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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Good Gods, is this the society we served to protect with our lives if necessary!?

yes, unfortunately, we now live in a society that is so fickle and retarded that most do not remember what our nation was founded upon. It does break a veteran's heart to see how service members are treated, regardless of their age or the wars they fought in. It seems that anymore, unless a veteran's story serves the purpose of those who are destroying this nation, they are treated like cattle or worse.

When the towers fell in 2001, the nation rallied and demanded action, to ensure our freedom, but over the past 5 years, they have forgotten all that, and squandered the lives of those that fought to protect it.

So many folks are taking the freedom they have for granted... Is it a requirement that something be lost before its value is reccognized these days ???

When the towers fell in 2001 the nation did rally and demand action, just as you said, but it was for the most part NOT to ensure our freedom BUT to ensure their individual and collective SAFETY. iI have never gotten over how many people said that they were willing to surrender "some" of their freedom for their safety. The nation is lacking the amount honest journalism, judicial wisdom, a dedicated Congress and familiarty with our National History by the electorate which isrequired to ensure our continuing freedom.

I served in the Marine Corps for 24 years. I don't expect anything for that. It was very rewarding in and of itself. None the less, Uncle Sugar provides me with exquisite medical care for free, and for that I am grateful, especially as I age. This man was an American citizen, and he deserved those rights. He is no greater or less of a man as a veteran to have been killed this way. I am disgusted by his death this way.

I agree with you except in your second paragraph about coming together. We were all collectively shocked, scared and angry and sad. We shared our grief and anger but we did NOTHING A blind man could see we had a corrupt fool as president and we voted this murderer in a second time. That is doing nothing or maybe worse. And we are going to do the same thing again because this is our system. The system is broke and nobody cares enough to leave their comfort zone to do anything meaningful so enjoy your slide into the depths of decline. THIS IS RANT IS NOT DIRECTED TO YOU SIR BUT TO ALL OF US

Sounds like that Debbi Stambaugh works with seniors, scary isn't it, to her most of them are assholes!

These cops are drunk with power. They just want to use all their little gadgets...tazers, bean bag rounds. They just want to shoot somebody with something.


Those cops should be shot with bean bag rounds repeatedly till they die.

Mr. Goldstein, it sounds a little like you are advocating actions just like the Nazi's took against the Jews in WWII. Maybe you should reconsider your words. I don't think the Nazi's gave the Jews trials either, just took them out and executed them. By the way there is no T in Nazi. Common mistake.

I doubt that the Nuriburg Trials had any fewer individuals saying they were just following orders. The fact that the so called police act without responsible oversight is preposterous. Your anaolgy is not even close to following the two events. These cops had their trial when they used excessive force and killed a man. Their day in court was common sense jdugement under natural law, God's Law. There was no accident, the man was no threat and we have a right to refuse medicl treatment if we choose.

Where was the vicitim's trial, he was subjected to treatment that should be restricted to criminals, where is his criminal act???

With people like you and your logic we would still be under British Rule.

skin head punks

Wouldn't drop the knife, said one report. A 95-year-old man? SWAT team storming through the door with guns drawn? Will somebody give me a break here? This sounds like a SNL skit gone bad. If this account is true, not one of those officers should keep his job. And somebody should go to jail. I'm going to follow this up. We're waaay out of control here. It has to stop.

If he had a knife, butter or Bowie, he was armed and a government trained killing machine. He was a US trained solider


He was 95 years old dumb ass

ASISEEIT, Your an ass.

asiseeit, you are a product of the modern thinking, that everybody, regardless of their
age or status, is a threat. You need to sign up for the class "Respect for the Individual" -101..

One person said ' he had a knife butter or butcher he was a trained killing machine. he was a US trained solider" Where are you from mohamed??? he WAS 95 and could not walk with out aid. What part of this picture are you missing???? oh that does not matter you probable get your training in Syria or Saudi!!

First off let me say that you have probably NO idea of the type training our WW2 vets received prior to going into battle it was nothing compared to what our service men and women get today. Secondly you evidently have no prior military service. Do you forget how our troops returning from Viet Nam were treated or should I say mistreated. I sir am a vet and I hope we NEVER cross paths for your sake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From one vet to anther, if you need help with that path crossing, PLEASE give me a call!

