Bystanders do goofy stuff in deadly force encounters, and this video from Love Field in Dallas shows that well. Don’t stand around like these people did during an officer involved shooting (or any other shooting!); practice Active Self Protection instead!
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Original video with some detail on the officer involved shooting is available in our Instructor Development Portal.
News story on the officer involved shooting with significant details: https://get-asp.com/rxqw
What does this officer involved shooting teach us about defending ourselves against a threat?
- Sometimes the danger that you must protect yourself and your family from isn’t evil, but is rather deranged or emotional. 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! The threat to these bystanders
- 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. This officer involved shooting is a great lesson in body language and cues!
- 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 clearly shows the time to stop talking and start defending!
- 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 officer involved shooting it took NINE shots to stop the threat. Think about that for a minute.
- Do not stay in the danger zone if you can possibly help it. So many times people get decision paralysis and freeze (these bystanders certainly did), but you cannot stay in a place where a deadly threat exists! Either act to leave the area, or act to protect yourself. Every second you give an attacker is another opportunity they have to do you and yours harm, so don’t allow that. If you can, get out of there immediately. If you can’t, then look for your opportunity to ensure your own safety by whatever means necessary. Before your Kung Fu, and before your Gun Fu, you should consider whether your best defense is Run Fu!
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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