This officer-involved shooting teaches all of us some significant lessons about using cover and concealment, as well as stopping the threat! The officer had enough Active Self Protection to win the day, and kudos to him!
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News story with more details on the officer and the perp: https://get-asp.com/mmh0
What does this video teach LE and CCW alike about the realities of a gunfight?
- 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! The officer can clearly hear this man calling out to people and sounding drunk (click through to the news story to watch the original video…it’s about 13 minutes long).
- 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. The officer did a fine job here of knowing when to talk and when to shoot.
- In your follow-up, if you have to stay in the vicinity of a downed attacker, don’t leave their tool near them if you possibly can help it. Always think of your safety first, and getting as far away as possible is always preferred for CCW, but if you have to stay in the vicinity for whatever reason, get the force multiplier away from the attacker you just stopped if you can. If you had to shoot them, the shock might wear off after a time, and if they’ve lost blood they can recover consciousness while on the ground and continue to present a threat. So if you can’t get significant distance and get out of contact to the threat, get the tool away. The officer has to close the distance and take the suspect into custody, so that was his first priority when he had to close.
- In the moment of need, the old saying goes that you will not rise to the occasion but fall to the level of your training. Usually, you’ll fall to the level of your WORST DAY in training. That means you want to train hard, train regularly, and make no excuses (to paraphrase one of my martial arts mentors, Skip Hancock) so that your worst day is good enough for the fight you’re in. The officer here fell back to his training and that training made sure that the threat ended quickly!
- It is very, very common to “crowd” cover and concealment and get as close to it as possible, but this isn’t the best way. Use cover wisely by staying as far back from it as you reasonably can! Maintaining distance from cover gives the advantages of better vision, better mobility, better angles of sight, and less chance of being hit with ricochet or spall from incoming fire. Don’t crowd cover! The officer did a fine job of ending the fight, but he DID crowd his cover and that’s a lesson I think we all can learn from this video. He had space to work from further back in this scenario, and I would recommend we all do!
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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