Jeffrey Musick shooting: DA rules cop justified in killing man armed with sword

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jeffrey musick sword.jpg
The sword Musick was carrying.
Burnett says Musick drew the sword, prompting the officer to issue an order to drop the weapon while going into what he refers to as "defense mode."

Why? He says Musick began repeating, "I'm gonna get you! I'm gonna get you!" while "flailing" his sword around his head.

Burnett told investigators he tried to reason with Musick, but to no avail. An excerpt from the narrative:

Officer Burnett had moved to a position in the middle of the intersection when Musick raised the sword overhead and broght it "down with both hands." In Officer Burnett's words, Musick "literally tried to, uh, slice me in half, I guess." The word traveled so fast and hard that it struck the asphalt and "sparks flew."
In response, Burnett says he backed away and drew his weapon as Musick approached. Again, from the report:
I left[ed] my [left] arm up [demonstrating a defensive gesture] and I have a, he's coming at me, I have a clear sight picture. And I fire two shots. In sequence, he was still in motion forward, I fired a third shot and then that's when he stopped moving forward. And then I re-holstered my weapon.
Only afterward did Burnett realize that his hand had been gashed by the sword, presumably when he lifted his arm to defend himself.

jeffrey musick wound to officers hand.jpg
Officer Burnett's wounded hand.
A subsequent autopsy of Musick determined that while he registered a "presumptive positive for Cannabinoids," he had no other medication in his system -- potentially a problem in his case.

Continue for more about the shooting of Jeffrey Musick.

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I knew Jeffrey nearly 20 years ago. He was a friend of mine, whom I had lost touch with when I moved out of town. Jeffrey gave me my first Led Zeppelin album back in the late 80's. We had some good times together in the brief time I knew him. I don't remember much of his family, but I know he didn't have a lot of money and things were tough on him at times. I feel like this could have been handled in a different way. It's a horrible tragedy for everyone involved. I appreciate the sentiment of those who see him as not a punchline, but a human being who had a troubled life. Rest In Peace, Jeffrey.


How very sad for all parties involved. Musick was a habitual criminal offender with a psychiatric illness that should have been in an mental institution. The police in most states can take people like Musick to an mental institution instead of jail. A 72 hour Psych Hold is placed on offending criminal patients and it is the judge's determination to continue stay of or to release offender. The criminal, judicial, and psychiatric authorities involved were well aware of his criminal record and medical diagnosis which was especially dangerous without medication. A judicial determination would/could/should have kept Musick out of society minimizing risk to self and others. It seems its just a matter of  fines, court costs, and see ya later. And if patients with such conditions do start taking their medications and are allowed the privilege of returning to society then it should be conditional and supervisory. The police in Alabama can place a person on supervised probation subject to search of home and property without notice for a year for a DUI offense. How is it that such laws like that get on the books and are enforced but when it comes to repeat mental offenders or child molesters or other chronic physical abusers they are allowed complete freedom until more damage is done? Because its a matter of fines, court costs and see ya later, don't forget your cash or credit card! It makes no sense at all, yet it sadly, infuriatingly does if one is aware of who the Puppet Master is and his thematic hidden agenda of promoting chaos while appearing benevolent directed  on society's stage. We all play a part in this production, we all have been cast yet what is unique is we can decide our part. Release with no follow up serves nor protects anyone. Erroneous judgments pave way for chaos. Uncaring doctors are accessories to crimes. RIP Musick, may you float free and happy above your chains of mental anguish.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

HipTip -- Don't bring a Ninja Sword to a Gun Fight ... unless you're living in an Ang Lee movie.


@JB33 Sorry to learn of your friends passing.

Did these cops even legitimately attempt to taze'

the young man before firing ?

Their badges enable them to murder w/o fear of

reprisal or accountability . The law does NOT apply to those w/ badges.

( See Patrick Sullivan ..... ) 

Had this occurred in Aurora, there would have been dozen of cops unloading their weapons w/ full disregard for the safety of the civilians shopping . This of course, followed by some kind ceremony honoring the officers for killing everyone before the suspect. We nearly had another James Holmes like, tragedy . If Musick had an additional pocket knife, that store would have been blown apart just as was done w/ the theater in Aurora


@DonkeyHotay I long for the day when I can read even one Westword story sans a DonkeyHotay comment. Attention Westword IT Dept: Ban this A-hole!! He's DESTROYING this otherwise excellent publication.Edit (5 minutes)


good point on the tazer gun approach! The James Holmes comment is unnecessary and not relevant though. unfortuantely u r right many in law enforcement believe and act as they are above the law, where is the accountability? the cops did not blow apart the theater, loose connections but at least your commmenting and have sentiment. take care. b safe.

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