An unloaded BB pistol….REALLY! that’s all they got?

Walther BB pistol


The EPD press conference held yesterday was heavy on spin and included misleading or false statements.
EPD expects you to believe that 22 year old Tommy McClain tried to draw an unloaded BB pistol against several armed EPD officers. What was McClain going to do with this unloaded BB pistol…..Throw it at the police? Please! This is quite a stretch and very difficult to most of us to believe. In particular, this fanciful notion from the Chief ;

“one of Linfoot’s shots hit him in the outer arm, piercing his bicep, passing through and hitting him in the chest”. This, Mills said, confirms that McClain’s arm was in a downward position and not raised when he was shot. “This demonstrates that the arm could not have been in the air,” he said.
We have checked with Law Enforcement personnel that have confirmed for us that it is rare for a suspect to raise their hands above their head for very long. Also we don’t know which 7 shots hit his arm going into his chest.

EPD wants us to believe this was a “suicide by cop” disregarding the fact that Tommy had just posted how much fun he had  just had with his family that night.

The fact is that EPD really screwed up.  Even if their story is to be absolutely believed, their handling of this situation is completely wrong.

BTW-how many of you believe that a cop is going to drive right up to an armed person, totally alone, and stand 12 feet away while giving commands.  Some officers are dumb, but we refuse to believe they’re suicidal.  This story sounds very fishy.

This just posted on the Outpost apparently if a person points a fake Uzi, on a public street, at the public and the police, you won’t be shot, but if you have a unloaded BB pistol in your waist band and you’ll be shot! :

also review our previous post:

Gun or no gun, that’s not really the issue.


27 thoughts on “An unloaded BB pistol….REALLY! that’s all they got?

  1. A thirteen year officer who had never before fired his gun comes upon a scene in which his fellow officers have an apparently armed suspect at gunpoint, sees the suspect reach for the gun, and, making a split-second decision, fires.

    Yes, like others, I think EPD has been incompetent at times, with deadly results. But this one? How would you have behaved differently?

    Sometimes bad things happen.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Maybe set up a perimeter Mitch? Why did they have to come straight at him? No one else was around. The “argument” was over by then. I wouldn’t blame the officer, but the tactics.

      It seems to me that EPD sure seems to force officers into shooting, even though other options might be available.


    • Now realy who would reach/grab for a unloaded bb gun.
      Now the only thing that comes up
      suicide by cop . Come on. Tommy was young had friends and family that loved him. Was working a good job. Just moved to a biger place with his cousen and family. They didnt know it was a bad naberhood.
      Tommy was happy no reason to go out side and reach for or grab. Any kind of weapon


  2. You obviously have a hard on for law enforcement. OK, you have a gun in your hand pointed at me and I have one real or not (how are you to know?) in my waistband. You tell me not to go for the gun or you’ll shoot. I go for the gun. The end.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tommy in no way grab for the bb gun like the police are saying.. the video from the patrol cars will show …..o ya … theres no video how convenient out of all those cars that were out there none of them have video now it that’s not a conspiracy


  3. Why would he pull a BB gun from his waistband and try to shoot law enforcement with loaded “REAL” guns. He had a hearing disability as well, too many people speaking at one time?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ingenius, really. A bb gun is almost impossible to trace, much cheaper than a black market real gun and when dropped on a shooting victim still justifies murder by cop, at least in some minds.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Did Chief Mills state that the BB gun was not loaded? I haven’t watched or listened to the press conference, I’ve just read the coverage on LoCO and the Times-Standard, and I don’t remember that detail coming up.

    Of course I don’t think it really matters as far as the point the TE is making — pulling a loaded BB gun on a bunch of cops who already have you at gunpoint would be just about as pointless — or to put it another way, just as obviously suicidal — as pulling an unloaded BB gun in that situation. Since there’s no reason to believe McClain was attempting suicide-by-cop, I’m left to conclude that he wasn’t actually intending to draw his gun on the officers.

    However, while McClain knew it was a BB gun, and we know it now, the cops (presumably) did not know it at the time. So even though it’s pretty easy for us, after the fact and with knowledge that it was just a BB gun (and perhaps unloaded) to conclude that McCain did not pose a real threat to the officers, Officer Linwood, the officer who reportedly fired all 7 shots, may have honestly believed McClain was reaching for a real gun, with the intention of opening fire on the officers.

    Officer Linfoot reportedly arrived on the scene last, and in a hurry. My best *guess* as to what happened is that Linfoot simply misjudged the situation, and overreacted to some movement on McClain’s part that wasn’t really an attempt to draw the (BB) gun on the officers. After the fact, his fellow officers are backing him by claiming that they all saw McClain “grabbing for the gun,” but the fact remains that none of them felt threatened enough to shoot, so at the very least you’d have to say they were a lot less sure that he was really reaching for the gun than Officer Linfoot was.

