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Old February 28, 2005, 12:52 AM   #1
itgoesboom
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Another thread about Tyler, TX, but an important question.

The situation in Tyler, TX has brought up many questions regarding tactics in dealing with an active shooter situation, especially one where body armor might be a factor.

We all know that a pistol is a poor stopper to begin with, and that hitting a moving head sized target at 25, 50, or even 100 meters is going to be extremely tough, if not impossible, especially considering the adrenaline dump that a person would experience. And if the shots are going towards the armed good guy, it would be even more difficult.

With that in mind, I have read several places where people advocate having a rifle or carbine in their trunk or truck to deal with exactly this situation.

But that brings up an intresting question.

Hypothetically, an active shooter with an assault style weapon is shooting up a public place, and you have a rifle in your vehicle, and can access it. Police are on the scene, but so far are not effective at bringing down the shooter.

Police that are on their way are recieving scetchy information, that one or more gunmen with assault weapons are actively shooting in public.....

Is that really a good time to pull out that SKS that you have been stashing in your truck?

How do you avoid being mistaken as the active shooter?

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Old February 28, 2005, 01:03 AM   #2
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Good question. There are a lot of variables there though. In the instance of the Tyler shooting, it was in the town square in front of the courthouse. It is possible that you would have been mistaken by LE depending upon what angle you shooting at and located in. Mark was coming from behind the perp and to the front of the LE under fire and could have easily been mistaken as possibly another civilian taking them under fire. If it was from the side such as from one of the two restaurants to the east of the courthouse then probably not. It is hard to say, there are a lot of variables and different conditions. That said, there were a lot of plainsclothes LE (such as a detective in a suit that was wounded) in the area. It is a good question though, with I expect no concrete answer. I would love to hear some LE guys chime in and give their opinions.
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Old February 28, 2005, 01:18 AM   #3
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This is a good question for any scenario where police are arriving at the scene and you've deployed your handgun/ shotgun/ rifle/ GAU-8/ etc.

In your setup, you say police are on the scene. If so, retreat carefully to extricate yourself from the situation (ideally without firing a shot) and do what you can to prevent citizens from entering the area.

But let's suppose you "lucked out" and got a parking space right near the courthouse when the balloon goes up. You can see the shooter focusing on people in or near the court entrance so now's your chance to open the trunk and grab your AR/SKS/M1A/.458 Weatherby. Nearby, cops are trying to shoot from behind cars, columns and concrete trash cans. Now what?

If you shoot, some cop may turn around thinking "Oh sh*t another one!" and target you. Can you attract the attention of the closest officer and give him sign language that says "I'm gonna shoot that fella!"? (Point at rifle, then at shooter) Can you get a cop's attention first and move closer to him? This would allow other cops to see that you're "with" another officer and not a threat.

Actually, this is a good tactics question for any scenario where you've deployed your weapon and the police are arriving. How do you tell them you're the "good guy"? My thought, for situations where your perp is down (either hit or submitting to custody) and you're covering him, raise your off-hand as the cops arrive, then point to the bad guy as you take two steps back and lower your weapon to low-ready. Then you do whatever they tell you to do, slowly & carefully.
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Old February 28, 2005, 01:52 AM   #4
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"How do you avoid being mistaken as the active shooter? "
Excellent question, and one which is always in the minds of many cops who are either in plainclothes, undercover, or even off duty (especially outside their immediate jurisdiction, where the responding cops probably won't know them). Cops have died after being shot by other (uniformed & non-uniformed) cops who didn't know the 'man-with-a-gun-not-in-a-uniform' was another cop.

This is a very real concern. This was a serious topic in a week-long, in-service training & firearms class I attended a few years ago, which was geared toward enhancing officer survival for cops assigned to plainclothes/undercover/non-uniformed street crimes enforcement details.

