Video: Shootout at the El Cheapo corral

posted at 12:08 pm on October 18, 2007 by Bryan

It’s true crime day here at Hot Air. Earlier we brought up the case of the stalking reporter, now it’s the case of the off-duty police officer who ran off his would-be attacker. In both cases, the lawful possession and use of firearms saved innocent life. Here’s the story.

The Charleston County, South Carolina Solicitor says Omar Brown, an off-duty police officer and mayor candidate, acted appropriately during a gas-station shoot-out. Charleston County Solicitor Scarlett Wilson released 911 calls and the surveillance video Monday. She says the video plays a crucial role in her decision.

Wilson would not say how many shots were fired or who fired first, but she says it doesn’t matter because the video shows an officer taking action to protect himself. The images captured on the El Cheapo store surveillance camera look like a scene straight out of a movie. Yet, instead of an actor, you’re seeing off-duty cop and mayoral candidate Omar Brown. At least six people called 911 to report the shooting…

The video shows Officer Brown reach around Rivers as he was standing at the counter.

Brown grabbed his two snack cakes and a Pepsi, then walked out the door.

Yet, it’s that encounter that officials say started the shooting.

Wilson said, “It is so ridiculous. I think most of us had in our minds a shoulder to shoulder bump that can be kind of aggressive. You can barely see any sort of contact.”

The video then shows River leaving the counter and rushing to his car.

The solicitor reviewed the tape with News 2 and pointed out River’s arms. She said, “Notice how his arms are out and it appears his hands are empty.”

Wilson said Rivers went to his car to get a gun, then walked to Brown’s Mercedes with his right hand hidden behind his back.

That’s when the video shows Brown getting out of his car, firing his gun.


The video is here
. Make sure to watch through the whole thing, as the first part of the surveillance video looks bad if it’s removed from the context of the entire incident.

Chances are, Omar Brown will win his race for mayor.


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Chance are, Omar Brown will win his race for mayor.

Yup, in a Castle county I would say his odds are pretty dang good…

doriangrey on October 18, 2007 at 12:15 PM

Good for Officer Brown! Alert, aware, and ready to defend himself. Good thing for him, too. And good for the solicitors, and even the TV station, who all came down on the right side here.

Oh, and that reporter from the texas story? See how it SHOULD have been done?

Vanceone on October 18, 2007 at 12:15 PM

Wow. The stupid stuff that people are willing to kill each other over just boggles my mind.

Scorched_Earth on October 18, 2007 at 12:17 PM

Too bad he didn’t hit the punk.

JayHaw Phrenzie on October 18, 2007 at 12:18 PM

ARE YOU TRIGGER HAPPY DEPUTY BROWN?

DO YOU LIKE TO SHOOT TO KILL?

WHY ARE YOU CRYING? I’M JUST HELPING YOU TELL YOUR STORY! ARE THOSE TEARS OF REMORSE?

see-dubya on October 18, 2007 at 12:30 PM

Maybe he can take some time off to go to Thunder Ranch or Gunsite for a little extra training.

Frantic Freddie on October 18, 2007 at 12:31 PM

My instinct would have been to wait to see a gun, or at least cover him and demand to see his hands before I opened fire. Did we ever find out if Rivers really did have a gun?

see-dubya on October 18, 2007 at 12:31 PM

Did we ever find out if Rivers really did have a gun?

see-dubya on October 18, 2007 at 12:31 PM

The article ends by saying that Brown is recovering from a gunshot wound to his thigh.

But, did he hit the dude? I’m confused.

nailinmyeye on October 18, 2007 at 12:35 PM

Chances are, Omar Brown will win his race for mayor.

I would vote for him, but he couldn’t hit a bull in the butt with a bass fiddle!

conservnut on October 18, 2007 at 12:35 PM

My instinct would have been to wait to see a gun, or at least cover him and demand to see his hands before I opened fire. Did we ever find out if Rivers really did have a gun?

see-dubya on October 18, 2007 at 12:31 PM

No disrespect here see-dubya, but your instincts probably would have gotten you killed in this situation.

doriangrey on October 18, 2007 at 12:35 PM

But it doesn’t say when he incurred the gunshot wound – so it may not have been this instance.

nailinmyeye on October 18, 2007 at 12:37 PM

No disrespect here see-dubya, but your instincts probably would have gotten you killed in this situation.

doriangrey on October 18, 2007 at 12:35 PM

Agreed, by the time he saw the gun in this case it would have been too late and this jackball would have popped a cap in his head.

conservnut on October 18, 2007 at 12:37 PM

As a Charlestonian, I can tell you that everyone is THRILLED that this scum is off the streets and that Omar Brown did the right thing. However, there is more to the story. What you do not ‘hear’ is the exchange between the two. Reports are now coming to light that the officier started the altercation (per the clerk on duty at the time). Still, any verbal altercation is no reason to start a shoot out.

