There are lots of lessons that this officer teaches us about our Active Self Protection, but sometimes, luck is what gets you through the day! I am certainly glad that the perp here had a malfunction in his firearm.
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Original video with details from this officer involved shooting is available in our Instructor Development Portal.
News story on the officer-involved shooting: https://get-asp.com/0nf8
What does this car owner teach us about protecting ourselves from carjackers?
- 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 tried to use verbal commands, but knew when to act!
- In a deadly force encounter, decisions of life and death will be made in the blink of an eye. On the range and in class we have time to consider and to think and to reset and to make multiple attempts, but when the balloon goes up in real life you’ve got fractions of seconds to decide what the best course of action is to protect yourself. The way to be better at decision making in the heat of the moment is training, specifically scenario training and force-on-force training that is designed to work on decision-making skills under stress. It’s offered all over the country, so get training!
- Firearms are machines, and machines malfunction. Your firearm could potentially malfunction in a gunfight for a number of reasons, among them a bad magazine, a bad cartridge, a fouled slide, or user error. With the stress that comes with a gunfight, an important skill to master is what is known as the “tap-rack-reassess” malfunction clearance. This is a critical skill to master, and takes instruction and practice. Thankfully the attacker here didn’t do a good job of that, and the officer was first to get shots on target.
- In most instances that we see on surveillance video, the first person to put shots on target wins the gunfight. That’s not 100% because injured people can stay in the fight a long time, but it is a good “rule of thumb” because once someone gets shot they usually stop thinking about whatever it is they were doing and start thinking about the pain they’re in and how not to get shot again. The lesson in that is clear: be the first to put shots on target. (this is the corollary to Joe Frick’s Rules for a Gunfight #3, “Only hits count. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.”)
- 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.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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