Cop <i>not</i> charged in PS3 shooting

[UPDATE] Charges dropped in case involving police officer fatally shooting teen suspected of stealing PS3s; jury foreman says he "checked the wrong box."

A series of crimes has dogged the US launch of Sony's PlayStation 3. So far in the life of the console, which sells for an average of just under $1,200 on eBay, there have been shootings, muggings, and thefts.

In one instance, a student who had waited in line for three days to get his hands on two of the consoles was battered with a blunt object while unloading the PS3s from his car. The consoles were stolen during the assault. Some two weeks later, police served warrants on two other students suspected of being involved in the assault. During the raid on one of the residences, in which the Emergency Response Team (ERT) was called in to support the campus police, suspect Peyton Strickland was fatally shot.

Christopher Long, who had been a deputy since 1996 and had participated in the raid, was fired from his post on December 8 by Sheriff Sid Causey. Yesterday Long was indicted on a charge of second-degree murder by a New Hanover County grand jury, according to the local paper, The Wilmington Star News.

During the raid, the officers could see into the residence through three glass window panes on the front door. According to an official report, the officers watched Strickland approach the door, look through the window, and then walk away. Previously, Strickland's roommate Michael Rhoton had said that the youth might have been holding a PS3 controller as he approached the door, leading some to speculate that the officers mistook the black object in his hand for a weapon, but no mention was made of the controller in grand jury testimony. It was stated, however, that the student was unarmed.

The officers ordered him to open the door and another sheriff's deputy began using a battering ram to enter the premises. Officer Long confused the sound of the battering ram striking the door with gunfire, and fired shots, the autopsy later reported. Strickland was shot in the shoulder and in the head--the fatal shot had ricocheted off another object into his skull.

Two other deputies, currently on paid leave, have been cleared of any wrongdoing.

[UPDATE] In a dramatic turn of events, murder charges against Long have been dismissed, after the grand jury foreman admitted to incorrectly checking the wrong box that would decide Long's fate.

Upon hearing the news, Strickland's parents released the following statement: "Yesterday, our son's murderer was going to have to answer for what he did. Today, we just don't know what is going on in Wilmington. We are upset, confused and searching for answers."

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Discussion

584 comments
Yulaw2000
Yulaw2000

All this over a ps3 this is one mad world.

L1qu1dSword
L1qu1dSword

i don't feel sorry for strickland one bit. anyone stupid enough to beat somebody to steal a crappy system like ps3 deserves to die.

DarwinBC
DarwinBC

That sucks. It's tough being a cop..at least I imagine it is. You have to be ready for anything.

namdar
namdar

Man I think I saw this on CSI before

joomen
joomen

people die, oh well

kabuki_dude
kabuki_dude

Everybody here saying that Strickland got what he deserved is a complete moron, and your depravity sickens me to no end. Strickland was not convicted guilty, he was not even accused, he was a SUSPECT. He didn't even have a chance to be put on trial, because he got shot by a cop with an itchy trigger finger. There is no justification for shooting an unarmed, innocent civilian, and the fact that the charges against the cop are dropped is the most stunning mockery of morality I've ever seen. Jeez.

ccso151
ccso151

This cop obviously made a mistake. Lets not all jump on the "Cops suck" bandwagon because of one Officer. Police have to make split second decisions and they can't all be correct. My thoughts go out to the family of the victim and to all affected by this horrible tragedy.

Ninja99
Ninja99

It's nice to know that any nervous rookie with a twitchy trigger finger can splatter a wall with a suspect's brain matter and get off scott free. America, **** yeah! Cheers to our men in blue. Accident or not, there should be consequences.

