Sunday, September 30, 2012

Czech president's security chief resigns over attack

By IANS/RIA Novosti,

Moscow : The head of security for Czech President Vaclav Klaus has resigned after his subordinates failed to prevent an "assassination" attempt on the president, Czech media report said.

The Ceske Noviny publication said a 26-year-old man, clad in camouflage fatigues, Friday forced his way through a crowd of people greeting Klaus at a bridge-opening ceremony in Chrastava, and shot at the president with a replica airsoft gun.

Klaus was taken to hospital and received treatment for minor bruises. He later criticised his bodyguards for failing to handle the situation appropriately.

Head of security Jiri Sklenka said: "Although I was not present at the place (of the incident) and I personally did not command the measures in Chrastava, after seeing the incident, I feel personal responsibility for the conduct of my subordinates, irrespective of whether they could prevent the incident or could not."

Sklenka said he decided to step down after seeing the footage of the incident broadcast by a television station.

The attacker, identified as Czech citizen Pavel Ondrous, was arrested and charged with hooliganism. He faces up to two years in prison.

Ondrous said he carried out the attack to attract the government's attention to the concerns of ordinary people.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Four arrested after fake gunfight

Four people were taken into custody following a fake gunfight in Newton Thursday afternoon.

Police received a call from the area of S.E. Second Street Thursday, claiming two men were chasing each other with guns and threatening to kill each other.

"One was a long gun and the other was a hand gun," said Lt. Craig Dunlevy of the Newton Police Department. "Neighbors heard the them threatening to shoot each other. ... It alarmed the neighbors. According to the men, it was just in fun, but they were grown men playing a child's game and it alarmed the neighborhood."

They called attention to themselves in a neighborhood that Dunlevy said was fairly quiet.

Police found the men, and the weapons in question. One was a BB gun, the other an Airsoft gun. Neither was loaded.

Four people were arrested, charged with disorderly conduct. One was arrested on an outstanding warrant, and another was arrested for violation of bond restrictions.

"We put a lot of resources into these two guys running around with fake guns," Dunlevy said. "We didn't know they were fake at the time, and neither did the neighbors."

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Police warn replica guns will be treated as real after Newmarket incident

AURORA - By the time you’ve read this paragraph, it’s already too late to tell if a gun pointed at you is real or fake.

And if you aim a look-a-like rifle or handgun at a cop, you risk not being left alive to tell a judge "but it was only a replica!"

Those were among the grim warnings York Regional Police issued Wednesday, after three teens were recently arrested in Newmarket while playing with increasingly-popular, realistic assault battle game rifles.

The toy gun trio, whose Airsoft weapons fire plastic projectiles, were released without charges after officers determined no one was threatened, Const. Blair McQuillan said.

Officers were called when someone reported seeing a teen armed with what appeared to be a real AR-15 assault rifle after he walked in front of a house from the back yard.

After apologizing, they were released to their parents with a warning, McQuillan said.
"We’ll treat them as real when we see them," he said after officers set police assault rifles and handguns on a table beside matching replicas.

Holding a confiscated rifle, he said "this is an unregulated item, but if it’s used in the commission of an offence, it will be treated as a criminal offence."

Airsoft game guns, including replica machine guns and sniper rifles are sold online, at flea markets and sporting goods stores at prices ranging from $200 to $800.

"As long as they are used in a controlled setting, such as inside a building or an open area away from a community, they’re legal," McQuillan said.

Many owners prefer to take them to paint ball facilities.

Despite being made of plastic, one of the [airsoft BB] projectiles "can raise a welt," McQuiggan said. "And if the person you hit was not part of the game, you could be charged."

Plastic toy [airsoft] guns must have red or orange tips when sold in the U.S. Though not required here, most imports are fitted with what some bravado boys simply paint over, a firearms expert said later.

Pellet and B-B guns come under separate regulations.

The Toronto Airsoft store’s phone was constantly busy Tuesday.

Since most people don’t know real from replica, fake gun-users have committed robberies or swaggered with them in public.

In Toronto, Meneliki Jafari David-Lee, 21, faced four gun-related charges Sunday after an Apple iPad owner reported fleeing an armed man who answered his sales ad on Kijiji.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Police Response Time

11 News is investigating why it took police four hours to respond to a mother's calls about children getting shot by an Airsoft BB gun.

It happened in a neighborhood that is surrounded with crime in the area near Astrozon and Jet Wing Drive.

Police say they say they couldn't respond to the reports of children being shot in that neighborhood because they had to send most of the officers working in the area to a Standoff with a wanted man. But neighbors say that’s not a good enough reason.

Neighbors along Cather Circle say someone is shooting an Airsoft BB gun at several kids and even adults.

"They were deliberately shooting. I'm pretty sure they were aiming for one of us," Justin Sims said.

Justin Sims lives next door to Lisa Thompson. She called 11 News Monday night after her child was shot.

"Its very unnerving that someone would try to hurt a child," Thompson explained.
She called police at 6 o'clock and an officer didn't show up until 10pm Monday night. Her neighbors are also frustrated.

"Four hours is definitely a little bit much when you're talking something that serious, little kids getting shot with [airsoft] pellet guns that's no good," Sims said.

But the police department says that kind of response time is not out of the ordinary. On any given night police tell 11 News they receive several calls and they don't have enough officers.

Police tell 11 News on a scale from one to four, with one being a life threatening emergency this call was a three.

The officer who did eventually come out to the neighborhood took down a report and asked neighbors to call him if it happens again.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Suicidal man threatens officers with airsoft gun

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. -- Colorado Springs Police officers were able to take a suicidal man into custody before he was able to hurt anyone early Monday morning.

