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  1. #1
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    belimom is offline Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter ~MLK Jr
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    GA - Ronald Westbrook, 72, Alzheimer's wanderer, shot to death, 27 Nov 2013

    This is getting out of hand...

    The victim rang the doorbell and tried to turn the handle, but evidently walked away because the shooter then confronted the victim in the back yard. The man didn't respond to commands so he shoots - four times.

    911 had already been called. Why not retreat back into your home and wait? Why go out to begin with? What happened to grabbing your gun and hunkering down in a closet until LE arrives?

    To shoot anyone who knocked on your door - even trying the door knob - but then retreats into the yard is just not justifiable, IMO.

    Ga. man shoots, kills roving Alzheimer's patient


    ....the victim, Ronald Westbrook, walked about three miles in the sub-freezing temperatures before knocking on Joe Hendrix's door just before 4 a.m. Wednesday.

    Hendrix's fiancee didn't answer, instead calling police. But before deputies arrived, Sheriff Steve Wilson said, Hendrix went into the back yard with his handgun, where he saw Westbrook in silhouette.

    Wilson said Hendrix, 34, recalled giving Westbrook several verbal commands, but the advanced Alzheimer's patient — who was wearing a light jacket and a straw hat with temperatures in the low 20s — didn't respond. Hendrix then fired four shots, the fatal bullet hitting entering Westbrook's chest....
    Man shoots, kills elderly man with Alzheimer’s at Walker County, Ga., home

    A 34-year-old Chattanooga man shot and killed a 72-year-old man who rang the doorbell around 4 a.m. today at a home in a new subdivision off North Marble Top Road in rural Walker County, Ga., Sheriff Steve Wilson said....

    ....Wilson said the victim, who had advanced Alzheimer’s disease, had been walking around for about four hours and almost three miles before the incident occurred. He said Westbrook was lost and rang the doorbell and turned the door handle at the home, where Hendrix was visiting his fiancee.

    The woman, who was not identified, called a 911 dispatcher and was on the phone with that person when Hendrix took a 40-caliber handgun outside and confronted the victim in the yard behind the home, the sheriff said.

    Westbrook apparently did not respond to commands from Hendrix because his condition has left him essentially mute, the sheriff said.

    Hendrix fired four shots, one of which struck the victim in the chest and killed him....
    Fly high and free, Jhessye ~

    My posts are meant to help think through possibilities and are strictly an additional opinion under circumstances when many points of view need to be considered. I apologize in advance to anyone whose potential involvement is contemplated in error. Please understand that much of what is happening is merely brainstorming during unfortunate events.

  2. #2
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    Well, this shouldn't by any means fall under any kind of statute of self defense. If the victim was basically standing in the backyard then at worst, he was simply trespassing.

    Self defense laws differ by state and can sometimes be hard to interpret.

    Typically they are the use of deadly force to protect yourself or someone else that you have reason to believe is in danger of bodily injury.

    This explains it better than I can:

    http://law.justia.com/codes/tennesse...rt-6/39-11-611
    Last edited by BeginnersLuck; 11-29-2013 at 12:07 PM.

  3. #3
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    Totally uncalled for IMO. If the man felt in danger it's only because he put himself in danger by going out to confront the victim. The article I read said he only saw a silhouette of the old man. He couldn't tell if he had a gun or weapon or not. Of course he didn't know either the man was elderly, lost, ill and mute. I think one of the gun rules is to know what your shooting at first.


    "The further we (as the human race) grow away from the natural world, the quieter the natural world becomes and the more pathological we become as a culture."........Bernie Krause

    The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy—a policy worthy of imitation......which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.......George Washington

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    If the guy was in the house, that's one thing, but to go outside with your gun and confront, well that's a weak case for self-defense.

    Ultimately though, the fault lies with the person the old man was living with who created a situation where he could wander (this is one of the first things you need to do - secure the home against the person with dementia being able to go out independently) or, if he was living alone and had family "checking" on him, they should feel the guilt of not recognizing his living situation was dangerous.

    According to this article, the police had an encounter with the dead man earlier in the night in the area (evidently it's near where the old man used to live) and he told them he was checking his mail.

    So the police bear some responsibility morally--it's in the low 20s and you see an old man with a light jacket and straw hat in the road and you just accept he's checking his mail?

    http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2013/...lzheimers.html
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    Quote Originally Posted by michmi View Post
    If the guy was in the house, that's one thing, but to go outside with your gun and confront, well that's a weak case for self-defense.

    Ultimately though, the fault lies with the person the old man was living with who created a situation where he could wander (this is one of the first things you need to do - secure the home against the person with dementia being able to go out independently) or, if he was living alone and had family "checking" on him, they should feel the guilt of not recognizing his living situation was dangerous.

    According to this article, the police had an encounter with the dead man earlier in the night in the area (evidently it's near where the old man used to live) and he told them he was checking his mail.

    So the police bear some responsibility morally--it's in the low 20s and you see an old man with a light jacket and straw hat in the road and you just accept he's checking his mail?

    http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2013/...lzheimers.html
    In a court of law, I don't think the fault will be placed on the caregiver, police or victim with this one. I'm all for the self defense laws, but this doesn't appear to fit the criteria.

    Dealing with a loved one with alzheimers is very difficult. They can require 24/7 supervision that not all families are able to do. It's a struggle sometimes to make the decision to put them in a facility and it takes time and paperwork when the decision is made to do so. Then there are those that may not have family or friends to help. IMO, when the mind goes but everything else still works, it is one of the hardest situations to deal with.

