GA - Ronald Westbrook, 72, Alzheimer's wanderer, shot to death, 27 Nov 2013

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by belimom, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. belimom

    belimom Our lives begin to end the day we become silent ab

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    This is getting out of hand... :cry:

    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. :no:

     
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  3. BeginnersLuck

    BeginnersLuck New Member

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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/tennessee/2010/title-39/chapter-11/part-6/39-11-611
     
  4. Reader

    Reader New Member

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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.
     
  5. michmi

    michmi New Member

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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/2013/11/28/2826771/ga-man-shoots-kills-roving-alzheimers.html
     
  6. BeginnersLuck

    BeginnersLuck New Member

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    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.
     
  7. tlcya

    tlcya Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  8. Karmady

    Karmady Former Member

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    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.
     
  9. tlcya

    tlcya Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  10. Karmady

    Karmady Former Member

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    ~bbm

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

    tlcya Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  12. Karmady

    Karmady Former Member

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    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.
     
  13. BeginnersLuck

    BeginnersLuck New Member

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    Maybe the officers didn't notice any visible signs that the victim was confused?
     
  14. LambChop

    LambChop Former Member

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    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.
     
  15. Sonya610

    Sonya610 Former Member

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    Very true. If he had been reported missing one would think the police would be on the lookout in the area.
     
  16. tlcya

    tlcya Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  17. LambChop

    LambChop Former Member

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    My grandmother was as sharp as a tack right up to the time of her death at age 95. My Mom now lives with me but she has memory problems. They are not severe yet but at some point families have to do something. Not all families are close enough to know there are problems with an elder, unfortunately.
     
  18. belimom

    belimom Our lives begin to end the day we become silent ab

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    I was named for my dear aunt who was a special woman and lived into her 90s. She had Alzheimer's, and it was very difficult for her husband. He tried to keep her at home as long as he could, but she would leave home and wander around. If he dropped her off to get her hair done, she would get confused and leave - wandering around town. When he hired someone to stay with her some so he could run errands, she would sneak out and walk down the road (they lived in the country) until someone picked her up - and she would tell them that there were strangers in her house and she didn't want to go back.

    It was very hard on everyone when he put her into a nursing home. I was in college and wanted to badly to care for her myself, but I was unable to and I had no legal rights regarding her care. (insert long drama here with her husband)

    So I do feel for this family. We don't know their story, but it's difficult to keep your eye on another adult 24/7. But as TL said above, we must - as a society - stop shooting innocent/lost people, and even someone who may be a petty theft. If we all become vigilantes, then we'll all go down together. :no:
     
  19. Karmady

    Karmady Former Member

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    I know this is just my experience, but fwiw, I recently saw an elderly man looking a little disoriented and crossing a busy intersection near my house. I called 911 since he seemed a little unsteady on his feet. Once I got the man to tell me his name (and maybe his dob, I don't remember), the police were able to find out exactly where he lived in a couple of seconds. They came to the scene and were able to escort him home. Turns out he lived nearby and was probably not really disoriented and no more unsteady than your average 80'ish year old person. But better safe than sorry, right?

    My point is that unless the man refused to give his name and dob, the police probably would have been able to find out where he lived ime and, if he lived with family members, could have alerted them that he was out and about in his old neighborhood. And none of this is to cast blame on anyone at all. Just pointlessly wondering about the details of how this man came to be where he was in the cold in the middle of the night :(
     
  20. michmi

    michmi New Member

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    No, I don't think fault will be placed on anyone but the shooter, but I've been through this. Alzheimer's is not a disease that waits for paperwork, decisions or denial.

    As soon as my mother was diagnosed, and certainly before any wandering behavior appeared, I had a door installed between my kitchen and the back door where the stairs are, with a lock at the top of the door that only I could reach. It was to keep her away from the stairs and to keep her inside the house.

    Too many times I have heard of families denying there was anything wrong, saying they could never place their relative because they "promised", and all other types of nonsense. Did I want to place my mother? NO! Did I take myself and my feelings out of it for my mother's sake? Of course. And she received better care from people who weren't sleep-deprived and trying to do everything with no help.

    I was reading through my journals the other day and one day I wrote about going to visit at the nursing home and finding my mother in a big chair with another lady in a wheelchair next to her, they were both sleeping. And they were holding hands. That couldn't have happened at home, because all of her "friends" abandoned her as soon as they knew what was wrong.

    The not accepting and not placing is more about the caregiver than it is about the patient.
     
  21. michmi

    michmi New Member

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    It was below freezing and the man had a light jacket and a straw hat on according to the news.

    I do find it interesting that the man was "essentially mute" according to articles, yet the police claim he told them he was checking his mail?
     

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