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Friday, July 6, 2007

Marine shoots two robbers, and is called both hero and criminal

Again and again I'll say it -- be careful who you mess with, even if they look harmless. They could just end up being a former soldier.

The Marine is being called both hero and criminal (emphasis mine):

Some are calling a former U.S. Marine a hero for shooting two men — killing one — during the botched robbery of a sandwich shop in Plantation. But the men's friends and family want to know how he could gun them down and not be charged.

John Lovell had just finished dinner at about 11: 15 p.m. Wednesday when, Plantation police say, two men armed with guns rushed inside a Subway shop and demanded cash. After robbing the store, the men turned to Lovell. They wanted his money, police said.

But like his attackers, Lovell was armed.

The retired military man opened fire, shooting dead Donicio Arrindell, 22, of North Lauderdale, and critically injuring Fredrick Gadson, 21, of Fort Lauderdale.

Lovell, 71, of Plantation, has a valid concealed weapons permit and is not expected to be charged in the shooting, said police spokesman Detective Robert Rettig. Gadson, however, faces multiple felony charges that could include murder, he said. Under Florida law, anyone who commits a felony such as armed robbery resulting in a death can be held accountable for the capital offense.

His attorney, Wesley White, of Yulee, near Jacksonville, said he has known Lovell for 19 years and described him as a "quiet Clint Eastwood-type you don't want to mess with." He is a former Marine who was a member of the helicopter detail that transported Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, White said.

Lovell, a retired Pan-Am and Delta Airline pilot, has held a concealed weapons permit since September 1990.

According to a police statement, Arrindell ordered Lovell to hand over his wallet. He intentionally dropped it on the floor and refused to pick it up, saying he was afraid. That's when Arrindell ordered him into the women's restroom.

"The victim believed he would be executed and when he noticed [Arrindell] distracted ... reached behind his back, removed his loaded .45 caliber handgun from his holster and fired seven rounds," the statement said.

Arrindell was struck twice — once in the head and once in the stomach — and collapsed. Officers found him face down, wearing sunglasses and a bandanna, with a gun near his left hand. Gadson was hit in the chest and ran from the store. Police dogs found him in the hedges of a nearby office building and bank.

Sebastian Shakespeare, 23, of Lauderhill, was going to buy a sandwich at the Subway at 1949 N. Pine Island Road when he saw Lovell, gun in hand, standing over Arrindell. A former employee, Shakespeare worked the night shift and often worried about getting robbed.

He said Lovell did a good deed. "A civilian was a hero."

Lovell's neighbor agreed.

"If I was in the same situation ... I hope I could've done the same thing," said Bryan Sklar, 45.

But Gadson's grandmother, Rosa Jones, said: "He ain't no hero. He is a murderer and God will serve justice."

She and her husband, Ivory Jones, pastor of a Fort Lauderdale church, sat on their front porch in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday wondering how a man could shoot two people and not go to jail.

They said their grandson sometimes hung with the wrong crowd but never got into legal trouble. According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, he has no arrest record. They said Gadson, who never finished high school, got tired of low-wage jobs and was pursuing his GED.

Arrindell, friends said, found himself in a similar situation: no high school diploma and working odd jobs. So he went back to school. He was a man with past troubles, including a 2004 arrest for carrying a concealed weapon, but he was improving his life, they said. He recently bought a car and had a girlfriend.

I love the wording of this article. "Gunned down two men and not arrested."

Has such a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

It's funny how the grandparents of the guy who survived are calling Lovell, the Marine, a murderer. Saying he isn't a hero -- even though the two men who committed the crime were, well, committing a crime. They didn't just stroll into Subway to get a sandwich and get shot out of nowhere. They charged in, armed, and demanded money. Lovell was forced into a bathroom stall with a gun pointed at him -- what, I wonder, would she have done if she had a gun and some guy was forcing her into a bathroom at gunpoint?

I would've shot his ass, too.

And of course, I always love the "good kid hanging with a bad crowd" argument. If he was such a good kid, why was he hanging with such a bad crowd? Why did he drop out of high school? Why was he committing armed robberies? I'm not saying the kid's a monster or anything, but "good kid" is not an applicable label here. The parents of the used the same excuse, even though both were supposedly strippers who dabbled in drugs, even telling police that one of the girls was a drug dealer.

Parents of screwed-up kids always used that excuse. "Good kid hanging with a bad crowd". It's not an excuse. And Lovell is a hero, whether the kid's family [liberals, perhaps?] like it or not.

I mean, what should he have done instead? Let himself be robbed? Let himself be murdered?

Don't think so.

We need more Lovells, and less of the 'self-defense = murder' crowd.


Gredd said...

I understand being upset about the death of a loved one, but blaming the former Marine is absurd. Actions lead to consequences, the grandparents (one of them is a freakin pastor for crying out loud) should understand that.

Angry White Guy said...

God will serve justice, eh?

Might not wantto be reminding the lord of that, since he's going to be seeing you're kid pretty soon.

And you know the Marine is taking crap from his friends for 7 rounds, and only 3 hitting...

Bilwick said...

It's called "ghetto logic."