95 year old WWII veteran killed after being tased and shot by police

 
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95 year old WWII veteran killed after being tased and shot by police

Greetings from Sturgis, SD on a delightful day which is blemished only by this story which has me fairly furious:

When John Wrana was a young man, fit and strong and fighting in World War II with the U.S. Army Air Corps, did he ever think he'd end this way?

Just a few weeks shy of his 96th birthday, in need of a walker to move about, cops coming through the door of his retirement home with a Taser and a shotgun. 

The old man, described by a family member as "wobbly" on his feet, had refused medical attention. The paramedics were called. They brought in the Park Forest police.

First they tased him, but that didn't work. So they fired a shotgun, hitting him in the stomach with a bean-bag round. Wrana was struck with such force that he bled to death internally, according to the Cook County medical examiner.

"The Japanese military couldn't get him at the age he was touchable, in a uniform in the war. It took 70 years later for the Park Forest police to do the job," Wrana's family attorney, Nicholas Grapsas, a former prosecutor, said in an interview with me Thursday.

Wow.  I'm sure there is another side to this, but I'm hard pressed to imagine a series of events that somehow results in (NOT SWAT, my apologies, a different version had stated that) police officers with shields storming into a 95 year old man's room and shooting him while he sat in his chair.  There clearly wasn't an iminent threat, couldn't they just have waited him out?  The home didn't want them storming in there.  And what is the charge for resisting medical attention?  Even if he was some sort of threat to other residents (which he clearly wasn't at the time he was in his chair) couldn't they have used some other means of restraining him?  He had a walker....

Here's video from the Chicago Tribune of the reporter who spoke with the attorney.

 

The picture above is him with his wife in 2005.  Helen Wrana passed later that year.  The only positive that I can see in any of this is that now he is by her side again.  But just so sad.

Posted in the burner | 169 comments
 
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I am a 69 yr old vet. I have been reading these comments.. my turn..... when 9/11 happened, there were a lot of flag wavers,,,, afterwards there were just the patriots and those who believe in this country who stayed firm on our flags. patriotism is a feeling,, not a fad. I was one of the lucky ones who came home alive ...
If this article had said that he was of color, gay,, or any other,,,,,, it would have gotten national attention..
VETERANS deserve more. we are not a minority ,, we are the reason that this is a free country. every veteran has offered their life for this country. Many came back but many paid the ultimate sacrifice ..
Where are the riots demanding that veterans be treated with respect.
Police are like many other groups,, there are good and bad. the bad ones make the good ones look bad but should be treated as anyone else who commits murder or a crime. If we lump them all together,, then we are no different then a racist. I have known good and bad cops,,, they are not all the same. I have had friends of different colors, etc... they aren't all the same,, just like all white people are different.
I believe that the cops who killed the veteran should stand trial for murder. Even if he would have had a gun,,, there was no reason for his death. If this is what we have to look forward to when put in a home,,,, if they put me in one,,, I am taking my 357 mag with me.

So very sad story that makes the good police look bad everywhere. God bless you that honestly protect & serve. To the 69 year old Veteran, I am hopeful you do not have to take your mag with you to the "home"! A "Gung Ho" to you that served before me, with me & after me, "damn few"! Less than 1%. (The REAL 1%!!!) You are all in my prayers.

What do you think have been the treatment and outcome if this man was not white

This is one of the saddess stories I have ever heard. How does a 95 year old person in a walker an imminent threat to the police. Couldnt they subdo him some other way. I agree the police should be charge with negligent homicide. They should also have to pay civil damages to the family. Police should think twice about using this type force on person who was not endangering there. They must have received poor training. This an incidient that does definitiely look bad for our police force.

This is an example of something that NEVER SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED and supervisors that have no earthly idea of how to remedy any future similar incident. These people should be charged AND JAILED no questions asked nor rendered.

I am a 63 year old retired police officer, from Atlanta Ga. An original member of S.W.A.T., when it first started in Atlanta in 1972. A member of Snellville, Ga. post 0232. If the story is accurate there should be criminal charges filed, and many loss of jobs. THIS IS So hard to imagine being true. If I had the skills, I would write a book about the abuse of the badge, and Tittle It "AND YOU WONDER WHY PEOPLE DONT LIKE YOU''. My brother and sister police officers, it is a lot more rewarding to help someone than to have to take a life. All be it the right call sometimes. BUT NOT IN THIS CASE.

