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Old December 24, 2005, 04:22 PM   #1
GLP Standard
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Shooting of Trooper Mark Coates

After reading the thread yesterday about the Officer vs the guy with the "AK47", I decided to make this thread. Here is a similar shooting where a State Trooper named Mark Coates was gunned down on I-95 northbound lane. This video is used to train State Police, so it is fairly long and has a lot of commentary and interviews on it.

Pay close attention to how the First Trooper on scene after the shooting reacts, even after he discovers that the two truckers that stopped to help werent the shooters. I know it was a tragic moment, but he said a lot of threatening comments towards the innocent bystanders, and do you think that his words were justified by the situation? Thats the only thing that I wanted to discuss. The rest of you can discuss whatever you feel necessary about this video. It has graphic language, so "Viewer Discretion is Adviced"

This will probably be the last video like this I watch. This kind of senseless killing makes me sick, and Im glad that the guy got the death penalty (if I remember correctly)

http://www.rcfop.com/index.php?modul...display&pid=60

1. Click on "Reality & In-Car Video"
2. Click on "Deadly Traffic Stop-The Shooting of Trooper Mark Coates"
3. Click on "Click Here To Watch Video"
4. Discuss
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Old December 24, 2005, 04:52 PM   #2
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Thats messed up. I can't believe it went from all nice and neat to that. 5 shots into that 300 lb frame with +p hollowpoint and the BG still could move and talk. I would say this is a good argument for a .45 ACP service pistol.
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Old December 24, 2005, 05:03 PM   #3
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Richard Blackburn got life in prison for that.

I doubt if a .45ACP would have done any better, given the body mass of the murderer and his position.

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Old December 24, 2005, 05:25 PM   #4
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That officer seemed to be a very nice guy. I take it from the video since the sound was very muffled that he was carrrying a revolver... In my opinion if you carry a revolver and only have six shots as a police officer you aren't well prepared for situations involving more than one suspect and I would only use a revolver in self defense if it were a .44 magnum, .454 casull, or .50 ae so you know if it hits chances are they are going down (of course i doubt there is a police force in the US that lets you carry one as your patrol weapon).

On a side note that second cop that shows up seemed to only further escalate the intensity of the situation. He was yelling so erratically and being so jumpy I'd wet myself, especially if he had a revolver with the hammer back. He seemed to lack the professional coolness required.
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Old December 24, 2005, 05:44 PM   #5
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Trooper Coates got five out of six shots center mass on the subject with 145 gr. JHP's.

Revolver or semi-auto, you can't ask for better than that.

The subject got one hit with a NAA .22LR mini-revolver.

It was Trooper Coate's time.

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Old December 24, 2005, 08:14 PM   #6
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Can only say he did a phenomenal job of putting rounds center mass in the situation. RIB Brother, that is all that needs to be said. Learn what you can from it, but it is so easy trying to post downfalls of a dynamic scenario after-the-fact, especially if you are not there.
(My dep't IA is good at this!)
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Old December 24, 2005, 08:20 PM   #7
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God bless Trooper Coates.

This video shows several things.
First, an officer has a need to stay in charge of any traffic stop.
Second, luck, good or bad, plays an incredible part in a gunfight. A .357magnum is unrivaled in stopping power, yet Blackburn absorbed 5 COM hits. Trooper Coates was fatally wounded with one hit from a .22LR derringer. All the critics would speculate that would never happen. It did. IIRC, Trooper Coates was wearing a vest at the time, and was shot through the side.

I agree with Law Dog, it was Trooper Coate's time, no matter how badly we wish it was not. God bless him.
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Old December 27, 2005, 05:57 PM   #8
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I have seen this many times and think the same thing every time I see it. Life's not fair-Tpr. Coates did many things right and still got killed. That POS Blackburn gets to live and the Tpr. does not-I'll never understand.

RIP.
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Old December 27, 2005, 10:45 PM   #9
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I've seen this video many, many times and I now teach using it. Mark Coates is probably the best-known officer's name in SC. All of us probably owe our lives to him at some point. Mark made a few complacency errors that we all make, esp in everyday situations like traffic stops. His happended to cost him his life. I'm sure I'm not the only cop who has images from that video flash through his mind when I begin to get complacent and let someone put their hands in their pocket, search them from the front, etc. Mark put up a helluva fight physically and in the gunfight but in the end it was not enough.

I hate to second-guess Trooper Coates but I always point out to students that his last fatal error was not seeking available cover. Blackburn's vehicle was right beside him and he had one round left. Instead of taking the cover and reloading, he went for his radio. God knows we all want back-up in a gun fight but that gave Blackburn the time and opportunity to fire the final shot that pierced Mark's side. Remember there's a lot more to a gunfight that accuracy alone.

God Bless Mark Coates. Fly High Brother.
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Old December 27, 2005, 11:24 PM   #10
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Holy Moly, I just drove up and back from FL to VA last week and I could swear I remember seeing a sign on I-95 saying something about Trooper Mark Coates Memorial Highway. Can anyone confirm for me that my memory is correct about that?


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Old December 28, 2005, 05:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GLP Standard
Pay close attention to how the First Trooper on scene after the shooting reacts, even after he discovers that the two truckers that stopped to help werent the shooters. I know it was a tragic moment, but he said a lot of threatening comments towards the innocent bystanders, and do you think that his words were justified by the situation?
I think that what he essentially commanded them to do (get down on the ground) was definitely the right thing. The way he told them to do so, though not justified, was forgivable considering the intensity of the situation. After all, no one could verify in the first few minutes that those two truckers weren't actually the shooters. Their vindication could wait until the smoke cleared.

