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Cold War Scout
01-28-2005, 11:21 AM
Jan 28, 2005

Aspiring Actress Shot Dead After Confronting Street Robber Before Dawn in New York
The Associated Press


NEW YORK (AP) - An aspiring actress and playwright whose work explored life's darker sides was shot and killed as she confronted an armed robber during an early-morning street holdup.
The robber ran off with his accomplices, police said. No arrests have been made.

Nicole duFresne, 28, had just left a bar in a trendy section of the Lower East Side with her fiance and another couple early Thursday when they were approached by four or five men.

Witnesses told investigators that one of the men grabbed for the other woman's purse and duFresne intervened, asking, "What are you going to do, shoot us?" A man then fired one shot at her, police said.

"One of them said, 'Give me your money.' I didn't see he had a gun. I didn't understand what was happening," said Jeffrey Sparks, duFresne's 28-year-old fiance.

Sparks, an online music producer, said he pushed the mugger aside and was pistol-whipped on the face.

DuFresne died from a gunshot wound to her chest.

The couple, both from Minneapolis, moved to Brooklyn from Seattle two years ago and were to be married in October.

A graduate of Emerson College in Boston, duFresne was a founding member of the Present Tense Theater Project and acted with the LAByrinth Theater Co., according to her online resume. She wrote a play called "Burning Cage" with Mary Jane Gibson, who was with her and her fiance at the time of the shooting.

"Burning Cage" is about two women in a Boston asylum who are targeted for clandestine brainwashing experiments with LSD and shock treatments. The play toured in 2002 at fringe theater festivals in Canada and the United States.

DuFresne's other play, "Matter," is about an amnesiac whose apartment is taken over by a violent and seductive intruder. It was performed in Brooklyn in 2003.

GeorgeG
01-28-2005, 11:43 AM
Maybe one key to the victim's response is that she just didn't see the gun.

RES
01-28-2005, 11:57 AM
I think that "giving up the money" doesn't really factor into this one.

Inferring from the survivor's account and the deceased's purported statement, the victims didn't see a weapon. Their knowledge of what was transpiring, then, was that the four of them (two couples) were being confronted by four or five adversaries.

I think the lessons to be learned here, are:

1) Situational Awareness- Did the victims see their adversaries congregating somewhere?

2) Assume the presence of weapons- Given the statements in the article, it appears the victims presumed the aggressors to be unarmed.

3) Don't underestimate belligerence- Most people don't consider the possibility of a "group v. group" scenario- especially since they are told "travel in groups for safety". We can observe the consequences of this, here.

Cold War Scout
01-28-2005, 12:01 PM
and duFresne intervened, asking, "What are you going to do, shoot us?" A man then fired one shot at her, police said.

Then one must wonder why did she say this?

Cold War Scout
01-28-2005, 12:05 PM
was that the four of them (two couples) were being confronted by four or five adversaries.

I read that the victims group consisted of at least two women. Did they really go through life thinking that made them "rolling big" against a group of thugs?

Reminds me somewhat of the time in Arlington, VA in the mid-90s when a woman maced a man carjacking her at gunpoint. Yeah, he killed her.

michael
01-28-2005, 12:25 PM
I guess someone forgot to tell the thug that NYC is a no-gun zone.:rolleyes:

Al Lipscomb
01-28-2005, 12:36 PM
All other things aside, if all they want is money then give it to them. Armed or not they were in a bad situation. There are times to fight (and fight hard) and times to back off. Getting your lady killed is not the goal.

Coops
01-28-2005, 12:39 PM
I guess someone forgot to tell the thug that NYC is a no-gun zone.:rolleyes:

It might be that fact which caused the stated response from the victim. Maybe living in a 'No Gun' culture creates in the citizens a miscalined perception of safety. Because she has been brought up within an environment without firearms, she didn't even consider it could be a viable option.She wouldn't conside the availability of firearms whilst she tried to communicate with the perp.

Before you all start on me, I know where I live and the ramifications of it.

