Shooter says victim 'rushed' him

Shooter says victim 'rushed' him

Posted in the Erie Forum

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Elvis

Stow, OH

#1 Apr 28, 2009
This guy is a graduate of Mercyhurst's criminal justice program, and is trigger-happy enough to shoot and kill an unarmed person? And witnesses give a totally different version of events than Joel Atkin's recollection of them. He's watched too many shoot-'em-up TV shows apparently.

http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article...
Joel Atkin admitted on the spot that he fired the fatal shot Saturday that took the life of 30-year-old Jayson Sack.
But Atkin, who is 22 and a 2007 graduate of the criminal-justice program at Mercyhurst North East, suggested that circumstances forced him to pull the trigger, telling police that Sack stood in the street and would not let him pass.
Witnesses to the shooting Saturday evening tell a different story.
They said Sack walked out to the street to yell at a passing motorist to slow down as the motorist drove through the 2200 block of East 20th Street.
Vinny Sack, the shooting victim's brother, said that by the time he made it from his home to the street, the driver was out of the car and pointing a gun at his brother. Vinny Sack said his brother was shot fatally when he tried to disarm Atkin.
When Erie Detective Sgt. Dan Dacus arrived at about 8 p.m., he found Atkin standing at the rear of a blue Saturn sedan, talking on a cell phone.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, Atkin yelled to Dacus, "Sir, I have a gun. I'm the one that shot him."
Atkin, who surrendered his gun, a .357-caliber revolver that was in a pocket of the shorts he was wearing, told police he was a criminal-justice major and was aware of his rights.
He also offered to help, offering police his account of what had happened.
Erie police said Atkin told them: "He (Jayson Sack) blocked the road and he wouldn't move. I called 911 and told them that I had a guy at gunpoint. That's when he rushed me and started attacking me, punching me."
Atkin told police he kept one empty chamber in the gun's cylinder so it wouldn't accidentally go off.
As a result, Atkin told police, he had to fire more than once.
"I pulled the trigger, and it clicked," he told police, according to the criminal complaint. "I pulled the trigger again, and it went off."
Kevin Sack, father of Jayson Sack, doesn't disagree that his son might have exposed himself to harm by trying to disarm Atkin.
But he doesn't question his son's judgment either.
"If it wasn't for the kids out there -- I think to him, he would rather take the bullet than let one of those kids get hit," Kevin Sack said. "I think he did the noblest thing. He gave his life to protect."
Kevin Sack said that in one respect, he's not surprised that his son, a U.S. Army veteran, died standing up for someone.
"He was a courageous person, a very strong person," he said. "He wasn't afraid of anything."
District Attorney Brad Foulk said Atkin had a permit to carry a concealed weapon. The handgun involved in the shooting was not his, however.
"We are still investigating the ownership of the gun," Foulk said.
In some situations in which a person claims self-defense, charges are not even filed.
This isn't one of those cases, said Erin Connelly, the assistant district attorney handling the case.
She said Atkin's account of events "wasn't consistent with any of the other witnesses."
Atkin, a 2004 graduate of Iroquois High School, was arraigned Sunday by Erie 5th Ward District Judge Joseph Lefaiver on charges of homicide, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person and possession of instruments of crime. He is being held in the Erie County Prison.
toby

Fredericksburg, VA

#2 Apr 28, 2009
interesting... and the trigger man has a cj education and the potential to be a cop. very very scary. did the trigger man have a shaved head and a cop attitude too ?

“RVN-'68-'69 25th Infantry ”

Since: Dec 07

USA

#3 Apr 28, 2009
toby wrote:
interesting... and the trigger man has a cj education and the potential to be a cop. very very scary. did the trigger man have a shaved head and a cop attitude too ?
I'd like to know how he got a concealed carry permit?
toby

Fredericksburg, VA

#4 Apr 28, 2009
The Real Truths wrote:
<quoted text>
I'd like to know how he got a concealed carry permit?
as a cj major at mercyhurst he probably learned what buttons to push in the system. I'll bet he's been itching to use that gun and permit since the day he got it. it sounds like all those involved were playing cop... too bad the traffic cop didn't have his .45 strapped on.

