Man shot dead while threatening polic...

Man shot dead while threatening police, authorities say

There are 27 comments on the The Philadelphia Inquirer story from Apr 1, 2006, titled Man shot dead while threatening police, authorities say. In it, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that:

A 21-year-old man was shot dead in the backyard of his mother's house in Warminster yesterday morning as he ran toward police while threatening them with a gun, according to Bucks County's first assistant ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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Mary Ferrell

Brentwood, TN

#1 Apr 4, 2006
I have many questions regarding the killing of Sean Sullivan of Warminster. Why would police shoot 30 or so bullets into a young man who was climbing a fence to get away from them. They say he was brandishing a gun towards them...but how does one threaten police with a gun and climb a fence at the same time? If the police wanted to stop him they could have shot him in the foot! Not killed him. This young man had drug problems and his few crimes of theft were always related to this drug problem. Don't many of us have family members or know someone who has addiciton problems? Another question I have is regarding the treatment of Carol Sullivan, Sean's mother. Her crime was falsifying documents in order to protect her son. Why would police arrest her for this after killing her son? How bad was her crime, that they would incarcerate her for this while her son lie dead in her back yard? I think the behavior of this town's authorities was horrendous! Have they even found the gun that this young man was proclaimed to have been threatening police with as he climbed the fence. The only news that I have heard is that they have not yet located the gun. I pray for all the souls involved in this archaic action.
Anthony

Newark, DE

#2 Apr 13, 2006
The gun they found was a pellet or bb gun that looked like a real gun. And the total bullet count was 55 i think. That is way too much.
Jeannie

Ashburn, VA

#3 Apr 13, 2006
I am totally disgusted with the outcome of this story. Bless you Sean, RIP
Moe

Philadelphia, PA

#4 Apr 14, 2006
From what I heard on the news, Sean had a b.b. gun which looked like a real gun. Sean pointed the b. b. gun at the police. What would any of you do if someone pointed a b.b. gun at you; that looked like a real gun? What would you be saying if what Sean had was a real gun; and he shot an officer? It's a sad situatuion; but Sean used very bad judgetment. Just thought I would give you something to think about.
Jeannie

Jenkintown, PA

#5 Apr 15, 2006
It still don't excuse the fact that he was climbing a fence, and one of the shots was in his back. Luckily with all 55 shots going off, none of the other homeowners were injured or worse, because the bullets actually penetrated homes. Couldn't they take cover, and possibly shoot him in the hand or leg or foot? Basically, the kid was scared and was trying to get away! Glad it not on my conscience.
Moe

Philadelphia, PA

#6 Apr 15, 2006
When you a suppect acting so out of control, with what looked like a real gun, how could the police be assured; that he would not have started to use the the gun at random, shooting just at anyone? Sean was not exactly an Eagle Scout, he certainly gave the police many reasons not to be trusted. I also feel that his own mother put him in harms way. She herself should have listned to the police; and she should have taught her son to do the same. Parents are supposed to teach their children by example. Unfortunately for Sean, she was a very poor example. If she was any kind of a real mother, this should be on her conscious.
Jeannie

Ashburn, VA

#7 Apr 17, 2006
I never said the kid was a saint, but you can't blame the mom for his actions either. I have a policeman friend who has a son that is constantly in trouble too, and the parents are not the reason for his behavior. I just feel that 5 or 6 shots were fired to stop him out of 55 shots fired, is excessive. Instead of grief counselors for the police, they should be offering target practice. The police in the city don't get counseling after a shooting. Obviously they knew that this all went wrong.
Pete

Philadelphia, PA

#8 Apr 17, 2006
Jeannie wrote:
I never said the kid was a saint, but you can't blame the mom for his actions either. I have a policeman friend who has a son that is constantly in trouble too, and the parents are not the reason for his behavior. I just feel that 5 or 6 shots were fired to stop him out of 55 shots fired, is excessive. Instead of grief counselors for the police, they should be offering target practice. The police in the city don't get counseling after a shooting. Obviously they knew that this all went wrong.
In this case the police where there to arrest the mother. Sean just happened to be there at the time, there was also an arrest warrant for him as well. If both suspects had surrendered peacfully, this all could have been avoided. She was his mother. Obviously she guide him by saying "Sean maybe it would be a good idea if you turn yourself in" Sean unfortunatley learned from her bad example, long before this situation took place. I would not want to be a police officer in this day and age. You are damed for doing your job; and you are damed when you don't. It seems they are wrong no matter what they do. The suspect bears no responsibility in any of their wrong doings. Sorry, I don't buy this. Hope none of you ever are in trouble; and need to call the police. It would seem very hypocritical for you to do so.
Jeannie

Ashburn, VA

#9 Apr 18, 2006
Obviously you didn't read all the hoopla on this case because the mother actually told the police as they were taking her out to the squad car that he was in there. When they burst in the house, he got scared and jumped out the window running. Yes there was a warrant out for Sean, but I think if she thought they were going to kill her son she would have never told them he was in there. Most parents would try to convince their son to turn themselves in, but like I stated before an officer friend of mine has a grown son that is in trouble with the law and he is not turning him in. I guess its true that blood is thicker than water. I know Sean had a bb gun that resembled a real gun but there have been shootings over near the walmart in Warminster and the police don't shoot up the whole neighborhood to catch them. Just because I think too much force was used to apprehend this kid does not make me a hypocrit. It was credit card fraud not attempted murder. I'm sure he probably did other crimes too but this is just how I feel. I'm not against police, I think they do a wonderful job protecting us and our neighborhoods, but just not this instance.
Pete wrote:
<quoted text>