Coops

RES
01-28-2005, 12:58 PM
I read that the victims group consisted of at least two women. Did they really go through life thinking that made them "rolling big" against a group of thugs?

I'm thinking more along the lines of grasseater logic:

"Gangs only attack individual victims."

"Travel in groups for safety."

"Why would they attack when we could all be 'good witnesses' and identify them?"

And so on. Grasseaters don't consider a threat unless it's a threat they've been advised of, and in this case, the threat goes against what they've been told.

GeorgeG
01-28-2005, 01:04 PM
Jan 28, 2005

"One of them said, 'Give me your money.' I didn't see he had a gun. I didn't understand what was happening," said Jeffrey Sparks, duFresne's 28-year-old fiance.

You're right, I was going by this (quote above). It is possible that she just said it as an expression without seeing the gun, but more likely she said it in disbelief of what the scum would do. Bad move.

Cold War Scout
01-28-2005, 01:32 PM
I had a good LEO friend mugged once outside Yankee Stadium by multiple knifes to throat. He had a S and W Chiefs model in an ankle holster. He had to give up his wallet until they turned to walk/run away, at which point he retrieved his gun and went and got his wallet back.

DaveJames
01-28-2005, 09:56 PM
"THINGS" can always be replaced. "LIFE" can not,

MDH
01-28-2005, 10:56 PM
I'm thinking more along the lines of grasseater logic:

"Travel in groups for safety."

Exactly! When my oldest 2 daugthers go bike riding down to the local country store I am always tense. My wife tries to comfort me by saying that they are using the buddy system I usually reply "Great. Which kid will we lose then?"

Groups are no protection unless the group is willing to defend each member. Coyotes aren't afraid of a group of sheep. The group increases each sheep's chance of survival by decreasing the odds that they won't be the one eaten that night.

The Searcher
01-28-2005, 11:01 PM
She was a playwright and actress. "What are you going to do, shoot us?" is the kind of smartass line that would be cute or witty in a play or movie. Life does not always imitate art.

I think the safety in numbers thing is part of it too. Frankly, I've never felt safety in numbers, unless those numbers are armed and on my side. Otherwise, it's just a target rich environment.

Geezer
01-29-2005, 03:30 AM
We don't know enough about the BGs. Gang members, or wannabe gang members? Other race than the vic?

We do know something about the vic. Minneapolis to Seattle to NYC, playright, writing plays about victims. Intellectual, possible elitist, (trendy restaurant), assumes that because she believes that she is not prejudiced, the BGs will recognize that and respect her, perhaps even engage in a rap session dissing Republican racists, etcetera. I think she was reaching out, to a mindset that never in her life could she ever imagine existed, because in elitist think, everyone is reasonable except right wingers.

FWIW, the classic victim of a bear attack is a grass eater elitist who believes that bears can sense that they mean the bears no harm, and thus they are in no danger. If I were a bear, and I sensed that someone wouldn't harm me, I'd eat him in a NY minute. I spend a lot of time in bear country, and I eat them every chance I get. I do believe that they sense that I mean them a bunch of harm, so they leave me alone.

God bless and y'all be mindful out there.

DaveJames
01-29-2005, 09:57 PM
Geez,, isn't that a long winded way of just saying,

" Cleaning the gene pool again" :p

InTheBlack
01-29-2005, 10:36 PM
The Learning Moment here is to spend some time thinking about what you can do if you are the only meat-eater in the group, and are faced by multiple BGs.

You need to position yourself to attack, while the sheep must be positioned so that they won't be grabbed. Not easy.

You might be able to covertly access a weapon if the BGs get focused elsewhere; but OTOH you have to verify that none of the BGs are watching you while you do it. Not easy.

At least one of the sheep is likely to allow himself to be in a bad position, because they won't recognize the signals that the BGs intend to get violent. So you might have to attack even though you know that one of the sheep will be grabbed as soon as you do. Not easy to live with the civil lawsuit brought by the sheep, claiming that _you_ instigated the violence.

Bottom line might be to not travel with sheep.

