve been so caught up in the Covington Catholic School catastrophe that I let my local news slide again.
Huntsville police say gunfire exchange inside the IHOP on Drake Avenue turned deadly Wednesday night. Three people were shot and two of them died, including the customer who allegedly opened fire.
Police say it stared when 25-year-old Roderick Turner went to IHOP to pick up a carryout order. He reportedly became disruptive and loud regarding the service, which lead to a verbal then physical altercation with another IHOP employee. Turner then pulled out a handgun and started firing at employees, striking two employees.
One of the employees shot died at the scene. Police identified him as 56-year-old Roy Brown Sr.
The employee who was wounded pulled a handgun and shot Turner in self-defense of others, according to investigators. Turner died at the scene.
Brown’s family confirmed the employee who was injured and fired back was Jay Brown, son of the deceased employee.
Customer becomes irate and shoots the dad and the son, the dad dies and the son shoots and kills the customer.
It is a tragedy that Jay Brown had to watch his dad get shot an killed. Nobody should have to go through that. But despite that, and being wounded himself, he was able to fight back, saving his life and the lives of other people in the restaurant.
Lesson 1: keep your head
in the game and deal with the threat.
Here is where this story takes a turn for the stereotypical.
Friends of Roderick Turner, one of the men killed inside a Huntsville IHOP last week, spoke with WAAY 31 after he was laid to rest on Monday. His friends said they are still trying to piece together what happened inside the restaurant.
“My first reaction is ‘Oh my god, what is going on?’ Lives are lost. Everybody should be able to go home to their family,” said a friend of Turner’s, Kingsley Onyebinachi.
His friends and family said they still can’t believe Turner was shot and killed. Huntsville Police said Turner started shooting after becoming angry over his carryout order. His friends said it doesn’t make sense.
“We eat IHOP numerously. So for this to happen this time when we ate here 20 times in the last few months… that sounds outrageous,” said Onyebinachi.
The friends said Turner traveled and listened to music regularly.
“Roderick Turner…he is a spontaneous, outgoing person. He is a family person. He is an honest person. He would give his last to see his friends and family happy,” Onyebinachi said.
“From day one, we clicked. He’s a good-hearted person…a genuine guy….loved everyone he came across. He treated everyone with respect, said another friend of Turner’s, Emory Kelly.
His friends said they don’t think his reaction to a carryout order would have been deadly.
“Knowing my friend for numerous of years, he has never had a problem with a carryout order. If anything, he would have bought a whole other order,” Onyebinachi said.
So now that we have heard from the shooter’s friends, lets hear what objective sources have to say.
Madison County District Attorney Robert Broussard says the shooter in a deadly IHOP shooting Wednesday was a familiar name to his office. Now, family of Roy Brown, 56, who was killed, are questioning if more could have been done.
Broussard told WAFF 48 News his office has worked several cases against Turner, but they were all dropped for a “number of reasons.” We asked him for more information on what those reasons are, but he never got back with us.
For a good guy, he seems to have had a lot of run-ins with the police. It’s not a good sign when the district attorney recognizes your name.
Here is where this starts to go south.
Huntsville PD confirmed to WAFF that the gun used by Turner in the restaurant shooting was purchased legally and registered to him.
He wasn’t a prohibited person.
Joshua Lee is a member of BamaCarry, a statewide gun advocacy group. He says the system worked the way it should have, but that everything can’t be avoided.
I don’t know Lee, but I did go to a BamaCarry lunch once. They are… well, let them describe themselves “Welcome to BamaCarry, Alabama’s only “No Compromise” gun rights group.”
“On one hand we’ve got to stop killing people. On the other hand, you can’t take away peoples rights to defend themselves,” Lee said.
Lee doesn’t know who to blame in this incident but praises the law for allowing Browns son to defend himself. “It’s not up to the County or the state or really even the federal government to tell me how or when I can protect my family.”
Thanks, Captain Talking-points.
Any regular readers know much of an advocate for CCW I am. I’m not questioning that.
