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Brownville School Shooting: Suicide by Cop?

Brownsville 8th-grader Jaime Gonzalez brought a gun to school today, and died for it.

Howard Nemerov


January 5, 2012 - 6:44 pm

Had Jaime Gonzalez not brought a gun to school, he would still be alive. Instead, he assaulted another student for no apparent reason, and somehow people then became aware of his pistol.

According to the released audio, a female assistant principle called 911 and told police about the armed student in the hallway. Officers arrive at around 3 minutes, and she keeps telling everybody about the gun. At 4 minutes into the audio, she tells the dispatcher “he’s drawing the gun” repeatedly. You can hear cops in the background repeatedly yelling at him to “drop the gun” and “put it on the floor.” In the background, somebody says that Gonzalez told cops he’s willing to die. It isn’t until 5:56–nearly two minutes after cops engaged Gonzalez–she reports “shooting going on.”

Gonzalez was shot at least twice and fell. After securing the area, police determined his gun was a “CO2 .177-caliber pellet pistol” that “has the exact appearance of Glock,” according to Detective José Trevino. Brownsville PH Chief Orlando Rodriguez said Gonzalez wasn’t shot until he “pointed the weapon at the officers.”

His godmother was quick to blame police: “He wouldn’t hurt somebody. It was not right. … They didn’t give him a chance.” (Apparently, assault isn’t “hurting somebody” and two minutes of commands isn’t “a chance.”)

This was a sad experience for all concerned, but responsibility remains on the boy’s shoulders. No gun in school, no shooting. So the question is: Why did he do this?

Former civilian disarmament supporter and medical researcher Howard Nemerov investigates the civil liberty of self-defense and examines the issue of gun control, resulting in his book Four Hundred Years of Gun Control: Why Isn’t It Working? He appears frequently on NRA News as their “unofficial” analyst and was published in the Texas Review of Law and Politics with David Kopel and Carlisle Moody.
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