My father, who was too old to go into fighting, signed up to be a prison guard at goat island. He also spent almost 30 years on the state patrol, He was in one of the first groups trained on a farm, back in the early 30's, the training was skimpy. He guarded men half his age, who were trained to fight and kill. He never once needed to use extream force, in either job.
I have had problems with depression and other mental problems. My social worker sent the police to see if I needed to go to a psyco ward. At not even 5 foot 2 inches tall and about 110 pounds, weakened by a stroke, this 6 foot maybe 6 inches tall cop who weightm about 250 pounds, was so afraid of me, he throw me to the floor and knelt on my back. He handcuffed me behind my back. I had an asthma attach and would have been in real trouble if the M.T. hadden't made the cop remove the cuffs so I could use my inhalor. I guess my 60 years against his 30 years nearly made him go damp.

my 1st cousin who flew as tail gunner in a B-26 bomber out of Burma in WWII 70 missions, two purple hearts, with other medals, passed away Jan 2013 at home peacefully. His name Wilfred Elchert Jr., thank God he was not in that Town. What is wrong with that police force.

Even if we don't know all of the facts of this case yet, the U.S. has been turning into a fascist police state (hybrid CommuNazi Socialist) for nearly 50 years. We are becoming like the enemies that we have fought in the past. The entire law enforcement establishment is becoming more militarized and becoming part of the standing army that the Founders of our Nation warned about. The distinctions between uniformed law enforcement officers and the military are becoming blurred, where you can't distinguish between so called police/peace officers and National Guardsmen (i.e. - trashed 4th. Amendment after Boston bombing). The Constitution and Bill of Rights are under assault by the very government that has essentially created the very problems over many decades that we are facing now - management by crises. We citizens of our Republic may have to invoke our insurance policy and final check in the system of checks and balances in the future - Article II of the Bill of Rights, which George Washington regarded as the American peoples liberty teeth and keystone under independence.

Even if we don't know all of the facts of this case yet, the U.S. has been turning into a fascist police state (hybrid CommuNazi Socialist) for nearly 50 years. We are becoming like the enemies that we have fought in the past. The entire law enforcement establishment is becoming more militarized and becoming part of the standing army that the Founders of our Nation warned about. The distinctions between uniformed law enforcement officers and the military are becoming blurred, where you can't distinguish between so called police/peace officers and National Guardsmen (i.e. - trashed 4th. Amendment after Boston bombing). The Constitution and Bill of Rights are under assault by the very government that has essentially created the very problems over many decades that we are facing now - management by crises. We citizens of our Republic may have to invoke our insurance policy and final check in the system of checks and balances in the future - Article II of the Bill of Rights, which George Washington regarded as the American peoples liberty teeth and keystone under independence.

This kind of 'reporting' can pizz anybody off .... and I am pizzed off ... There must be a good(?) reason that this 95-year-old WW2 veteran had to tased and shot with that bean bag.... Was he armed with a weapon? ... other than his 'walker', which he had to use to walk around.... The REPORTING of this story is greatly lacking in detail, and shows just how stupid this incident is impressing (angering) the readers..... Then again, this WW2 veteran could have taken out all the police officers, hand-to-hand combat, if he had been 70 years younger.

This kind of 'reporting' can pizz anybody off .... and I am pizzed off ... There must be a good(?) reason that this 95-year-old WW2 veteran had to tased and shot with that bean bag.... Was he armed with a weapon? ... other than his 'walker', which he had to use to walk around.... The REPORTING of this story is greatly lacking in detail, and shows just how stupid this incident is impressing (angering) the readers..... Then again, this WW2 veteran could have taken out all the police officers, hand-to-hand combat, if he had been 70 years younger.

THIS IS STUPID REPORTING LACKING IN DETAILS AS TO WHY THIS HAPPENED .... This kind of 'reporting' can pizz anybody off .... and I am pizzed off ... There must be a good(?) reason that this 95-year-old WW2 veteran had to tased and shot with that bean bag.... Was he armed with a weapon? ... other than his 'walker', which he had to use to walk around.... The REPORTING of this story is greatly lacking in detail, and shows just how stupid this incident is impressing (angering) the readers..... Then again, this WW2 veteran could have taken out all the police officers, hand-to-hand combat, if he had been 70 years younger.

Put those cops on the front lines in the next war.... the mind can change quickly...
Human sacrifice was given in WWll.. the pictures were not pretty...
Is the next war coming home to greet us?
United we stand............Divided we fall

Wow when will we stop the excessive force being brought against americans citzens by chicken shit police forces throughout america ?

