How not to be a responsible gun owner: Get in an argument with someone on the subway, then follow them onto the platform, start pushing them, and then finishing them off by shooting them.
This completely avoidable homicide scenario is exactly what happened in on a NYC subway platform Tuesday evening. Here is the breakdown as reported:
Gilbert Drogheo, 32, was shot once in the torso after he got into an argument with the former officer on the Borough Hall 4- and 5-train platform just after 6:30 p.m.
The confrontation started on a downtown 4 train, when 69-year-old retired correction officer Will Groomes, 68, got on the train at the Bowling Green station and walked past Drogheo, who was with a 29-year-old male. Both had been acting belligerently on the subway car.
“They were acting drunk, very loud and obnoxious,” an unidentified eyewitness said. “They started picking on [the officer].”
The confrontation became physical, and the shooting victim punched and spat at the retired officer, police sources said.
“Once the older guy got punched, he pulled his gun out and all hell broke loose,” the witness said.
When the train reached the Borough Hall station, the altercation spilled onto the platform, where Groomes wrestled with Drogheo while trying to detain him.
During the struggle, Groomes told cops that Drogheo and the other man tried to reach for his pistol, police sources said.
The retired officer then loaded his gun as they reached the mezzanine.
A video released by CBS2 shows the officer pushing the man near a set of turnstiles, and Drogheo shoving him back, thrusting him against emergency doors just before being shot.
In the video, you can clearly see Groomes actively pursuing Drogheo until he eventually gets physical with him. Then just seconds later, Groomes fires the fatal shot.
In the screenshot below, you can see what looks like a gun being pointed at Drogheo just seconds before the gunshot is heard on camera.
After hearing about this incident, I immediately wondered if this ex-Corrections Officer was legally allowed to carry a firearm. After all, we are talking NYC. And of course, it seems that he was given this privilege to carry in the city.
Norman Seabrook, president of the New York City Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, said Groomes — who retired 20 years ago — did not have any blemishes on his record and was allowed to carry a weapon.
Seabrook also mentioned that he hoped the public wouldn’t jump to conclusions, but it seems pretty clear after watching the video that Groomes had plenty of time to go off in another direction. If there was indeed a threat while on the subway, the threat was gone once they were on the platform, based on the video. Groomes had stated that Drogheo and another man tried to rob him on the subway. While this may be true (we don’t know, but we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt), it’s still no reason to actively pursue someone who is not a threat to you (or no longer a threat). In fact, it turns you into the aggressor.
As of 9:30am this morning, no charges have been filed against Groomes.
After watching the video, do you think Groomes acted in self-defense, or do you classify him as the aggressor?