PBumby
PBumby

Ok first of all metalgeekguy there are plenty of articles that have statements that the guy was attacked when his ps3 was stolen. Second Jeff_boldt this was a "High risk" Warrant. Meaning the cops were expecting there to be guns on the premise, photos of the other suspect Ryan David Mills posing with various weapons AND tips given to the UNCW campus police said that Mills was known to carry a gun. Third Jeff_Boldt A COP DOES NOT NEED TO HAVE SOMEONE SHOOTING AT HIM TO PULL HIS WEAPON OUT. Police procedures approve the use of REASONABLE FORCE for the situation given So lets review: "High Risk" warrant issued with photo's attached of Ryan David Mills posing with firearms, tips to campus police that Mills was known to carry firearms. Suspect approaching door with something in his hands that through glass in door was black and when viewed from the correct angle looks like a gun. This was tragic and has changed a lot of peoples lives forever, but it was NOT intentional. Finally, to all the morons that are calling the cop a pig and swine and saying this is what cops do for fun, I say if a time ever comes in your life when you have been robbed, assaulted or had your life threatened in any way DON'T call the police.

Moester10
Moester10

Look guys, no offense to a lot of you, but a lot of you guys have no clue what you're talking about. In the case of a raid, it is standard procedure for a police officer to have his weapon out. Especially if the subject is barricaded inside. Just because the fact that the student was a gamer and a student it doesn't stop from making him potentially dangerous. When you are a police officer there are many time where you draw your weapon before there are any serious threats to yourself or your fellow officers. Now this is true in Canada where only about 2% of the population have weapons. Imagine in the US where about 40% of the population have a personal firearm. They went in a situation where someone had actually beaten another over A GAME, with all of the school shootings in the last years they couldn't know how those guys would react. Personally I don't blame the police officer. I blame the fact that whoever planned that riddiculous abortion of a plan. Look you put police officers in a situation where they have to possibly react with lethal force and some may. A raid is ALWAYS a tense situation especially when you have to enter a home. For the purposes of entry ALL suspects are to be assumed to be armed. What these cops should have done is have a cruise out front, have someone call the kid and say "Look we know you stole the PS3, why don't you come out, and talk to us." He probably would have. If he said "F*ck you pigs come in and I'll start blasting" Then they could have backed off or moved in at their leasure. The cop had what is called an ordinary reaction to an extreme situation. There have been situations where police officers urinate when they hear shots fired, other have been known to run, others have thrown their weapons at the person who was firing at them instead of shooting them. Those are normal reactions of people who are suprised and scared. The best way to avoid an accident of this type is to simply make sure that one can't happen. Heck, they could have even arrested the guy in his classes! Stupidity makes me angry, especially when the people really responsible aren't even blamed.

bendushi
bendushi

Commando47: Even then, since when did robbery receive capital punishment? Unarmed robbery, nonetheless. and Jeff, I agree with ya... all the way.

Commando47
Commando47

I agree with Jeff_Boldt, all cops of any country must warn the perpetrator under any circumstances before firing. A cop can only shoot back in self defense, so unless the student was shooting back at the cop, the cop had no right to murder him. Thats right guys MURDER.Not an accidental shooting but murder..and the guy walked free...but he has to live with it a long time..... EDIT: Okay did this guy really steal the consoles or what? All the news sources say "accused" or "sources say....this guy may have stolen it"

Jeff_Boldt
Jeff_Boldt

A cop who feels he is in danger is IN NO WAY justified to EVEN REMOVE HIS FIREARM FROM IT'S HOLSTER. A police officer needs DIRECT and ABSOLUTE proof that a suspect is armed before even readying his weapon. Before firing the officer has to warn the suspect and MAKE ALL EFFORTS to keep from firing. An unfortunate accident would be if the police officers weapon randomly discharged while the safety was on and the gun was holstered and the bullet ricocheted off the ground and killed the suspect. Aiming a loaded gun at the head/shoulder area of a STUDENT suspected of POSSIBLY robbing another student for a ps3, NOT seeing ANY weapon, NOT warning the suspect AND FIRING MULTIPLE SHOTS AT AN UNARMED CIVILIAN is however NOT an accident at all. ...............................

gmangw
gmangw

It is an unfortunate accident, but betraying society's trust is not a safe choice. A cop who feels in danger from a criminal is justified in protecting himself, the problem is when that cop's training fails to prepare them to analyze a situation properly.

