Officer Involved Shooting in Las Vegas Caught On Body Camera

(NSFW language) Even if your verbal judo is up to par, as part of your Active Self Protection you still need to have a variety of skills and a plan to change your approach in a heartbeat if the encounter goes from verbal to physical to deadly. This officer involved shooting highlights the chaotic nature of a gunfight for sure! How would you have responded in Officer Luna’s shoes?

Original video and news story on the incident: http://get-asp.com/j1ig

What can an officer involved shooting teach LEO and CCW alike?

1. Unpredictable people are just that: unpredictable. Officer Luna stopped this guy for a bad tail light, and stepped into the middle of a huge problem that he had no control over. This guy had a history with the law, firearms, and mental instability. He had no idea when he pulled the guy over that this was going down. For all of us, the lesson is clear: be ready for what you think is a routine part of life to turn into a deadly force encounter without a lot of warning. Of all of the officer involved shootings we see, very few of them come with any appreciable warning. If you’re CCW and not LEO, this could just as easily be your uncle or neighbor or some guy in your aisle at the grocery store.

2. You must know the appropriate response to the situation you face. Officer Luna did the best he could to de-escalate and use verbal skills (and good verbal judo) to try to control the encounter. When it came time to use empty-handed skills, he didn’t hesitate and went to work. When the threat escalated, he disengaged and got to a place to defend himself with deadly force. (it wasn’t needed; the news story says another officer shot the aggressor) And then when he had a partner down, he was able to regain his composure and start emergency medical care (did you hear him say “apply pressure”?).

3. Officer Luna’s body camera was glasses-mounted, and we can see that the glasses came off in the struggle. If you wear prescription glasses, be ready for them to be knocked off in a deadly force encounter! Train with them on and off, so that you’re ready for what might come in either case. If you wear prescription lenses, can you still see your front sight with them off? Can you put shots on target accurately? These are important questions to ask.

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

Off Duty Officer Shoots Armed Robber

If you’re a concealed carrier, you really need the attitude, skills, and plan exhibited by this off duty Brazilian officer! This is Active Self Protection at its very best.

Original video with some information: http://get-asp.com/wiy7

How do I protect myself against an armed robber?

1. Realize that the robbery starts from an ambush and you will be at an initiative deficit. The officer did a fantastic job of waiting for his opportunity and staying aware of where the armed robbers were so that he could tell when he had a moment to get in the fight, and patiently waited his turn. If you’re outdrawn and outmaneuvered, wait if possible for your opportunity.

2. If you watch the longest version of this video, the officer has excellent situational awareness even before the armed robbery starts. He is looking outside the store, looking around occasionally, and is very aware of what is happening. That kind of awareness gives advanced notice of problems and is good to practice!

3. The entrance of the pharmacy is definitely a transitional space, so be careful at registers and entrances because they are more likely places for problems. A transitional space is any location that (1) allows attackers to prey on potential victims with an element of surprise and (2) provides ready escape for the attackers. This definitely qualifies!

4. The officer had to chamber his firearm, and it’s not uncommon in Brazil for off-duty cops to carry without a round in the chamber. In this case it worked out for him, but if you’re paying close attention the sound of the gun chambering drew the attention of the gunman and made it a closer contest than it needed to be. I strongly suggest you carry with a round in the chamber to give yourself every advantage possible in the moment of need.

5. Marksmanship matters! The officer put his first shots on target, and that accuracy won the day. You can’t miss fast enough to win a gunfight, so in your training work on those first shots from the holster being on target quickly. In your dry fire and airsoft and force on force training, work on a smooth, fast draw that quickly finds the front sight and puts shots on target. It was the difference between life and death here.

6. Multiple attackers are the norm in most armed robberies. In this case there was a gunman and a grab man, and that pattern is fairly common. (the grab man might well be armed as well…I see that regularly) The officer rightly concluded that the gunman was the biggest threat to him rather than the grab man, even though the grab man was closer, and because of his decision he shot the gunman. That was wise thinking. Deal with the biggest threat first, realizing that the biggest threat might not be the closest threat.

