Nobody wants a gang of rowdy teens hanging out in front of their house, but the Brooklyn man who used his (unlicensed) rifle to shoot at a gang of unruly kids is crazy, not heroic -- even though his actions are being defended ... by the mother of one of his victims!
Thirty-year-old Thomas Dunikowski didn't even bother calling the cops to get rid of the kids outside his home before he opened fire (though he allegedly tossed a bottle in their direction and attacked one of them). When they didn't leave, he went back into his house, grabbed his Bushmaster 5.56 mm assault rifle, and started shooting from an open window. One teen was shot in the collarbone and ended up having a lung removed during emergency surgery; another was hit in the arm by shrapnel. Larisa Kaprovskaya's 21-year-old daughter, an innocent bystander, was struck in the leg -- but Kaprovskaya insists the raging lunatic was "just trying to protect" residents.
Um, what??? An (allegedly) drunken nut job accidentally shoots your daughter in a twisted urban riff on the classic "Hey you kids, get off of my lawn!" sentiment and you take his side?? If somebody mistakenly shot my daughter in the leg while trying to gun down Osama or Hitler or Charles Manson, I'd be pissed: "You shot my kid in the leg?!?!?" And this pack of purported hooligans, loud and/or intimidating though they might have been, hadn't actually injured anyone or stolen any property; now one of them is missing a lung. Again, let me emphasize the fact that Dunikowski did NOT call the police before he started shooting. His actions are less an example of vigilante justice than just straight-up insane behavior.
And what of the unfortunate boy who will be forced to go through the rest of his life with one lung, all because he was being a typical obnoxious teen? If he had any chance of breaking the cycle of violence he's obviously been raised in, that opportunity could be lost forever in a future filled with medical bills and disability checks and not much else.
Do you think Thomas Dunikowski was being a hero?
Image via rodrigo/Flickr