…the day I was killed.

Another scenario from the Cedar Park patrol practical we did a couple of weeks back.

The scenario was this. Domestic Disturbance in an upstairs apartment. Mr B takes the lead, and I follow. We make it up the stairs, and hear screaming from the bedroom. Mr B makes entry into the room, and I follow. Mr. B makes contact, and starts talking with the screaming woman. Her husband is nowhere to be found. Mr B turns and clears the rest of the bedroom while I cover her. I take up position just outside the door of the master bathroom that is located inside the bedroom, since it is pitch black and uncleared. I see a butcher knife in her hand, and start telling her to drop the knife. She says ‘Fuck no!’

I see Mr B is done with clearing one of the closets, and turns back around. I take cover off of her, and start to flash the inside of the bathroom to see what I can see. I see a pair of legs hiding in a corner. I wanted to yell ‘One in the bathroom’, but was unable to get anything out but ‘oopf’. I got pushed up against the wall. I took a step back, when one of the instructors tapped me on the left shoulder and said, ‘Your down, your out!’

I collapse backwards and land on the floor. To make matters worse, my facemask had come up a little bit, and was looking out of the nose holes instead of the lenses. My Maglite in my left hand rolled out of my hand when I hit the ground, and the Sim Glock in my right hand bounced out when I hit the ground. So I laid there and closed my eyes.

I heard a woman yelp in pain, then fall and hit the ground. I heard a man come running out of the bathroom, yelling ‘why the fuck did you shoot my wife?!?!’ Then I heard several fairly quiet pops intermixed with several loud pops. Then I heard something hit the bed. Then I heard footsteps, and someone nudging me in the shoulder ‘Jay, are you okay? Jay talk to me. Come on Jay say something’. Then I heard the instructor asking Mr B what he would do.

Mr B said he would radio for back up, then call the Sergeant, then call for EMS. Then I heard the instructor ask Mr B what he would do about his empty gun? Mr B said I’m out of ammo completely, and lost my spare mag. Then the instructor coached Mr B on taking my Sim Glock, since I wouldn’t need it for obvious reasons. Mr B laid his empty Sim Glock on my chest.

Finally, the instructor called the scenario over.

This is what had happened after I was ‘killed’.

Mr B shot the girl several times in the back. Her husband came running out of the bathroom, yelled,  and shot Mr B several times while he was coming to check on me. Then Mr B engaged him, and cleared the rest of the room.

Problems:

  • Mr B, as point man, was supposed to maintain contact on the woman, not hand it off to me. It was supposed to be my job to clear the room, then cover the bathroom.
  • Then come to find out, Mr B didn’t see the knife in her hand. He just saw her. I saw the knife, and should’ve alerted that she had a weapon.
  • I shouldn’t have broken cover until I knew 110% that Mr B had cover on her, not just assumed he had when he turned back around.
  • As soon as I saw there was a person in the bathroom, I should’ve alerted Mr B, instead of trying to double-check then say something.
  • After Mr B shot her, he should’ve moved to cover, cleared what he could, then clear the bathroom.
  • My biggest one: Mr B should’ve called ‘officer down’ back up then EMS. The SGT will show up since there was an officer down call. Mr B’s defense for waiting to call EMS was because I had been killed, despite the fact that he had been hit FOUR times. 3 in the chest and one in the forearm.

I know some say you never ‘kill’ people in training like that, but come on. In my case, I took a knife wound perfectly in the back, which would’ve hit destroyed my heart and lungs.

All in all, needless to say, we had a lot to learn from this one. Hopefully Mr B will remember what he learned from that scenario. I know I did. The biggest thing I learned, would have to be how much you rely on your partner/back up officer. In that scenario, based on how we were trained and what the instructor said after the incident, Mr B let me down and it got me killed. Plain and simple. It sucks, but it is what it is.

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7 Responses to “…the day I was killed.”

  1. OK, about never being killed in a scenario. The instructor was wrong in this instance to put you completely out immediately. A person with the will to survive can continue to function even after they take a knife or gunshot to the heart and lungs. Anything short of severing the brain from the rest of the body does not shut you down instantly. There is still a limited amount of fight left in you if it is in you.

    Second reason for the never die in a scenario is we don’t want to to train to lose ever. Train to win and keep fighting no matter what happens. That is the will to live that you need to have to even have a chance of surviving what should have been mortal wounds.

    Yes there are some teaching points that would have been missed if you hadn’t died. However, more realistically, unless she whacked your spinal cord in half, you would have had a short amount of fight left in you (if you had fight in you instead of giving up instantly) that you should train to use to at least fight back even if you are going to die eventually.

    It is all about mindset. Don’t ever train to lose and die. Keep fighting until you physically can’t.

    Black Knight comes to mind. “Merely a flesh wound!”

    Best anecdote was a female officer, in CA I believe, took point blank multiple shots to the chest that did hit her heart and lungs that survived. She was getting home to her apartment and was jumped in the parking lot when she arrived. When interviewed at the hospital later she said, “When they shot me it made me mad.” And she started fighting back until the assailants left. Fortunately there were medical professionals close but she didn’t know that. All she knew was she was not going to give up. That is what you need to train into you.

    “Never give up, Never surrender” (Another stolen line)

    • I had 4 seconds from the time I was stabbed until I was called dead. I wisely spent the 4 seconds look at the instructor trying to figure out what was going on.

      I will cover the train to win attitude in the next scenario post. Down, but not out.

      Your think of Stacy Lim. Shot 4 times point blank with a .357. She died 5 times, but came back every time.
      Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

      • those four seconds should be enough time for you to stop the woman from killing your partner! or at elast not killing anyone else. Or, you could stop the unknown in the bathroom. Just somehting to think about.

        Don’t make me come to your funeral! You wouldn’t like that at all.

      • She didn’t kill my partner. He killed her, then he got shot by the unknown.

        I didn’t know what happened, which is why I didn’t have much of a response.

        Why wouldn’t I like that? ;)

  2. Very interesting and good post (and first comment too, I might add). It brings up a question I’ve wondered about for a while. Seems to me the permanent patrol cop partner went out of style just after ADAM12 went off the air (oh, did I just date myself?). So how do you guys train to work as a team if you usually patrol solo? I can’t remember the last time I saw 2 cops in a single car.

    • You usually go to the training with every member on your shift, or everyone receives the same training over a period of time.

      For instance, if I have 4 other guys on my shift, I would take the training one month, and the other guys would get it one officer a month over the next 4 months. The department should set up a training scenario where all 5 of us could get a chance to run it together to learn each other’s nuances.

      The key is the department training, since it allows everyone to mesh together, especially if it is taken over a period of time.

      FTOs/PTOs are 2 unit cars for obvious reasons. But yes, most departments found it is cheaper with better coverage to run one man units.

  3. The point being, your partner wouldn’t have had to deal with her and could have concentrated on the unknown in the bathroom if you had taken care of her before you crapped out on him. Still, never train to give up until you have to and more than anything Keep Fighting until you cannot physically carry on. Then fight some more!

    As for the funeral, I would be an angry puppy if you died in the line of duty. Especially if you didn’t kill the #@*@&$^(@*$#)@!(#(*$@&$ that killed you. :O
    Train the fighter in you that won’t quit. EVER!

    The US Marines have it right, “Be kind to all you meet, but have a plan to kill everyone in the room.” This is how you plan to stay alive in any situation. There is no need to be rude to people or treat everyone as a suspect. Just be ready to kill them if they give you good cause.

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