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Respond to crime wisely, let officers do their job

A group of suspected thieves was recently nabbed thanks to the efforts of witnesses. Three men are accused of robbing a local Dollar General at gunpoint.

Witnesses saw a man show a handgun and demand money from the register. They got a description of the vehicle as the suspects fled and called the authorities.

That’s what a good citizen should do. Crime affects everyone and can only be stopped when those with information speak up. The advice of “if you see something, say something” applies to all of us.

One witness took things further and fired a weapon at the tires of the suspects’ vehicle. He hit the car but didn’t manage the stop them from fleeing.

While we applaud the efforts to get a vehicle description and alert authorities, shooting at the car was not necessary.

It is too easy to accidentally shoot and kill someone in that situation. The suspects are accused of armed robbery, not murder or kidnapping. Once they were fleeing the scene, it’s easy to argue that no one’s life was in danger.

A similar case in Texas recently resulted in the death of a woman who was struck by a bullet from a Good Samaritan’s gun. The shooter saw someone rob a gas station and shot at the car in an effort to stop the suspect. A young woman was lying down in the back seat unseen, and was killed by the witness’s gunfire.

It’s not worth risking someone’s life in a circumstance like this. If you see a crime in progress and no one’s life is in jeopardy, respond appropriately by getting a description and calling authorities. Let them do the job they are trained to do.