Lol. U go Steve!

Are you really that stupid??

And just what could this government killing machine have done you jackass!! Side with these criminals, you're likely one too asshole......

at 96. Asiseeit, get real. Go stick your head back in the sand.

@ASISEEIT A WW2 vet is a trained killing machine? As I see it you are a moronic ass-hat!


You must really be coward as the cops proved to be, to believe that a 95 year old man deserves to be forced-fed his meds at the risk of being by Taser AND shotgun. I realize that retarded is no longer acceptable as an appellation describing your mental state but but morally defective can certainly get the job done. I bet your parents hide their heads in shame whenever you're around.

We are in a Milatary Police state sad, first a Autistic child double tap forehead, now this, this needs to stop!!!

We are in a Milatary Police state sad, first a Autistic child double tap forehead, now this, this needs to stop!!!

I'm just curious to know why didnt he have a right to refuse his meds? Secondly, this is cause for the relevant police procedures concerning such an incident to be reviewed and augmented. Thirdly, the officers involved should face some sort of punishment and/or discharge.

Unbelievable - they were afraid of a 95 year old man overcoming them? Aren't the police taught how to talk to someone or even how disarm someone who is in a chair and uses a walker without life threating tactics? Surely common sense would tell you that tasering someone 95 years old could cause serious medical injuries or death or that the use of any blunt force to an elderly person (the beanbag projectile) could cause serious injury or death?

This is a DISGRACE. The punks that killed Mr. Wrana aren't fit to wear any uniform or carry a badge. I agree the department should be sued and the cowardly slime responsible for his death should pay the ultimate price, assuming you could fine a prosecutor, judge and jury willing to give the Wrana family justice. Is this the society our brothers and sisters in the military fought so hard to protect? America must do a better of job of protecting the elderly and our children.

you go brother!

Some one should suffer big time.

A lot of info was edited out of this post. Now,. I'm not defending the actions of the policy as they were still overboard to me, but it seems that leaving out a lot of the info on the incident is an injustice in itself. The police were called to the home because he was threatening staff with a butcher knife. Also, he was not shot with a shotgun, but rather a beanbag fired from a shotgun.

Like I said, it's wrong how it went down, but don't leave crucial facts of the story out for your own twist. All info is important.

If you go to the link above, you can get more info. But because of Copyright laws I can't cut and paste the whole article. But if you read that article, no one seems to know what became of this knife. Including apparently the police.

This should not have gone down this way. The center staff should have just let him the hell alone until he calmed down. Why didn't the cops subdue him while he was holding the cane instead of waiting until he grabbed a knife?
(Editor's note: This story originally misspelled the victim's last name, based on incorrect reports from police and the medical examiner's office. The name has been corrected.)

A 95-year-old man died of internal bleeding after police fired bean-bag rounds at him during a confrontation in a Park Forest senior living complex, according to an autopsy performed Sunday.

Police say John Wrana was threatening staff and paramedics with a metal cane and a 2-foot metal shoehorn when they arrived at the Victory Centre around 8:40 p.m. Friday.

Officers ordered him to drop the cane and shoehorn, but Wrana then picked up a "12-inch butcher-type kitchen knife," police said in a statement.
Here is the article:
The officers used a Taser on him when he refused to comply, police said. But it failed to subdue him and he continued to threaten others, police said.

Officers then fired bean bag rounds at Wrana and he dropped the knife, police said.

The man was conscious and talking to officers and staff before being transported to St. James Hospital and Health Centers in Chicago, according to authorities. He was transferred to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he died about 2:30 a.m. Saturday, the medical examiner's office said.

The Cook County medical examiner's office said the cause of death was hemoperitoneum – bleeding in the stomach area from blunt force trauma from being shot with a bean bag gun.

I can't believe that a police officer is not able to disarm an 95 year old man without having to harm him in any way. It is just unbelievable.

