While I was gone, a guy managed to get himself killed by a Beavercreek police officer, over in the new apartments over the way from my parents’ place. This is pretty freaky, since it’s never happened since Beavercreek got incorporated as a city back in the Eighties. But what’s freakier is that the guy was a retired master sergeant and not just J. Random Loser. Beavercreek’s an Air Force town, so it’s (probably) not some case of a cop not being used to military people.
Scott Brogli apparently was involved in some kind of domestic violence with his wife and 17 year old son. (He didn’t have any previous record of such, at least around here.) The police were called by a neighbor who said he saw some drunk guy at the apartments with a gun case in hand, chasing a woman. He said in the 911 call that the drunk guy had fallen and dropped the gun case, and that the neighbor had then picked up the gun case and run away to his own nearby apartment. The 911 caller sounded pretty nervous about the prospects that the drunk guy would come after him. The wife got away and drove away, and at some point she ended up at Miami Valley Hospital getting treated for whatever happened to her. The son was apparently still at the apartment when everything went worse.
At some point, Brogli also apparently barricaded himself in (or at least blocked the entrance by throwing stuff around), and he was sleeping/passed out/resting on the floor, before the police arrived. When they dropped by, he apparently responded by charging out the door at the officers with a kitchen knife, so they shot him.
Of course, this sort of thing is not what Beavercreek police officers are used to, either. (Riverside or Fairborn, maybe occasionally this would happen. Beavercreek, not so much.) Also, people are wondering whether the barricade stuff was some kind of flashback, and hence that he wasn’t responsible for the attack and the domestic violence. Hard to say. Probably mostly being drunk, unless some kind of physical or mental illness made him seem drunk when he wasn’t.
Here’s a 2009 picture from Langley AFB of the man at his work. He’s the guy on the right. (Boy, you never can tell what will happen with people.) So I guess he _just_ retired. (Not a good time to do it, with this economy and a teenage kid.)
Anyway, Beavercreek Police will be investigating further. The officer who shot him is on administrative leave. I don’t think the Air Force JAG will get involved, because the guy was retired. They might help out, maybe.
UPDATE: Excessive use of search terms in post is bad idea.
Apparently I used a man’s last name too many times in a single blog post, because apparently my obscure little true crime post on my obscure little blog got found by a couple of upset people. I have corrected this, because it’s a bit stupid to have random punditry get a high search engine rating. If they came here via another blog that links to mine, I can’t do anything about that.
I have replied to these folks in the combox. I agree that I might have used more decorum in my post — probably should have. I think they took my post rather harder than is justified, though.
The whole point of this post, which I apparently didn’t make clear, is that whatever happened is clearly very strange, and a mystery; and very personally disturbing to a lot of people beyond those directly involved. Comparing it to Darwin Awards stuff is the only way to express how bizarre it all is. What would bring a reputable retired master sergeant, a family man, into collision with a young suburban police officer, also a family man? What on earth was going on, in a place so peaceful and so close to my own family? I want to know, because I want to be sure that my family is safe; and I am afraid that we will all find out something scary. About whom and what, I don’t know.
If this were a mystery show, I could list a dozen possible plots. I could devise motives for every single person involved (including the 911 neighbor) or some kind of horrible twist of fate, or a terrible illness, or an accidental ingestion of jimsonweed or other poisons. But I don’t have any kind of information for that, and I really don’t find it appropriate to just speculate wildly like that. This made people feel I was leaning too hard on the dead, as definitely guilty or evil. Well, I didn’t mean it that way. (And you’d already have heard a lot meaner comments from other people if you’re from the area, about both the police and the dead man. There’s nothing more guaranteed to put people in a bad mood than shots fired in anger somewhere even vaguely in their vicinity. Or their children’s vicinity, especially.)
I do have a right to talk about it on my blog, though. Something happened, and it is shocking, and the only way I know to deal with the horror of it is to talk about it. It’s the normal thing one does as a human — yap and yammer. (If you don’t like it, you’ll have to find another species. Maybe elves deal with it through interpretive dance.) I also tend to deal with such things by dark humor. If bad things happen to me, I laugh. If I’m scared, I laugh. If bad things happen in what used to be a woods I played in, I laugh. The shrieking and crying hysterically can be put off till later, that way.
I’m sorry I didn’t offer condolences right off to the family or to the guy’s friends. You have a right to ding me about that. But I’m not sure what one would say. It’s not an etiquette problem that shows up often in ordinary life.
I also don’t think we should assume this is PTSD. The Vietnam vets spent a zillion years telling people that military veterans don’t go running around attacking people like maniacs when they have attacks of PTSD, and I believe them.
I’m also not anti-military. (The US military, anyway. Pakistan, not so much.) Given that it’s the default American attitude unless you’re someplace like Berkeley, I didn’t think it was necessary to say anything. But fine, I’ll be clear. I assume that US military and ex-military people are sane, intelligent, responsible, solid citizens who protect their families and their neighbors, and very seldom have I seen it be otherwise. That’s why this happening is so wacked.
Look, I’m not in favor of whipping up a lynch mob about sensational crimes. But I’m not going to pretend all is well, or keep my mouth demurely shut. The shooting was a news event, which makes all participants open to public comment. I’m talking about it. I’m linking to articles about it, so you can see what definite info I’m basing my comments on, and also see just what is guesswork and gas. If you don’t like my writing, the comment box is open, and so is the rest of the Internet. Enjoy.
UPDATE: I’ve given folks a week of Liberty Hall, but the comment box is now closed. If I’ve done this right, the old comments will still be visible.