metalgeekguy
metalgeekguy

interestingly enough, youd be hard pressed to find a news report that mentions the ps3 controller in his hand was for the one he himself bought (seriel number registered in his name and his credit card linked to the receipt via EB computers). Plus, you'd be even more hard pressed to find the statement from the kid who got robbed saying that the robbery is being blown out of proportion in that there was no beating at all and that he had never seen Peyton Strickland's face before. Too bad both of those interesting little tid bits were released to the press two weeks ago almost. Jesus this mess makes me sick.

jimbo6923
jimbo6923

This goes to show, crime doesn't pay.

thesmiter
thesmiter

cops accidentally shoot people sometimes. its bound to happen in a country of over 300 million. the guy was fired. it was an accident, he wasn't going there intending to murder someone. it really really sucks that it happens, but come on. they have to face life and death situations all the time without messing up. not possible.

majestikk
majestikk

Whether the cop is a coward or not, the fact still remains that he didn't not perform the way he was trained to do so. If he would of took the necessary precautions, and analyzed the situation, he wouldn't have been fired from his post. Whatever the case, the cop has to live with the decision he made, and the life that was taken. Funny how the bullet that killed the PS3 thief was not a direct hit, but one that ricocheted of off something. That tells me the cop was shooting erraticly

GamerNY1
GamerNY1

I feel sorry for the parents who lost their child in this tragic situation. Whether he stole a PS3 or not is not a reason to be shot dead, especially when defenseless. The now ex-police officer should be made to stand trial one way or another for such a senseless death. My condolences to the Strickland family.

ObiKKa
ObiKKa

To those of you who thinks that it was fair that the cop was acquitted, well, then start expecting trigger-happy cops everywhere around in the world! That's how hypocritical some of you involved are! I don't like the fact that this cop wasn't charged over the fatal killing of the deceased guy, because he was way too antsy & jumpy & was so selfishly concerned about his own safety (not the other team members, mind you, no matter whatever the excuse is). Also, can you answer me why the sheriff's fired Mr. "Extremely-Trigger-Happy" Long? Yeah, right! Look, to become a police man is a VERY SERIOUS job, and to be doing something so recklessly like what that cop has done contrasts with that! Weird how the fatal shot that killed the guy ricocheted off from an object. Wow. I have a feeling that God wasn't happy with this fellow (the deceased thief) coz he seemed to have no remorse for the actions that he did - assault a guy to steal the PS3, & have SO MUCH FUN playing the PS3 WITH NO REAL FEELING OF REMORSE & in SELF-DENIAL of what he'd did to get them in the first place. Yep, almost anyone, including me, would rightly feel very, very angry about him, least of all, the Lord himself, who perhaps has such a miserable role judging all the people (That Mr. Bush is still alive! Though, he does look tired now)!

ffmarco
ffmarco

So even if this student was guilty, does the cop have the right to shoot and kill him?? This was not a self-defense act from the sheriff and he is guilty for shooting at a citizen. Since when do cops have the right to shoot at whoever they want and be innocent after this? So if I go and shoot at a criminal will I be considered a hero too? Or do cops and all the other governmental instrument have omnipotent power to do as they like? Jeez, people should wake up and realise how controlled we are nowadays by our governments since the first terrorist attack. And no, this cop is a coward. He feared for his life and the first thing he did was to get rid of the threat, instead of analyzing the situation and being more careful. Furthermore a person that shoots cold-blood a human is immoral or amoral, as the value of life means nothing to him. This student was not a high profile criminal t obe treated this way.

Expane
Expane

Justice is blind not fair. Who knows the truth, we werent on the jury so we will never know.

Gen-Gawl
Gen-Gawl

@ Rthegamer There are an equal number of people that have already "convicted" the cop of muder too. Gotta love the court of public opinion. And if my friend had his system stolen and then accused me of it... well then... I guess he wasn't really my friend if he trusted me so little.