“RVN-'68-'69 25th Infantry ”

Since: Dec 07

USA

#5 Apr 28, 2009
toby wrote:
<quoted text>
as a cj major at mercyhurst he probably learned what buttons to push in the system. I'll bet he's been itching to use that gun and permit since the day he got it. it sounds like all those involved were playing cop... too bad the traffic cop didn't have his .45 strapped on.
After a couple years he'll wish the traffic cop did and used it first!

I wonder if he's thinking..."seemed like a good idea at the time."
toby

Fredericksburg, VA

#6 Apr 28, 2009
The Real Truths wrote:
<quoted text>
After a couple years he'll wish the traffic cop did and used it first!
I wonder if he's thinking..."seemed like a good idea at the time."
you just brought another component into the equation that probably doesn't apply.' thinking'
BeckyKnapp

Stow, OH

#7 Apr 28, 2009
toby wrote:
interesting... and the trigger man has a cj education and the potential to be a cop. very very scary. did the trigger man have a shaved head and a cop attitude too ?
I just read this story on the Times site; there's a picture of Joel Atkin there if you click on the link above. No -- he doesn't have a shaved head; he looks like a grizzly bear. But I'd go with a "yes" on the cop attitude.
Twenty-two years old and shooting at an unarmed guy in broad daylight? No doubt Mr. Sack was probably drunk and loud -- but I DON'T see how Atkin could believe he was in a life-threatening situation. All he had to do was stay in the car, apologize for driving too fast, say he'd slow down -- and move on. Very simple way to handle it, instead of becoming all aggressive.
Danm

Akron, OH

#8 Apr 28, 2009
toby wrote:
<quoted text>
as a cj major at mercyhurst he probably learned what buttons to push in the system. I'll bet he's been itching to use that gun and permit since the day he got it. it sounds like all those involved were playing cop... too bad the traffic cop didn't have his .45 strapped on.
WOW you are really reaching on that one! I have a Carry Weapons Permit and i carry my pistol all the time! Am i "itching to use " my gun? Hell no! That is the final resort, no other way out. I will say that if my pistol clears the holster im going to use it and i would rather use it in defense of someone other than myself! "To bad the traffic cop didnt have his 45 strapped on" I dont see what that has to do with this situation. Oh i see!! then maybe we could have a shoot out just like th OK Corral.Too much TV. It was poor judgement and the lack of common sense that caused this.
Arkelian

Erie, PA

#9 Apr 28, 2009
Sounds like the shooter has a couple of screws loose? How did he get into the CJ program at Mercyhurst North East? Don't you have to undergo a thorough psychological examination? Did Mercyhurst NE skip that step with this individual? How did he get a permit to carry a concealed weapon? The ETN reports the gun he shot with wasn't his, whose gun was it? Why the hell would you shoot someone for telling you to slow down?

More questions than answers at the moment. It is sad that a human being had to lose their life just because this moron thought he was being rushed.

I like the comment he told the detective at the scene: "I am a Criminal Justice major and I know my rights." What a piece of work.
feelsorry

Erie, PA

#10 Apr 28, 2009
Danm wrote:
<quoted text>
WOW you are really reaching on that one! I have a Carry Weapons Permit and i carry my pistol all the time! Am i "itching to use " my gun? Hell no! That is the final resort, no other way out. I will say that if my pistol clears the holster im going to use it and i would rather use it in defense of someone other than myself! "To bad the traffic cop didnt have his 45 strapped on" I dont see what that has to do with this situation. Oh i see!! then maybe we could have a shoot out just like th OK Corral.Too much TV. It was poor judgement and the lack of common sense that caused this.
I feel sorry for the family member you shoot .Do you really think you can stop a crime by carying a gun.You need a reality check
BeckyKnapp

