Off duty LEO shoots gunman at AT&T Store
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Thread: Off duty LEO shoots gunman at AT&T Store

  1. #1

    Off duty LEO shoots gunman at AT&T Store

    Man shot dead at AT&T store planned to kill 6
    Posted May 27, 2010 @ 01:01 PM
    Last update May 28, 2010 @ 11:03 AM
    When a 79-year-old retired Griffiss Air Force Base worker bent on revenge walked into a village AT&T store Thursday afternoon, he had one intent — to kill six employees.

    He began his grim mission by taking aim with a .357 Magnum at a 37-year-old store worker at the front counter and firing.

    But before Abraham Dickan could shoot any of the other employees whose names he carried on a letter in his pocket, the Utica man was shot dead in the middle of the store by an off-duty Rome police officer who happened to be there shopping, authorities said.

    As disturbing as the violence was in the region’s retail center on Commercial Drive, it could have been much worse.

    “He’s a hero,” Rome Police Chief Kevin Beach said of Officer Donald Moore. “I don’t think there’s any other way to describe it.”

    Worker Seth Turk, who was shot in the abdomen, was listed in critical condition Thursday night at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica.

    Dickan, of 26 Richardson Ave. in South Utica, had previously clashed with the AT&T employees and had displayed a gun at least once before, police said.

    Following those incidents, AT&T corporate officials had banned the gunman from the store and reported his behavior to New York Mills police. Those complaints led to Dickan’s pistol permit being revoked, police said.

    On Thursday, Dickan returned just before 1 p.m. with a different gun, the .357 Magnum, police said.

    In the note found in his pocket after the shooting, Dickan also wrote about being angry that his pistol license had been revoked, police said.

    Dickan had no criminal history, police said, and they were investigating whether he had a history of mental problems.

    Moore shot Dickan dead with his personal .40-caliber handgun, police said. It was unclear whether he had identified himself as a police officer before he fired and how many times he discharged his gun.

    An autopsy is scheduled to be conducted on Dickan Friday.

    Fleeing to safety

    Customers and AT&T employees alike fled the store after hearing the shots.

    A frightened employee ran into the adjacent Harley-Davidson of Utica store, where workers locked down the store and provided refuge to people running from the shooting scene. The AT&T employee made sure none of them was the gunman.

    And a customer who pulled up to the AT&T store to get his cell phone fixed encountered an arriving police officer who, with pistol drawn, told him to lie flat on the ground.

    Moore, who has been a member of the Rome Police Department for 2½ years, received an award last year for helping to save an 11-year-old girl from drowning.

    “You could never ask for a better outcome beyond what happened — everyone in the building was extremely fortunate that officer was in there,” New York Mills police Chief Robert Swenszkowski said.

    AT&T corporate spokeswoman Alexa Kaufman said the company was doing everything it could to support its employees and cooperate with police.

    “Our employees are the most important thing we’re focused on right now,” she said. “It’s not clear when the store will reopen, but it will be closed for at least a few days.”

    Customer: I heard ‘Pop, pop, pop’

    Whitesboro resident Michael Bieksza was inside the AT&T store buying screensavers for his daughter’s cell phone, speaking to a manager and an assistant manager at the counter.

    Then he heard a “pop, pop, pop,” as he described it later, and turned and saw a bearded man with a gun. Dickan said nothing, witnesses inside the store said.

    Bieksza saw the wounded employee lying on the floor, and the stores’ managers and Bieksza immediately ran out a side door.

    “When you hear that many shots, you think he’s just going to start spraying people,” Bieksza said. “I was always taught to get out of the area and get to a safe place. The two women (managers) were on my mind. My main concern was get the two ladies out.”

    He said he heard more shots as they were running outside.

    Later, Bieksza said, “I thought to myself, 'Why did I happen to be here at this particular time?’ I do thank God that I am still here because it’s a scary feeling.”

    More than an hour after the shooting incident, he was still trying to reach his wife to tell her what had occurred.

    Employee: Suspect already was banned from store

    AT&T employee Peter Abraham, who was not present when the incident occurred, said Dickan’s actions had become so troubling in the past that he’d been banned from the store one month ago.

    Abraham said Dickan would disturb other customers and continually made critical remarks about AT&T employees.

    “He was always saying remarks that he didn’t like us and that we should quit our jobs,” Abraham said.

    Dickan had shown other employees a licensed gun in the past, he said, although he said he had never seen the gun himself.

    Abraham had been asked to come in early on Thursday, but he said he couldn’t make it. He was at Sangertown Square when he received a telephone call about the incident and rushed to the store.

    Utica police also responded to see if it was related to the armed robbery of a bank on Mohawk Street earlier in the day, but found it wasn’t.