7. The officer did a fantastic job of continuing to be aware of his surroundings, even after he had to use his firearm. He dealt with the immediate threat and then made sure that any additional threats were dealt with as well. Tunnel vision can often lead to being ambushed a second time by an accomplice, but this officer did wonderfully at staying aware of the world around him. Train this in your training by breathing and verbalizing when you have to shoot, and rather than doing a robotic scan and assess, actually look around for threats that might emerge.

8. Shoot until the threat stops. The officer did a phenomenal job of stopping the threat, and also did a fantastic job of stopping when the correct amount of force was applied to the situation to end the threat. The officer had an additional potential threat come his way but dealt with it appropriately as well. Stop the threat!

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

“Unarmed” Man Becomes A Deadly Threat In An Instant

Do you know what your boundaries are in regards to when you would draw your firearm? When you’d use it? Practicing Active Self Protection means knowing when an encounter escalates from verbal to physical to deadly threat, and this showcases the truth of that!

Original video: http://get-asp.com/gsj8

News story with more details on the incident: http://get-asp.com/vrzr

How do I protect myself from an escalating deadly threat?

1. We must first recognize the changing nature of a confrontation. This applies well past LEO, to CCW holders as well. This situation started as a call about a man attacking a woman in the area, and this officer started very calm and verbal. The man quickly escalated it by retrieving an improvised weapon and attacking the officer with it. We must all know our boundaries regarding when we are willing to use deadly force to protect ourselves, and when a verbal altercation changes into a physical or even a deadly threat.

2. Movement in a gunfight is not just good; it is critical. You must be able to hit a target while it is moving and/or while you are moving. We almost NEVER see a gunfight where a person faces a deadly threat while standing still in a perfect isosceles stance and draws and fires. Far more often you will be in a compromised stance, moving. So learn to move! Move laterally, diagonally, and vertically. You must be able to move and shoot accurately, so hone that skill.

3. Spatial awareness is important. Knowing our environment (everything in us, on us, and around us) means knowing the best places to go if we have to move in a hurry. Officer Blanford did what he had to in the moment and I am not criticizing his action, so don’t hear me doing so. When he moved to his left, though, he got caught in a corner where he really had few movement options. After the suspect moved away, he did a great job getting behind the car (or where he could use it to maintain distance). If you can, know where your safety lies and try not to put yourself in a corner.

4. We train and practice to shoot until the threat stops. Officer Blanford executed an excellent double tap in this instance that was effective in getting the suspect to change course and stop his attack, and once the threat ended, Officer Blanford stopped shooting. We do not shoot to kill but to stop the threat. Once the deadly threat has been stopped, we stop shooting and re-assess our needs for follow-up actions.

5. An attacker can be a deadly threat from a long way away. You might feel safe when someone is 10 or 15 feet away, but they can close that distance remarkably fast. Officer Blanford had his firearm out and on target when the suspect charged him, and still he was able to close that 15 or so feet and pose a deadly threat before the officer could shoot. Don’t think that distance creates safety automatically!

6. Respect the LEO in your life and your town, because they’re making $18 an hour (that’s under $40,000 a year before overtime, friends) to deal with stuff like this.

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

Off Duty Officer Stops Carjackers

Do you practice shooting at 7 yards and beyond? You might well need that skill to protect yourself or someone else! This officer in Mexico City practiced great Active Self Protection to keep these carjackers from hurting someone else.

Original video: http://get-asp.com/0dqj

What do we learn about carjackers here?

1. We learn that there will be times that you can’t just drive away from them! This might be better termed an armed robbery than a carjacking, but there was nowhere for this person to run to. The cars all around prevented escape in the car. Carjackers pick people who are victims that they can corner, so sometimes you have to be able to simply fight where you are and stand your ground.

2. Carjackers travel in packs! Two or three opponents are not uncommon, so make sure that your defensive plan includes multiple attackers. Your training should regularly include multiple attackers and how to successfully defend yourself against them.

