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Old September 22, 2010, 04:47 PM   #1
ClydeFrog
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KMBC.com; local sworn LEO killed in training incident...

www.KMBC.com

I saw a news story online about a young police officer killed by another sworn LE officer in a training accident. According to the news reports, the victim asked the LEO to "shoot" him with a Simunition training round so he could prepare for the effects before a LE class.
The officer shot the other officer(to my knowledge the victim had NO protective safety gear on) which caused the fatal injury. The police officer had live rounds in his duty weapon and did not know they weren't the same Simunition training rounds they used in the classroom instruction.
The police officer was alive at the scene but died when moved to a local ER.
The incident took place in the Kansas City MO area last week. A law enforcement/professional standards investigation is now underway.

Im not sure if this event was posted on the forum yet but it shows why safety rules & equipment are so important. I'll reserve comment on the sworn LE officers involved but I would stress that if you are a firearms/tactics instructor or work with ANY type of firearm or weapon(airsoft, BB guns, paint balls, bow & arrow, etc) keep the safety requirements or equipment in mind.

Safety is no accident.

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Last edited by ClydeFrog; September 22, 2010 at 04:58 PM. Reason: clarification, incident details
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Old September 22, 2010, 04:56 PM   #2
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http://www.kmbc.com/news/25118057/detail.html

Tragic accident, easily preventable. What were they thinking?
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Old September 22, 2010, 08:37 PM   #3
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You read these articles about LEO or film stunt men shooting each other when they think they have blanks or Simunition rounds. Don't they even take a couple of shots at a backstop just to make sure, before ripping away at each other?

We had a similar incident years ago in Oregon in which a SWAT team had an negligent shooting of each other while doing a demo for some kids at a Simunition "urban" range.

If they aren't going to do a function check against a backstop after each mag change then there should be a meticulous search and verification that there are NO live rounds ANYWHERE on the site that could possibly get mixed in with the blanks or Simunitions. Not on the rnage, not in range bags, not in parked vehicles, not ANYWHERE on site.

I would be outraged if I were a family member of a LEO needlessly killed through friendly fire at a "controlled" training event.
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Old September 22, 2010, 09:14 PM   #4
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Safety is indeed no accident. I try to teach my 13yo son that the word "accident" is often used when, in actuality, "stupidity" is more appropriate.

More people die of stupidity than any other means whether it be automobile, guns, you name it. And it's labeled an "accident". I don't mean to come off as being cold hearted but I want my son to grow up and have a chance to survive by not dying needlessly of his, or someone else's, stupidity.

Prayers to the family of the unfortunate LEO.
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Old September 22, 2010, 09:30 PM   #5
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Lemmee see here....

1. All guns are always loaded, even if they are not. BZZT.

2. Never allow the muzzle to cover anything you don't want destroyed. BZZZT.

3. Finger off bang switch until sights are on the target. OK.

4. Know your target, and what is beyond it. OK.

It's A GUN. You don't point it at someone you don't want shot.

You want to do force on force? Get one of those plastic pellet firing airsoft guns. You want to do retention/grappling? They make blue/red guns for that. They even make blue/red gun barrels for that.

Pointing your duty weapon at your buddy is stupidity.
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Old September 22, 2010, 10:13 PM   #6
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Simunitions weapons I've seen...

... were at a NATO training facility. (G17's). Pistols and magazines were done in bright blue, so they wouldn't be confused with duty weapons.

Sounds like this PD was using Simunitions ammo from duty sidearms. That would definitely be a link in the causal chain.

jimbob86, simunitions are designed for force on force training; they should never have live ammo anywhere near.

Seems to me a USMC recon SSGT was court-martialed and convicted (I think negligent homicide) several years back for something similar; live rounds got loaded into his weapon, and he killed a buddy in a training exercise. I remember reading about it in a Stars and Stripes, I think 2003-2004 timeframe.

(Another case of live ammo being in the loading area where blanks were in use.)
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Old September 23, 2010, 03:07 AM   #7
ClydeFrog
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Posts, training, safety issues...