    Commercial Drive was closed to traffic for at least an hour after the incident as some 30 emergency vehicles filled area parking lots and Commercial Drive.

  3. #2

    RE: Off duty LEO shoots gunman at AT&T store

    It's interesting to read the comments following the article - which typically range from the well-thought-out to the moronic - but it struck me that the real crux of the question is - What if the LEO wasn't there? NY makes it so hard to obtain an unrestricted concealed carry permit that it's virtually certain that no one else in the store would have been armed, and the shooter would have killed all his victims and probably gotten away, at least for a while.

    God was smiling on 5 of the 6 that day. Lucky for everyone that there was an armed LEO present who knew what needed to be done, and took immediate action. Food for thought.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    MA, Away from the liberal loonies...
    Seems to me to be a case of being in the right place at the right time for this police officer. I would also have to say his chosen line of work fits him perfectly... Some just do it right and ask for nothing in return. As if that's what they were born to do.

    You can give peace a chance alright..

    I'll seek cover in case it goes badly..

  5. Quote Originally Posted by huddydrvr View Post
    He began his grim mission by taking aim with a .357 Magnum at a 37-year-old store worker at the front counter and firing.

    But before Abraham Dickan could shoot any of the other employees whose names he carried on a letter in his pocket, the Utica man was shot dead in the middle of the store by an off-duty Rome police officer who happened to be there shopping, authorities said...

    It was unclear whether he had identified himself as a police officer before he fired and how many times he discharged his gun.
    "POLICE! Stop killing people or I will be forced to use deadly force in accordance with state statute ..."

    A lot of reporters really are idiots...
    Executive Director, Florida Carry, Inc.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Presumably, this old jerk had a concealed carry permit. It was apparently revoked after he "brandished" it to the employees. A good revocation. He then apparently returned to the store with a "different gun." Perhaps this one wasn't legal and on his now-revoked permit?

    No matter. See how easily this whole thing can be spun against lawful citizens owning guns? We all tend to look at this situation and ask questions like "What if that policeman hadn't been there?"

    Then those of us that support the ownership of guns say "The rest of those employees were left defenseless due to New York's infringingly restrictive gun laws."

    Anti-gunners say "If that gunman didn't have a permit to buy a gun in the first place, all six employees would have been safe."

    Be careful with this one.

  7. #6
    According to follow-up articles, Dickan did indeed have a permit that was revoked prior to the shooting incident, after AT&T corporate complained to the local PD about an incident where he brandished a weapon and threatened store employees. In NY state, that is considered "menacing" and is a serious offense; the guy should probably have been arrested. Instead, his legal weapons were confiscated when his permit was revoked, but he was not arrested.

    The weapon used in the assault could not have been legally in Dickan's possession, because (1) his permit was revoked, and (2) all the guns listed on his permit had been confiscated. Lacking a permit, it was a felony just for him to possess the weapon. In NY, it is impossible to take possession of a legal handgun without a permit. In Oneida county where the perp resided, the process works like this: you pay for your gun, get a receipt; you must take the receipt to the pistol clerk who adds the new gun to your permit, plus provides a special form; you then take the form and the new permit back to the gunshop, where you can take possession of your new gun.

    I think when discussing this incident, there are a few points that we pro-gun people can make:

    1 - New York State's extremely strict gun laws did nothing to prevent this crime - Dickan was somehow able to obtain a weapon thru extralegal means, without a permit. "Criminals don't obey the law; that's why they're called 'criminals'."

    2 - It was just a matter of God's grace that the off-duty LEO was there to stop Dickan. New York's restrictive permit process, which greatly limits the issuance of unrestricted carry permits, virtually guarantees that no one other than a LEO would be in possession of a legal concealed carry pistol in the store. (Anyone in that store would likely have been from a county that mostly issues "recreational" permits). Only the presence of the off-duty LEO prevented another 5 deaths. The cops got there pretty fast after several 9-1-1 calls, but not in time to stop the crime. "When seconds count, your police are minutes away."

    3 - It appears that the legal process broke down - prior to the shooting, Dickan committed first-degree menacing, a felony, but was not arrested for this crime. What good does it do to enact additional restrictive measures when the existing laws are not being adequately enforced?

  8. If he brandished the weapon not only would he be arrested he would also have a restraining order placed against him from coming into the store.The gun permit was revolked because his permit was a restricted for recreational purposes.Someone dropped the ball here big time.The AT&T employees must find out what went wromg here.This POS needed to be arrested for his constant harassment, thank god for the off duty cop who carried a weapon and protected the sheep.

  9. They're all lucky the cop happened to be there. Else it would've been another massacre of the helpless sheep who aren't allowed to carry guns.

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