    If that’s the case, it’s a tragic misjudgment on Linfoot’s part, but there’s also the larger question of why McClain was being confronted in such an aggressive way in the first place, in his own front yard. and when he doesn’t appear to have been committing any crime. It’s easy to say “well if McClain just hadn’t had the BB gun, or if he had just kept his hands in the air and stayed perfectly still, he’d be alive today.” O.K., sure. But it’s also true he’d still be alive today if whoever was the officer in charge on the scene that day had just said “you know what, this guy isn’t our target, he doesn’t appear to be committing any crime, there’s no reason to engage with him — we’re here to do a stake-out on a wanted fugitive, let’s stick to the mission.”

    Liked by 4 people

    • Sparky wrote, “Officer Linfoot reportedly arrived on the scene last, and in a hurry. My best *guess* as to what happened is that Linfoot simply misjudged the situation, and overreacted to some movement on McClain’s part that wasn’t really an attempt to draw the (BB) gun on the officers. After the fact, his fellow officers are backing him by claiming that they all saw McClain “grabbing for the gun,

      This was pretty much what I concluded after reading the recent reports. I might differ to a small extent on particular details, but I was stunned to read something so similar to my own thoughts.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Sparky makes a good point. I agree that the split second decision Linwood made isn’t what we should be debating nor second guessing. The confrontation was set up by the police, They sent the patrol car past to ‘force’ McClain into the house, but that didn’t work and they escalated their intimidation. But McClain was doing nothing wrong other than making the police feel uncomfortable. To me, its a kind of paramilitary mentality, absolute control of the ‘theater’ is necessary to ensure force protection. Its just a wrong tactic in an urban area. If the situation become too dangerous, the police should back down rather than increasing the pressure and inciting a more violent outcome.

      Mills made some heartfelt statements about how police feel obligated to intervene when something is amiss, and even said its their sworn duty to do so. I think its those statements of his that need to be discussed, not simply accepted as a given. There are many ways to conceptualize police work, absolute control at all times just isn’t a good premise, IMO. It shouldn’t be us against them. If it becomes that there’s no safety for the public or the police.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Ryan Burns’ Loco report makes it clear why police say they “engaged” with McClain — he was believed to have a gun and was standing on the porch of the unit attached to the unit the officers had responded to.

      You know, police officers are workers, too. They are as entitled as anyone else to reasonable safety on the job. When someone has a gun, or is perceived to have a gun, and the officers believe their situation, inherently dangerous already, would be safer if the person with the gun were to leave the scene, it’s a perfectly reasonable response to demand that the person with the gun leave the scene or allow the officers to take their gun.

      If you don’t want to believe the police, that’s one thing. If that’s the case, your argument is with the investigators, and you could ask questions about how the officers were interviewed, what was done to make sure they had not discussed exactly what to say, and how their stories were confirmed and cross-checked. Those would be reasonable questions, and I would hope that the police would have reasonable answers.

      But the police are saying “there was no doubt in officers’ minds that they saw the weapon and heard the cycle, or the slide.” That is a detail that, apparently, more than one officer reported.

      If it is true that multiple officers saw a gun and multiple officers heard a gun being readied, then the mindset they likely had was that McClain had become a threat. I can’t imagine being a police officer and just deciding to ignore that threat — can you?

      From Loco:

      As the officer approached McClain, he pulled a gun out of his pants, “cycled” it [that is, he pulled the slide back] and put it back in his pants. There was no doubt in officers’ minds that they saw the weapon and heard the cycle, or the slide.

      Sgt. Stephens used the spotlight to illuminate McClain in the yard. Another officer [McElroy] said, “Yes, that is the man with the gun.” Stephens gave McClain clear, concise commands to put down the gun gain compliance. Stephens was about 12 feet away. McClain told Stephens, “You don’t have the right to search me.”

      McClain did not want contact with the police. Officer Linfoot heard Stephens yelling, sped around the block in his car and got out, observing the scene. Linfoot could clearly see the gun in McClain’s waistband. McClain initially complied, put his hands up.

      Stephens said, “I see the gun. Don’t touch it or I will shoot.”

      McClain for some reason dropped his hands. Both officers yelled to put his hands back up. As observed by three officers — McElroy and the two officers on point — for an unknown reason, Tommy McClain dropped his hands and grabbed the gun.

      Linfoot fired and struck McClain.


    • Of course police deserve reasonable safety on the job. That why they get special training and equipment that other public employees don’t get. And they are given weapons that are illegal for the general public. But having said that their first priority should be to protect the lives of citizens and put themselves into harms way to do that. and police are compensated to do that and given large amounts of discretionary power as well as personal stature within their communities. The police’s role is very different from the military whose first priority is always ‘force protection’ in order to retain ability to achieve a tactical objective, even if collateral causalities are likely.

