Patterico's Pontifications


The Late and Honorable Judge Roll

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 8:52 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Credit where credit is due, the New York Times manages to pull out a very moving story.

We call judges “your honor” or “the honorable _______” as a matter of habit, occasionally believing that this person is anything but honorable.  But in his last moments of life, Judge Roll proved he deserved to be called that:

The chief investigator for the sheriff’s department here has for the first time publicly described the brief and gory video clip from a store security camera that shows a gunman not only shooting Representative Gabrielle Giffords just above the eyebrow at a range of three feet, but then using his 9-millimeter pistol to gun down others near her at a similarly close range.

The video, according to Richard Kastigar, the investigative and operational bureau chief of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, also reveals that Judge John M. Roll appears to have died while helping to save the life of Ronald Barber, one of Ms. Giffords’s employees. Mr. Barber, who was near Ms. Giffords when he was shot twice, has since left the hospital….

In describing the video, the most detailed account yet of the initial five-second burst of fire, Mr. Kastigar said Judge Roll was “intentionally trying to help Mr. Barber,” adding, “It’s very clear to me the judge was thinking of his fellow human more than himself.”

The judge guides Mr. Barber to the ground, shields him with his body, and then tries to push himself and Mr. Barber away from the gunman, who was no more than three to four feet away as he fired, Mr. Kastigar said.

“He pushes Mr. Barber with his right hand and guides him with his left hand. The judge was on top of him and is covering up Mr. Barber, literally lying on top of him, and his back was exposed,” Mr. Kastigar said.

The judge was shot in the back.

Godspeed, Judge Roll and may the flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

6 Responses to “The Late and Honorable Judge Roll”

  1. I’m glad to see the NYT still able to discern what is honorable in this world.

    What an amazing thing it is for one to be so selfless and noble. Like Dorwin Stoddard and Mary Reed, Judge Roll not only thought about others before himself, but his actions came naturally to one who really lived this belief.

    I particularly enjoyed reading this about him,

    Some of Roll’s neighbors said they never suspected his line of work, particularly because Roll never seemed pretentious and enjoyed everyday activities, such as walking his two basset hounds every morning and spending time with his wife and grandchildren.

    “He was just a neighbor,” said George Kriss, 70, adding that the last time he saw Roll a few weeks ago, “he had blue jeans on and just a very normal shirt and was hanging onto a couple of leashes.”

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  2. I’m sorry to say that I’m so cynical about the NYTimes that I had to go read the story. It describes Judge Roll’s heroic and selfless actions, but his sacrifice is far from the focus of the story (at least the version I read). The NYTimes gets no credit on this from me.

    LASue (ed9852)

  3. Certainly a brave and noble man.

    I hope this puts to rest the idea that Republicans hate Democrats and wish them harm

    Christoph (8ec277)

  4. Remarkable story, yes when the Times sticks to the facts, they can be quite good, the erroneous
    reports of her passing, reminds they got nearly
    nothing right about the story besides the fact that there was a shooting in Tucson, and Shep was one of the biggest offenders yet again.

    narciso (6075d0)

  5. It describes Judge Roll’s heroic and selfless actions, but his sacrifice is far from the focus of the story (at least the version I read). The NYTimes gets no credit on this from me.

    LASue, I understand your point but remember, they could have ignored it altogether and not said anything at all. That’s what I expected so this was a nice surprise. But then I guess that just shows how low my expectations of them are…

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  6. He was apparently a nice and honorable man. May he rest in peace. His decision to let illegal aliens sue the rancher whose property they were trespassing on–a trespass that put the rancher and his family at risk–was an outrage. Obituaries need to be truthful, or else they are treacle.

    Kevin Stafford (abdb87)

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