In many jurisdictions, and areas with closely situated multiple jurisdictions, it's just not always possible for cops to know each other ... and even though 'plainclothes' cops are often sometimes recognizeable by their 'obvious plainclothes cop' appearance and demeanor, that isn't something most plainclothes cops would want to stake their life on. We have a lot of 'new' folks in our agency that I don't know or recognize, and that's when they're in uniform. Throw in the plainclothes street crimes & gang enforcement units, narcotics and other specialized undercover units, and it's often virtually impossible to know everyone that's carrying a badge with their gun.

I carry an issued 'raid' jacket (windbreaker) in the trunk of my plainclothes car. It's not there just in case it's a cold day. It identifies my agency with huge lettering, patches/insignia ... and you can bet I'd slip it on over my sportcoat at the same time I grabbed a shotgun or rifle ... and if the dynamics of the situation permitted I'd certainly try to notify my dispatcher that I was on scene, so responding units (either mine, or any other jurisdiction in which I found myself during my work activities) could at least be informed of my presence, description, etc. (IF the air is clear on any of the available primary/tac/mutual aid/local agency channels).

I once responded to an armed robbery moments after it had occurred and had been called in by the victim. All the dispatcher had a chance to learn, before the caller left the phone, was that a man with a gun had just robbed the store and was fleeing on foot.

Naturally, it wasn't until I'd arrived barely a couple minutes later that I learned from someone else that the R/P-VICTIM had left the store chasing the armed suspect ... WITH HIS OWN GUN ... running in the same direction as the suspect.

Fortunately, I was able to actually get out on the air, and quickly enough, so that the other responding units could be told ONE of the armed men running down the street was the VICTIM, and give them a description of the VICTIM, as well as a better description of the suspect. Nobody was hurt, but you can bet I had a talk with the victim afterward, and explained to him that one highly agitated, armed man running down the street with a gun, in similar civilian clothing as that worn by the suspect, isn't always as easily distinguished from any armed suspect running down the street.

How about if you were an unsuspecting civilian, lawfully armed, with a CCW permit, just exiting your car, a store, etc., and you suddenly had someone yelling at the top of their lungs in another language, running right toward you, seemingly from out of nowhere, waving a pistol all around? Sometimes it's not as easy to quickly identify the good guys from the bad guys as some folks might think ... especially when things are happening all at once ... not for any of us.

I don't have an answer to your question, but I give it a lot of thought each day I'm out working in my plainclothes assignment, especially since I'm often in many other local jurisdictions during the course of my duties.

"Is that really a good time to pull out that SKS that you have been stashing in your truck?" I think you answered your own question.

Please don't take this wrong ... but ...

A man (or woman) with a gun, in civilian clothing, at the scene of a shooting incident which is either possibly, or actually, still occuring ... is just that ... until otherwise identified.

Like I said, I don't have the answer, and I don't pretend to ... but tragedies come in all shapes and sizes.

Stay safe.
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Old February 28, 2005, 08:04 AM   #5
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I was very resistive to getting a cell phone, now I have one. This would be a good time to give local LE a call and identify yourself, if there is enough time.
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Old February 28, 2005, 10:25 AM   #6
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I'm sure most of you folks are too young to remember, but there was a shooting at the University of Texas Clock Tower in Austin Texas involving an former Marine with a brain tumor named Charles Whitman. I knew an old Harness Bull from Austin PD and he said at the time, 1966, Austin PD only had a few Winchester 30-30s for rifles. Whitman had scoped bolt guns and was knocking people down at long ranges.
He said that Whitman started shooting and civilians and police were both pinned down. He stated that the shooting lasted about 45 minutes and that citizens started showing up with scoped sighted bolt guns, giving some to the officers and other citizens began to engage Whitman with their rifles. He said that one citizen came by in a pick-up and was handing out rifles and ammo to the officers. He said with out the citizens involvement Austin PD would have been up the creek. It was an Austin Patrolman and a citizen who made the way to the top of the clock tower and punched ol' Charlie's Ticket. Charlie killed fourteen or fifteen people and wound beau coup folks, including police officers. This was the days before tactical teams and the PD was pretty much SOL in dealing with the situation.

