Father reports truck stolen to teach son a lesson, cops shoot son dead

By bobcat
Nov 10, 2013
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  1. SLATER, IA. — © Des Moines Register & Tribune, 2013

    James Comstock refused to buy a pack of cigarettes for his 19-year-old son, Tyler, and now he’s planning his son’s funeral.

    “He took off with my truck. I call the police, and they kill him,” James Comstock told The Des Moines Register on Tuesday. “It was over a damn pack of cigarettes. I wouldn’t buy him none.

    “And I lose my son for that.”

    Comstock said he’s outraged police shot and killed his son Monday morning on Iowa State University’s campus.

    Police began pursuing Tyler Comstock of Boone after his father reported the truck stolen. The truck belonged to a lawn care company.

    Ames Police Officer Adam McPherson pursued Comstock into the heart of ISU’s campus. During the chase, Comstock rammed McPherson’s car. The truck eventually stopped, but Comstock revved the engine and refused orders to turn it off.

    McPherson fired six shots into the truck. Comstock died from two gunshot wounds, according to the Iowa state medical examiner’s office.

    James Comstock said his son was not carrying a weapon.

    http://www.desmoinesregister.com/ar...-at-ISU-baffled-by-slaying?Frontpage&gcheck=1
  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,804   +1,431

    This doesn't surprise me at all. Trigger happy bastards shouldn't be awarded a badge at all. This is what happens when you are not allowed to settle your own disputes. You are effectively giving authority to those who don't know you or what to expect, so they expect the worst case scenario. Cop with a gun and a civilian temporarily ticked off is never a good pairing.

    I hate guns and would never own one (at least until I'm willing to use it), and have had the pleasure of a cop pointing one at me. I could understand the cop drawing the gun in preparation, but never pointing it at a target that clearly doesn't have a weapon. You would think I had a rocket launcher on my shoulder the way the cop was acting.
  3. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 3,428   +618

    Lol, wow. I thought it was general knowledge that you don't mess with USA cops? The cop felt threatened, he took action. Sad story though.
    ViperSniper2 likes this.
  4. bobcat

    bobcat TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 688   +67

    The actions of the story are wrong on many levels. The son stealing the truck, the father not mentioning to the police it was his son, the son ramming the police car, then revving the engine and ignoring police orders, and then finally the police being trigger-happy. No wonder there was a tragic end. Worse, I don't think it will be a lesson to anybody for avoiding repetitions.
    Cobalt006 likes this.
  5. davislane1

    davislane1 TechSpot Guru Posts: 1,250   +458

    Had a family friend die last year after he was shot by some random thug. Local media covered it and it read pretty much like this story in terms of substance. My point: this is probably 1/5 of what actually happened, if that.

    As for the cop pulling on an unarmed suspect... There is too little information here to judge that action. Assuming the truck wasn't disabled, the driver was in fact in possession of a weapon and made a clear threat to use it (revving the engine after ramming the police vehicle). It's a sad story, but second guessing the LEO's actions distracts from what should really be taken away from this story: don't run from the cops and don't ever threaten people who have more firepower than you do.
    ViperSniper2 and psycros like this.
  6. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 3,428   +618


    Exactly this. Everyone knows cops have guns and the authority to use them.
  7. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,284   +262

    I can't figure out why some of you are calling the cop trigger happy. I think bobcat hit it on the head. If you treat the authorities like they have no authority and nothing is done about it then it will be anarchy. The kid had a weapon and used it at least once. Now I'm sure there are several details missing from this story but based only on what was posted in this article I'd say the officer did what he was supposed to do.
    psycros, misor and Cobalt006 like this.
  8. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,804   +1,431

    Because the cop took the easy way out and killed someone. There are hundreds of other options that could have been used. But why even plan for those, if you can simply send a small chunk of lead through the air when the time comes. God I wish I could do that sometimes, but no if I tried they would throw the book at me. Instead I have to deal with it and hope for the best.
  9. davislane1

    davislane1 TechSpot Guru Posts: 1,250   +458

    I suppose when the dude revved his engine the cop could have just holstered his weapon and said, "come at me, bro!" Would have been more of a challenge. Running from a truck, that is. Maybe.
    psycros likes this.
  10. misor

    misor TechSpot Addict Posts: 988   +147

    on second thought, the father made a false claim to the police.
    the son driving the 'stolen truck' rammed a police vehicle and did not heed the call of the police to stop the truck.
  11. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 2,160   +506

    This is what happens when people make a stupid decision instead of settling family disputes themselves.

