Ready for launch once we get a solid title
Possible Titles: Open Fire He Has A Wallet, Hes Got A Wallet, Armed With A Hair Dryer / Armed With A Wallet
"I shot a kid. He was 13 years old. It was dark. I couldn't see him. He had a ray gun, looked real enough..."
Whenever a character is shot down because their attackers thought
they had a weapon or where making a hostile movement. Most of the time the victim is held up at gunpoint, and decides it's a good idea to reach for something
Occasionally the Idiot Ball
is held by the victim or the attackers.
See also Suicide by Cop
. Sometimes involves He's Got a Weapon!
and Poor Communication Kills
This is a Death Trope
, but I'll put spoiler tags up for the YKTTW
- Played for laughs in Almost Heroes. "Hold your fire! It's only a ''squirrel!" "Oh." *beat* "He's got something in his hand! Ah!" *shooting ensues*
- In An Innocent Man, this sparks the events of the plot when two police officers shoot a man holding a hair dryer. He lives, and fights for his innocence after being framed by said police officers.
- The Day the Earth Stood Still starts off with Klaatu pulling out a strange device (his gift to the president) and getting shot by military personnel.
- Die Hard. From the above quote.
- In Casino, Bernie Blue is shot by a cop who thought his sandwich was a gun.
- In Crash, Hansen, while off duty, shoots Peter when he reaches for his statuette.
- Falling Down has a classic example, where D-Fens pulls a water gun on Prendergast, intentionally getting himself killed.
- In Gran Torino Walt pulls out a lighter acting as if its a gun, intentionally scaring the gang to shoot him dead.
- Both subverted and played straight in The Commish. Commissioner Scally and his Chief of Detectives are going undercover to gather evidence against a pornographer. At one point the pornographer reaches under his coat, the detective draws his gun shouting "Don't move!" only for it to be a cigar case. At the end of the episode they've no evidence against the pornographer, even though he indirectly caused the death of their friend's daughter. The pornographer is smirking at this, and reaches for a cigar to celebrate whereupon the detective shouts "Don't move!" and shoots him. Although the only other witness (a police officer who entered the room at that moment) backs up his statement that the criminal appeared to be reaching for a gun, Scally knows the truth and insists that the detective leave his department.
- Subverted in Criminal Minds, where the killer reaches for his pocket, which turns out to contain only his phone. However, it's pretty clear that this was an intentional Suicide by Cop.
- Lie to Me: In the episode "Undercover", Lightman is called in to determine whether a black teenager shot by cops actually was armed or whether it was a case of this.
- Done in an early episode of The Shield: The Strike Team raids a gangbanger's house, and the banger in question flees out the back door. When the detectives pursue him, he turns around and points what looks like a gun in their direction, prompting Lem to shoot him (he survives). On closer examination, they see he wasn't carrying a gun, but a carton of untaxed cigarettes. Not wanting to face another Internal Affairs investigation, Vic plants a gun in the guy's hand. This is not the last screwup that they scramble to recover from in this episode.
- X-Files had a Master of Illusion that committed Suicide by Cop by making Krychek think the guy had a gun. It turned out that he was actually holding a bible. What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic??
- Played for Laughs in The Boondocks, when Uncle Ruckus is shot repeatedly by police for holding an orange safety-wallet. The city offers him 14 million dollars in compensation but he refuses to accept it, and instead accepts full blame, simply demanding to be hired as a police officer so that he can do the same thing to other black men.
- In Transmetropolitan, soldiers opened fire on an unarmed mob of student protesters when one demonstrator went for his portable maker.
- The "War Games" arc of the Batman comic continuity started when, at a meeting between Gotham mob bosses, one reached inside his jacket for a lighter.
- In Alpha Protocol, a ice cream shop owner reaches for something in an intense situation, where the player has the option to shoot him. He pulls out an amazing looking three scoop ice cream cone for free.
- Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood: In the final scene William gets in between Ray and Thomas' fight. He pretends to pull a gun intentionally getting shot and killed by Ray. He actually pulled the bible.
- Twice in Heavy Rain
- When Norman Jayden has the choice to shoot Nathaniel. He reaches around like he's about to stab Carter, but reveals a crucifix instead.
- In one ending, Ethan is held up by the police. He simply turns around while holding his arm, and they shoot him...about ten times. You figured after the first they would've noticed he didn't have a weapon...
- Subverted in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves , when Nate reaches for something while being held up, everyone points their guns at him. He just pulls out a container and shakes it at them.
- Ragtime: Sarah dies by running up to a vice-presidential candidate with a furtively concealed baby.
- In 1999, a guy named Amadou Diallo was gunned down by four NYPD plainclothes cops who thought he was going for a gun (it was actually a wallet) and shot him forty-one times. Not surprisingly, this touched off a huge controversy about the motivations of the cops involved, and whether or not police brutality, racial profiling and/or "contagious shooting" were a factor in what happened. All four officers involved were acquitted.
- This just happened in Las Vegas. Erik Sott, a former Green Beret/West Point graduate was shopping at a Costco when an employee saw he had a gun. Scott told the employee he had a concealed carry permit (which he did) but the employee called 911 to report "a gunman" was in the store. The man made his purchase and left to face three policemen with their weapons drawn. Witnesses say the policemen all shouted at him at the same time, one telling him to lie down while another one told him to "drop your weapon." He lifted his shirt to show the still holstered pistol and was killed "making a furtive movement." The policemen all testified that he was "waving his gun around."