Police Shooting Caught on Video


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Firearms Instructor in the DC Metro Area

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Posted in Knives, Officer Safety, True Crime, Video Analysis
33 comments on “Police Shooting Caught on Video
  1. lwk2431 says:

    I think the police officer was absolutely justified in shooting this guy with a knife advancing on him. However I counted 4 shots in less than a second and I think that is going over the line. Maybe if he had shot him – maybe even twice with a double tap – and waited a sec or two to see if the guy stopped, and then shot him again if he didn’t, but pumping four shots in him in rapid succession was excessive force I think.

    regards,

    lwk

    Like

    • Marcus says:

      Get back to us when you’re faced with a guy with a knife, and let us know how it went.

      I bet it won’t go down as neatly as you think it will.

      Like

      • The police oficer was obviously scared. And he acted on that fear by shooting fatally. You can neatralize a target without killing. These guys are trained to used guns, trained to handle people with knives without use of fire arms. Because of this fire arm training Police officers should be able to pinpoin non-fatal areas, such as the legs, to stop a target. Either the Oficers change or the outdated system should change, whichever is at fault.

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      • Steve says:

        You’ve watched too much TV, Gordon….

        Like

      • You have no idea what you are talking about. Police are not trained to do anything other than neutralize an edged threat with their firearm. Shooting people in the leg can kill them by severing the femoral artery. Terminal ballistics are so unpredictable that there is no “non lethal” place to shoot a person. Even if there were a “pinpoint” spot that would work, hitting the pinpoint in less than a second from the holster would be a miracle. If the officer had behaved any other way, he would likely be dead.

        Like

    • Anon says:

      You do not stop shooting until the threat is neutralized. You aren’t shooting to kill you’re shooting to stop a threat. If the attacker dies, its not your intent but they brought it upon themselves.

      Like

    • Steve says:

      5 shots total. As Marcus said, get back to us after you have faced someone with a knife. I have done it in training only, “assailant” had a shock knife to simulate getting cut.

      In a confined area like that, you shoot until the threat has stopped. Kudos to the officer.

      Like

    • Steve says:

      If you’re justified in using deadly force, it shouldn’t matter if it’s 1 shot or 10 shots. Justified is justified. Either you are or you are not.

      Like

      • lwk2431 says:

        “Justified is justified. Either you are or you are not.”

        That was not what I was taught in my concealed carry class in Texas. The right to use deadly force is not the right to execute someone. You are justified – in Texas – in using force sufficient to stop the threat and no more. If you clearly use a lot more force than necessary, and are a civilian in Texas, you could have a legal problem, and rightfully so.

        regards,

        lwk

        Like

    • Joe Momma says:

      You have no idea what you’re talking about. You shoot until the threat is gone.

      Like

    • Beachhead40 says:

      Police will never shoot to wound. Now whether or not he could have tased the subject could be completely different subject.

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  2. Dr. Feelgood says:

    Not excessive in the least. Gunshot wounds don’t instantly incapacitate an attacker, and a guy with a knife inside of 21 feet is a deadly threat until he’s on the ground. As long he’s standing, you keep shooting.

    Sure sucks, though.

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  3. […] he could have missed and gotten knifed. Sad the guy had to die that way but he made his choices. Police Shooting Caught on Video | Gun Safety Blog […]

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  4. Chuckie Norris says:

    No do over for Eric

    Like

  5. Brittius says:

    Reblogged this on Brittius.com and commented:
    Five rounds, combat fire. As per training. Subject within 21 feet and advancing with deadly weapon (knife). Righteous shoot.

    Like

  6. Dudley Doright says:

    Officer needs to practice his Wolf Stare moar.

    Like

  7. John says:

    Nice, clean shoot.

    Like

  8. […] shoot. Police Shooting Caught on Video | Gun Safety Blog A "gun free zone" is tyrannys playground.I carry a gun to give me options, not a […]

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  9. Tango says:

    All the “shoot to wound” folks should try recreating the event with a shockwand and a simunition gun and get back to us.

    Like

    • lwk2431 says:

      “All the “shoot to wound” folks…”

      Just for the record I am not an advocate of shooting to wound. The officer had every right to use deadly force and to shoot and kill the guy with the knife. I carry a concealed handgun and if someone is advancing on me with a knife I will shoot him, double tap as I train. But I don’t think a jury would look on me favorably if I shot him 5 times in less than a second as this police officer apparently did and I don’ t think police should get a pass on something just because they are police, any more than any other person using deadly force legally.