  6. #6
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    MY heart breaks for his loved ones. They already had a full plate trying to usher this man out with dignity while dealing with the tragic effects of Alzheimer. To lose him in this manner is just horrible.

    And now this shooter has to live with this decision and whatever repercussions/consequences come. Just like the lady who shot her own daughter the other day, because she thought her daughter was her own ex BF coming to break in. That woman shot her own daughter as her daughter held her grandchild, killing her right there on the porch.

    its is now the wild wild west out there in suburbia. Everyone is packing heat and half of them should not be IMO. Everyone wants their right to bear arms but most do not even bother to take the most rudimentary course in safety for the use of those arms.

    Along with the right to bear arms comes great responsibility and its time to address how we make sure people are using/applying that responsible use of those arms.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeginnersLuck View Post
    In a court of law, I don't think the fault will be placed on the caregiver, police or victim with this one. I'm all for the self defense laws, but this doesn't appear to fit the criteria.

    Dealing with a loved one with alzheimers is very difficult. They can require 24/7 supervision that not all families are able to do. It's a struggle sometimes to make the decision to put them in a facility and it takes time and paperwork when the decision is made to do so. Then there are those that may not have family or friends to help. IMO, when the mind goes but everything else still works, it is one of the hardest situations to deal with.
    Wonder why the police didn't take him home. One of the linked articles says he was holding the mail he took from his old neighborhood in his hands when he was shot. I'm suprised this guy wasn't charged. Maybe he still will be.

  8. #8
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    all I can say as a responsible gun owner is:

    The "law abiding" citizens carrying guns scare me a lot more right now than the hoods carrying guns. I know how to handle a bad guy. Not sure what to expect from fearful citizens. They are the wild cards in my world.

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlcya View Post
    MY heart breaks for his loved ones. They already had a full plate trying to usher this man out with dignity while dealing with the tragic effects of Alzheimer. To lose him in this manner is just horrible.

    And now this shooter has to live with this decision and whatever repercussions/consequences come. Just like the lady who shot her own daughter the other day, because she thought her daughter was her own ex BF coming to break in. That woman shot her own daughter as her daughter held her grandchild, killing her right there on the porch.

    its is now the wild wild west out there in suburbia. Everyone is packing heat and half of them should not be IMO. Everyone wants their right to bear arms but most do not even bother to take the most rudimentary course in safety for the use of those arms.

    Along with the right to bear arms comes great responsibility and its time to address how we make sure people are using/applying that responsible use of those arms.
    ~bbm

    Where are you reading about his family? The article linked above says they declined comment. Did they speak to a different msm?

  10. #10
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    I have read nothing about or from his family. In my job, I deal with family members of demented elders, many of whom have Alzheimer. I am simply using my own life and job experience to extrapolate their IMO likely situation.

    It is hard to decide as a family when grandpa or dad is no longer able to be independent. Those decisions never come easy and often a court ordered guardianship is needed in order to get the elder the sort of help and care needed. Our elders often do not know or understand that they are no longer competent and sometimes fight the process. It can be a long and guilt ridden process IME.

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlcya View Post
    I have read nothing about or from his family. In my job, I deal with family members of demented elders, many of whom have Alzheimer. I am simply using my own life and job experience to extrapolate their IMO likely situation.

    It is hard to decide as a family when grandpa or dad is no longer able to be independent. Those decisions never come easy and often a court ordered guardianship is needed in order to get the elder the sort of help and care needed. Our elders often do not know or understand that they are no longer competent and sometimes fight the process. It can be a long and guilt ridden process IME.
    oh, okay. This family's experience could be completely different though (I know you know that ). At this point, we're not even sure they lived in the same area or with the man who was killed. Doesn't really matter as to what happened, but maybe could explain why he was still outside even though he had contact with the police.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karmady View Post
    Wonder why the police didn't take him home. One of the linked articles says he was holding the mail he took from his old neighborhood in his hands when he was shot. I'm suprised this guy wasn't charged. Maybe he still will be.
    Maybe the officers didn't notice any visible signs that the victim was confused?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlcya View Post
    I have read nothing about or from his family. In my job, I deal with family members of demented elders, many of whom have Alzheimer. I am simply using my own life and job experience to extrapolate their IMO likely situation.

    It is hard to decide as a family when grandpa or dad is no longer able to be independent. Those decisions never come easy and often a court ordered guardianship is needed in order to get the elder the sort of help and care needed. Our elders often do not know or understand that they are no longer competent and sometimes fight the process. It can be a long and guilt ridden process IME.
    I took care of my grandmother's needs for 27 years. When she was in her 90's I had asked the doctor what I could do if she became ill because I could not legally sign her into a nursing home and he told me he could do it when the time came. Not everyone is aware of that.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karmady View Post
    oh, okay. This family's experience could be completely different though (I know you know that ). At this point, we're not even sure they lived in the same area or with the man who was killed. Doesn't really matter as to what happened, but maybe could explain why he was still outside even though he had contact with the police.
    Very true. If he had been reported missing one would think the police would be on the lookout in the area.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by LambChop View Post
    I took care of my grandmother's needs for 27 years. When she was in her 90's I had asked the doctor what I could do if she became ill because I could not legally sign her into a nursing home and he told me he could do it when the time came. Not everyone is aware of that.
    yes, often a person's physician is needed to declare that in their opinion, the patient is no longer competent.

    It is very helpful when our elders have estate plans with powers of attorneys naming their chosen agents. These are very useful when the elderly reach that point where they can no longer make decisions for themselves because they outline what the person's preferences are BEFORE they reach that point. So theat even while taking control of their decision making, their families have a guideline to their wishes that can be followed.

    Bless you for taking care of your grandmother, Lambchop.

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