Lou Costello
02-01-2005, 09:02 AM
Update:

The shooter was caught. 19, BM, previous felony gun conviction, spent time in graybar hotel. Turned into NYPD by family members.

NYPD said 'he cried like a girl' when he was picked up.

The victim was white, female. The group she was with had been out drinking most of the night. Awareness was probably in Condition White (or Condition 'Blitzed'). No BAC released on vic. However, I would suspect that someone had their judgement impaired by alcohol.

NYPD recovered murder weapon in shooter's apartment, Taurus .357 magnum revolver, along with clothing shooter was wearing.

Shottist1911
02-01-2005, 10:41 AM
...Not easy to live with the civil lawsuit brought by the sheep, claiming that _you_ instigated the violence.

Bottom line might be to not travel with sheep.

Then...like in the bear story, you only need to be able to run faster than the other hunter.

If all the "victims" had split in different directions the BGs would have had to shoot at moving targets at varying and increasing ranges or split apart and give chase (allowing 1-on-1 encounters) or "choose" one victim to chase down.

That lets you draw on the run, get behind cover and pick them (the BGs) off. Better options....

SRN
02-01-2005, 02:25 PM
InTheBlack has a very good point - but I prefer the terms omnivore v. herbivore.

This is why I advise students never to let anyone they don't completely trust know they carry concealed. And after they let the trusted person know, have a talk with them about what is expected in case of a dangerous situation.

This story makes me remember that I did stupid things when I was 28 but had the luck (not skill) to survive them.

regards,
Steve

gdw042
02-01-2005, 08:03 PM
This story reminds me of a quote I read in a Robert Heinlein Book:

"It is useless for sheep to pass resolutions in favor of vegetarianism while wolves remain of a different opinion.

William Inge D.D. (1860-1954)

Note that it was long before the currently popular "Sheeple/Sheepdog."
GDW

Guantes
02-01-2005, 10:51 PM
These are tough to call, but if it appears (sit awareness albeit late) that money is all they want and you are coming from behind anyway I think a good question to ask ones self is would you give up $5k or whatever to keep the love of your life.

Another point, I think some people of stature don't believe anyone would dare do it to them. I know personally of one well to do businessman, accosted by two out of area BGs in a robbery who said, "Do you know who I am?". Bang! BG, "Yea you the mf I just shot now give me the money".

Geezer
02-01-2005, 11:14 PM
Here in Spokane, which has never had a reputation as fielding the most efficient or professional PD in the country, we have a veritable plague of gangsters immigrating from Watts, Compton, etcetera.

They bring a completely different mindset than the indigenous bad boys, and there have been a number of pretty bad incidents where locals reacted as they were accustomed to reacting, with poor to fatal results. Some very crude and inept street crimes are getting very common.

In response to this, Spokane has no gang unit, and has laid off a number of officers.

The same problem exists at Moscow/Pullman, as the universities recruiting ball players from those areas did not realize that they were also importing the ballplayers' acquaintences and relatives. Riots and one murder already since last year.

Because of the unwillingness (not wanting to appear racist) or inability of the police to handle these situations, we can expect to see more street solutions from long time locals who are quickly adapting to the new rules of the game.

The imports perhaps have never encountered S.S.S. (shoot, shovel & shut up) problem resolution techniques. Out in the country, seems like every third homestead has a backhoe.

Well, its fun to watch from my very safe front porch.

God bless and y'all be mindful out there.

Cold War Scout
02-02-2005, 10:42 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/01/nyregion/01shot.html

MTS
02-02-2005, 03:14 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/01/nyregion/01shot.html
Your registered at the New York Times web site?:confused:

I might have to bring this to Gabe's attention, you could bear watching.:p

Cold War Scout
02-03-2005, 05:27 AM
Know your enemy. Always know what they are up to.

MTS
02-03-2005, 06:26 AM
Know your enemy. Always know what they are up to.
That is true, I have bought a few issues of "HIGH TIMES" in the past, only for research of course.:)

thescribe
02-05-2005, 09:37 AM
I think that "giving up the money" doesn't really factor into this one.

