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The officer won this deadly force encounter with an armed suspect with only FRACTIONS of a second to spare. This is how fast gunfights go down!
Multiple news stories on this deadly force encounter and the armed suspect, including details that he was out on bail for drug and gun offenses (having been released the day before) and was a suspect in a murder investigation:
What does this officer involved deadly force encounter teach us about defending ourselves from an attack?
- Evil exists in our world, and no amount of wishing it away does so. Evil people do evil things, and good people must be ready and willing to stand between them and innocent people and do enough violence to stop them definitively. No amount of negotiation will make truly evil people change their ways; only those willing and able to stop them who use attitude, skills, and plan effectively can. This suspect had EVERY chance, and he chose to do evil. Pointing a gun at a police officer is a great way to die, simple as that.
- The eyes may be the windows to the soul, but the hands are the windows to the intent of a person. If you’re in a potential conflict, ALWAYS pay attention to what the aggressor is doing with their hands. They might have a force multiplier in their hand, or they might be hiding their hand so that you can’t see what is in it or using their hand to conceal something. If their hands are empty, there is a difference between someone with fists and someone whose hands are open and relaxed. As a self-defender your situational awareness must include seeing the hands of any potential threat in your vicinity, so watch the hands! Officer Kinland saw the gun in Deal’s hand, and because of that was able to act.
- The “fleeing felon rule” generally applies to Law Enforcement Officers in the performance of their duties, and since 1985’s Tennessee vs. Garner decision the ability to use deadly force to apprehend a fleeing felon by LEO has been limited to cases where the officer has probable cause to believe that the fleeing felon is a continuing threat of serious physical harm to the officer or the public. However, how that law applies to non-LEO varies state by state. Make sure to know your local laws so that you know the limitations of shooting a fleeing felon, especially if you’re not a police officer. This deadly force encounter isn’t really about shooting a fleeing felon because Deal turned and raised his gun at Officer Kinland, but the point is still worth reminding us all about.
- Marksmanship matters! The old saying is quite true: you can’t miss fast enough to win a gunfight. As a self-defender you need to practice and train to put your first shot on target as fast as you can, but the key is to put as many shots on target as possible. Usually the first person to put shots on target wins the gunfight. (not always, but usually) So putting the first shot on target every time and quickly is imperative.
- The rules of firearm safety apply in a gunfight, just like they do on the range or in your home. Whether you prefer to articulate them as Colonel Cooper’s four rules or the NRA’s three rules (I have a discussion of my preference here: https://get-asp.com/cfgf if you want to read it), you must have the presence of mind to keep your firearm pointed in the appropriate direction and only fire when you will not hit an innocent. You are morally and legally responsible for the rounds that leave your gun, so make sure to train and practice so that you take responsible shots in the moment of need.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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