As I first posted, I reserve comment on the statements & actions of the law enforcement officers. Some members may use the word; "stupid" but I think it's a bit harsh for the events. I'm sure the LEO who shot the officer feels bad enough.
I've heard of or read about other deaths/events where LE officers or "trained" service members showed poor judgement. I heard of an incident a few years ago of 2 uniformed police officers in San Diego CA who had "blue on blue" shooting while on duty. The cops were discussing a new method and went to a remote location to practice it. The one officer shot and killed the other w/o checking his duty weapon first.
I also read an item about a highly elite counter-terrorist unit in the US military that on average loses at least one member per year to training " accidents". This may seem high considering the skill level & $$$/resources available to them(most of it classified or top secret) but they use live rounds and must operate under extreme conditions.
In closing, I agree too that is far better to use ASP red guns or "redman" suits or other practical methods to avoid training deaths/serious injury.
Clyde
ps; There is also no room for "show-offs" or horse-play. Instructors, cadre, range officers or supervisors should be strict about that too.
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Old September 23, 2010, 05:10 AM   #8
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We use simrounds at the academy here where I live. The guns we use are Glock 17T's. They are blue handled guns and a live round will not fit in them. I was not even aware the made a simround for an actual duty weapon. As somebody else said, All guns are always loaded.
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Old September 23, 2010, 09:40 AM   #9
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Not an unknown kind of accident. The human factors/weapons lit has warned about it a few times.

Tragic.
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Old September 23, 2010, 12:49 PM   #10
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This is a classic example of the pitfalls of laxed safety when engaging in reality based training.

Murray's Training At The Speed Of Life is an excellent read on this very subject.

I always see goobers on the net who get mad that simunitions are L.E. only. They have no idea of the risks associated with half assed implementation of this kind of training.
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Old September 23, 2010, 01:43 PM   #11
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We trained with Sim rounds some but it was fairly obvious when an M16 was in Sim round configuration. They used a Sim round upper with blue hand guards and a clear plastic waffle mag.

Not sure how the officer's weapon would have looked in Sim configuration but he should have had the good sense to check and be sure he knew what he was going to shoot his colleague with.
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Old September 23, 2010, 01:54 PM   #12
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From my understanding, simulation rounds are all 9mm and the blue barrels are so you when you change it out of your duty weapon you know its a 9mm barrel and not a .45 for example. I know when I went through the kill house before my deployment, we had to exchange uppers on our m16s to a blue barrel, and had to get clear magazines to show that there were no live rounds in it, but a 556 wouldn't fit into the magazine anyway. To me, it sounds like since the duty weapons were already 9mm that the department tried to save money by not buying guns strictly used for simulation.

If I was the guy who was shot, or even the guy shooting, I would have had my partner check to make sure that it wasnt a live round, more eyes to see its not live, the more likely its not live.

And to go along with the 4 or 5 universal gun safety rules that we all (should be all, better word is most) of us follow, That one about dont point your weapon at anything you do not intend to shoot (destroy, etc) does not matter when going through a live exercise with sim. rounds, that is the point of the exercise. And for a guy to want to see how bad those rounds hurt before going into the exercise I think is ok. Its practice and training, we've all done it with Paintballs. They just did it the wrong way.

Here is my overall view of it:
1. Department should have specified weapons only to be used for those exercises, not duty guns. Those guns and all live ammunition should be stored in the vehicles or off site.

2. Both of those guys should have done a brass check to ensure that it was sim rounds in the chamber, not live. Honestly, I think its both of the guys are at fault, they were both stupid about it. (Not saying the guy deserved to die, just the opposite)

God Bless both families.
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Old September 24, 2010, 03:47 AM   #13
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3 important points about this topic...