Inferring from the survivor's account and the deceased's purported statement, the victims didn't see a weapon. Their knowledge of what was transpiring, then, was that the four of them (two couples) were being confronted by four or five adversaries.

If you read the various accounts that have since come out, they did see the weapon.

The boyfriend of the victim was pistol whipped before the victim was shot.

One of the shooter's cohort's describes the victim as shoving the guy holding a gun and saying, "What are you going to do, shoot us?"

Not a very smart move.

The entire party had been drinking and was likely to have been legally drunk or at least diminished.

They were leaving a bar at 3 am in a section of New York City known as the Lower East side. At one time this was a bad area. Obviously as evidenced by this shooting it is still far from safe.

The victim is also described as a rape survivor, having been raped in the parking lot of a bar back in her college days.

It seems that there was a lot of bad judegement exercized here, like going ot drinking late at night and shoving and antagonizing someone holding a gun on you who is demanding your money.

The saafest thing for the group to have done would have been to give the guy their money.

Even if you are armed I would think the thing to do is give the guy your money, if nothing else as a distraction to allow you to get to your weapon and use it, even if they say they only want your money.

To paraphrase what Tony Blauer says, what has this person who is holding a weapon on you done to make you think they are particularly trustworthy so you can take their word that they won't hurt you?

Bottom line would be do whatever you think would enable you to survive.

RES
02-05-2005, 09:51 AM
If you read the various accounts that have since come out, they did see the weapon.

The boyfriend of the victim was pistol whipped before the victim was shot.

One of the shooter's cohort's describes the victim as shoving the guy holding a gun and saying, "What are you going to do, shoot us?".

Reread the original post.


Witnesses told investigators that one of the men grabbed for the other woman's purse and duFresne intervened, asking, "What are you going to do, shoot us?" A man then fired one shot at her, police said.

"One of them said, 'Give me your money.' I didn't see he had a gun. I didn't understand what was happening," said Jeffrey Sparks, duFresne's 28-year-old fiance.

Apparently, judging by the article, she didn't see the weapon until she was shot, and then the boyfriend still didn't see the weapon until he was pistol-whipped with it.

We really don't know what all transpired, so we can only draw from the article.

the_scribe
02-05-2005, 12:07 PM
Many articles have appeared about this incident that make it clear that the woman and the others did indeed know that the perp had a gun.

In fact he pistolwhipped her boyfriend before he shot her. He could not have done so if his gun was not out.

The gun was also described as a Taurus 357 magnum, so even if it was a snubnose it was not some tiny gun that would go unnoticed.

Here is one account of the mugging with the posrtion that indicates that he had the gun out bolded and my comments in parenthesis.:

'She died in my arms'

BY KERRY BURKE
and ROBERT F. MOORE
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

Nicole duFresne, aspiring actress shot to death early yesterday on lower East Side by gun-toting robber.

A young actress died staring into the eyes of her fiancÚ after a gun-toting robber blasted her in the chest early yesterday in a trendy section of the lower East Side.

"I turned and saw her on her back on the sidewalk," Jeffrey Sparks said of his beloved 28-year-old girlfriend, Nicole duFresne.

"I took her in my arms and begged her to hold on," Sparks, 29, told the Daily News.

DuFresne was breathing, but she couldn't speak.

Then she let go.

"She died in my arms," Sparks said, his face still bloodied from being pistol-whipped by the teenage killer.

Hours before the early-morning holdup, the Minnesota-reared duFresne worked her first night at a new bar in the once-gritty, now-hip neighborhood.

DuFresne, who acted with the LAByrinth Theater Company in lower Manhattan, finished her shift as a waitress at the Rockwood Music Hall on Allen St. around 12:30 a.m.

She met up with her fiancÚ, who lived with her in Brooklyn, and went to Max Fish, a popular bar on Ludlow St.

They left the bar with another couple around 3 a.m. - and minutes later were surprised by at least two teens who jumped out of an alcove at Clinton and Rivington Sts., cops said.

