This officer involved shooting reminds us of some important Active Self Protection principles when it comes to distance and threat. How much movement training have you done to be ready for times like this?
Original video of the officer involved shooting: https://get-asp.com/7r4j (WARNING: this site is very, very NSFW and filled with adult content…strongest warning possible…I get videos from it when I can’t find it anywhere else but do NOT endorse anything about it)
News story of the officer involved shooting and the DA findings: https://get-asp.com/dhgh
Multiple additional angles of dash cameras: https://get-asp.com/8p2k
What does this officer involved shooting teach us about defending ourselves with a firearm?
- Sometimes the danger that you must protect yourself and your family from isn’t evil, but is rather deranged. People who aren’t in their right faculties can be a real danger to your family, even if they are not inherently evil. You need the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from evil AND from non-evil threats that pop up! If you go read the news story in this officer involved shooting, the knife-wielding attacker actually called 911 to get officers to respond to threaten them into shooting him. Nevertheless, he presented a real threat!
- Having a light mounted on your pistol is not for everyone, but for those who can make it work it does give you another tool in the toolbox. I carry the TLR-1 HL on my pistol and it works wonderfully. It does not replace a handheld light for general lighting needs, but for illuminating a known threat it is very helpful. The key, as always, is to train with it regularly and seriously. This officer involved shooting shows how to do it correctly for sure!
- Using a pistol-mounted light effectively takes training. Don’t think for a minute that you can just put it on your gun and use it effectively without learning how! With a light on your pistol, the rules of firearm safety are the same as they were before it had a light; therefore, using it as a search tool is extremely limited unless your light has excellent spill. Likewise, you MUST get training on how to use the light effectively, in short bursts, with movement, and effective follow-up shots. Taking a low light pistol course is really critical for anyone who keeps a light on their pistol.
- Part of your training must be knowing when to use verbal commands, and when to abandon verbal commands and move to physical or deadly force. Many times self-defenders (and LEO) get caught in a loop of issuing the same command repeatedly to no effect. Using verbal commands is an important part of your force options training, and part of that training in verbal commands is knowing when to talk and when to stop talking and act. This officer involved shooting really shows the officers knowing when to talk, and when it was time to stop talking and stop the threat they faced.
- The Tueller Drill is a widely known standard for gun carriers against a knife attack, which states that an attacker can cover 21 feet in 1.5 seconds to get to their target. If the gun carrier doesn’t have their gun out and ready, they will get stabbed trying to get their gun in a fight. This has led to the “21 foot rule”, though it has been revisited by Sgt. Tueller and found to be more of a guide and principle than a rule. At any rate, in a knife attack, recognize that a knife-wielding attacker can be a deadly threat from a significant range, and recognize that they can close that distance very quickly. Get your firearm out and on target as soon as you recognize a threat! This officer involved shooting shows how far a determined attacker can move, even when the defender has a firearm out and on target!
- In a gunfight such as this officer involved shooting, movement is your friend. You must be ready not only to draw and fire, but to draw and fire while moving laterally, back, and diagonally. You simply will not stand still in a gunfight because it is against every instinct you have when in mortal danger! People who focus too much on stance or isosceles vs. Weaver forget this fact, but as self-defenders we must know that we will be moving. So practice and train movement on the draw and fire. This is a great reason to have airsoft trainers and practice draw and move in your dry-fire regimen as well.
- It takes great training to do successfully, but it’s worth noting that moving backwards should be our least preferred method of gaining distance in a gunfight. When you’re moving backward with a threat in front of you it is very easy to hit an obstacle and lose your footing, which allows the threat to close the distance while you’re off balance. If possible, move diagonally or laterally to get “off the line” of attack and still engage the threat with your firearm. The officer in this shooting did a fine job of moving laterally.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.