10th Oct 04
Put the gun down son!
There are not many people who have shot their own fathers, but Penguin is one of them. This week Penguin, in his peculiar high-pitched voice, talked about the incident.
Penguin’s dad, Bill, had severely beaten Penguin’s mum, Jen. This abuse had been going on for as long as Penguin could remember. One night in 1988, when Penguin was just fourteen, Bill assaulted both Jen and Penguin, almost beating Penguin to death. His entire body from the groin upwards was black and blue. His chin was pulverised so badly that he required reconstructive surgery for his lower face. He still has a two-inch scar where his lip was split open.
After Bill had used Penguin as a punching bag for thirty minutes, Jen, who was somewhat recovered from her beating, intervened. Penguin managed to raise himself up from the pool of blood that he lay in, and made his way to his bedroom. He loaded nine rounds into the ten-round clip of his Ruger rifle, and returned to the living room.
“Don’t you ever threaten me again!” he yelled at Bill.
“Put the gun down son!” Bill said, approaching Penguin menacingly.
With no time to deliberate, Penguin pulled the trigger one time. The bullet entered Bill’s left armpit, tore through his chest muscle, collapsed his lung, passed by his heart and just missed his spinal column, before exiting through his back. The bullet then hit a metal post and shattered. Bill survived.
Penguin was arrested and charged with third-degree aggravated assault, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace, He was housed in the juvenile detention facility at Durango jail. Neither dad nor mum nor son pressed charges. Jen’s fingers were paralysed for the next thirteen months, caused by blocking so many of Bill’s blows. Penguin was released after spending six-and-a-half days in jail. After 30 days the State concluded that he had acted in self-defence and the charges were dropped. Bill never attacked his son again. He died last year aged 61.