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Family Of Robbery Suspect Blames Retired Marine for Fatal ShootingTim King Salem-News.com
'If you want to kick a tiger in the ass, you'd better have a plan for dealing with his teeth.' - comment about this story on Topix.com
(PLANTATION, Fla.) - Emotions are flying in Plantation, Florida as the families of two armed robbery suspects shot by a 71-year old retired Marine a little over a year ago, claim that the former warrior had no right to take the law into his own hands.
But 71-year old John Lovell had a concealed weapons permit, and he didn't draw his handgun and fire until the suspects reportedly tried to force him into a bathroom.
A Florida newspaper reported that John Lovell had just finished dinner at about 11:15 PM that night, when the two men armed with guns quickly entered a Subway shop and demanded cash.
It seems like it could have ended there, but instead the men turned to Lovell and demanded his money, and then according to Police, tried to force him into a bathroom. The retired Marine apparently feigned dropping his wallet, and instead of picking it up, brandished a 9mm handgun and brought the robbery to a swift close.
A Marine Named Marion Carl
Many in Oregon recall the story of a retired Marine in Roseburg who was actually the first Marine Corps fighter pilot ace in WWII. The story of Marion Carl has similar components; armed men, a robbery, death, shots fired. But when he died In 1998, at the age of 82, Mr. Carl was a murder victim, shot to death during a robbery, defending his wife Edna from a home invader.
Local 10 TV News, the Florida station covering the story, says the foiled June 2007 incident the attempted robbery of a Subway sandwich shop. They reported that the former Marine was the lone customer at the time of the robbery.
John Lovell ultimately shot 22-year old Donicio Arrindell of North Lauderdale dead, and critically injured 21-year old Fredrick Gadson, also of Fort Lauderdale.
Suspect's Families Say it was Wrong
The family of one of the robbery suspects shot by Lovell, told Local News 10 that the Marine was wrong for pulling the trigger.
"He should not have taken the law in his hands," Rosa Jones, Gadson's grandmother, told reporters. Her husband echoed words that seemed to pass over the fact that an innocent person survived a frightening encounter while breaking no actual laws. Ivory Jones stated, "I don't condone what they did, (but) I definitely don't condone the news people making him out to seem like they're making a hero out of this man because he shot somebody down,"
Shot somebody down? It is one thing to criticize a homeowner who blasts an unarmed prowler, but these guys were armed and dangerous and they were going to take this man into a bathroom. Marion Carl was "shot down" in front of his wife in Oregon. These suspects were met with the same force they were using in the robbery attempt.
The South Florida Sun Sentinel reported at the time that the survivor of the botched robbery, Fredrick Gadson, was far from out of the woods, and would likely face multiple felony charges that could include murder. Detective Robert Rettig, a spokesman for Plantation Police, said that under Florida law, anyone who commits a felony including armed robbery that results in a death, they can actually be held accountable for the capital offense.
Rettig says the retired Marine John Lovell clearly feared for his own life. "And if he's in fear for his life, then he has a right to defend himself, even if it means severe bodily injury or death."
Richard Henderson of Deer Park, Texas left this comment on Topix.com; "Like Tom Clancy said. 'If you want to kick a tiger in the ass, you'd better have a plan for dealing with his teeth.' I feel for these young men's family, but you never know who you may run into if you break the law. This should give others a second thought before they try to harm others in there laziness to make 'easy money'."
Even though Americans like Henderson clearly support Lovell, the friends and family of the men who were shot want to know how he could "gun them down and not be charged."
Life is hard for families of people who die violently, every time, and there is simply no getting around that. But plenty of Americans without a doubt, support this retired Marine.
In Oregon it takes on a meaning unto itself, as it is so hard to forget what happened to the decorated war hero, Marion Carl. Perhaps some day the nation's economic picture will improve and people from impovershed communities will not feel the need to commit capitol crimes like armed robbery.
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