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by Peter Moskos

September 24, 2009

Officers Down

Four officers shot, one very seriously. In a "no-knock" drug raid in New Jersey.

Wayne Parry of the A.P. reports:
Lakewood Patrolman Jonathan Wilson was shot in the face during the raid, and was in critical but stable condition at a local hospital. Authorities said they were cautiously optimistic he would survive despite being grievously wounded.
As soon as they got inside, a suspect identified as Gonzalez opened fire on them from atop a staircase, striking the four officers, authorities said.
Gonzalez was also shot. Many times.


Anonymous said...

If he lives, then he will probably just lie and say that he didn't know they were police when, of course, he knew full well that they were police. They need to make sure to find some drugs there.

PCM said...

He might have known they were police. I wasn't even thinking on those terms yet. (Though for most criminals, when men bust down your door, your first thought is rivals, not police--even when they're shouting "police").

I'm pretty sure they did find drugs and guns. So what the bad guy was thinking doesn't really matter when he's in prison for decades. But that doesn't make the officers any less shot.

Let's hope P.O. Wilson recovers as much as possible.

Anonymous said...

If they had a search warrant then he was guilty as sin. Big ups on that, of course.

I hope P.O. Wilson recovers as much as possible and would also like to thank the media for making this clear right from the start that this was in no way shape or form a friendly fire incident.

Anonymous said...

Looks like no drugs, but he was definitely a gun owner.

He has been charged with four counts of attempted murder, so he definitely knew that it was not just robbers.

They should still find some drugs, though. They just need to look harder.

Anonymous said...

"They should still find some drugs, though. They just need to look harder."

Anonymous, am I being cynical or are you encouraging officers to plant drugs if none were found at the scene? And so what if the guy was a gun owner. Was that a sarcastic post? Dave H- IL.

PCM said...

Now *I'm* confused.

Anonymous said...

Look, instead of getting all critical about police tactics, it seems like we should use this thread to send prayers out to the families of the injured officers, and a plea for just punishment for the perp who bought a stolen gun.

Anonymous said...

Analysis of police tactics is part of this blog. Also, I think anonymous is a troll, PCM.
Dave H.

PCM said...

Dave, I deleted one comment (the one you refer to, I think). The one that confused me.

Analysis of police tactics is most definitely part of this blog. But there's a time and place for everything and right here right now is not yet the time and place. There are real people involved and real pain and suffering.

When there's still an officer in critical condition, I think the Anonymous at 9:37 makes a very good point.

We should be thinking about the officer's recovery and his friends and family. There's a lot of pain in Lakewood right now, and I don't want to make that any worse.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough, Peter
Dave H.

Anonymous said...

The police did a good job!

Anonymous said...

I agree that it is too soon to talk tactically about this one, but is there really going to be a later thread where we can talk tactically and critically about this particular tragedy?

I think the best time to criticize what the police officers did here is never. Ever.

PCM said...

It's not a question of criticizing. It's a question of analyzing. Four officers were shot. You don't want it to happen again. So at some point you have to look at what happened and what went wrong.

Anonymous said...

From NYT:

"LAKEWOOD, N.J. (AP) -- The second man inside a New Jersey when a gun battle broke out that left four police officers shot has been charged with obstruction.

Deputy Chief Michael Mohel (mohl) of the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office says 33-year-old Edwin Lugo was inside the Lakewood home when Jamie Gonzalez opened fire on a SWAT team that burst in looking for drugs and guns early Thursday.

Gonzalez and the most seriously wounded officer, Patrolman Jonathan Wilson, remain in critical condition Friday.

A search of the house near the Jersey shore is continuing."

COMMENTS: The second man was foolish to try to obstruct the LEOs after the gunfight started. Oh well, at least he is done as a witness, so that's good. Fingers crossed on the search. It may be hard to prove that that perp Gonzalez knew that his gun was reported stolen, but once they find his stash those four attempted murder charges should stick.

Anonymous said...

Actually they should go easy on the 2d guy if he just admits that he flushed the stash. Time served.

Marc S. said...

Anon (the one suggesting that the officers break the law) is clearly trolling.

Anyway, a lot of proponents of no-knock warrants claim it's "safer". I can't figure that one out. It's certainly not safer for a victim of a botched raid, it certainly encourages a violent reaction from those disposed to defend themselves from home invaders (innocent or otherwise).

The opinion I've reached with input from police officers and even current operators is that tac teams often forgo the easier or safer approach for the one that lets them play with their toys.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that they haven't found the drugs yet. This has to be the slowest search ever. Can't believe the shooter is still alive either. What is going on here?

Anonymous said...

They finally found the drugs:

"After conducting the investigation into the shooting, police found more than 5 ounces of cocaine and more than 50 grams of marijuana, an undisclosed amount of ecstasy . . ."

Great work to all the police departments who helped them find that many drugs. It took awhile, but we did it! Go teamwork!

DJK said...

"but he's definitely a gun owner"....does that mean that all gun owners would act this way?

The horror that befalls cops on no knock raids should be the reason they are done away with.

Not to mention the terror done to people when the address is misspelled or whatever.