Zumafire
Zumafire

this is just bad....period.. My thoughts and prayers go out to all involved...

theKSMM
theKSMM

Regardless of what most of you think, I doubt Christopher Long is happy with the outcome of these events even though he was acquitted. This is tragic, plain and simple.

winterblink
winterblink

RtheGamer: That could be any of us? Sorry I don't think so, I'm not the one who kicked the heck out of someone and stole his PS3. The punk valued a console over a human life.

lonesn1per
lonesn1per

thats really bad karma for the kid that died but he did beat someone down and stole ps3s, thats robbery am i correct? and if he did that who knows what else he's done, i say it was deserved. the cop was doing what he thought was right. if he saw that he had a "gun" but it was really a controller and shot, well he was trained to think on his feet, also it was a riochet that killed the guy not an intentional shot to the head.

PBumby
PBumby

To the person that called the cop a coward I say this. A coward would have stood there and let himself get shot. It takes great strength for a moral person to take another persons life NOTE: I said a moral person. Now we can all sit here and armchair QB the situation and say what a coward, he shot him cause he thought he had a gun in his hand. Yeah how dare him not wait till the guy opened the door to see if that really was a gun in his hand. But the fact is when there is a picture of the guy holding assault rifles on the UNCW website and reports that he owns guns. On top of that he brutally assaults someone. So when the police show up they are ready to serve a high risk warrant. And this guy approaches the door holding something black that looks like a gun. I can see why this kid got shot, it is a tragedy yes the cop will have to live with this the rest of his life, yeah I know someone is going to say at least he is alive. But did he do anything wrong, I say no. because he wasn't shooting just to protect himself there were other cops there and had there been a gun they could have been injured or killed. Again it is a shame that this happened, could it have been avoided who knows. But the cops actions were not taken in malice they were defensive. Thats all I have to say. So let the flaming begin

RtheGamer
RtheGamer

READ THIS IT IS RATIONAL You idiots who say he deserved it are putting him on trial and convicting him and you don't know **** I take this personal because he got killed for having a video game controller in his hand don't all of us on here have video game controllers? that could have been any one of us and how would we feel if people came on here and said we "deserved it" logged off and went on with life as usual while we are in our grave for something we didn't do. All it takes is for one of us to even have a PS3 and someone could suspect us of stealing it, they inform the cops then the next thing you know the cops are shooting you in the head while you are enjoying your new system. Think about it when something gets stolen we suspect everybody and eventually start accusing everyone, you don't think that happen here . If your friends PS2 or X Box got stolen you don't think he would suspect you. TAKE IT PERSONAL THAT COULD HAVE BEEN ANY ONE OF US WE ALL HOLD CONTROLLERS EVERYDAY AND WE ALL FALL UNDER SUSPICION SOMETIMES AND DON'T KNOW IT .

Konxumer
Konxumer

Life is what we make it. The young man's decision to steal PS3s brought people with guns to his door. Like it or not his actions set him on his chosen path to his demise.

buster8695
buster8695

it is sad that a man can walk away from charges like that because of a misschecked box, HOWEVER what kind of kid did they raise that would physically beat another human being just to steal something of theirs.

Adeeb1986
Adeeb1986

thats a tragedy. im in love with video games but if it reaches the limit where people get killed that f*** it

majestikk
majestikk

Remeber in this society you're innocent until proven guilty. This dude never even felt a chance. Nobody deserves to die the way that kid did. The cop is a perfect example of how a coward does his job. Not everyone can be a cop, and if you're scared to the point where the sound of battering down the door is confused for enemy gunfire, then you should've thought twice before becoming a cop. As a cop, you will always be put in situations where you're life is on the line, the difference is, that you are trained, you have a team supporting you, all activity is reported, and if anything goes wrong you can always call for backup. Scared Uniform Cops = innocent victims Cops that have a real excuse to be scared, are undercover cops, who deal with all kinds of thugs in situations where there lives can easily be comprimised. The fact that the cop in question reacted the way he did is tragic, because it cost a human life. For the people who think the thief got what he deserved should understand, that life ain't no game where you can simply press reset, when you're dead.