Stow, OH

#11 Apr 28, 2009
Arkelian wrote:
Sounds like the shooter has a couple of screws loose? How did he get into the CJ program at Mercyhurst North East? Don't you have to undergo a thorough psychological examination? Did Mercyhurst NE skip that step with this individual? How did he get a permit to carry a concealed weapon? The ETN reports the gun he shot with wasn't his, whose gun was it? Why the hell would you shoot someone for telling you to slow down?
More questions than answers at the moment. It is sad that a human being had to lose their life just because this moron thought he was being rushed.
I like the comment he told the detective at the scene: "I am a Criminal Justice major and I know my rights." What a piece of work.
Yeah, I liked that comment, too -- and calling out to the cop that "I have a gun, and I'm the one who shot him." I AGREE he's missing a coupla screws, but people I've spoken to who were at the scene said he was crying, so maybe he DID feel some remorse after he behaved like John Dillinger.
I'm taking bets he doesn't get much time for this, though. They'll cite his criminal justice degee, the fact that he's "never been in trouble before," his youth and a bunch of other excuses to get him off.
whoisonfirst

Miami, FL

#12 Apr 28, 2009
The man in the picture looks BIG as a grizzly with those fat cheeks and he looks shifty. Wondering if they blood tested him for alcohol or drugs?
CRYING? Well booeffinghoo if you just flushed part of your life down the toliet by shooting a man to death on the street would you not be crying? THERE were so many other ways to have dealt with this and getting in and driving away would have been the wise thing to do or just KEEP driving. WHY even stop?
The east side is beginning to be a place I'd drive out of my way not to pass through.
Pretty bad.
CensoredinCali

San Francisco, CA

#13 Apr 28, 2009
Man..I'm sure glad I got the road rage out of me with mental health counseling, and of course not having to drive to Silicon Valley.

I've had my share of roadside encounters and am lucky nothing like this happened.
CensoredinCali

San Francisco, CA

#14 Apr 28, 2009
toby wrote:
<quoted text>
you just brought another component into the equation that probably doesn't apply.' thinking'
Toby, are you on some new meds? You seem nice and calm today, I'm happy for you.
toby

Fredericksburg, VA

#15 Apr 28, 2009
CensoredinCali wrote:
<quoted text>
Toby, are you on some new meds? You seem nice and calm today, I'm happy for you.
stuff it polok.
CensoredinCali

San Francisco, CA

#16 Apr 28, 2009
toby wrote:
<quoted text>
stuff it polok.
Funny...I haven't been called that in decades.
The correct spelling is Pollock.

1. pollock 77 up, 48 down
A slang term for Polish people. Usually meant as an insult. Often heard in western Pennsylvania. Pollocks often have an uncontrollable love of Polka music.
Donnie - "I had Kraut and Kielbasa for dinner last night"

Jim - "you're such a pollock"
toby

Fredericksburg, VA

#18 Apr 28, 2009
CensoredinCali wrote:
<quoted text>
Funny...I haven't been called that in decades.
The correct spelling is Pollock.
1. pollock 77 up, 48 down
A slang term for Polish people. Usually meant as an insult. Often heard in western Pennsylvania. Pollocks often have an uncontrollable love of Polka music.
Donnie - "I had Kraut and Kielbasa for dinner last night"
Jim - "you're such a pollock"
you are genuine; a polok who can't spell or maybe you think you are a fish. What do they call you in CA.?
MAA 10

Canton, OH

#19 Apr 28, 2009
This is a heartbreaking story all around and I feel for both families. I feel that Vinnie Sack, the brother of the shooting victim made a very classy move saying that he had his own pain to deal with but he felt for the Atkin family as well. That is a big hearted man.
I find it interesting that Joel Atkin came from a police training background and Jayson Sack came from a military and "armwrestling" background. Warrior/protectors both, in a sense.
This is nothing more than a feeling I have but I suspect if circumstances were different, these boys might have gotten along quite well with each other. Tragic.
Anonymous

Pittsburgh, PA

#20 Apr 28, 2009
I always figured carrying around a gun was asking for 'trouble'. Case in point...
toby

Fredericksburg, VA

#21 Apr 28, 2009
Anonymous wrote:
I always figured carrying around a gun was asking for 'trouble'. Case in point...
running of the mouth is a request for trouble too... or throwing a punch. There are two less dickheads in erie today.

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