Wow when will we stop the excessive force being brought against americans citzens by chicken shit police forces throughout america ?

It is obvious the man was suffering from dementia or senility. The paramedics should have spoke with him then sedated him. I am an EMT in the State of PA. I have been in situations like this on numerous occasions. Older people are like small children and you need to treat them as such. Unless someone is pointing a loaded weapon in your direction, which this elderly gentleman was likely not doing, the EMT/Paramedics on the scene should have used their training to defuse the situation and got him to a hospital ER Center. It's not like a 95yo man in a wheelchair is a threat my G-d! The Police action was completely uncalled for. They should have used common sense and seen this was clearly a case where an older person was obviously not in control of his mental faculties and simple spoken and gentle manual persuasion would have sufficed. Multiple errors and lack of common sense IMHO on the part of the First Responders and the PD. Most likely resulting from lack of proper training and use of good old common sense in such situations.

The COPs were the kids of someone who was free to have children because the Vet protected us all.
OK What are we going to do about it????????????

I am a retired military nurse who has worked in area hospitals with unruly elderly males. One in particular had a whole floor of medical staff in a tizzy as he walked up and down the halls of one floor throwing his fists at staff and visiting family members. He got a hold of an I.V. pole and was brandishing it threateningly. I walked u to him and caught the pole as he wielded it at me. His mind was only to hit me so he continued to hold the pole with both hands as security came up behind him with a geri-chair. He fell back into the chair and he was subdued without harm to the patient, visitors or staff. GOT TO THINK OUTSIDE THE FREEKING BOX!!!

If you are going to run a news story, you shouldn't be able to pick and choose what facts you want to include in it. I agree this seems like excessive force but the author forgot to mention the 12" knife the deceased had in his hand and was threatening people with when he was shot with the "less than lethal" bean-bag. Unless you have dealt with people with dementia and are familiar with the use of deadly force, which this wasn't, all you whiners should really shut up! This ended very poorly but the blame is not one sided! Thumbs down for running an inaccurate article in the first place.

I read the whole article and there was no knife found. There was no knife missing from the care center. there was no knife observed by anyone during the altercation. Somehow the knife story came into being on the officers report back at the station.

so long, warrior brother, rest in peace

Those cops--like so many (not all)--were hot-shot cowards enjoying their authority while knowing they had little chance of being held responsible for their acting like the thugs they are! Debbi Stambaugh take notice--you idiot!

i HAVE HAD POLICE DEFENSIVE TACTICS TRAINING. IT WOULD NOT BE DIFFICULT TO DISARM A 95 YEAR OLD MAN WITH YOUR HANDS.

Will someone please publish the names and addresses of the criminal scum that murdered this old man.

Somebody might also want to show some of Debbie Stambaugh to her employers. Can you imagine having THAT as a nurse when sick or injured?

Since this was obviously a case of a couple of tiny-town cowardly wannabe robo-cops filling out their empty little hours by bringing in their swat team to attack a 95 year old man by dragging along all their up to date cop toys, how about a $2 can of pepper spray? If he couldnt see you, he couldnt jump up out of his recliner and attack you with the butcher knife that grows in length with every telling of the story and very well might not have been there at all. A lot off people of that town are lowlife scum if each and every cop involved dosnt do at least 10 years in prison. Bad enough you would allow murdering maggots like that on your police force at all! Probably the Mayor's grandson.

You have to remember this happened in Sturgis, SD where the police are surrounded by bikers and Harleys all the time. When they got a call to a nursing home they finally had a chance to show what brave men they were but not taking any chances they went in with guns blazing and overcame a real live 95 year old veteran. Now you may not like what they did but I'm sure the people of Sturgis will sleep better at night knowing what brave men are on there Police Farce

As a retired SWAT team member this does sound like overreaction,But I wasn't there(and neither were you "hotheads")As a veteran (Army) I mourn the loss of a brother,but what I find most offensive is the rethoric of the wannabe tough guys demanding blood.And the next time your in trouble HANDLE IT YOURSELF instead of calling the "jack Booted Thugs" Lets just calm down,And say a prayer for him.

I worked as a mental health tech for the state of Illinois after leaving the Marines, we were taught to take down patients safely if needed. 2 other employees and myself were attacked by a patient who was not fit to stand trial (he had a mental illness), he was maybe 25 he had sharp metal he tore from a toilet paper dispenser, I ended up with 18 stitches and another man with 28. We still secured him without him being hurt. It is about training and police are not trained for this so they go overboard. But I can't ever see why you would do that to a 95 year old person.