      If we are training police to shoot a person like that today than I think that is wrong. Just my opinion. No one has to agree with it. And yes, to the person who mentioned it, I have been on the other end of things more deadly than a knife and I am still here.

      regards,

      lwk

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  10. […] Police Shooting Caught on Video | Gun Safety Blog Reply With Quote […]

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  11. bulletmen says:

    Maybe the cop should have waited until the “Eric the Knife” actually stabbed him to shoot?!?
    Eric was evidently stoned, drunk , stupid crazy or all of the above. Do not bring a knife to a gun fight. Maybe this was a case of suicide by cop?
    Scared cop facing a crazy guy with a knife. Surprised he did not shoot him more than five times.
    Glad lwk faced things more deadly than a knife and survived. Good to know he has nerves of steel.
    Tango is spot on………..

    Like

    • lwk2431 says:

      “Scared cop facing a crazy guy with a knife. Surprised he did not shoot him more than five times.”

      My son went through Marine boot camp a few years ago and then advanced grunt training (he is a machine gunner now). In clearing houses they taught him to do the following to a bad guy:

      1. Double tap to center of mass with M16
      2. Assess if they guy is still standing
      3 If yes to 2 above, shoot him in the head

      I think the cop in this video should have:

      1. Double tap to center of mass
      2. Assess if the guy is still a threat
      3. repeat 1 and 2 as necessary.

      Shooting him 5 times – bam,bam,bam,bam,bam in less than a second- then stopping to assess is still too much in my view. I am not anti-cop and I am pro-gun.

      regards,

      lwk

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      • Joe Momma says:

        Its all well and good for you to armchair QB this situation, but you obviously don’t understand what its like to be in that situation. Two shots center mass will kill someone just as dead as four, or five, or six.

        They teach double taps in the military to conserve ammo. You are taught to assess to keep from focusing on one threat for too long and missing the other threats that could be there.

        Just because you have a CHL doesn’t mean you’re know what you are talking about. Your logic has failed.

        BTW, anyone can get a CHL, even morons.

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      • lwk2431 says:

        Joe Momma wrote:

        “anyone can get a CHL, even morons.”

        You are living proof of that.

        regards,

        lwk

        Like

  12. Here is the truth. Double tap and assess is great on paper, but in reality it is nearly impossible. When the pressure is ramped up and you think you are going to die, there is no round count. You shoot until you are done with the job or the slide locks back, whichever comes first. This officer may in fact have believed he only fired twice. Been there.

    A double tap center mass can take up to two minutes to incapacitate an attacker. Two minutes of getting stabbed is a long time, more shooting early on is the solution.

    The “shoot them to the ground” method advocated by many practical defense experts may not make lawyers happy, but it will ensure you survival. Remember that shooting out of fear is perfectly valid. If you are not afraid for your life (or someone else’s), you probably should not be shooting.

    If you have worked with a TASER before, you know sometimes they work, sometimes not. You never trust your life to the TASER, ever.

    There is also time distortion (tachypsychia) that takes place during a critical incident like this one. Ones perception of time slows down, making five shots in a second feel like five shots over seven to ten seconds.

    This all boils down to an unquestionably good shoot, period.

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    • lwk2431 says:

      “A double tap center mass can take up to two minutes to incapacitate an attacker. Two minutes of getting stabbed is a long time, more shooting early on is the solution.”

      I don’t recollect anyone saying “double tap and wait two minutes to see if that worked.” You are completely misrepresenting what was said.

      “The “shoot them to the ground” method advocated by many practical defense experts may not make lawyers happy”

      I wouldn’t have a problem with some of those lawyers adjusting that attitude in court.

      “This all boils down to an unquestionably good shoot, period.”

      Then we will have to agree to disagree.

      regards,

      lwk

      Like

    • lwk2431 says:

      “When the pressure is ramped up and you think you are going to die, there is no round count. You shoot until you are done with the job or the slide locks back, whichever comes first.”

      Is that what these New York police officers were doing (read quote below)?

      After Bullets Hit Bystanders, Protocol Questions

      Published: August 25, 2012

      The encounter was breathtakingly brief: a surveillance video showed a gunman outside the Empire State Building on Friday pulling a pistol, pointing it at two police officers, their firing at him and his falling to the sidewalk.

      All the yelling and cries of pain occurred out of camera view, just north of where the gunman, Jeffrey T. Johnson, collapsed and died: nine bystanders were struck, cradling bloody arms or lying on the sidewalks and curbs.