Officers said the man was threatening to either kill himself or make officers kill him in the 700 block of East Boulder Street around 2:34 a.m. The man told officers on the phone he had an assault rifle.

Officers talked him outside, but he would not put down the gun, so they fired a less lethal shotgun into the air. The man then immediately put down his gun, which turned out to be a replica airsoft gun without the orange tip.

Officers took the man to a hospital for a psychological evaluation and have not released his name.

(Seems like people in Colorado are appearing in the news more often in regards to issues with airsoft.)

Mother Upset Police Did Not Respond Quickly

A mother is angry that police didn't come right away after she reported a crime.
Neighbors in the Cather Circle area of Colorado Springs say someone is shooting at several kids who play outside. They think the shooter is using some sort of BB or [airsoft] Pellet Gun.

"He was coming towards the house and got shot from behind," Lisa Thompson explained.
Lisa Thompson is in disbelief, she says both of her kids have been hit and she has no idea who is pulling the trigger.

"All I thought of is it could've been his eye," Thompson said.

Her son Arthur describes what happened and shows 11 News the type of Airsoft BB that hit him.
"I was just walking across the street and all I felt was a pain and a hit on the back of my leg," Arthur said.

Thompson says she called police several times Monday but their reaction time isn't fast enough.
"They said we don't have anyone available so we're not sending anyone," Thompson said.

11 News spoke to Police about this situation; they explained that they have to respond to calls based on the level of emergency. Police have noted this problem and hope to send a patrol car out to the area.

If you know who is shooting at these kids, you’re asked to call Crime Stoppers 634-STOP.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Suspect Shot by Police, Airsoft Gun and Ecstasy Found in Car

A 22-year-old man is dead after an officer-involved shooting in Vallejo early Sunday morning.
The man was in a car near Pepper Drive and Lofas Place with another person when a police patrol spotted them. Police say that the area was the site of a recent gang related shooting, along with four other shootings.

Because of this recent activity, the officers approached and shined their spotlights into car. It being around 4:30 in the morning, police wanted to know why the man was in the area.
Right after shining their lights, the man got out of the car – with the butt of what looked to be a handgun showing near his waistband, police say.

The man then reached for the handgun and ducked behind the door of the car, only to stand back up again with the gun in hand.

With the man turning towards them, officers believed that he was going to shoot at them, so they opened fired. The two officers fired two volleys: the first ended and they didn’t know if the man was hit, the second started because the suspect apparently tried to enter the car and reach for the center console.

The officers stopped firing once they saw that the man was slumped back into the driver’s seat. He was taken to the Vallejo Kaiser where he was pronounced dead a short time later. The other person in the car was hit during the shooting, either by a bullet or shrapnel, and was taken to the hospital.

Later, a search of the car found an Airsoft replica handgun, 50 pills of ecstasy and packing materials. Due to the packing materials, police believe that the men intended to sell the drugs.
Both officers weren’t injured during the shooting and were placed on administrative leave, per department policy after shootings.

(Guns, whether it be airsoft or real, do not mix!)

Vallejo cops kill man holding pellet gun

A 23-year-old man was killed by Vallejo police early Sunday after he turned toward officers with what looked like a gun in his hand - but it turned out to be a fake [airsoft] weapon, according to authorities.

Police Sgt. Jeff Bassett said officers opened fire because they believed the man - who was standing behind the open door of a car - "was about to engage them with the handgun."
A 21-year-old man was also injured in the shooting when he was struck in the buttocks, Bassett said in a statement.

Police, however, did not find an actual gun in the car after the shooting ended. Bassett said they instead found an Airsoft replica handgun, a fake gun that fires plastic airsoft pellets, as well as more than 50 pills of ecstasy.

The incident comes just months after a spate of fatal officer-involved shootings in the Solano County city. Between May and the end of June, police in Vallejo fatally shot four men. While authorities said two of them had brandished guns before they were shot, the third had a BB gun and the fourth, a 17-year-old robbery suspect, was holding only a metal wallet.

Sunday's incident began at 4:33 a.m., when two officers patrolling the area around Pepper Drive and Lofas Place saw two men in a parked car on the 100 block of Pepper Drive. The officers tried to make contact with the men because of recent gang-related shootings in the area, and used their spotlights to illuminate the vehicle's interior as they approached it, Bassett said.

Crouching behind door
The driver immediately got out of the car and stood partially concealed behind the door, Bassett said "The butt of a [airsoft] handgun could be seen in his waistband area," he said. "The driver reached for the weapon as he crouched and turned away from officers behind the door of the vehicle. He then began to stand up with the [airsoft] weapon in his hand as he continued his turning motion back toward the officers who were in front of him. Believing that the driver was about to engage them with the handgun, both officers drew their weapons and shot at the driver."

After the first volley of shots, Bassett said, the suspect crouched behind the door. He said the officers - who were unsure whether they had struck the man - "ceased fire and began to yell at the suspect to show his hands."

The man raised his hands but then put them down and reached into the car, toward the center console, Bassett said. The officers fired again, he said.

"The shooting ceased when the officers saw that suspect stopped moving toward the console and had slumped back into the driver's seat," he said.

21-year-old hospitalized
The officers then called paramedics, Bassett said. The 23-year-old man was taken to Vallejo Kaiser, where he was pronounced dead. The 21-year-old was taken to John Muir Medical Center, where he is being treated.

Neither man was identified by police, who said they are still trying to locate and notify family members. The officers' names were not released either.

The officers were placed on administrative leave, and both the police department and Solano County district attorney's office are investigating the incident, Bassett said.

Marisa Lagos is a Chronicle staff writer.

(Seems like San Francisco has a pretty strong history of police shootings.)