I think that if one were to assist the police in any situations it would be prudent to make sure that they know who you are and what you are doing.
Whether advising them by phone or in person. I would think this day and time, most police don't want civilian intervention for liability reasons.
That in no way takes away from the Heroic Actions of Mark Wilson in Tyler.

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Old February 28, 2005, 11:52 AM   #7
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Agreed - I'd be more than happy to grab my M4 out of the trunk and drop someone killing innocents left and right. But if police are a minute out or (obviously) already there, they HAVE to be aware of your actions. It's better to have some idiot with an AK shooting at you than a trained officer. You divert the officer's attention from the real crime as well as put your life in danger. I would let a cop know or just give him your AR, it's worth it.
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Old February 28, 2005, 03:02 PM   #8
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The Anti Gun AP's Take

Good Samaritan's action in shooting raises gun-law questions
LIZ AUSTIN
Associated Press Writer

DALLAS — When gunfire erupted in an East Texas town square, Mark Alan Wilson didn't hesitate. He grabbed a Colt .45 handgun and charged downstairs to confront the assailant.

David Hernandez Arroyo had murdered his ex-wife on the courthouse steps and was turning on his son when Wilson arrived. Wilson was the first to fire back, and authorities say he saved the young man's life. But Wilson was killed, outmatched by Arroyo's body armor and knockoff AK-47.

Wilson's actions in Thursday's Tyler shootings drew hearty praise from gun advocates who say he probably saved several more lives as well. But gun control groups say his death is further proof that carrying a gun increases a person's chances of getting killed.

Tyler police spokesman Don Martin warned gun owners to carefully weigh the risks before intervening.

"Certainly we don't want citizens to go out there and get involved in situations if they don't have to because they don't have the training that the officers do," Martin said.

Arroyo fired dozens of rounds after ambushing his family over an alleged dispute about unpaid child support. His ex-wife, Maribel Estrada, was killed. His son, 21-year-old David Hernandez Arroyo Jr., was hurt along with two sheriff's officers and a police detective.

Wilson, a Navy veteran with years of weapons training, had a permit to carry a concealed weapon. But it isn't clear if he was carrying one when the shooting broke out. Martin said he doesn't know whether Wilson was in his apartment at the time or if he ran up from the street to get his gun.

Kristen Rand, legislative director for the pro-gun control Violence Policy Center in Washington, D.C., said the Tyler shooting shows that criminals aren't deterred by the knowledge that someone nearby could be carrying a concealed weapon.

But state Rep. Suzanna Hupp, a supporter of the state's concealed carry law, said Wilson's actions and his access to a gun improved the odds that Arroyo would be taken down before more people were killed.

"What an incredibly courageous, selfless act by a human being," Hupp said. "That gentleman did precisely what I would like to think most good people would do in that scenario, which is to risk their own lives to save others."

The Tyler shooting also has reignited a debate over banning semiautomatic assault weapons like the one used by Arroyo.

A Clinton-era ban on such weapons expired in September amid criticism that it was too weak to keep those guns out of the hands of criminals. Loopholes allowed manufacturers to keep many weapons on the market by changing their names or altering features or accessories. And weapons lawfully owned before the ban was signed in 1994 were grandfathered in.

Eric Howard, a spokesman for the Washington, D.C.-based Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence, said guns like Arroyo's are the weapons of choice for criminals.

"These are military-style weapons that pose a significant risk to civilians and the police officers trying to protect the public," Howard said.

But Texas General Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who is also chairman of the pro-gun rights Civil Liberties Defense Foundation, said the military appearance of Arroyo's gun didn't make it more lethal.

"What we're focusing on is the alphanumerics: A-K-47," Patterson said. "If he'd have used a Remington semiautomatic deer rifle, the same outcome would have resulted."