      The police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, confirmed on Saturday that all nine were wounded by police bullets, bullet fragments or shrapnel from ricochets. Mr. Kelly also confirmed that the shooter, Mr. Johnson, never fired another shot after killing a former co-worker, Steven Ercolino, moments earlier.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/nyregion/bystanders-shooting-wounds-caused-by-the-police.html?pagewanted%3Dall&_r=0

      lwk

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      • Normally when someone tries to change the subject, which is normal when you lose traction in debate, I ignore it. But since you want to talk about something different, we we can. I will say this about the NY shooting you want to discuss and it will keep the discussion short. Rule 4 ALWAYS applies. No further comment is needed.

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    • lwk2431 says:

      “You shoot until you are done with the job or the slide locks back, whichever comes first…”

      And forgetting the legal and ethical concerns, does this actually make tactical sense? In Vietnam we had guys who would empty their 20 round mags (which they probably only loaded to 18 rounds) at the least provocation. Stupid, and scared. Reason that they went to the 3 round burst version of the M16.

      Let’s say you are carrying a J-Frame for deep cover concealed carry. Should you empty all five of your rounds before you assess the effect? Or should you double tap, assess, and perhaps change your tactics – shoot to the head – maybe the guy has got some armor, or more drugs than you 38 spl can stop going center of mass?

      That is exactly why the Marines teach double tap, assess, then shoot to the head if necessary. Maybe the bad guy has some body armour he got off a dead Marine or whatever.

      So I am not buying your rant. Not buying it on any grounds, including practical common sense.

      regards,

      lwk

      Like

      • You are indeed a master of changing the subject ever so slightly so as to hardly be missed when you use it to illustrate your point. First let us clarify something that you missed. When I said you shoot until the job is done or until the slide locks back, I was not advocating a tactic or technique. I was stating what human beings do when they are put under extreme stress and danger. As much as you would like to think that you would double tap and assess, there is a high likelihood that you (being human) would shoot more than you expected in the unlikely event that you found yourself in a similar situation. I guess they don’t discuss that in concealed carry classes in Texas, but I make sure we discuss it when I teach the concealed carry class here. With only one exception, all the police officers I have spoken to that were involved in real life shootings failed to have accurate round count. Even the creme of the crop SWAT guy was one off. The one guy who knew how many times he shot had expended the entire magazine and reloaded.

        I don’t know exactly what the Marines teach as I am not a Marine, but I know that it is probably not particularly applicable to knife defense outside of a war zone (that is what we are talking about after all). I know they clear rooms using fragmentation grenades, and that they have a thing called an “acceptable loss table.” Neither of those things have any business being in modern police work or personal self defense. (As an aside, thank your son for his sacrifice and service, you have good reason to be proud.)

        Marine combat training and police survival training simply don’t compare well to each other.
        The training is different because the fighting is different. The situations in which they fight are different. The distances from which they fight are different. The way they determine success is even different. In fact the only real similarities are that there are firearms involved and we hope the good guys are still standing when it is over. So when you go that direction, you are on your own, it is not what we were talking about.

        You are correct around about the three round burst addition to the M-16, it was added when the army discovered that it is too difficult to train men conserve ammo when they’re scared. It isn’t bad tactics, it is simple biology. It illustrates my point quite well.

        As for the “what if you had a j frame…” I have to reign you in. Try to stay on the subject. Clearly you think that the perfect double-tap and observe technique is indeed the holy grail, and woe to all who contradict, but it isn’t grounded in the reality that I, and my fellow officers know. In fact, I believe (based on my training, experience and experience as a trainer) that in a “charging knife wielder” scenario it puts the shooter at a higher risk. Higher risk is bad. It is that simple.

        You say to shoot twice, then observe. By the logic you applied to this situation if one round was enough, then two is excessive. Who decided two is the magic number at which you should stop? Why not shoot once then observe? Why not three times?

        Here is another approach that is every bit as viable and even more defendable in front of the jury: Shoot until you notice a change, then observe the change. If the change seems to come too slow or does not remove the threat, aim somewhere else and resume. Continue until threat is neutralized.

        Now, I am sure you are comfortable with the technique you use, and that is ok. Some people just are not open to learn anything new. That does not mean that your pet technique should be the measure by which others are judged. The force is not excessive, his training did not fail, the officer is not a criminal (you do realize that a substantiated claim of excessive force would make this manslaughter, right?). he should not lose his job and spend five years in jail because of five quick rounds that allowed him to make it home that night.