    Honestly, while I don't condone what happened to the kid, the officer could have made a better decision but his decision was not completely unjust. The guy reported the car stolen, and the driver of the 'stolen' vehicle hit the cop car which was threatening the cop. Refusing orders to get out of the vehicle, ramming the police cruiser, and revving the engine was a stupid and careless thing for the kid to do. The kid should not have died for this, but he made a stupid decision that put other peoples lives in danger and the father made a stupid decision involving police in a family dispute and essentially filing a false claim. The cop had no idea it was the son of the vehicle owner, all he knew was that someone had stolen a vehicle, rammed his police cruiser, was threatening to drive off/ram the vehicle again by revving the engine, and was being unresponsive.

    There were mistakes made across the board, but I do not think the officer should take 100% blame in this scenario.
    misor and psycros like this.
     
  12. psycros

    psycros TechSpot Booster Posts: 692   +209

    Families like this are the reason cops get burned out and stop caring. Every day they have to put on the uniform and go out there, knowing that 90% of the morons they deal with will have kids who will grow up to be exactly the same.
  13. wholesalestunna

    wholesalestunna Newcomer, in training Posts: 35


    I'll be honest, it's not so much families like this as it's part of the job. But members of the public (such as the first reply in this thread) are the reason why. Officers have to place themselves in the line of fire every day for the public and then when they have to defend themselves the public they protect wants to crucify them. Perhaps you should allow the officer his sixth amendment rights to a fair trial that he would protect for you before you are so quick to label him as "trigger happy".
  14. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,804   +1,431

    Fair Trial? There is no such thing.

    The kid probably got what he had coming to him, but the officer could have found another way to deal with it. Did they even try to disable the vehicle before deciding to take a life? Not from what I am reading, but yet they are trained to deal with these situations.
  15. wholesalestunna

    wholesalestunna Newcomer, in training Posts: 35

    Have you ever been involved with a pursuit where someone is ramming your vehicle with another car? Have you ever felt like your life was in danger? How do you propose they should have disabled the vehicle as he was ramming their patrol car without shooting the driver?
  16. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,804   +1,431

    If I were trained I would, and I'm also willing to bet those who judge this case will not be either.

    Have you ever tried driving a vehicle on 4 flats? It will move but nothing as threatening as a fully functional vehicle.
  17. wholesalestunna

    wholesalestunna Newcomer, in training Posts: 35

    Trained how? I don't think there is any training on how to stop a moving car without eliminating the driver who has the intent to run you over. The military can with a 50 caliber rifle, but this is not the military.
  18. wholesalestunna

    wholesalestunna Newcomer, in training Posts: 35


    I've actually been in pursuits and seen vehicles drive at 40 and 50 miles an hour with four flats. Shooting out tires only happens in the movies by the way.
  19. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,804   +1,431

    Right and that is why this kid is dead after only 6 shots which were meant to kill and not immobilize.
  20. wholesalestunna

    wholesalestunna Newcomer, in training Posts: 35


    Well, unfortunately the kid made the choice to use deadly force against the officer and he was in turn met by deadly force.
  21. davislane1

    davislane1 TechSpot Guru Posts: 1,250   +458

    Have you even handled a firearm before? If the officer had the skill and nerve to do that, the driver would have been dead in two shots, not six.

    The purpose of a gun is to kill, not "immobilize." When you choose to threaten an armed individual with force, you're effectively putting your life firmly under the control of that person's index finger. One electrical signal from the brain to that digit and you're gone. The driver failed to respect that reality and paid the price for it, and no exploration of theoreticals (however fantastical) can diminish the role that error played in this incident.
    St1ckM4n likes this.
  22. ViperSniper2

    ViperSniper2 Newcomer, in training Posts: 49


    Cops have every bit as much right to protect themselves in the line of duty and anyone else in America or any human being for that matter. The point of this story is this was a guy totally out of control. Who had no way of dealing with him other than calling the police to try and slow him down. I have a sneaky suspicion this dude was on drugs other than his addiction to cigarettes. Although it seems this kind of behavior is very telling about that's drug's ability to our judgement in situations like this!

    btw.... probably this dad's only recourse is to go after the tobacco industry for compensation for his loss. If cigarettes were illegal instead of pot, this most likely would never have happened!


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