Ed Butt, this happened in a large suburb just outside of Chicago, it is one of the closest suburbs Park Forest.

Control your F@#$!NG respirations and heart rate!!!! Must be scary a-- rookies!!!!!! Dumb A--!!

I am retired law enforcement. It's a shame that the police reacted with such force that it caused this man's death. What has happened to common sense? A man that could not stand without a walker? It would seem the EMS personnel were not in any imminent danger.

A 96 year old walker bound man is a threat to police officers? If he wielded a firearm, I would understand the need for force. There is something wrong with our nation, when we suspend elementary school children for bringing a butter knife or letter opener to school, prevent stating the Pledge of Allegiance to our American fliag, prevent posting Christmas nativity scenes in private home yards in some municipalities, prevent 10 Commandment displays in court rooms, just because it offends a small minority who feel offended over our preferences, and now shooting and killing WW2 survivor and veteran, just because he might be a threat. What has happened to common sense?

It reminds me of the following Biblical passage: "For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools...." Romans 1:22 (ESV).

I just went to the Wikipedia page for Park Forest, and it had a paragraph that said that 1n 2013 Park Forest police officers successfully killed a 95 year old man, the 5 police officers who killed him claimed they and staff were endangered.
The outrage shown by the posts on this page is admirable. Remember, if as seems to be the case more and more each day in this country people are being murdered in cold blood by corrupt and out of control police, it is YOU, veterans who took the Soldier's Oath who are expected to stand up and put a stop to it, or see to it that maggots like those that murdered this old man pay for it.

This story is to sad for words. What kind of Police officers would tase a 95 year old man sitting in His chair? If He had only been 85 they probably would hav shot Him 20-30 times.

what those police officers did was way out out control and why in the world would they even think about taking any weapons into a retiement home?At 95 and has to walk with a walker where in the world are there brains I believe up the butts.They I hope will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.They are sworn to uphold the law but not abuse it.I hope they get sued for their actions and end up living a life behind bars.My heart goes out to the family to his loved ones.I will add one thing the ones that think the police were justified in their action also need to get the head examined.

Everyone is missing a point here and that is the so called weapon, a 12 inch knife. The nursing home staff did not report a knife. The man was in a wheelchair in the common area far away from any area that would have a knife such as the kitchen. The kitchen staff reported there was no missing knife. No one from the care center and no witnesses reported seeing a knife. The only official reports of a weapon at the time of altercation was a cane and a two foot shoehorn. The knife report was from a police report filed by the officers after the fact. No knife was ever found after the altercation. IMHO It appears the knife is a "red herring" designed to throw off investigators.

A blank cartridge fired from a rifle or pistol can be lethal at close range. Similarly, a bean bag fired from a 12 gage shotgun can be lethal also when the target is at a close range. So just how big is the common area in the care center? 15 feet wall to wall? 20 feet? 25 feet? Bean bags are recommended for crowd control when fired from a reasonable distance out in the open. The soft frail belly of an older person cannot easily withstand the blow from a child's open hand in playful activities much less from a bean bag 12 gauge fired at relatively close range indoors. The sound alone would damage nearby eardrums. Either something is missing here or those officers acted improperly.

In the old days it would have been handled a lot better I think , these cops today are way to aggressive and it happens all the time, cops have way to much power and no brains , the one that tassed and the one that shot this vet should be tried and hung for his lack of brains , how is a 96 year old man going to hurt anyone in there prime, these cops are trigger happy thugs that don't care for the people they swore an oath to protect , if warring a badge means shoot every time you feel threatened you can shoot a suspect , cops are people and they have attitudes like regular people and it gets out of control , and they take lives without justifiable cause, Im a veteran and it just pisses me off that a WW11 veteran who seen so much in battle ends his life getting killed by ones he fought for, the irony of that is overwhelming , and its happened again and again people getting shot by cops for stupid reasons is a crime and they should be tried in a court of law like any other criminal, they cant claim self defense on this one and they should be aware of how fragile the elderly are and I believe the cops with the shooter all should be terminated to make room for better peace officers with better training,
Since when did cops become more important than the people but that's how it is , they cover up for each other and lie on reports and we pick up the bill
the officers involved need to pay for this with there freedom since the man they killed for no reason fought so hard to protect there freedom.. absolutely amazing but they will get away with it.
really stupid cops we have I think ,
I've seen a lot of cops that disrespect our veterans and at first hand too...

