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Man killed by Long Beach police was holding a water nozzle

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Chee-to, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. Chee-to

    Chee-to Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Man killed by Long Beach police was holding a water nozzle, not a gun, police say

    Man killed by Long Beach police was holding a water nozzle, not a gun, police say - latimes.com

    LBPOST.com: VIDEO: Emotional Press Conference After Police Shoot, Kill Man Holding Water Nozzle

    The 35-year-old Long Beach man killed in an officer-involved shooting Sunday was holding a pistol-grip water nozzle, not a gun, Long Beach police officials said Monday.

    Two officers responded to a 911 call at 4:40 p.m. Sunday from a neighbor reporting an intoxicated man holding a "six-shooter" in the 5300 block of East Ocean Boulevard in the upscale Belmont Shore neighborhood.

    "The officers had a position of cover and were observing the suspect while other officers were en route," said Sgt. Dina Zapalski, a spokeswoman for the Long Beach Police Department.

    Zapalski said Douglas Zerby had been sitting on a stoop playing with what appeared to be a weapon and pointing it at objects as if it were a gun. He extended his arms and pointed in the direction of an officer. Police said they did not have time to make their presence known or to tell Zerby to drop the weapon before opening fire because they believed he was a threat.
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    "They wanted to shoot him before he shot them," Zapalski said. "There was no time to react. If you're standing there and someone points a gun at you, you're going to react....There was only two of them there. This happened first, and that's why they shot."

    Zerby was shot in the torso with a shotgun and handgun, then handcuffed, Zapalski said. He died at the scene.

    Zerby, a hardwood floor installer who ran Seaside Flooring in Long Beach, is survived by an 8-year-old son.

    Authorities said this was the first fatal officer-involved shooting this year. There have been nine non-fatal shootings in 2010.

    Zerby's older sister, Eden Marie Biele, said she was mortified by her brother's death. The two were very close and had spoken a few days before he died, she said.

    "Our brother was killed for no reason," she said. "We're outraged. You can't get drunk in the city of Long Beach and not get shot? You're trying to do the responsible thing and not drive and you get shot? Is that standard protocol? They didn't wait for backup, they just shot him."

    Zapalski said the officers involved were not rookies but could not immediately say how many years they had served with the department.

    Staci Liken, 45, said she saw a police car and a Long Beach Marine Patrol SUV make a U-turn before two officers got out and made their way to the back building where Zerby was sitting. She said within 30 seconds she heard two types of gunshots. She counted at least 15 shots fired.

    "This is supposed to be the safest neighborhood around. I don't know what's going on with the police," she said. "This is out of control to shoot and kill when they don't need to."

    Zerby had been sitting on the stoop of a friend's house waiting for the friend to return. He often frequented the apartment after he had been drinking and was known to neighbors, his sister said. It was a new tenant who was unfamiliar with Zerby who made the 911 call, she said.

    Scores of family and friends gathered at the scene Monday night to light candles and leave flowers and a small Christmas tree.

    Her brother was "the happy-go-lucky life of the party," Biele said. "He never ended a phone call without professing his love to you," she said.

    Zerby was the second of five children, with blond hair and the build of a surfer. "He was a dear friend, he was an awesome person," said a tearful Douglas Blair, 42, who lived in the studio apartment where Zerby was waiting.

    Blair said it was Zerby's third time stopping by his apartment because he was too drunk to go home.

    Quarter-sized bullet holes and dozens of smaller ones pierced Blair's staircase and handrails. Two pools of blood remained under the steps to his apartment.

    "It's a wonderful place to live, and it's a terrible thing to have happen," Blair said.

    Mark Zerby, Douglas Zerby's father, said he last spoke to his son about an hour before he was killed. He noticed that his son, who had a drinking problem for which he had sought help, was slightly drunk.

    "He said he wanted to come over and I told him that I was busy," the father said. "And the rest of it is the biggest nightmare you can imagine."

    Friends hugged Zerby's family and offered up memories to ease their pain.

    "He took us swimming, he bought us cupcakes in 85-degree weather," said Julie McKernie Hampton, 40, who was Zerby's friend and neighbor. "I just can't imagine Doug having a gun."

    Biele was outraged by the officers' actions and the inconsistencies in the account. She said police first told her that her brother had been fiddling with the nozzle in his lap, then police Chief Jim McDonnell said Zerby was actually pointing it at the officers.

    She bluntly spoke out at a news conference held by McDonnell on Monday and was eventually escorted out.

    "We want justice to be served," she said. "It's about bringing attention to a senseless death." She said her family has already contacted attorneys.

    The Long Beach Police Department and the Los Angeles County district attorney's office will conduct independent investigations into the shooting.
     
  2. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin Pacific Northwest Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    I may be a bit insensitve, but this just sounds to me like the people who make the "I'm stupid" signs need to produce one less sign now.
     
  3. PinkhamR

    PinkhamR Altus, Oklahoma MSgt, USAF (Retired)-FFL Lifetime Supporter

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    That really sux ...... :(
     
  4. deadeye

    deadeye Albany,OR. Moderator Staff Member

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    The officers hadnt made their presence known yet?
    How was he pointing the supposed gun at them then?
    They were in a position of cover so what were they worried about?
    Heard at least 15 shots fired? A little overkill seeing as how these two officers werent "rookies". Obviously not an exageration due to the holes everywhere.