I also have to disagree that he will become mayor (unfortunately). Lil Joe is not just mayor here, he thinks of himself as the King of the Lowcountry. He has been mayor for 28 years and does to good of a job buying people off. Am so glad I do not live in city limits!

scmommy on October 18, 2007 at 12:38 PM

But it doesn’t say when he incurred the gunshot wound – so it may not have been this instance.

nailinmyeye on October 18, 2007 at 12:37 PM

Hell, the way he was handling that pistol it may have been self inflicted.

conservnut on October 18, 2007 at 12:38 PM

scmommy on October 18, 2007 at 12:38 PM

Thanks for the update.

Bryan on October 18, 2007 at 12:41 PM

Also, Rivers was shot 9 times – none life threatning.

scmommy on October 18, 2007 at 12:44 PM

DG- Yep. In this case. If Rivers was a better shot than I am.

Then again, if I’d have covered him and demanded to see his hands, it might not have gotten that far.

see-dubya on October 18, 2007 at 12:47 PM

I find the vid confusing…but whatever the ‘legal’ landscape, the principle of “shoot back first” is a life-saver. Hesitation kills.

It did look like the officer was ducking some incoming fire at the doorway, maybe that was when he was clipped?

Ochlan on October 18, 2007 at 12:48 PM

Nine? Wow. Some of us owe an apology to Deputy Brown about his marksmanship!

see-dubya on October 18, 2007 at 12:48 PM

DG- Yep. In this case. If Rivers was a better shot than I am.

Then again, if I’d have covered him and demanded to see his hands, it might not have gotten that far.

see-dubya on October 18, 2007 at 12:47 PM

Some people will take the shot even when covered. Considering that Rivers was shot 9 times and was still shooting I’m guess that he is one of those take the shot kind of guys.

doriangrey on October 18, 2007 at 12:50 PM

My instinct would have been to wait to see a gun, or at least cover him and demand to see his hands before I opened fire. Did we ever find out if Rivers really did have a gun?

see-dubya on October 18, 2007 at 12:31 PM

Agreed, by the time he saw the gun in this case it would have been too late and this jackball would have popped a cap in his head.

conservnut on October 18, 2007 at 12:37 PM

Just because we can’t see a gun in the video doesn’t mean Brown didn’t see one from his position in the car.

peski on October 18, 2007 at 12:52 PM

I’m guess that he is one of those take the shot kind of guys.

Right.

Also puts the lie to the hollywood-science BS about the heroic one-shot-stop…or shoot-to-maim/disable

When you press the trigger, it’s a kill you should be aiming for.

Ochlan on October 18, 2007 at 12:54 PM

Also, Rivers was shot 9 times – none life threatning.

scmommy on October 18, 2007 at 12:44 PM

He should’ve used both hands….

liquidflorian on October 18, 2007 at 12:55 PM

If the guy took nine rounds from a .45, anywhere, I don’t think there’s much of anything that could have stopped him. Brown was lucky to get out of that.

see-dubya on October 18, 2007 at 12:58 PM

see-dubya on October 18, 2007 at 12:58 PM

As fuzzy as it was, it looked kinda like a compact 9mm to me…the recoil looked light…?

Ochlan on October 18, 2007 at 1:21 PM

Take a notice at just how little contact it takes to set some people off in our hyper sensitized PC perverted society.

Speakup on October 18, 2007 at 1:36 PM

just how little contact it takes to set some people off

I agree with your overall characterization of a trend in our society (sensitized, PC)…but I think that this situation is a sad example of “gangsta nigga” culture.

Did the punk seriously think the cop had ‘dissed’ him or something by reaching around him to pick up his purchases? What the hell was going through that punks tiny mind to cause him to think that settling the matter with a gun was the right course of action?

I bet that punk will be dead within 5 years.

Ochlan on October 18, 2007 at 1:46 PM

Did the punk seriously think the cop had ‘dissed’ him or something by reaching around him to pick up his purchases?

Yeah and I’ve seen it happen just as easily with me as the disser.
We live in an extremely thin skinned society that has far to much tolerance for random violence.

I have no clue whether or not this punk is a banger but we all should remember that gangs are a tribal society and as such are honor and peer pressure bound to retaliate for any offense and PC is the perfect cause and excuse.

Speakup on October 18, 2007 at 2:22 PM

Omar Brown, your a god man, but when you are down in the Low Country, Little Joe is still and always will be the King… To bad, we could use some good people like you.

CharlestonCritic on October 18, 2007 at 2:38 PM

Kudos to the cop. Rivers deserved what he got.

Here’s another brave dude: KFC manager robbed by a guy with a rifle. Manager was opening safe too slowly, the guy pulls the trigger, but no round was chambered, so the manager grabs the gun and starts a long struggle. Scary stuff, brave manager.

Splashman on October 18, 2007 at 2:50 PM

My instinct would have been to wait to see a gun, or at least cover him and demand to see his hands before I opened fire. Did we ever find out if Rivers really did have a gun?

see-dubya on October 18, 2007 at 12:31 PM

The newspaper article did state that 2 different types of rounds were found at the scene.
I’m just glad that Brown is African-American. If he was a white police officer, the Al Sharpton/Jesse Jackson Show would be on it’s way there already.

