Guns

Barbara Sheehan Trial: Shot Abusive Husband 11 Times

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

A New York City woman, who shot her police officer husband, testified on her own behalf, claiming decades of abuse led her to kill him.

Barbara Sheehan admits that in February 2008 she shot and killed her husband Raymond as he was shaving in the bathroom. However, Sheehan claims her husband also had a gun and was going to use it on her.

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"I knew he was positively going to kill me," Sheehan testified on Monday, according to ABC News. "He would always chase me and catch me. So I knew he would catch me. So I shot the gun. I don't know how many times I shot. I just fired. I stopped firing when I didn't feel threatened anymore. I grabbed the guns, closed the door and ran downstairs."

Sheehan said the couple had a fight that morning. She ran to a neighbor's house but returned later. Knowing full well that Raymond Sheehan always had a gun on him, Sheehan grabbed another gun, "thinking maybe he wouldn't shoot me if I had the gun."

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She confronted him in the bathroom, where she testified that Raymond Sheehan pulled his gun and "he said he was going to kill me."

That's when Sheehan used her weapon.

"So I shot the gun I had in my hand. He had the big gun, I had the little gun. I don't know how many times I shot it. I couldn't aim it. I just shot. I never shot a gun before," she testified.

Raymond Sheehan was still alive. He reached for his gun, but Sheehan got there first and emptied it into her stricken husband. In all, she shot him 11 times.

"I didn't intend to kill him. I just wanted him to stop and not kill me," she claimed.

Sheehan said her husband had abused her for more than 20 years. She said she never went to the police because he was a cop himself and she feared no one would help her.

Prosecutors painted a very different picture of Raymond Sheehan, calling him a devoted husband, father and police officer.