3. Marksmanship matters. This officer had a shot of 7-10 yards or so, with a terrible backstop. He had to put the shot on target to be able to stop these guys and not endanger others. Do you practice shooting at 7 yards? I hope you do, and hope you do it until you can get reliable hits.

4. Notice that the officer didn’t get tunnel vision on the one carjacker that he shot. He maintained awareness of the others who ran off, which is excellent! Keeping aware of what is going on keeps you from getting ambushed as you recover from the fight.

5. Notice as well that the officer shot to stop the threat, and that was enough. It was a psychological stop and perhaps a neuromuscular incapacitation of his legs, but he didn’t keep shooting once the threat stopped. That said, he went and got the gun in the guy’s waistband so that the threat couldn’t re-emerge, and that was excellent as well!

6. Even with multiple attackers, when shots are fired many times the gang will scatter. You won’t often have to fight 4 or 5 carjackers or other attackers, because once they realize that the force equation has tipped against them, they run for safety. They’re looking for victims, not fights, so when they encounter a fight they find alternate things to do with their day.

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

Fatal Officer Involved Shooting Caught on Bodycam

Would you have been able to protect yourself in this situation? Be honest! Deadly force encounters don’t announce themselves, and the ability to transition from talking to shooting is a critical component of Active Self Protection. Sgt Green and Officer Griffin both did a fine job here, and their decisive action teaches us all some important lessons.

News story with more details on the incident: http://get-asp.com/vz3x

 

Original video of Sgt Green’s body cam: http://get-asp.com/nrid

 

Original video of Officer Griffin’s body cam: http://get-asp.com/jidz

 

Interview with the suspect’s brother, which is surprising: http://get-asp.com/8gkm

 

What lessons can we learn from this officer involved shooting?

 

  1. In the moment, it is not possible to tell the difference between a real firearm and a replica. This reminds us that the media hype surrounding someone having a fake gun and being shot is hype and not reality. In the heat of the moment it is perfectly sane and reasonable to treat that gun as real and defend yourself against the person wielding it such that they cannot hurt you with it.

 

  1. Both sighted fire and point shooting are necessary skills for self-defenders. The first shot that Sgt Green fired was point shooting. Knowing instinctively how to get the firearm tracking where you want to shoot and being able to get a shot on target as fast as humanly possible is a critical skill in a gunfight.

 

  1. Shooting fast is great; shooting fast with accuracy is critical. Sgt Green took nine shots, and he was shooting about .25 splits (I counted in my editing software). That’s about what we see, again and again, in deadly force encounters. That makes training to the standard of being able to put shots in a man-sized target at 5 yards in that kind of split territory an important performance benchmark to train towards!

 

  1. I like that Sgt Green knew when to move from hands-on to his firearm. He tried to take the suspect down but he was too big and moved away, and as soon as he realized that he wasn’t going to be able to control him, Sgt. Green created distance, drew his firearm, and started putting shots on target. That was significant! He didn’t hesitate one bit.

 

  1. The strobe on the pistol-mounted light was annoying, but having a light to see what was going on was very helpful. It’s dark a lot of places a lot of the time, so if possible I really recommend having a light mounted on your pistol. (I keep this one on mine: https://get-asp.com/NightStand) Notice that in the point-shooting maelstrom of the fight that the laser on Sgt Green’s gun didn’t really come into play at all. A laser might be helpful in other situations, but it isn’t really helpful in the instant stress of a draw and shoot gunfight.

 

  1. Officer Griffin did a great job communicating with her partner. If you are not LEO, you might still have a partner in your spouse or best friend who you’re out with. She didn’t just scream, she alerted her partner to the danger and being able to verbalize is important!

 

  1. Capacity matters, everyone! Sgt. Green shot nine times before the threat ended. Nine. If he was carrying a 1911 or a single stack, he would have needed a reload. So do you carry one? I hope so! (and of course, I know that he wouldn’t carry a low capacity firearm on duty, but I just saw a local officer carrying a 1911 on duty last week, so it’s pertinent to LEO, and I know LOTS of CCW who carry fewer than 9 in the gun they carry every day)

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.