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Wizbang visits the scene of the crime

Earlier this week, I found myself (not willingly) in downtown Lawrence, Massachusetts. And as luck would have it, near the funeral home run by Daniel Cotnoir, the former Marine Of The Year currently in trouble for firing a shotgun at some late-night rowdies who smashed his bedroom window.

I happened to have my camera with me, so I thought it might be interesting to snap a few photos of the area to give a bit of context for Wizbang readers.

It's not quite what I expected. The club in question is on the corner, but it's not right next to the funeral home. Across the street is a service station that looks like it used to sell gas. Its lot sits between the funeral home and the club, and it's where the mob apparently gathered.

Here is the sign for Mr. Cotnoir's family's business. Because I have a crappy camera, you can't make out his name at the bottom, but it's there. And here is Broadway in Lawrence, also known as Route 28 and the main street of Lawrence. It runs the length of the city, right through the heart, and pretty much defines the center of town.

Here's a shot taken from the funeral home, across the station's lot and at the club. And conversely, here are a couple of shots taken from the club's front door, back at the funeral home.

After having been there, and seeing just what kind of neighborhood it is and the relationships of the various buildings, my sympathies for Sgt. Cotnoir are increased tremendously. In light of the long history of troubles with the club's patrons, and with the provocation described, I have a hard time saying what he did wasn't justified as self-defense.

Unfortunately for him, I don't recall the last time "self-defense" was upheld in Massachusetts as a valid defense.

Prior stories on Sgt. Cotnoir here, here, and here.

Comments (8)

What's up with the yellow... (Below threshold)
mark m:

What's up with the yellow duck?

Why, why, why does a blogge... (Below threshold)

Why, why, why does a blogger always provide more facts and a context for a story????

The Legacy Media must go!

Self defense? From what? ... (Below threshold)
Just John:

Self defense? From what? The "clear spot in the crowd" that he shot at?

Self defense? From what?... (Below threshold)

Self defense? From what? The "clear spot in the crowd" that he shot at?

Now I'm starting to wonder if JJ has a personal stake in this story.

Not me.I'm just sh... (Below threshold)
Just John:

Not me.

I'm just shocked that there's so much support for such casual use of firearms.

Suppose he actually was able to identify and the bottle throwing perpetrator, and shot him/her. What would the responding officer do in that situation?

What's the deal with all th... (Below threshold)

What's the deal with all the right-wing whackos cheering on Cotnoir for shooting at a crowd of noisy people?
There are a lot of compelling reasons to feel compassion and empathy for this man--a man who fought for his country with honor and suffered from post-traumatic stress, a devoted family man, an active community participant.
But saying a 15-year-old girl, or anyone else who was in that parking lot that night, deserved to be shot is turning the real victim into the assailant. Noise is not an excuse to shoot at someone, I don't care how loud or late. People are losing sight of the fact that he chose to live on one of the busiest commercial streets in one of the most compact and densely-populated cities in Massachusetts (72,000 residents in 7 square miles). Shouldn't Cotnoir understand that there will be a certain amount of noise? As for a bottle being thrown through his window...Remember, Cotnoir was pointing his shotgun at people in the crowd, trying to intimidate them, before a bottle was ever thrown through his window. What does that say about his judgement? Wasn't he the real instigator here? I'd say he's lucky that a bottle came through the window instead of a preemptive gunshot.
A crime is a crime. Cotnoir committed one. He should be punished appropriately. And all the nut cases who are defending him should get a grip.

Sgt Cotnoirs story is so mu... (Below threshold)

Sgt Cotnoirs story is so much more than the media has told. Do you know for a 2 year span the police gave him a parking ticket every time he called to complain about the crowds roaming the street at 2 am. He got over 200 tickets in 2 years. The owner of the club is the brother of a Lawrence cop.

One more note. The neighbo... (Below threshold)

One more note. The neighborhood he lives in has seen full blown riots in 1984, 1985 and 1989. Large fights, defined by the police as being more the 50 people, but fewer than 100 are a monthly occurrence most summers. During the riots it was RESIDENTS who called for help from the state police at the nearby barracks in Andover because the local police were not responding to 911 calls.






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