———

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Old February 28, 2005, 03:54 PM   #9
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Dont you just love the way the anti-gun lobby deliberately distorts facts to suit their needs. A perfect example of how CC works, and they want to demonize it.

Typical.

Good thing the smart folks know where to find the truth....
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Old February 28, 2005, 06:34 PM   #10
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I loved how the anti's blamed Mark for a heroic action, instead of praising him like they should have. Anyhow, back to the how to distinguish an active shooter from a BG, and the question is not answerable, because every situation is different, involving different officers, and circumstances. In one instance, you might be ok, and work with the cops, but in another, even if you aren't targeted accidentally, if you shoot the BG, you might be charged criminally, or civilly, since you had no reason to be acting, once the cops arrived and took control of the situation. The best advice would be to try and get the attention of the police, and try to get a decision from them if they want you to try to take the BG out with your rifle. Now, I do not suggest that anyone attempt this, nor do I think it is a good idea, considering both the detrimental safety and legal problems associated.
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Old February 28, 2005, 07:12 PM   #11
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Tyler,TX

A man that would lay down his own life to protect another's.......How does that go? May our MAKER bless Mark and the other fatalities and bring sanity to they who believe just killing someone cures all personal ills! We all can use deadly force but most know when and how and the moral and legal implications. May our MAKER also bless the NRA, GOA,
the Firing Line Forum and out 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution!
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Old February 28, 2005, 09:38 PM   #12
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Don't have the link, but police are now saying that they believe Mr. Wilson scored a telling hit on Arroyo Sr. According to a Tyler LEO spokesman, preliminary autopsy results indicate that Wilson may have hit Arroyo Sr. in the groin below the region protected by the body armor.

That may well be the reason that Arroyo Sr. left the scene immediately after the shootout with Wilson rather than return to kill his son or the wounded officers. It also very likely contributed to the fact that no officers were injured or killed at the roadblock shootout where Arroyo Wr. was killed.
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Old February 28, 2005, 11:23 PM   #13
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I wonder what Caliber of Pistol Mark Wilson was shooting?

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Old February 28, 2005, 11:50 PM   #14
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I've heard .40 and .45, but I haven't been able to find anything conclusive either way.
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Old March 1, 2005, 12:24 AM   #15
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It was a 1911 .45. I saw it.
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Old March 1, 2005, 12:38 AM   #16
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E.L.,

Do you know how many rounds he fired?
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Old March 1, 2005, 11:47 AM   #17
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My intention with this thread really wasn't to second guess Mark Wilson getting involved or what tactics he used. I don't think anyone here would classify Mark Wislon as anything but a hero, and he used the tools that he had available to him.

But many times I hear people keeping a long arm for situations like this.

What got me thinking of this is that while I don't keep a rifle in my truck, I occasionally have thought of putting my SKS in a locked truck box, and that most people, even police officers can't tell the difference between a SKS and a AK style rifle. And since almost everytime that there is a major shootout, you hear the rifle described as being an AK-47 rifle, even if it isn't.

That right there got me thinking that anything that would make me look like the bad guy is a bad idea.

So I honestly hope that this thread helps people consider how they would personally react, taking into account the issue of police identifing you as either a bad guy or good guy.
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Old March 1, 2005, 02:26 PM   #18
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Time to toss the Marlin .30/30 in the trunk, methinks.
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Old March 1, 2005, 09:27 PM   #19
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I have heard he fired anywhere from 3-7 rounds. I expect that in the next week we will get a more detailed report of it.
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Old March 2, 2005, 12:27 PM   #20
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Cooperation

Quote:
JungleWork said: ...make sure that they know who you are and what you are doing. Whether advising them by phone or in person.
I think you hit the nail on the head. As you can see from a previous thread I started, I plan to have a .308 Steyr Scout in my trunk just in case. But if there is the need to use it, I hope to have the coolness to dial 911 first, report the situation and describe myself and my support action to the police before I start taking said action so they can spread this on their radio. This should work to make our possible support not only helpful for the police but also safe for us.

by the way a question: should a hit to the vest with a 9x19mm or .357 not at least give the BG a hard time breathing or make him stumble from the punch? Can one just stand there with a vest and take it?

