Stop…bang time!

During the last couple hours of class today, we covered a little bit about officer survival, via some videos and a little lecture regarding shootouts and other dangerous situations. I wish I could post every single one we cover, since it is all something we could learn from, but alas, I can’t.

However, I will go into a little bit about one we covered today.

A Deputy in Georgia was looking for someone who had a warrant out on them, a felon to be exact. Long rap sheet, numerous aliases, the works. Any who, the Deputy finds the felon and executes the felony warrant without back up, since this guy is wanted badly.

Deputy gets out of his car, and approaches the felon. The felon runs to the cab of his U-Haul truck, and grabs a Glock. Needless to say, a firefight ensues.

I know that is short and lacking detail, but this is what matters:

Felon:

  • Acted
  • Glock .45
  • Fired 6 rounds
  • Hit Deputy 5 times – Once in the right cheek, once in the upper right leg, 3 times center mass, in the A zone (or the ‘triangle’ for those who know what that is)
  • One shot missed, passed through the Deputy’s pants

Deputy:

  • Reacted
  • Glock .40
  • Fired 16 rounds
  • Hit felon 4 times – Once in the wrist, once through the upper torso sideways, once in the leg, once in the mouth
  • Mouth shot never penetrated felon’s skull, only knocked out felon’s teeth
  • Mainly fired pistol one-handed, other hand covered head wound
  • Inititally attempted to shoot felon through felon’s piece of a cover, U-haul truck door. Only 2 shots passed through the truck door, one hit felon in wrist, other  hit felon in the leg.
  • Survived due to Level IIa ballistic vest with trauma plate and will to survive

Those are the high points in a nutshell.

But yes, the felon was more accurate and better trained with his Glock than the Deputy was with his. Without the Kevlar vest, the felon would’ve easily won the fight. There were other safety issues with the stop (i.e. officer didn’t position his patrol vehicle to use for cover), however, simply put, the officer wasn’t proficient with his weapon, no argument about it.

The “fight deciding shot” was when the officer fired a round that penetrated the truck door, because it hit the suspect in the wrist and caused him to drop his pistol. The officer was able to continue to shoot him while the felon was fleeing. It is suspected that the felon’s missed shot was because of the officer’s wrist shot, however, we can’t say for sure.

But still, 3 .45 ACP hits in the A zone, from about 15 yards.

What can we learn from this?

  1. Train, train, train! – The felon obviously had some kind of practice with his weapon of choice. While yes, the Deputy was shooting one-handed, there is training out there for that, one-handed reloads, one-handed malf drills, etc.
  2. Mindset is key! – The Deputy never gave up. He knew he had been shot, but kept going on anyway. He was determined to get through it, which he did. However, after the Felon had dropped his weapon, he ran. He wasn’t looking to fight, he was too busy fleeing.
  3. Action versus Reaction! – Remember, it is always easier to act, than it is to react. Because the Deputy had to react to the felon’s actions, he lost the initiative, and was shot in the face in the process. Thankfully, the Deputy’s reaction was right on the money, and turned the reaction into action, regaining the initiative (shooting felon in the wrist) and ending the fight.
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One Response to “Stop…bang time!”

  1. […] Important lessons from a gunfight Posted June 25, 2010 Filed under: Guns, self defense | Tags: Guns, self defense | Jay discusses a gunfight they reviewed in police academy class. […]

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