      The police are hired to maintain order, not to take possession of the streets eliminating any possible disruptive citizen interactions. In this situation if the person McClain argued with had asked the ploice to intervene, they would have an obligation to respond to maintain order. But that didn’t happen, that person didn’t feel the argument rose to a level requiring police protection. As it did happen, the police, on their own initiative and without any reasonable suspicion of illegal activity, endeavored to control who is on the street and who isn’t. If the person they were seeking was a danger to the community, the police could have evacuated nearby residents to protect them. But that wasn’t their thought. If they say they were worried about McClain having a gun, that’s ridiculous because he would still have the gun after going inside his house. The Mills statement that McClain ‘puffed up’ was therefore suspicious is prejudicial and indicates to me Mills is simply trying to justify excessive police use of force.

      What happened here is the police set up an operation and when it didn’t go as they wanted they tried to force it to happen their way regardless. They were more committed to their arrest objective than to protecting the lives of citizens in the vicinity. That’s the essence of a military mentality. A successful mission is more important than collateral casualties.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I don’t believe the Police’s version of this tragic encounter. They keep avoiding specifics on the actual commands yelled at McClain…though it sounds as if there were many. We are expected to simply take Mill’s version as gospel, and totally ignore the families? I don’t think so. The police in my opinion were reckless in their handling of this incident, thus directly responsible for Tommy McClain’s death. McClain had every right to have a BB gun on his person to protect his home. Remember….none of us actually know what Tommy told them other then the one statement that was shared: “You don’t have the right to search me”. If the two Officers observed this family from the time they arrived at the house…..did they see him post on his phone the message he sent 5 minutes before the shooting? Why didn’t the officers approach the two men while they were talking and de-escalate the scene then? A 22 year old hearing impaired kid was robbed of his life that night, and I hope that one day, Justice will prevail for Tommy McClain and his family.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Spoke with what law enforcement officers? Plural. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black re: false or deliberately misleading statements. Let me take an educated guess here. This is LG calling his old buddy AL, a “retired” former EPD officer and not a current one.

    I speak from personal experience that suspects keep their hands up typically for plenty long enough to keep from getting shot and to be successfully arrested.


  8. What do suspects do who receive conflicting orders from LEO’s? At this point I wouldn’t believe anything a LEO said without civilian witnesses (plural) corroborating it. The whole story is ridiculous. If it is true, should make every citizen of Eureka fearful of venturing outside after dark lest they be ambushed in their yards by cops blinding them with flashlights while simultaneously telling them to keep their hands up, drop the gun they aren’t holding and get down on the ground.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. A tragedy compounded by a coverup. I come to expect this from EPD and the City. Still very sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ya there story is fishy nothing like the first story they come out with since Tommy proved to everyone sere he was at at the time by posting on facebook C Mills come out with this second story. Whn I said get your story strate . Of think of another one. Well people this is the other one he though of …. WTF officers Mills
    Witch story is it


    • Look, you and others are complaining that Mills didn’t release enough info fast enough. Now that you perceive there may have been some inconsistencies between what his original press release said and this new one 2-3 weeks later. Well, duh?! This is exactly why the police are hesitant to release too much information early in the investigation because they DONT HAVE ALL THE FACTS YET THEMSELVES!!! He can’t win here. It’s common sense folks. As more info comes to light some details may be clarified or added too. The police should be careful about what they release until a thorough investigation is completed or they will be harshly judged by you arm chair quarterbacks who will be so quick to scream conspiracy and point out every minor nuance. Do the math. I give Mills credit for trying to get out as much info as he responsibly could the night of the shooting. He obviously wrote that first press release after being up all night at the crime scene with little to know sleep. He understood the community wants transparency and tried. Now he is getting crucified for any minute difference in details that emerged weeks later.


    • I’m as critical of police behavior as anyone at the small endcan be, but I agree with Joe here, I think Mills has been dealt a shit sandwich in this already challenged environment and while he has maybe been too slow to get to this press conference, yet I would soooooo!!! rather he acted deliberately than recklessly here.
      There will be further investigations and a final report and no doubt there will be a wrongful death lawsuit.

      Ultimately Tommy and his family will have paid the steep price for whatever improvements we will have here, and have them we must, in EPD policing.

      Tommy’s sacrifice must not be in vain.




  12. This fiasco doesn’t fall on just Officer Linfoot, Command staff should be held accountable for this poor decision to engage. I support having good Law Enforcement in this town. We just don’t have it. Drive around look for yourself, this berg is riddled with crime.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. tommy was a good man he didnt do drugs wasnt in a gang didnt hang out with anyone i know cause i was the girl in his life and that cop took the man i want n need. that cop needs to be fired. i hate epd they are bullies fuck the police


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