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Maurice Clemmons and the mystery bullet

Post by Patrick O'Callahan on April 5, 2010 at 6:11 pm with 5 Comments »
April 5, 2010 6:11 pm

For me, an abiding mystery of the Maurice Clemmons case is how he managed to keep moving for two days after shooting four Lakewood police officers last November.

Greg Richards, one of the victims, shot Clemmons in the gut that day with a large-caliber police handgun designed to wreak massive havoc inside the human body. I would have expected not merely a disabling but an exquisitely agonizing wound.

Most of us figured Clemmons would be found dead somewhere after sustaining that hit. Yet he got himself patched up (with duct tape, no less) and not only managed to keep running but went after another police officer, this time in Seattle.

Seattle Officer Benjamin Kelly said Monday that he shot at Clemmons three times, and “the only reaction was after the first initial volley, he started running away from me in a dead sprint.” Another four shots brought him down.

A dead sprint? This evil guy would have given Rasputin a run for the money.

Leave a comment Comments → 5
  1. RustyJohn74 says:

    Depends on the caliber and where the shots were placed. When I was a kid growing up in Florida I recall an FBI shootout in Miami with a pair of bank robbers. The main bad guy was shot 12 times yet still managed to kill two FBI agents and wound five other agents. The first or second shot of the twelve was the one that eventually killed the bank robber however it did not cause enough immediate damage to cause instantaneous death. This shootout was one of the main reasons the FBI moved away from the 9 mm as a sidearm and adopted the 40 caliber s&w. A gut shot, like the one Clemmons received, is rarely going to cause immediate death unless it hits something vital like the liver or the spine on its way through. I’d be curious what the Lakewood and Seattle officers had for sidearms- Tacoma PD generally uses a .45 ACP- a 45 hydra shock round would typically leave an exit wound the size of a grapefruit.

  2. comment_tayter says:

    I would guess more and more criminals are high on some substance like meth, which makes them more-or-less anesthetized to the immediate effects of having been shot.

    I seem to remember somewhere reading the .45 ACP round was developed for that very situation — to deal with charging, drug-crazed tribesmen during the Spanish-American war– when the .38 caliber round was found to be ineffective.

    How Clemmons remained on his feet, albeit not for long, after being shot seven times is beyond me unless he were drugged up.

  3. tubbythetuba says:

    If nothing vital was hit, and the bleeding was staunched, he could go on for quite awhile, though certainly not painlessly. He must have been heavily drugged with some kind of pain killer.

  4. Concernedfather says:

    No brain, no pain?

  5. klthompson says:

    The Seattle jury has ruled Clemmon’s shooting by a Seattle officer as justified. When I carried a .45 semi automatic as a military policeman I was taught that it would leave an exit wound the size of a grapefruit and that a hit on an arm would be sufficient to immobilize a subject. I have a problem with putting our police officers on the street with arms guaranteed to wound instead of kill. I think that it would be an improvement to provide our officers with a “dirty Harry” instead of popguns.

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