Tag Archives: death

Ten Shots

Off-duty cop fires ten shots at an unarmed intellectually disabled man and his family from twenty feet away, killing him and critically wounding his parents, because he pushed him in a Costco food line 3.8 seconds earlier.

No charges filed, because he had “no choice.”

  • 10 shots at 3 unarmed people.
  • 20 feet away.
  • In a crowd.
  • 3.8 seconds after being knocked to the ground by a man who was already 20 feet away by the time he fired.

And yet he had “no choice but to use deadly force.”

You’re seriously telling me there were no other choices?

It’s still not clear what started it. But the dead man had schizophrenia and was adjusting to a change in his medication, and his parents were trying to de-escalate the situation when they were shot.

Which the cop could’ve tried if he hadn’t started shooting immediately.

Wondering About Age and Food Allergy Deaths

OK, this is a bit morbid, but bear with me.

Most news stories about deaths from food allergies feature children or teenagers, maybe young adults in their twenties. You read about grieving parents. You rarely read about the 40-year-old who leaves behind a grieving spouse and kids.

Food allergies send a lot of people to the emergency room: 200,000 annually in the US alone according to FARE. Almost all are successfully treated. But people do die from anaphylaxis, roughly 63–99 each year in the US according to AAAAI.

So why are the fatalities we hear about so young?

Is it just demographics? Allergy prevalence has been increasing, after all, so kids are more likely to have food allergies than adults are.

Newsworthiness? A three-year-old dying at day care tugs at the heartstrings in a way that a 38-year-old dying from takeout doesn’t.

Is it onset age? A reaction is more likely to kill you if you don’t know about the allergy yet, don’t know you need to carry epinephrine, and don’t know that the warning signs mean “hospital now!” and not just “lie down and try to get through the asthma attack.” By the time you’re an adult, you’ve probably already encountered everything you might be allergic to, so you’re less likely to get that surprise first reaction. It happens – I’ve known people who developed shellfish allergies as adults, and I found my own nut and peanut allergies expanding their range in my early 20s – and there’s the Lone Star tick – but it’s less likely.

Are adults more careful? Teenagers take more risks. Children often have to rely on secondary caregivers who don’t always have the training or understanding that their parents do. And of course, the longer you deal with something, the more it becomes second nature. Is it that we’ve gotten better at avoiding triggers, keeping our medication on hand, and seeking treatment faster?

Are you more likely to have died of something else in the meantime? According to one NIH study, “Fatal food anaphylaxis for a food-allergic person is rarer than accidental death in the general population.” So the longer you live, as long as you’re taking precautions with the allergy, chances are that something else will kill you before the allergy can.

I suspect all of these are factors, but I do wonder how they balance.

Mike Wieringo (1963-2007)

’Ringo's Final Sketch: Jarek from TellosThis weekend I re-read Tellos, a fantasy comic book that ran from 1999-2000. Writer Todd Dezago and artist Mike Wieringo took a 6-month hiatus to prepare the next story arc, but that arc never materialized. Just a few one-shots and an anthology mini that explored backstories and aftermath, with a few hints at the upcoming story. Though from the sketches and posts on Wieringo’s blog—the latest (at left) posted just last Friday, it was clear they were working on relaunching the series, possibly this year.

So it came as a real shock when I checked my e-mail this morning and saw a post on Warren Ellis’ Bad Signal saying that Mike Wieringo died yesterday at the age of 44.

A second obituary appears at Comic Book Resources. Newsarama also spoke with his friends and collaborators, collecting remembrances from Mark Waid, Todd Dezago and Karl Kesel.

The Mark Waid/Mike Wieringo run on The Flash was one of my favorites. Even though other artists drew Wally West for longer, it’s “’Ringo’s” take that I always associate with the character. That run got me interested in Tellos, which sits alongside Chronos and Chase as a favorite series that should have lasted longer than it did. Continue reading