In this case the police where there to arrest the mother. Sean just happened to be there at the time, there was also an arrest warrant for him as well. If both suspects had surrendered peacfully, this all could have been avoided. She was his mother. Obviously she guide him by saying "Sean maybe it would be a good idea if you turn yourself in" Sean unfortunatley learned from her bad example, long before this situation took place. I would not want to be a police officer in this day and age. You are damed for doing your job; and you are damed when you don't. It seems they are wrong no matter what they do. The suspect bears no responsibility in any of their wrong doings. Sorry, I don't buy this. Hope none of you ever are in trouble; and need to call the police. It would seem very hypocritical for you to do so.
Pete

Philadelphia, PA

#10 Apr 18, 2006
Jeannie wrote:
Obviously you didn't read all the hoopla on this case because the mother actually told the police as they were taking her out to the squad car that he was in there. When they burst in the house, he got scared and jumped out the window running. Yes there was a warrant out for Sean, but I think if she thought they were going to kill her son she would have never told them he was in there. Most parents would try to convince their son to turn themselves in, but like I stated before an officer friend of mine has a grown son that is in trouble with the law and he is not turning him in. I guess its true that blood is thicker than water. I know Sean had a bb gun that resembled a real gun but there have been shootings over near the walmart in Warminster and the police don't shoot up the whole neighborhood to catch them. Just because I think too much force was used to apprehend this kid does not make me a hypocrit. It was credit card fraud not attempted murder. I'm sure he probably did other crimes too but this is just how I feel. I'm not against police, I think they do a wonderful job protecting us and our neighborhoods, but just not this instance. <quoted text>
The police did not go there with the intent to kill Sean. That's just absurd.
Jeannie

Ashburn, VA

#11 Apr 18, 2006
Are you reading what I wrote? I didn't say they went there to kill him, I just said the mother wouldn't have given her son up if she thought he would be killed. Still I believe the police had no intention of killing him but it just went wrong. My main gripe is, all those shots being fired in a residential neighborhood, all for one kid. Sean and his mother didn't have a good track record with the neighborhood or police but I don't think anyone deserved this.
Marie

Manahawkin, NJ

#12 Apr 18, 2006
It seems a waste of time and energy to second guess the actions of those involved in this tragedy. As many people have stated, they must live with the consequences of their actions for the rest of their lives. Any mother who believes she was in any way responsible for her son's senseless and violent death will be tortured for the rest of her life. I believe Sean's mother regardless of her decisions that day,and before, will suffer more than any one of us may know. The police officers will wonder every day if they should of or could have done something different. Rather than judge them, we should say a prayer for each of them and hope that someday they can find peace and healing.
Pete

Philadelphia, PA

#13 Apr 18, 2006
Marie wrote:
It seems a waste of time and energy to second guess the actions of those involved in this tragedy. As many people have stated, they must live with the consequences of their actions for the rest of their lives. Any mother who believes she was in any way responsible for her son's senseless and violent death will be tortured for the rest of her life. I believe Sean's mother regardless of her decisions that day,and before, will suffer more than any one of us may know. The police officers will wonder every day if they should of or could have done something different. Rather than judge them, we should say a prayer for each of them and hope that someday they can find peace and healing.
Thank you for your words of wisdom.
Jeannie

Ashburn, VA

#14 Apr 18, 2006
And while we are at it, lets pray it never happens again.
Marie

Manahawkin, NJ

#15 Apr 19, 2006
Jeannie wrote:
And while we are at it, lets pray it never happens again.
Amen!
Pete

Philadelphia, PA

#16 May 9, 2006
Last night a police officer was killed here in Philadelphia. This officer had a wife and 2 children. The only thing he is guilty of, is doing his job. See it works both ways. He also didn't deserve to die.
Sunny

Auburn Hills, MI

#17 May 11, 2006
True, true! He didn't deserve to die, my prayers are with him and his family, but he knew he was entering a bar with a robbery in progress in Philly, not running from the police in the suburbs.
Nancy

Philadelphia, PA

#18 May 11, 2006
Sunny wrote:
True, true! He didn't deserve to die, my prayers are with him and his family, but he knew he was entering a bar with a robbery in progress in Philly, not running from the police in the suburbs.
No he was not running from the police. He was trying to protect the lives of the innocent victims inside the bar. If he had not done his job, there would have been more people killed. He risked his own life, to save the lives of innocent victims. By the way, this gunman is still at large. I just pray, he doesn't take anymore lives.
Marie

Manahawkin, NJ

#19 May 11, 2006
We all would like to think that by living in the suburbs we are somehow sheltered from this kind of violence. The shooting of the Phila police officer could have happened anywhere, anytime. The police in the suburbs know they are not immune from the same heartless execution that their brother in Phila was a victim of and therefore used their judgement and the force they believed necessary to prevent their family and community from the suffering now imposed on the family, friends and officers of the 15th district. May God bless them all and keep them safe. We should all be very grateful there are men and woman willing to do the job of a police officer. Hopefully they will catch the killer and justice will be served.
Nancy

Philadelphia, PA

#20 May 11, 2006
Marie wrote:
We all would like to think that by living in the suburbs we are somehow sheltered from this kind of violence. The shooting of the Phila police officer could have happened anywhere, anytime. The police in the suburbs know they are not immune from the same heartless execution that their brother in Phila was a victim of and therefore used their judgement and the force they believed necessary to prevent their family and community from the suffering now imposed on the family, friends and officers of the 15th district. May God bless them all and keep them safe. We should all be very grateful there are men and woman willing to do the job of a police

officer. Hopefully they will catch the killer and justice will be
served.
Marie; I agree with you. it's amazing people even want to become police anymore. With people watching over their shoulder all of the time. Police have a very hard, stressful job. I would not want to be in their shoes, or my husband. I feel so bad for this police officers family. Two little kids, will never see their dad again.

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