This officer involved shooting in Costa Rica goes down in a hurry, but also contains some significant lessons for all of us, LEO and CCW alike. Could you have prevailed in this instance?
Original video: http://get-asp.com/tc7e
News story (Google Translate required): http://get-asp.com/c2xh
What does an officer involved shooting teach all of us about self-defense?
1. 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. Thankfully, the armed robber’s first shot missed and the officer’s didn’t.
2. In a gunfight, 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. In this instance we can see from the officer that the second the shooting started, he started running. You need to train to move while you shoot so that in the real thing you do so smartly.
3. Transitional spaces are places where we MUST be more careful of potential attack. 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. I am guessing that this cop wasn’t looking to be involved in an officer involved shooting that day, but as he came through the door of the establishment he walked right into one! When you’re approaching a transitional space, be aware of what is going on inside and outside so that you’re ready for what might come.
4. The human body is designed to take a ridiculous amount of punishment and still function. You can shoot someone multiple times and they can still pose a deadly threat! Even mortally wounded people can continue to pose a threat for several seconds to even minutes after being shot, so don’t think for a moment that shooting someone will necessarily immediately incapacitate them. That is Hollywood myth. In this instance the mortally wounded attacker was still able to chase the officer down for perhaps 5 or 6 seconds after being shot. Lesson: shoot until the threat stops!
5. Capacity matters. My rule of thumb is that I want a minimum of 5 rounds for each bad guy I might face, which accounts for 2 misses and 3 shots on target for each. (of course, you never want to miss…I am just accommodating me on my worst day) This officer involved shooting shows this principle as well, in that the officer took 8 shots just at this one suspect. If he was shooting a 1911, he was out. If he was shooting a neutered 10 round pistol, he had 3 left (considering he loaded a full mag plus one in the chamber). The lesson: carry the highest capacity firearm you can reasonably conceal, and keep a spare magazine with you if at all possible.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
(music in the intro and outro courtesy of www.bensound.com)