Being both a retired veteran and a retired police officer I have learned that there are 12 sides to every story. That Mr Wrana died in it self is sad. His contribution to this nation goes far and beyond that of the 99% of the he population that sits back and calls out the dogs of war to fix their political crisis one after another. We have veterans that soon will be with out healthcare, jobs, and support of a nation that sent them time and time again into hell that was setup and caused by the nations of this world. Sound philosophical? Think about it. Our military is and has been 100% volunteer for over a decade. We are in the longest war of our countries history. This generation (post baby boomer) is in control of the Govt. We warehouse our elderly, dole out medical care to the highest bidder, fire dedicated military personnel so we can have more contractors contribute to political war chests through their magical instruments of war, give medals to some one sitting in a chair hundreds of miles out of harms way.
Until every person in this country has to anti up for the good of us all we will see more and more of this type of incident. Were any of the officers involved veterans?, Possibly with a TBI or PTSD? Ah another side to the story...What about the staff? Were that well trained medical technicians or minimum wage temporary help?..
.That Mr Wrana's life ended on such a horrific note is terrible, but there will be more to come.


Ken, I appreciate what you have said and your being obejctive about this tragedy. Myself, I am inclined to say that the police officers could have handled this situation without killing Mr. Wrana.
How would you have handled this situation about a 95 year old man sitting in a wheelchair in his own room in a nursing home?

I'm a retired police officer and former military police and am alarmed at some of the Incidents that are occurring with the use of force, it's frightening only this morning I read and viewed video's of sheriff's in Texas body cavity searching drivers on the side of the road for suspicion of minor violations, we have swat teams responding to family disputes, roadblock-checkpoints etc..., I know from experience the difficulties of the job but c'mon where is the commons sense and humanity, what happened to the US. constitution, all in the name of safety and security, what are we becoming.

Ron, I think [most] Americans are purposely trained, through the public fool system, to be hysterical children, who can't think through critical situations. I say, "most" because there are a relatively few who have somehow, escaped the indoctrination.

WWII Veterans should be Honored, not killed by another American. What they went through during the war and to have survived has filled volumes, as books tell us of their expoits and heroisms.
Pretty soon, we will not have any more WWII Vets; they are reporting to the Supreme Commandant
at the rate of 1000 per day. We are more than certain that we don't need the Police to expedite matters.
The last WWI Vet died in February 2011 at the ripe old age of 110, in peace, of natural causes.
There are only one-third of Vietnam Veterans left, due to diseases caused by Agent Orange,
like diabetes and various cancers; PTSD and Suicides have decimated our ranks.
We, as Americans, should look for more ways to help our Veterans, who placed their lives on the line to defend our Country, maintain our Freedoms and not be in a hurry to place them underground.
We should Remember what they did, Honor them, Memoralize them.

Mr. John Wrana's murder is criminally disgusting and civilly repulsive. When the head of the fish stinks the whole fish stinks. Our present day moral decay, erosion of our former dignified society and Gestapo like enforcement of law is a reflection of our elected representatives and Comander In Chief who pompously strut about Washington, DC for their own egotistical self serving motives and monetary gains at the expense of us, their constiuents. The rest of the World laughs at us and our disolving constitutional freedom and weak, 'wishy washy' resolve in fostering democracy throughout the world. We couldn't even protect and preserve the democratic freedom and personal safety of an individual American veteran named John Wrana. Shame on us all as we are all to blame for allowing this to happen! The police should have looked at this WWII vet as an honored comrad to be aided and celebrated instead of an enemy threat to be tortured and ruthlessly killed as a punishment for being old and ill as the Germans did with the old and infirm in their concentration camps in WWII. As I said, the stink starts with the head of the fish! The whole school of fish is rotten at this point. We veteran patriots need to help effect a change in leadership at all levels for our benefit and the benefit of the generations to come. Let's get going now! God bless America.

Bobby agree with you 100 pct.

Under no circumstance short of wielding a Ma-Duce should this 96 year old man be considered a threat to anyone except possibly himself if he fell on his own knife. Even one officer should have been able to subdue him if that was even necessary. My Son has just completed the Sheriffs Academy and I know what kind of training they get. THERE WAS NO REASON FOR THIS TO HAPPEN. Please send all of those officers to my location and see what a 69 tear old can do. Bring your SWAT gear you'll need it.

I could give you a hand if you need it. I'm only 70.


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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.