BILLNYE6983
BILLNYE6983

You people are insane, how can you validate this by saying he deserved it, your making him out to be some tough as nails hardened criminal or something, you don't even know the guy. Saying that people who steal should be killed is insanity, it's America, and most of you saying this stuff are Americans, have you ever read any of the constituition... or even just the bill of rights? cause if you have you would see that that everyone had the right to a fair trial, this guy didn't get one, he got a bullet to the head... and he was unarmed, I really fail to see how he 'had it coming to him'. Get off you pedestals for a bit, you can't tell me you've never done anything illegal? Now I know probably not as bad as this case, but would you say that a shoplifter should be say... beaten, cause that's basically what happened in this case only on a smaller scale, cops are only supposed to use force as a LAST result, they aren't even supposed to break out batons, pepper spray, or tazers for awhile, and only under certain circumstances do they use guns. You guys play too many video games or watch too much cop movies and shows, cause in reality it's not the shoot things up and let the 'chief' take care of it situation, this guy should be fired and charged with something for killing another human being, it's as simple as that, so what some guy lost money, that's sucks but this guy was KILLED, you can make more money one way or the other, but death... there ain't no coming back from that.

Death_Masta187
Death_Masta187

@drunk3nrabbit My point of that song was not about the color of his skin but the fact that cops think they are above the law and can get away with murder... Yeah the kid was a stupid moron and the world maybe better of without a kid like him. But my point was that this cop murdered him and got away with it and that’s not the fist or last time this will happen…

drunk3nrabbit
drunk3nrabbit

@Death_Masta187 Look, the freaking jury let the cop off. Not some beaurocrat, normal citizens let him off. And you lame little song about cops cracking on black ppl is totally invalid because Strickland was WHITE, not black. Don't believe me? check this picture: http://www.wral.com/2006/1203/10449513_240X180.jpg And here is an exerpt from a statement from the parents: "Our son, Peyton, was a kind and gentle boy. He was generous, thoughtful and compassionate." source: http://www.wral.com/news/10454516/detail.html Umm...your son just beat someone up for some PS3's and stole them, then instead of relising that he screwed up, he hid from the police, HE killed himself with his OWN stupidity, I have NO sympathy for the twit. gererous-umm maybe they meant greedy, thoughtful-maybe they meant thug-like, and compassionate-maybe they meant criminal (starts with the same letter). If the kid had been spared and simply arrested, what would you, Mr. and Mrs. Strickland, say to that? or would you say the same thing and have no remorse for the fact that he ruined some other guys's life who just shelled out over a thousand dollars and got beaten by YOUR son?!?!?!?!?!? /rant

lhardwick692
lhardwick692

its not whether we think a 600 dollar item whether it be a ps3 or a xbox360 with add-on hd-dvd----people get killed for alot less--why is it that everyone thinks its over 600 bucks--its not th 600 bucks it the fact the guy stole the ps3's off someone --beating the guy to pieces from what i heard--and now the stealer is dead--it doesnt matter if it is over a 600 dollar console or a 250 dollar console or a 300 buck mp3 player-- or even a 20 dollar cd player--he should have opened the door and then face the courts like a normal human being--instead of thinking ignore it and it will go away----it doesnt work that way

miggidy24
miggidy24

Woaw.... We're going to let this pork chop get away with murder? Something's not right!

yinyang3
yinyang3

Is 600 dollars really worth a life?

Death_Masta187
Death_Masta187

"Police Story" ANTI-FLAG A black man driving down the street one day Pulled over by racist boys in blue in Brentwood, Pa. Theres no reason, they don't have any right It's just that in their eyes he's not the correct shade of white.... Driving in a neighborhood that's reigned by whites Ain't healthy for a black man trying to live a lengthy life All those cops they walked off free, but him he's in a grave His name is Johnny Gammage, one of thousands they have slain We've got no rights..... ....When cops can kill it's not right.... .....we live in fear Patrol man cruising in his car at night Just looking for some homies he can rough up in a fight Pulled over 3 kids in a total rage Next thing that you know there's bodies all over the place His back up came & they're all acting tough 3 kids vs. 6 or 7 cops all armed with billy clubs The cops they did it just cause those kids color and their age They say that's not the truth, but this happens every **** day!!! We've got no rights.... ....When cops can kill it's not right..... .....we live in fear Fear of what you're gonna do, when a cops talking **** to you Fear of what you're gonna say, when the cops come gunning your way Fear of what you shouldn't do, when the cops try to provoke you Fear that on any given day, the cops could take your life away...... They say they're here, to keep the peace........ WHAT A BUNCH OF FU$#ING SH$@!!! We've got no rights... ....when cops can kill it's not right..... ....we live in fear TAKE BACK YOUR RIGHTS!!! --------------------------------------------------- My point is Cops should not be above the law...its sad when we need police to police the police.... "Crooked cops plus crooked judges, don't equal justice Brick by brick - wall by wall Wont sit back - let our brothers and sisters fall The unjust justice system Our voice will overthrow" - ANTI-FLAG