I agree with these last few members and would include these 3 points;

1) LE, military, security/protective services, or armed citizen training programs should not try to "save $$$" by using methods or equipment that could cause or be a part of accidents/unsafe conditions. To my limited knowledge, Glock makes & sells a different blue framed duty pistol for military/LE that only uses training rounds. These special items may cost more but are safer than having students/cadets kill or injury themselves.
2) All weapons, ammunition and equipment should be kept secured when not in use. Students or LE officers that have firearms should be cleared or have cadre/instructors do safety checks to avoid mistakes.
3) Students or officers may have different skill levels or training. I've seen that often on qualification ranges in my area. Everyone should know & understand the basic safety rules during training classes or ranges. Unsafe acts or problems should be addressed ASAP.

Safety and training should be taken seriously. About 4mo ago, a local NRA instructor shot a student in the leg during a class. These events can be avoided.
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Old September 24, 2010, 09:25 AM   #14
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I've recently been reading Kenneth Murray's excellent book Training at the Speed of Life. It is a how-to book for conducting safe force-on-force training exercises. Written primarily for police & military trainers, the book applies equally to regular citizens who want to get involved in this type of training.

Fully a third of the (very large, very thick) book covers the necessary protocols and rituals to help keep your trainees safe -- and yet, the basics can be summed up in the Four Universal Rules, especially Rule One. If you have the mindset that the gun is ALWAYS a potentially-dangerous object that must be handled with cautious respect at all times, the safety problem becomes much simpler.

Unfortunately, we cannot say that all training can be conducted with an inert gun-shaped piece of plastic. The truth is that there are some significant advantages afforded by firing projectiles (such as marking cartridges, paint balls or plastic pellets) during force on force exercises. Anything that can launch a projectile can potentially cause injuries -- up to and including deadly injuries. That's why smart students and trainers insist on wearing excellent protective gear, especially protecting delicate eyeballs (which incidentally provide a pathway to the brain even with relatively low-powered plastic pellets).

Worse than that, the single most realistic training tool available, Simunition Marking Cartridges, is designed to be launched from real firearms. This has the tremendous advantage of allowing LEOs & military folks to train with the actual equipment they would use in real life -- including holsters, firearms, and other gear. It maintains the best sense of realism. Currently, those cartridges are not available to non-LEO and non-military trainers; however, another company recently began producing a very similar product that will be available to bona fide trainers who work with armed citizens. Consequently, we can expect to see some of the same types of mishaps among regular citizens as have happened all too often among LEOs & military folks using this type of ammunition.

The really critical thing here is that you never -- NEVER -- develop the mindset that gun-shaped objects are toys. If you're conducting or involved with this type of training, protect your mind and protect your mindset. If your department or training school uses Simunition training cartridges (and thus uses real firearms) in force on force training, never ever ever handle your firearm outside the confines of the safe training ritual. Whatever protocol your people use, protect your mindset by never stepping outside that protocol ... not for a second, not for a minute, not just to check something. Not for anything!

To conduct such training safely requires a very firm and even ritualistic approach to preparation. It requires strong boundaries, including a person not involved in the training whose sole responsibility is to protect the area to be certain no live firearms enter it. It requires a complete commitment on the part of the students to NEVER engage in such activities outside the safe confines of a dedicated training area and safety ritual. And it requires everyone to keep in mind, at all times, that firearms are deadly dangerous and must be treated with utmost respect.

According to Ken Murray, "After analyzing the tragedies that have occurred during Reality Based Training, most can be lumped under the categories of carelessness or ignorance. In any high-risk endeavor there is not place for the careless. Ignorance, on the other hand, is often the point at which the learning curve of any new undertaking begins. Tragedy born of ignorance usually winds up becoming the event to turn the tide toward the quest for knowledge so that similar tragedies will never be experienced again. Reality Based Training, however, can no longer be considered new, and ignorance to its perils and pitfalls can no longer be tolerated... With the vast body of information that is now available on how to conduct safe and effective RBT, entering upon such an endeavor without learning all you can before you start is tantamount to negligence."

Stay safe out there, folks. Use tragedies like this to spark your own determination to protect your mind and your mindset. The life you save could be your own...

