Reservist Trying to Avoid Iraq Recall Killed by Police

A Maryland Army Reservist was shot and killed by police after a standoff staged to avoid being sent back to duty in Iraq.

A man who authorities believe was an Army Reservist just called up to serve in Iraq was fatally shot by police in Leonardtown today after a standoff that began Christmas night. James Emerick Dean, 28, was shot by a St. Mary’s County sheriff’s deputy when he pointed a gun at a tactical team that was about to use gas to try to force Dean out of his father’s house, Sheriff Tim Cameron said.

Dean’s family contacted police Monday night, saying he was armed and threatening to kill himself, the sheriff said. Dean later told police he would shoot anyone who entered the house. Dean was despondent about several things, including recent orders for him to go to Iraq, the family told authorities. Dean had returned in 2005 from a year-and-a-half long tour in Afghanistan. Cameron did not know what reserve unit Dean served in.

No one else was in the house during the standoff, Cameron said. Dean took several shots at police as they surrounded the house throughout the night, including one that struck a car where a deputy sat. The officer was not injured.

About noon, while police were preparing to use gas, Dean came out the front door and pointed his weapon at police, Cameron said. At that point, a deputy shot Dean once, killing him.

Bizarre. And tragically ironic.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Original Article syndicated via RSS from Outside The Beltway | OTB

  2. Say Anything says:

    If You're A Coward Who Doesn't Want To Go To Iraq Because You Might Get Killed……

    …it's probably best to avoid skirting your duty and then getting into a standoff/firefight with the cops when they come to arrest you. I mean, talk about ironic. Though not tragic at all, as some are calling this. This could have been avoided if…

  3. MikeT says:

    If the guy was only threatening himself, then what’s the big deal? Surely the police could arrange to raid the house with the father’s permission when the guy has fallen asleep or is leaving.

  4. LJD says:

    …told police he would shoot anyone who entered the house… Dean took several shots at police as they surrounded the house throughout the night, including one that struck a car where a deputy sat… Dean came out the front door and pointed his weapon at police

    I’m not sure what post you read Mike, but he was hardly only threatening to injure himself. Since my brother is a cop, I think people with ‘the police should have’ comments should try to place themselves in the shoes of the officer whose life in in jeopardy day in and day out.

    This is tragic, but normal people do not go around shooting up neighborhoods simply because they don’t like their orders.

  5. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    Ironic indeed!

  6. Bandit says:

    Dean later told police he would shoot anyone who entered the house.

    Dean came out the front door and pointed his weapon at police, Cameron said. At that point, a deputy shot Dean once, killing him.

    Obviously a semi-educated untrained yokel who can’t perform his duties, right JJ?

  7. James Joyner says:

    Bandit: It’s not particularly hard to operate a firearm at close range.

    I’m not sure how St. Mary’s County selects and trains its deputies. Some counties basically hire people off the streets and put them out there with little or no training, others require graduation from a police academy and even college. My dad had a juco police science degree before he became an Army MP 30 years ago. That’s not the norm in most departments, especially those with small budgets.

    Big cities (LA, NYC, Chicago, Boston, etc.) tend to have the resources to set up extensive police academies, conduct psychological screening, and so forth. Ditto state police forces (State Highway Patrol). Many municipalities and counties simply don’t.

  8. Bandit says:

    I’m not sure how St. Mary’s County selects and trains its deputies.

    I knew that when you were putting police officers down as untrained and semi educated.

  9. Christopher says:

    Wow, the guy doesn’t want to go to Iraq but is perfectly OK with a shootout with police. Doesn’t make sense. The guy prob has some serious head issues but the media makes it about the war.