One mugger pulled a handgun, demanded cash and snatched a purse from duFresne's friend.

(So he clearly pulled the handgun in the initial stages of the mugging)

Sparks said he didn't "totally take it seriously. I tried to push my way past him. At that point, he hit me in the face with the gun."

(Note-guy was pistolwhipped. This occurred before the woman was shot. This indicates that the gun had to be out)

Sparks remembers duFresne asking him if he was okay. Then he tried to walk away. "I thought she was right behind me," he said.

Police said they believe duFresne confronted the robbers. A shot rang out and she fell to the ground.

Sparks rushed back and cradled his beloved.

"She wasn't moving," said a witness who gave only his first name, Josh, 22. "The paramedics came and cut off her clothes and started CPR. Then they put her on a stretcher. That's the worst thing I've ever seen."

DuFresne was pronounced dead at Beth Israel Medical Center. Cops were searching for her killers last night.

Witnesses told cops the shooter was black, slim, about 5-feet-8, wearing a parka and a scarf.

A graduate of Boston's Emerson College, DuFresne moved to New York from Seattle about two years ago and lived in Greenpoint. In 2002, she was a founding member of the Present Tense Theatre Project, an ensemble in Brooklyn.

She has appeared in dozens of plays and was developing a cable TV pilot for the Food Channel.

"One little bullet and a kid with a gun," Sparks said. "I don't know what the rest of life is going to be like."

DuFresne's parents, the mother from Minnesota and the father from Florida, are expected to arrive in New York as early as today, Sparks said.

Tom duFresne, her broken-hearted father, could barely speak last night. "There are no words," he said."

another account that makes it clear that the gun was out and the victim was quite aware of its presence: http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/276755p-237036c.html

"Police believe the violence started when Fleming and a gang that included the 15-year-old and David Simmon tried to mug a 20-year-old off-duty security guard about 1:45 a.m. Thursday, about a block from the murder scene.

About 3:15 a.m., the gang spotted duFresne, her fiancÚ and two friends. DuFresne, who lived in Brooklyn with Sparks, had just started a new job at a lower East Side bar, and after her shift the quartet met up at Max Fish, a popular neighborhood nightspot.

One of the muggers taunted two teenage girls who were with them - saying they just robbed a guy and asking what the girls could do, sources said. The girls planned to show they were as tough as their friends by beating up duFresne and her friend, Mary Jane Gibson - but things got out of hand, sources said.

Fleming smashed Sparks in the face with his gun, then tried to grab a purse from Gibson, cops said. That's when duFresne asked: "What are you going to do, shoot us?"

Sparks said the shooter aimed first at Gibson, but the gun jammed, and he then opened fire on duFresne. Seconds later, she was lying on the street, a bullet in her chest.

She died in her fiancÚ's arms."

Cpt. Jim
02-07-2005, 04:41 PM
Sounds like, "The Goldfish (who thinks it's a shark) in the Shark pool syndrome".
"Clueless" people should avoid trying to use screen play tuff guy BS when out in reality. I guess she really believed the movie magic would work the same in the street.

Street Proverb:
The pen is mighter than the paper and that's all.

BladeMaster
02-07-2005, 06:59 PM
Stress does funny things to our judgement at the least opportune moment sometimes. I too feel that if she had not been sarcastic and oppositional to the BG,she possibly would have walked away poorer & shaken,but,alive. My Uncle(who was a very succesful D.D.S in N.Y.C.) was challanged by a guy with a gun who demanded money and also mistook him for another guy. He was probably all wacked out on drugs and could'nt see to recognize who he was talking to. Anyway, my Uncle said something like "why don't you get a job and leave decent people alone!" So the guy shot him once through the heart.
It's really sad to think that good people have to die because they are not aware of the power of their words.The lack of forethought in dicey situations and lack of some form of verbal judo plus tactical techniques is a potentially deadly combination.
"Speak softly, but, carry a big stick" still holds alot of wisdom.
Stay Safe!

Cold War Scout
02-08-2005, 05:29 AM
Street proverb: The meek shall not inherit a damn thing.