I am female African-American navy vet from Desert Storm. Why isn't this story national news like Trayvon Martin? If didn't subscribe to the magazine I would have never heard this story. The police are out of control and race has nothing to do with it!!!

The two officer's that were involved should be arrested and charged with manslaughter at a minimum. Local police and federal agencies are becoming militarized running around with military equipment machine guns etc. There is no need for local police to be involved in a situation like Mr Wrana's medication. They killed one of the few remaining amercan hero's from that war. The police generally speaking should go back to serving the public not not killing inicent people or more and more of these situation will occur.

Why was this not national news worthy? Did our President comment on this atrocity? After all, an american hero was murdered in a NURSING HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is a real tragedy. Is there something else that I am missing from this story? Why did they have to go in with such drastic actions? If there is nothing else, then the police officeers need to be charged with homicide. What else is happening within the police headquarters? Are the shrugging it off or are theyreally taking a hard look at how and why this happened

I can't believe this is happening in our country, These police officer should be arrested and charge with the crime, because that's what they did committed a crime
here in Miami Beach 4 police officers killed a 18 years old kid, this kid is small and very thing if you look a his picture you'd think he is only 13 o 14 years old the police tased his in the chest and as the kid was on the ground the police were given high five to each other and joking and celebrating that they got him down, all this kid did was write on a public wall, the police were suspended from duty for three days with PAY, to me that
's a reward not punishment

While I don't know anything about Mr. Wrana, if he had any type of dementia like Alzheimer's, they can be very unpredictable and at times violent. My wife and I attended 16 classes sponsored by Alzheimer's Assn. when my 95 year old mother developed Alzheimer's, and 6 of them were all day seminars to learn about the problems all types of dementia causes. The main problem is that nursing home workers are not usually trained in how to handle patients with Alzheimer's, and likely police are not either. Alzheimer's patients can seem normal at times and other times totally different. My problem as a retired Navy pilot and airline pilot, was realizing I could not fix this problem and to learn to get into my mother's world and do what i could do to make her life as good as possible until the end. We were at the nursing home nearly every day and worked with the caregivers to help them understand how to deal with these patients. You cannot send a caregiver to a two hour class and expect them to understand what to do, especially considering what these people are paid. So, it is not completely the nursing home's fault, nor is it completely the police fault. Relatives throw their hands up and find a place to put them, which is most times better than keeping them at home. If you know someone who has any type of dementia, do yourself and the sick person a favor, and learn about the disease by contacting Alzheimer's Assn, and attend one or several of their classes. No, I don't work for them, but their classes were worth a million dollars in my understanding of my mother when she needed me most. It is hardest to remember, "this is not the person she was before" and still love them.

Nursing homes do not have overly large rooms. if his room was 20' wide it would be a good sized room. The old man would be closer than that to the police. Sure the mime is that bean bags are non-lethal weapons. But at close range, 10-15'(?) I would think they certainly could be. I remember a story here locally where a young man had gotten hold of a bullet "proof" vest and dared a buddy to shoot him. The buddy took him up on it, but was standing close by, maybe between 5 and 10'. Even if the vest could stop the bullet at that close range it can still be lethal. Likewise with the bean bag shot from a gun. As for the taser - did they ask first if the old man had a pace-maker? Could it make a lethal difference if he did when they used that non-lethal weapon on him? What training do the police get now? Just Politics and law, self-defense, writing reports?

Welcome To The Park Forest Retirement Home!.....Old Veterans Treated Well.

I think this is a very sad affair. There are few enough WW 11 Vets left than to take them by a senseless act such as this. Where has the respect gone in this country. They treat this gentleman like this and yet a bomber in Boston makes the cover of a magazine. Where do we go from here?

Ed butt.
Brave men????????

This killing has not been reported by any news agency that I have heard. Why are the news oeople not doing thier job? To kill an old fogey sitting in a chair and refusing to take his meds is the work ofthe worst kind of police any where in the world. Iam also an old fogey at 83 and an AAf vet. I am still on my feet bjutI don^t think I could beat 2 or more fully armed p-olicemen with more backup. Another ;question, why does a facility caring for the old need to have police for this man? Maybe that they were just trying to give him dope to keep him from moving or making noise.All of this event is the status of current treatment of unimportant people who can^t be heard. I susoect that this kii9nd of thing is happening often and n no one hears about it. Newsnen are not doing thier job

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.