Victory for a S&W semi-auto. I kind of doubt it was an M&P but who knows? Glad the guy was immediately cleared of charges.
Cleveland man caught up in gun debate
Posted by Damian G. Guevara and Patrick O’Donnell April 23, 2007 19:56PM
Categories: Breaking News, Crime
Damon Wells is the man gun supporters imagined when they fought for the right to carry concealed weapons.
He had a permit to carry his gun, and he had the gun on him when a pair of teenage thieves approached him Saturday night on his front porch.
When one of the youths pulled a gun, Wells whipped out his and shot one of the boys multiple times in the chest, police said.
Arthur Buford, 15, died after stumbling away and collapsing on a sidewalk near East 134th Street and Kinsman Road.
City prosecutors decided Monday that Wells, 25, was justified and would not be charged for what appears to be the first time a concealed-carry permit holder has shot and killed an attacker.
Nonetheless, the shooting reignited the debate that roared three years ago when Ohio's concealed-carry law took effect.
Gun supporters said the weapon saved Wells' life. Opponents said it took Buford's - that the 15-year-old might be alive if a citizen had not been armed.
An angry throng of about 30 youths gathered Monday and set up a memorial at the intersection where Buford, a freshman at John F. Kennedy High School, died.
His cousin, Tameka Foster, 21, questioned why police refused to punish Buford's shooter. "They let that man run out freely," Foster said. "My cousin is dead."
Buford's accomplice disappeared after the shooting and had not been caught Monday night. Police found a .38-caliber handgun in the mail chute of a nearby house. They believe it belonged to Buford or the other suspect, Lt. Thomas Stacho said.
Police took a .40-caliber Smith and Wesson firearm from Wells, the police report shows.
Both sides of the gun debate said it was sad that a teenager died.
"It's tragic," said Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearm Association. "Anytime somebody dies it's tragic, but it's hard to have any sympathy when he chose to have a gun and go threaten somebody's life."
Irvine said it was "great that a potential victim is able to continue his life instead of having a criminal take it."
Toby Hoover, of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, said she had not heard of any other fatal shooting involving a concealed-carry permit holder.
"This is one of the few where they actually used it to stop a crime," Hoover said.
But, she said, "there's still a dead kid here."
A man who answered phone a number for Wells refused to comment and hung up. No one answered the door at Wells' home.
Plain Dealer reporters Jesse Tinsley and Brie Zelter and researcher Cheryl Diamond contributed to this story.
2 teens blocked him: 'Don't move or I'll pop you'
Friday, April 27, 2007
Plain Dealer Reporter
Damon Wells will not go home. He is a pariah in his neighborhood.
The 25-year-old Cleveland man shot one of the two teens trying to rob him at gunpoint on Saturday in front of his home. The youth he killed, Arthur "Ace Boogie" Buford, was 15.
Since the shooting, windows in Wells' home have been shattered and are boarded up. Many in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood have sided with Buford and his accomplice rather than with Wells. Two people close to Wells want to defend him publicly, but they will speak only on the condition of anonymity because of rumors of retaliation.
They say Wells is in hiding now, leaning on his family and his faith in God. He is struggling with grief for the boy's family and frustration with how the community turned on him.
The trouble began about 8:30 p.m. Saturday with a trip to the corner store less than a block away, but even that can be dangerous in this Mount Pleasant neighborhood just north of Kinsman Road. Last year, one out of 100 residents in the blocks around his home on East 134th Street north of Kinsman Road was robbed or seriously assaulted, according to a Plain Dealer analysis of police data.
Wells was prepared. He wore a .40-caliber Smith and Wesson pistol in a shoulder holster. It is unclear if a shirt or jacket hid the holster. That day temperatures rose to 68 degrees.
It is also not known what, if anything, Wells bought at the store. He has declined to comment, and police have been guarded in the details they have released.
On the way home, Wells saw two teens. One was Buford, who was on probation for a 2006 robbery. He was wearing black sneakers, RocaWear jean shorts and a baggy white T-shirt.
The two teens approached Wells - one went in front of Wells, the other behind. He told police he felt threatened.
Contrary to previous reports, Wells did not get to his porch. Police say he reached the porch steps, but before he could climb them and run inside to safety, one of the youths - it is not clear which - pulled a handgun and said, "Don't move or I'll pop you."
Wells put up his hands.
The second youth reached for his pants, and Wells later told police he believed the robber was reaching for a second gun. Wells quickly drew his handgun and fired three shots. One hit Buford in the chest.
Both boys ran, but Buford bled profusely. He didn't get 15 yards before he tumbled onto the sidewalk not far from the corner store.
A surveillance camera from a building across Kinsman was pointed toward Wells' home. Police have not released the tape, but they said the image quality was poor. It could not have captured a shooting in front of Wells' home.
A crowd began to gather around Buford. Emergency workers rushed him to MetroHealth Medical Center. He was pronounced dead at 9:18 p.m., about 30 minutes after the shooting. Back at home, Wells went inside and put down his gun.
A woman in the house and several frantic neighbors called police. When they pulled up outside, Wells was there, hands in the air. He told them the gun was inside.
Investigators found three shell casings and blood. On Kinsman Road, they found a handgun that they believe was used in the attempted robbery.
They took Wells to jail. He answered their questions and, after consulting with city prosecutors, police released him. Police said all the evidence suggested he had done nothing more than what he had to do.
To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:
[email protected], 216-999-4141