More Deaths, More Convictions,
More Murder-Suicides: VPC Concealed Carry Killers July Update
conviction of a Tennessee concealed handgun permit holder who murdered
another man during an argument over how close their SUVs were parked to
one another, a “love triangle of sorts” that ended in murder-suicide,
and a 15-year-old killed with an “unloaded” handgun by his friend are
among the updates and additions to Concealed
Carry Killers, a Violence Policy Center (VPC) on-line resource
that tallies news reports of killings by concealed handgun permit holders.
Since May 2007, concealed
handgun permit holders have killed at least 182 individuals--including
nine law enforcement officers--in 26 states. Of the 109 incidents that
resulted in the deaths, in more than half (58 incidents) the concealed
handgun permit holder has already been convicted or committed suicide
after the shooting. Of the 48 cases still pending, the vast majority (43)
are charged with criminal homicide, two were unintentional shootings,
and three are still under investigation. In the three remaining cases,
two alleged shooters were deemed incompetent to stand trial, and the final
case involved a concealed handgun permit holder who was also shot and
killed during the incident. Of the 109 incidents, 16 were mass shootings
where concealed handgun permit holders claimed the lives of 65 victims.
A summary of each
of the 109 incidents is available at http://www.vpc.org/ccwkillers.htm,
clicking on each category leads to a state-by-state breakout for the incidents
with current known status. To review all killings by concealed handgun
permit holders, click on “Total People Killed by Concealed Handgun Permit
Holders.” While the incident summaries of the few concealed handgun permit
holders eventually found not guilty of their crimes are listed on the
site, those numbers are not included in the VPC's totals.
Updates and additions
for July include:
- In July 2010, Tennessee
concealed handgun permit holder Harry Raymond Coleman was convicted
of second degree murder and other charges in the killing of Robert “Dutch”
Schwerin, 52. During a parking lot argument over how close Schwerin's
GMC Yukon Denali SUV was parked to Coleman’s wife’s Hummer, Coleman,
then 60 years old, retrieved his 45 caliber pistol from the Hummer and
shot Schwerin in the chest. During the trial, prosecutors told jurors
that Coleman and his wife were not fearful that night, only angry, adding,
“Poor Harry Coleman. He had to kill a man. He wants to be the first
man in history to stick a gun in the mouth of an unarmed man, to stick
it in the chest of an unarmed man and then to shoot him to death in
front of his children and then call himself a victim.” Coleman faces
up to 25 years in prison without parole.
- In January 2008,
Alabama concealed handgun permit holder Joshua Noel Jones, 22, shot
and killed 15-year-old Daniel Wayne “Danny” McKinnon. While sitting
in a pick-up truck with friends, Jones “dry-fired” (pulling a gun’s
trigger presumably without a bullet in the chamber) his 40 caliber handgun.
The loaded gun went off, killing McKinnon. Jones was charged with manslaughter,
convicted, and sentenced to 12 years in prison.
- In May 2007, Florida
concealed handgun permit holder Antonio Olo Duran, 40, shot and killed
Richard Scoggins, 39, and then took his own life. Scoggins was the current
boyfriend of Duran’s ex-girlfriend, Maria Bautista, 44. According to
press reports the three were “in a love triangle of sorts.” During an
argument about “past relationships,” Duran fatally shot Scoggins in
the head. As Bautista attempted to help Scoggins, Duran struggled with
her. He then put the handgun in his mouth. As Bautista attempted to
pull it out he pulled the trigger, killing himself.
Violence Policy Center
Legislative Director Kristen Rand states, “The evidence is becoming overwhelming
that too many people who get concealed handgun permits are homicidal,
suicidal, or both. The simple fact is the laws that allow the carrying
of guns in public need to be repealed--unfortunately, it is impossible
to do this before more people die."
Because most state
systems that allow the carrying of concealed handguns in public by private
citizens release little data about crimes committed by permit holders,
the VPC reviews and tallies concealed handgun permit holder killings primarily
as reported by news outlets. It is likely that the actual number of fatal
incidents involving concealed handgun permit holders is far higher.
The Violence Policy Center is
a national educational organization working to stop gun death and injury.
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Friday, July 23, 2010
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