Monday, November 14, 2005

Airsoft pistol allegedly used by parolee in police shooting looks real

From only a few feet away, the weapon looks just like a 9 mm Beretta handgun. Get closer and you might see the black tape around the handle, though the rest of the gun looks normal. Only when inspected closely do the tell-tale spray paint marks show. Take out the magazine and scrape marks reveal orange paint.

After the air soft pistol gun, top, is compared to a real gun, Evidence Technician John Whisler of the Lodi Police Department puts on some latex gloves to place the evidence back inside an envelope at the Lodi Police Department on Thursday. (Angelina Gervasi/News-Sentinel)
The gun is actually an air pistol that shoots soft plastic balls. It is this gun, police say, that a wanted parolee pointed at Lodi detectives before they shot him Tuesday.Chad Joseph Morrow, 25, remains in fair condition at Lodi Memorial Hospital, where he is under 24-hour guard by police officers.On Thursday, officers showed the gun he allegedly wielded, and they held it up to a 9-mm Taurus handgun. Both are about nine inches long, and both are black.After undercover detectives cornered Morrow in a gas station parking lot and he allegedly rammed their vehicle, they identified themselves and ordered him out of the car, according to police.Instead, Morrow pointed a gun at them, Lt. Bill Barry said.Morrow was shot twice, and detectives quickly moved closer. They secured him and made sure they got his gun out of the way so it couldn't be fired, police say.

A detective placed the gun on top of Morrow's car, out of the way, where it remained for hours.
Chad Morrow
Onlookers at the scene at the corner of East Elm Street and Cherokee Lane guessed at the caliber of the weapon, and some thought it looked like an officer's gun.Had the weapon not been altered, it would have had an orange tip so people would know it was a fake. Officer and Evidence Technician John Whisler said most such guns are clear with bright colors.Morrow will possibly face charges, though it remains under investigation. In addition to the Lodiincident, he is wanted in connection with two armed robberies in Stanislaus County. He is also a convicted sex offender, and is still on parole.The two detectives who fired shots — Sierra Brucia, a member of the SWAT team, and Mike Kermgard, a firearms instructor and weapons armorer — remain on paid administrative leave.

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