Random thoughts from flyover country

Monday, September 20

Convenience store shooting has robber's family asking questions

Unbelieveable. Two masked men armed with rifles enter a convenience store in North Tulsa, start shooting, and the clerk shoots back with a handgun, killing one of the robbers, and the robber's family has questions?

The deceased robber, identified as 14-year-old(!) Qualynn Dabney, was an eighth grader in an alternative school program operated through a partnership between the Tulsa County Juvenile Bureau and the Tulsa Public Schools, indicating that he was not a stranger to the justice system. By accounts in the article, he was a wonderful student, well-liked, and energetic, yet he ended up dead on the floor of a convenience store with a .22 rifle next to his body.

His grandmother, who was not identified as a witness, said the "other boy" had the rifle and fled, leaving her grandson alone and unarmed. She doesn't think he should have been shot and wants a thorough investigation. I think that's a wonderful idea.

Questions need to be asked all right. How about we find out from the family:
1) Why was a 14-year-old boy out on the streets at 10:45 PM on a school night?
2) What was a 14-year-old boy doing robbing a convenience store?
3) What was a 14-year-old boy doing with a gun, despite his family's claim that he didn't have a gun?
4) What should the clerk have done when two men burst into his store shooting?
5) Would they rather have had the clerk, just a man working for a living, been shot by the 14-year-old boy?
6) Will they identify the "other boy" since they seem to know so much about the crime?
7) Are there any other questions they want to ask in an attempt to deflect interest away from their failure to control their child and prevent him from meeting his untimely end?

I seriously doubt that the clerk had time to determine how old his assailants were nor that it would have mattered since they apparently came in the door shooting. It is enough that he was in fear for his life and returned fire. The fact that a 14-year-old child who should have been home in bed died is a tragedy, but he made bad choice, a choice from which his family should have protected him.

I just hope the "culture of silence" doesn't protect his partner in crime who also is responsible for this young man's death.


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