        Now while I’m sure you would probably be absolutely delighted to see me, many of my colleagues and this particular officer “get our attitudes adjusted” as you put it. Of course you want us to be treated as felons and lose all we have in the inevitable civil trial, the fact is that the courts (and almost everyone else) recognize self-defense when they see it… So you won’t get that satisfaction.

        May you learn about the weaknesses in your technique from your friends before you learn them from your enemies.

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      • lwk2431 says:

        doortothefarright writes:

        “The force is not excessive, his training did not fail, the officer is not a criminal (you do realize that a substantiated claim of excessive force would make this manslaughter, right?).”

        So are you saying that police now train their officers to empty their magazines into someone as fast as they can if they have the legal right to use deadly force in the first place? In other words if they have justification to shoot once, then they have justification to shoot 10 or 15 times, regardless of the circumstances? Some people here seem to think so as far as I can tell.

        I also think that many large cities a complaint of excessive force might go to a civilian investigating unit. The officer might get suspended with, or without pay. They might get fired. But I am pretty sure the case would have to be blatantly excessive with tons of witnesses and evidence to actually get a cop charged _and_ convicted of manslaughter. For example:

        Detective in 50-shot Killing of NYC Man Is Fired

        http://www.newsmax.com/US/PoliceShooting-BachelorParty/2012/03/24/id/433755

        In the end one police officer lost his job and pension. Any civilian doing anything remotely like this would end up in prison almost certainly.

        You said “his training did not fail.” My view is if that is they way we are training officers now then that is a problem.

        “…you think that the perfect double-tap and observe technique is indeed the holy grail,…”

        I think that is how we should train, yes. “Observe” may be only fraction of a second to see if your rounds have had effect. There can be even exceptions, for example you “charging knife wielder,” see my comments below.

        “…and woe to all who contradict,…”

        My impression has been that I have been called a “moron” for having a different view than the majority.

        “…a “charging knife wielder” scenario it puts the shooter at a higher risk.”

        However in this video I didn’t see the guy charging. He could have and he didn’t obey the officer’s orders to stop and drop the knife so at that range I think the officer had every justification in double tapping the guy, and more if needed if that didn’t stop him. I don’t think he had justification in putting 5 non-stop rounds into him. If they guy had been charging then yes, empty the magazine, but he was NOT doing that. He was slowly advancing with a knife in the officer’s direction which DID justify the officer using appropriate deadly force.

        “I’m sure you would probably be absolutely delighted to see me, many of my colleagues and this particular officer “get our attitudes adjusted” as you put it.”

        I have personally seen some police officers, a _few_, who definitely need some attitude adjustment. In Texas we have this law:

        § 39.03. Official Oppression
        (a) A public servant acting under color of his office or employment commits an offense if he:

        (1) intentionally subjects another to mistreatment or to arrest, detention, search, seizure, dispossession, assessment, or lien that he knows is unlawful;

        http://www.dallascriminaldefenselawyerblog.com/2008/08/what-is-official-oppression.html

        As to the “delighted” part of your statement, no, I don’t partcularly like to see police charged and convicted of crimes. If that is happening regularly then there is something very terribly wrong. I have a high degree of respect for most police officers who do their job honestly and respect the people they are working for. I think that accounts for the majority (with the exception of some large cities, but I won’t go off on that tangent).

        “Of course you want [police] to be treated as felons …”

        I want all people to be treated the same and be held accountable for their actions. I don’t think police should get a pass for actions that would land someone else in prison. My understanding is that I as a civilian entitled to carry a concealed weapon am personally responsible for EVERY bullet I fire. I think the police should be held to exactly that same standard.

        And just to be absolutely clear about this particular video and my view on it. I didn’t see something happen that I felt rises to the level of criminal behavior on the part of the officer. I never said that. I did say that I thought that his use of force might be excessive and I have said that I don’t think police should be trained to do exactly as he did in this case.

        That is all I have said.

        “…and lose all we [police] have in the inevitable civil trial, the fact is that the courts (and almost everyone else) recognize self-defense when they see it… ”

        The fact is that in most cases a police officer will almost always be given the benefit of the doubt and a pass by a jury unless the circumstances are really incriminating. The exception seems to be when race is involved where some officers have no doubt been railroaded to meet the demands of some minorities. But all things considered I think it should be self evident that a police officer is much more likely to get a pass for using deadly force than a civilian.

        If I am wrong on that, then tell me.

        regards,

        lwk

        Like

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