Monday, June 1, 2009

Teen Robbers/An Epidemic?

OAKLAND-Ersland said two males tried to rob his pharmacy at Southwest 59th and Penn last Tuesday. Police investigators said Ersland shot 16-year-old Antwun Parker, killing him.

Antwun Parker, 16, was shot and killed during an apparent robbery attempt at Reliable Pharmacy.

District Attorney David Prater said in Thursday's hearing that while Ersland crossed the line in the Parker shooting, he should still have a right to defend himself while he awaits trial. He said it was unfair for Ersland to be allowed to go back to work, but not allow anyone at the pharmacy to defend themselves.

The judge said that she's not keeping other people at the pharmacy from defending themselves, but doesn't want Ersland to have access to weapons. She said if he can't work under those conditions, that's his decision.

Two Vietnam War veterans at the hearing argued that the judge crossed the line by restricting other people's Second Amendment rights.

Prater said on Wednesday that the surveillance tape from the robbery prompted the murder charge against Ersland.
The video showed that the other man who came into the store demanding money had a gun but Parker did not. The tape showed that Parker seemed to be in the process of putting on a mask, police said.

Ersland fired shots at Parker, hitting him in the head. He also chased the second man down the street, firing two more shots. Police arrested a 14-year-old who they said was the second person involved in the robbery, as well as a man they accuse of driving a getaway vehicle.

"If that first shot had been fatal, we wouldn't be here," Prater said. "That was a legitimate shot taken by Mr. Ersland when he was in imminent threat of death or bodily injury. He's defending himself."
Prosecutors said Ersland returned to the store after the chase and fired five more shots into Parker's abdomen. Parker was unconscious with gunshot wounds to his head, prosecutors said.

A medical examiner said Parker would have survived the head injury, but died from the shooting to his abdomen.
"Jerome Ersland was justified in shooting Antwun Parker in the robbery attempt," Prater said. "Ersland is accused of exceeding that lawful authority through deadly force when Ersland shot Parker five times in the abdomen with a .380 caliber pistol after the failed robbery."
He said that Parker posed no imminent threat to Ersland at that point.
"When you put a pistol just a foot away from his chest and you fire five rounds into that child's chest, in my opinion, the laws of this state do not protect in the use of that deadly force," Prater said.
After the shooting, Ersland told Eyewitness News 5 that he acted to save his life.

"They were shooting at me and I was just shooting to get them off of me and get to them to leave," Ersland said. "I wasn't trying to kill them."
Ersland's attorney, Irven Box, said his client plans to plead not guilty during his arraignment.

"I think the only message is, 'Enough is enough crime and robberies in this city,'" Box said. "I think he took the first steps toward doing that."

Parker's Family Reacts
News of the murder charge came on the same day that Parker's family buried him.
"I'm mad, I'm mad," said Parker's mother, Cleta Jennings. "He didn't have to shoot my baby like that."

She said that the charges against Ersland give her a sense that justice is being served.
"Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, God. I'm excited. I'm so happy this man is being charged with murder."
- Cleta Jennings, Antwun Parker's mother

She said that while her son may have been mixed up with the wrong crowd and knows that what he did was wrong, she knows that Antwun would never hold a gun and didn't have to die.

"You could have stopped at one shot. You lied," Antwun's sister, Brittany Baldwin said, of Ersland. "Ain't nothing in the world that can replace him. Nothing can take away the pain I feel now."

Mike Parker, Antwun's father, said he was willing to forgive Ersland, but said what he did was not right.

What do you feel? I'm just sad that this had to happen and that he was killed like that-6 shots to the body. This is sadly common in our communities today. What do you expect when you do dangerous things like rob someone? You thought that their was just some fragile Caucasians in there and you were going to scare them into handing over the money? My God! Where are the parents? We need to direct our kids away from the "wrong" crowd-dont accept it. Dont accept "thuggin" behavior from your son cause thats what being a man is all about-FALSE. I'm married to a man that has never ever had that type of mind-set and we are both from the ghetto. He barely had his father around, his mother was on drugs, and he was poor-but he decided to do something about it and persevere. I'm praying for everyone in this matter.


Vaneisha said...

wow.dats crazy.