nappan
nappan

BobblyBopp: true... and Lenny Bruce said it before carlin and... oh wait, this is a news commentary on gamespot... no Footnotes section. How anal are you man?

BobblyBopp
BobblyBopp

you do realize that fencing off a state like that is exactly what George Carlin said, right? his "4 groups that gotta go" routine. so, nappan, quit ripping off famous comedians, or at least credit them.

nappan
nappan

"josephmadde2005: Yo dude you don't need to air drop anything we already got guns and plenty of amo so if ya did that we'd have them wiped out before morning anyway. " That's the idea ;)

josephmadde2005
josephmadde2005

"nappan Absolute hilarity. You have to love the world we live in. "the fatal shot had ricocheted off another object into his skull. " Not only can these swine not hold their s*** together while raiding a petty criminal, but they can't shoot straight either. Right or wrong doesn't enter into this: smart people don't screw around with cops, and cops almost never go down for a dirty shooting. Period. After all, a cop is just a sociopath with a pistol and badge at the end of the day, and so are violet criminals. Maybe we could all just agree to rope off some worthless state like Alabama, Mississippi, or Tennessee and stuff the prison and police population of the country in there with regular airdrops of guns, ammo, and amphetamines. Then televise it." Yo dude you don't need to air drop anything we already got guns and plenty of amo so if ya did that we'd have them wiped out before morning anyway.

josephmadde2005
josephmadde2005

Give a cop an inch he takes a mile, and no he should not have gotten charged with second degree muder, but at least involuntary manslaughter. Even if it was an accident, and the kid was a bad person if you let a cop(or anyone else) get away with it once you set precedent for an outright murder by a cop going unpunished. This **** happens all the time now and ya'll know it. I said it before, I will say it again. What if it had been a wrong house or someone in your family? An 88 year old lady in Atlanta and a 92 year old in Mobile both got killed over mistaken addresses. I have planty of guns and if the cops ever come into my house unanounced without my knowledge in the middle of the night I damn sure will defend myself, And if they bust in on me I won't be firing no pistol either. I mean how in the hell would you know who they were? They all dress like wringwraiths and act like barbarians now that they have been militarized. Any theif nowdays could get that gear at a surplus store and come in screaming "Police get down on the ground". Then before you know it your wife is raped and killed and your being dumped in a ditch somewhere. No i am a non-violent person who loves life and liberty. I try my best to avoid confrontation at all costs because it aint worth it, but my family comes first. If it comes down to my lovely wife and some cops with darth vader masks on acting like savages there won't even be a question. Bang bang baby! prisonplanet.com

henry4th
henry4th

vince956 Dude, when you or your mother over speed on highway, and if you happen to meet a cop like this one, you'd be killed too for he mistook a car's backfire as you or your mother firing a gun! It's not a police's job to kill people!

nappan
nappan

Absolute hilarity. You have to love the world we live in. "the fatal shot had ricocheted off another object into his skull. " Not only can these swine not hold their s*** together while raiding a petty criminal, but they can't shoot straight either. Right or wrong doesn't enter into this: smart people don't screw around with cops, and cops almost never go down for a dirty shooting. Period. After all, a cop is just a sociopath with a pistol and badge at the end of the day, and so are violet criminals. Maybe we could all just agree to rope off some worthless state like Alabama, Mississippi, or Tennessee and stuff the prison and police population of the country in there with regular airdrops of guns, ammo, and amphetamines. Then televise it.