What we have here, however, is a situation that feels eerily similar to the Parkland shooting, in that we have a shooter who was well known to the police for all the wrong reasons, but was able to legally purchase a gun because nothing that he did made him a prohibited person.
Call me a traitor to gun rights if it makes you feel better about yourself, but I feel there needs to be something between zero and felony (or DV conviction) when it comes to guns.
I agree 100% that the California approach is a crap one, that opens the door for angry ex-girlfriends or disgruntled former employees, or anybody else to abuse the system.
With this case and with Cruz, and with others that we’ve seen, I’m thinking a system in which run-ins with the police earn you points, once you’ve exceeded so many points, you are temporary made a prohibited person, with an automatic sunset, as long as you don’t accrue any more points within that time frame. Something that makes the standard more objective and less manipulable by a vindictive person.
This will need to be very carefully written, I do not want to strip people of their gun rights needlessly.
However, there are these people, like a neighbor I once had, who are always picking fights with neighbors, waitstaff, or family. The cops always seem to be there for some reason but the person never ends up with spending more than one night in jail, if in handcuffs at all.
Clearly that person is a problem and a disaster waiting to happen. How many times does he need to throw a trashcan at you, or kick your dog, or threaten to kick your ass and have to have a to have a talking to with the cops before someone says “you know, this guy probably shouldn’t have a gun.”
Maybe a five calls for disturbing the peace in one year should make you a prohibited person for the period of one year. If you can keep yourself out of trouble for a year, your rights are automatically restored.
We read far too many stories in were the cops say something like “we have dealt with this guy in the past, but he never did that one thing one time that allowed us to make him a prohibited person.” There should be a process to deal with him before he goes out a kills someone, when there is a pattern of escalating violence.
And before any of you say “No way in hell, not one inch.” We all know Red Flag laws are coming. We can either help write them so to minimize the abuse or we can let the other side write them to maximize it.
There are some comments to this post that went where I was expecting, so let me make this clear.
No, I do not believe in may issue, I am ardent supporter of shall issue.
No, I do not believe in big goverment, any regular reader should know that.
Yes, I believe that any lost of rights should come from adjudication, i.e., a hearing before a judge in which the accused has the right to defend himself.
What I see is a big gap where we know a person is escalating in violence but has not crossed the threshold of becoming a prohibited person. Since becoming a prohibited person generally requires killing or injuring someone, how to we stop a very clear threat before that happens?
Give some suggestions.
I have real life experience with this. I had a neighbor in South Dakota that was a problem person. I was not the only person he had problems with.
He didn’t like that my dogs barked so he kicked my dog while he was on his lead. Not a felony or a domestic violence charge.
He didn’t like where I parked my car so he threw a trashcan at it. Again, not a felony or domestic violence charge.
He would go outside and scream in people’s faces. Again, not a felony or domestic violence charge.
This person clearly had anger issues. He was booted by the apartment management before anything worse happened.
But say he wasn’t. I believe that this person, with his escalating violent streak shouldn’t have a gun. How do we stop him from getting one and shooting a neighbor before he commits the level of violent crime that prohibits him from getting a gun.
My opinion is that the police should be able to go to a judge and say “This asshole has caused a bunch of problems, we’ve had to talk to him about picking fights with neighbors a dozen times. He needs to be banned from having guns for X long period of time, during which we don’t have to be called out to deal with him again.”
Remember Cruz was contacted by the BSO over 40 times.
In the US we have a three strikes law or a “persistent offender law.” Three minor felonies add up to a life sentence.
That is the prescient I am using.
Some number of minor altercations that indicate a propensity for violence can add up to being equal to a felony in terms of gun rights. Less actually, because I’m for this sort of prohibition having a time limit after which rights are automatically restores unless re-adjudicated.
How many thrown trashcans, kicked dogs, and “I’m gonna kick your ass” screamed in faces should it take before we take that guys gun rights, temporarily, BEFORE he shoots someone.
Because right now, that guy still buy a gun and the only defense I have is to shoot him first when he draws on me.