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Old September 24, 2010, 05:54 PM   #15
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Gang,

This is why I have a RED ASP training Glock 19 (and J .38) and an airsoft Glock 26 I converted to a LASER gun. Yes a LASER gun.

Superglued a laser to the barrel, took the insides out, and snaked the pressure switch under the trigger (from inside the magazine well.) Then superglued some .44 lead slugs in the mag well and a Glock mag base plate.

Yes it fits my Glock holsters to.

I NEVER practice FOF with a real gun! And what happened to those officers is why.

When I trained a couple of times with SouthNarc, we used special Glocks, with BLUE frames, that could only shoot simulations. We never used a real gun loaded with simulations.

And for those who say that cost too much $$$, well they have a dead officer now, and guess how much that will cost, both in dollars and emotional damage.

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Old September 24, 2010, 07:55 PM   #16
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Deaf's post; training classes-cadre...

These last few posts are good input.
Another related point is the advice or suggestion to take a workshop or seminar with a tactics/school/program if possible to gauge or assess the cadre or class doctrine.
I've had classes in the past with training instructors who were what I'd consider sub-standard. Some claimed to be "high-speed" or "strac" or "special forces qualified" but were unstable or did not act like mature adults.
Real professionals with documented training or backgrounds do not not brag, boast or tell; "war stories". To me, it's worth the time, effort and $$$ to learn tactics & skill training from respected programs or instructors.
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Old September 24, 2010, 08:10 PM   #17
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1 All guns are always loaded!
2 Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy!
3 Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target!1
4 Always be sure of your target!

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Old September 26, 2010, 09:20 PM   #18
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RIP. We are diminished.
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Old September 26, 2010, 11:50 PM   #19
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To all the excellent posts above, I would add simply that we should not overlook the fact that this incident did NOT take place in the training facility. It took place in the parking lot, which is ... the street.

One of the early posts raised what may be the key point. The two trainee officers had transitioned out of simunitions mode to live ammo mode when they were on the street, and they forgot that critical fact when they decided to get a headstart on the upcoming exercise. That this was even possible suggests that the department did indeed (for whatever reasons) use the officers' actual duty weapons for simunitions F-O-F training rather than dedicated simunitions weapons.
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Old September 27, 2010, 12:13 AM   #20
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An incident similar to the OP's happening in Arlington, TX in 2001.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...officer+killed
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Old September 27, 2010, 01:31 AM   #21
Big Bill
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These types of accidents make my feel physically ill. I'm so sorry for those involved. There is no such thing as being too careful with a firearm. Always check and double check.
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Old September 27, 2010, 07:00 PM   #22
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Quote:
An incident similar to the OP's happening in Arlington, TX in 2001.
I remember that one DNS.

And the other one in the locker room at the Dallas PD I think a few years earler where they discussed raiding drug houses and one demoed his technique forgetting his pistol, a Beretta 92 I think, was loaded.

Shot him dead right here in the locker room.

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Old September 27, 2010, 07:08 PM   #23
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Only goes to prove police are human..... Very regrettable..
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Old September 29, 2010, 11:26 PM   #24
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I'm a trained Force-On-Force instructor, using Simunitions. The protocols are very strict, and all training is conducted within a "sterile" area, into which no live ammo or weapons are allowed.

This tragedy clearly occurred outside the training environment, without instructors. Force-On-Force training using Simunitions is safe. The officers involved in this incident were acting against their training, or, if untrained, beyond the scope of it.
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Old September 30, 2010, 03:40 PM   #25
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The incident in the OP happened here in my hometown. I have a quite a few LEO friends but did not know either of the officers involved.

Rumors of seriously stupid behavior have been floating around but I can't say whether they are true or not. I've talked to a few buddies here on the police force and they seem to give the same story...

After the training session, a question gets asked about how it feels to get shot with a sim round. Thinking his firearm is loaded with sim rounds, one officer offers to "show" the other how it feels...

Regardless of what really happened or what was officially reported, this is such a sad incident that EASILY could have been avoided.
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