AZ_Mike on October 18, 2007 at 2:54 PM

What the hell was going through that punks tiny mind to cause him to think that settling the matter with a gun was the right course of action?

Ochlan on October 18, 2007 at 1:46 PM

A (failed) attempt at Darwinism?

Weebork on October 18, 2007 at 3:03 PM

I’m just glad that Brown is African-American. If he was a white police officer, the Al Sharpton/Jesse Jackson Show would be on it’s way there already.

AZ_Mike on October 18, 2007 at 2:54 PM

Oh you can bet on that.

Also, Rivers was shot 9 times – none life threatning.

scmommy on October 18, 2007 at 12:44 PM

9 times with a .45 and he’s alive? Dude’s either bionic or the luckiest guy on earth.

infidel4life on October 18, 2007 at 3:33 PM

Right on!

TheSitRep on October 18, 2007 at 3:53 PM

I really wish people would stop the “shoot to kill” mantra. If you say that to an officer or court you may find yourself in all kinds of legal trouble. As the article says, “Officer Brown had a .45 Glock that the solicitor says he fired until the threat was eliminated.” That’s it. Until the threat is eliminated.

And as to how the perp survived … well, the officer was using a Glock … = P

deepdiver on October 18, 2007 at 3:56 PM

God Bless the Castle Doctrine. Keeping citizens from being victims.

Suck It Brady Campaign

americaslaststand on October 18, 2007 at 4:16 PM

deepdiver on October 18, 2007 at 3:56 PMdeepdiver on October 18, 2007 at 3:56 PM

Maybe I misunderstand you, but are you saying a person shouldn’t “shoot to kill” if he/she is threatened in this fashion?
If so, I would strongly disagree. I’ll be damned if I get sued by some SOB who I shoot, after breaking into my house and/or threatening me or my family, because I only wounded him.
There are many stories of juries awarding large settlements to criminals in cases like this.

AZ_Mike on October 18, 2007 at 4:33 PM

No…deepdiver is right AZ_Mike

He’s just criticizing the use of the term “shoot to kill” – which I’m very guilty of using – because in a court of law, that language can hang you.

The correct terminology revolves around the concept of “eliminating the threat”.

Of course, if a situation arises that warrants the use of deadly force, I will consider the threat ‘eliminated’ when that person or persons are no longer capable of threatening me – read into that what you will ;-)

Ochlan on October 18, 2007 at 4:38 PM

And as to how the perp survived … well, the officer was using a Glock … = P

ha ha…let the pissing contest begin ;-)

Ochlan on October 18, 2007 at 4:40 PM

deepdiver on October 18, 2007 at 3:56 PM

In a split-second adrenaline charged situation like that I doubt anyone would have the time to contemplate “shoot to kill” or not. That’s why LEOs are trained to aim for center-of-mass (which just so happens to be where the vital organs are). You’re much more likely to attract a prosecutor’s attention by shooting “too many” rounds than by where you’re aiming.

infidel4life on October 18, 2007 at 4:51 PM

Ochlan on October 18, 2007 at 4:38 PM

That’s exactly what I meant and I would agree with the rest of the comment as well.

ha ha…let the pissing contest begin ;-)

Ochlan on October 18, 2007 at 4:40 PM

Ahaha, I couldn’t help myself … I figured the other shootists here would at least chuckle at the wisecrack.

deepdiver on October 18, 2007 at 4:51 PM

Ochlan on October 18, 2007 at 4:38 PM

Thanks for the clarification. From now on I will practice using that terminology just in case the situation ever presents itself.

AZ_Mike on October 18, 2007 at 5:40 PM

You guys are correct and I didn’t mean to come off with an attitude earlier. I was trying to be succinct but instead think I came off being short. Ochlan and infidel4life filled in blanks I left in my post.

What I should have said is that I have been taught in deadly force classes is that if you make any statement to authorities without an attorney you only say: “I thought that I (or the person you were defending) was in imminent danger of serious physical harm or death.” If asked about the force you used, “I fired (used force) until the threat was eliminated.” That covers both justified self defense and reasonable force questions. After that you probably want an attorney.

Like infidel4life pointed out, very few handgun shooters are going to be lucky to even get most of their rounds center of mass, let alone “shoot to wound”, especially in a low light situation. That type of stress seriously effects proficiency. That is why good handgun training from what I have seen teaches center of mass aim. Advanced handgun in my experience teaches center of mass, pelvic girdle, medulla oblongata, in that order which deals with the body armor issue I think someone else mentioned.

deepdiver on October 18, 2007 at 8:34 PM

Don’t mess with an off-duty cop! Good work, Officer Brown. One less scumbag to waste taxpayers’ dollars on.

MsUnderestimated on October 18, 2007 at 11:31 PM

Good job officer Brown. I’m guessing your weapon starts with a “9″ or else the banger would be dead.

Mojave Mark on October 19, 2007 at 1:48 AM