Stay safe.
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Old March 2, 2005, 09:37 PM   #21
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Quote:
should a hit to the vest with a 9x19mm or .357 not at least give the BG a hard time breathing or make him stumble from the punch? Can one just stand there with a vest and take it?
Depends on the vest, bullet placement, as well as the state of mind and "chemical enhancement" of the person being shot. The Tyler police spokesman said it appeared that Arroyo Sr. was hit in the armor multiple times at the courthouse, and the North Hollywood bank robbers were also shot many times in their armor--all with apparently little to no effect.
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Old March 2, 2005, 10:04 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Para Bellum
But if there is the need to use it, I hope to have the coolness to dial 911 first, report the situation and describe myself and my support action to the police before I start taking said action ...
I learned from hard experience - if you describe someone to 9-1-1 be sure it's the bad guy. Remember that they may be flooded with calls about the situation and the call center gets chaotic; some dispatcher writes down (or types) suspect instead of caller OR the responding cops, besides trying to dodge traffic, hear over the siren, are trying to piece together the situation from sketchy radio reports and confuse citizen description with suspect description.

Remember, their focus is on "who's the bad guy?"; "What's he doing?"; "How many are there?" etc. If you're good at providing good, descriptive information they'll keep you on the line. Once you've provided a good synopsis of the BG's location, you can tell the 911-Op; "I'm between cars in the parking lot with my .308 and trying to get a clear shot." Or something to that effect. I suspect that'll sober 'em up at the call center!
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Old March 3, 2005, 09:48 AM   #23
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Opening up with any gun, a pistol or a rifle you have retrieved from a car, is potentially problematic as the police and other bystanders may mistake you for the bad guy. The issue of using a rifle is equally problematic as using a pistol. Even if you call 911 and describe yourself and that you are a good guy, there is no certainty that in the fog of war that the cops arriving on scene will have received that information, been able to remember that information with everything else they are getting, or that there haven't been other 911 calls reporting you as a shooter (and hence the bad guy) by some other observer.

As far as whether impacts to the vest from pistol calibers causing problems for a vested bad guy, it all depends. If you ever get a chance to check the Second Chance documented cases of 'Saves' then you will learn that many of the people shot did not realize they were shot or did not realize they were shot more than once. Some claim to have thought that the shots toward them must have missed, later to realize that they are bruised, have some discomfort, or have damaged clothing and vest. One officer apparently did not realize he had been shot until undressing and the slug fell out and dropped to the floor.

I just love the comments about the guns used. I know there are several reports of guns and calibers for Arroyo and Wilson, Arroyo's apparently not being an AK and contrary to what I have read reported here, one news clip had Wilson's as a .40 Glock.

Duxman, I assure you that it isn't just the antis who misinterpret or misrepresent information. The transgression is blatant on both sides of the gun issue. Some years back, I compared death rates reported by the NRA and MMM. Both cited the same CDC study. Both lied, massaging the data to fit their political perspectives. I was unable to arrive at either total based on the data in the CDC study that both claimed as the basis for their information.
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Old March 3, 2005, 11:52 AM   #24
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.308 into the vest?

ok, I have learned what I feared: A handgun shot to the vest can happen to have no effect what so ever.

Let's assume we have our .308 in the trunk and get a chance to shoot the bad guy in front of the court house. Would a well placed shot from approx 100-150 yds with a .308 rifle penetrate modern vests? Would it at least push the bad guy down?
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Old March 3, 2005, 04:07 PM   #25
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308 in the vest:
I remember reading that a 308 will hit the perp with somewhere around a 1000 ft/lbs of energy, so with that in mind, I think it will penetrate a vest, unless the vest in question has a chicken plate in it.
least of all, it ought to put him on his a$$.
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