    Seems to smell of over zealous severely illtrained ex mall cops.

    30 yrs ago I would've said different but the area around there was more like LA back then.
     
  5. OEDub

    OEDub SW OR Coast Active Member

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    Another reason to not get so intoxicated to do REALLY stupid things...like pointing something that visually represents a firearm (and treating it like a firearm in a threatening way) toward armed police officers! It's extremely sad that a life was lost, but my pity is for the men who will have to live with the knowledge that they unecessarily took another person's life. Hopefully the dept offers some intense therapy sessions & support for these officers, and rest of the people don't jump on the media-driven lynch mob bandwagon that is obviously being pushed in this article! Don't misunderstand me...I think that there should be an investigation (as there will be), but if the evidence shows what this article has revealed then they need to be cleared. Law enforcement officers put their lives at risk everyday...its just sad that there are idiots like this out in the world. I mean...if you get drunk & play human Frogger on the freeway then expect to get hit by a semi going 65mph. Likewise...if you get drunk and are pretending that an object that visually represents a firearm IS a 'sixshooter' and decide to point it in a threatening way toward two police officers then expect to get shot! End of story!
     
  6. keystir

    keystir Hillsboro, OR Active Member

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    Don't point anything that looks like a gun at a police officer. I don't know what else there is to say.
     
  7. Decker

    Decker My house Active Member

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    That's jacked up and sad for everyone involved. More sad is I'm sure there will be another riot.

    -d
     
  8. wwkii

    wwkii gilchrist oregon Active Member

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    i dont know because i wasnt there but if they had been watching him for a while and saw it in his hand a water spray nozzle dosent look like a gun .
     
  9. MrNiceGuy

    MrNiceGuy between springfield and shelbyville Well-Known Member

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    But pointing it at other people is A-ok, because our lives are less valuable.
    That's why if it were you or I who had shot this person, we'd be on our way to federal pound me in the arse prison for a few decades.

    But it's a policeman... His badge comes with a god given right to shoot first and figure out what happened later.


    What the drunk did was stupid... but this double standard just frustrates me to no end.
     
  10. VW_Factor

    VW_Factor Woodburn Oregon Active Member

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    Water hose nozzles

    hose-nozzles.jpg

    Handguns

    Guns.jpg

    Pointing a nozzle at them is cause to shoot him? I would hardly believe for a second that he pointed at them to begin with. Let alone they were confused that it was not a gun.

    For all we know, it still had the friggin hose attached.
     
  11. Skang

    Skang WA Well-Known Member

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    Don't mean to argue, but better than getting a shot.

    at this season, 4:30 pretty dark. and if the water nozzle was black color instead of bring red, yellow, blue. most likely they think it's a weapon. Also person who called 911 mentioned he was holding a gun.

    so, i mean sad that drunk guy end up like this, but you gotta understand person who is facing gun threat everyday at work.
     
  12. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    pretty much.

    sounds like a pretty weak shoot.
     
  13. deadeye

    deadeye Albany,OR. Moderator Staff Member

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    I dont think that Long beach, Newport beach, Balboa or similar is where a cop has to deal with having gun threats everyday. This seems to be more of a case of scared out of their wits because they were having to deal with a supposed gun threat. Seems like even the media Q&A was a little overmanned with uniforms as well with very few even there to contribute. Just watch the expresion of the guy directly behind the guy talking when questions are asked.
     
  14. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    The opportunity to kill some one, and walk away with impunity, seems to be the motivation for becoming a police officer now. All we have to go on are the statements of the police officers. Who is to say the nozzle wasn't on the hose, coiled up next to the porch, like mine has been for years. Twist it off throw it down next to the body, no problem. A week or two off with pay, boy that's rough.
     
  15. keystir

    keystir Hillsboro, OR Active Member

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    Here, I will fix it for you to better explain where I was coming from. "Never point something at an individual you know to be armed."

    But let me be clear, I fully support our local law enforcement officers who risk their lives EVERY DAY and deal with the worst parts of our society so that our wives and children don't have to.
     
  16. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    i don't buy this. being involved in an OIS is a very stressful, unpleasant experience. your name gets drug through the mud, you're investigated and questioned, your family is harassed, your home is compromised, the citizens are calling for your job if your lucky, sometimes your head.. and if the shoot was at all questionable, you can kiss goodbye any chance at advancement in the department.

    i don't think that's the problem at all. but i do think a police-officer sub-culture that views themselves are separate and on defense against the citizens, and very poor communication and weapon training, are largely to blame.

    cops should NOT fear defending their own lives- but they should be taught how to not shoot people who aren't threats.
     
  17. Martini_Up

    Martini_Up NW USA Well-Known Member

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    it was only a matter of time....
     
  18. Martini_Up

    Martini_Up NW USA Well-Known Member

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    what he said...
     
  19. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    Agreed.
     
  20. marty8587

    marty8587 NE Portland Active Member

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    I know many LEO's that did not join to shoot people with impunity and I know none who did for that reason. No good can come from baseless statements like that in a time of crisis.