I had never seen that video. Very tragic situation... I don't know what else to say.
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Old December 28, 2005, 08:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
GLP Standard ........Pay close attention to how the First Trooper on scene after the shooting reacts, even after he discovers that the two truckers that stopped to help werent the shooters. I know it was a tragic moment, but he said a lot of threatening comments towards the innocent bystanders, and do you think that his words were justified by the situation? Thats the only thing that I wanted to discuss.
Quote:
stratus...... He essentially commanded them to do (get down on the ground) was definitely the right thing. The way he told them to do so, though not justified, was forgivable considering the intensity of the situation. After all, no one could verify in the first few minutes that those two truckers weren't actually the shooters. Their vindication could wait until the smoke cleared.
Very true. As much as I would not have wanted to be those truckers, and as likely as I would have been them had I been passing by......... Trooper Jacobs (the first officer responding) did what he had to do. He wasn't nice, he wasn't tactful, but his actions and take charge attitude likely saved those two trucker's lives. Thank God the truckers complied.

You have to consider Trooper Jacob's situation. The knowledge he had at the time was somebody just apparently shot a fellow officer. It is unlikely Trooper Coates could effectively communicate. Here are these two guys with a gun. For Trooper Jacob's own safety, he had to control two men who were claiming not to be the shooter, while attempting to get back-up to administer to Coates. If he was wrong about the reason the two truckers were there, then he too, would die. Jacobs was in a position where he could not assist Coates, he could only protect him until further help arrived. He was alone against two unknown persons who claimed there was a shooter somewhere that was not themselves. This was not a time for pussyfooting around, but a time to take absolute charge of the situation or possibly die as well.

Nobody faults Trooper Coates for turning aggressive and shooting Blackburn. We cannot condemn Trooper Jacobs for doing the same to protect his own life in an even hairier situation. I believe Trooper Jacobs behaved with remarkable restraint, all things considered.

Quote:
SCCop....... I always point out to students that his last fatal error was not seeking available cover. Blackburn's vehicle was right beside him and he had one round left. Instead of taking the cover and reloading, he went for his radio. God knows we all want back-up in a gun fight but that gave Blackburn the time and opportunity to fire the final shot that pierced Mark's side. Remember there's a lot more to a gunfight that accuracy alone.
Again, very true, and it bears repeating. When you have one shot left, and are in a gunfight, the best tactic is to get cover and reload. Rule #1 in a gunfight is Do Not Get Shot. This even supercedes the usual glib "have a gun" rule. I believe Trooper Coates would want others to learn from his mistakes. By doing so, his loss is not in vain.
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Old December 28, 2005, 10:37 AM   #13
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There is a memorial to Trooper Coates on I-95 in Jasper County IIRC.
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Old December 28, 2005, 10:49 AM   #14
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It's just sick that a piece of trash like that, with a crappy little .22 NAA, could gun down an officer with a magnum revolver and a vest.

The officer was being completely courteous to the guy during his stop and this is just horrible.

A lot of people on this forum get mean-spirited towards police due to abuses commited by a small number of police (me included) but this guy absolutely didn't deserve this.

I wish the shooter got the death penalty.
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Old December 28, 2005, 01:13 PM   #15
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My prayers and best wishes for the family members of Trooper Coates. All that comes to mind is what my Grandmother use to say, "The Lord works in mysterious ways." Trooper Coates is in a better place.

Hopefully Mark is on the receiving end of some prison justice everyday for the rest of his pitiful life.
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Old December 28, 2005, 03:32 PM   #16
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I've seen this video in some training classes that I went to in the past. They say that the suspects body fat and muscle tissue absorbed the bullets with little or no trouble at all. The bullet that killed the trooper went in the arm hole of his vest through under his arm pit and entered the heart from there. There's a haunting question of tactics on just about any officer involved shooting where the officer doesn't survive. I have a video that if I knew how to upload it on here that I would share. It's a Texas DPS trooper killed by an elderly man who was stopped for a seat belt violation. The officer never made it out of his car though by the video it appears he had time to get out of the vehicle...flee the scene in his unit or return fire through the windshield...but he never did. If I can figure out how to upload it on here I will.
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Old December 28, 2005, 05:55 PM   #17
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I watched this video and was completely shocked by the outcome. Its a sad day when a good LEO has to lose his life to a piece of scum. I watched the first officer arrive on the scene and have to agree that although he was a little vulgar I think his actions were appropiate. He had no clue what went on, he had two men there and one had a gun, and he has to make decisions in a split second that require him not only to protect himself but the fallen officer as well. I think that the officer did an outstanding job of preventing further injury or death in that situation. RIP Trooper Coates
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Old December 28, 2005, 06:53 PM   #18
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Quote:
... I know it was a tragic moment, but he said a lot of threatening comments towards the innocent bystanders, and do you think that his words were justified by the situation? ....
Yes, a very tragic moment. Personally, as tragic as the moment was, I would expect more "Professionalism" on the part of a uniformed officer. It must really have hit the "Fear zone" of the officer to act out in that manner. True he had no idea who may have been involved, but that is no justification for the reaction demonstrated. Perhaps this individual is in the wrong line of work. Don't get me wrong ... I'd not have acted more composed, and maybe even worse ... but then I know I'm not cut out to be a police officer ... very tough line of work to be exposed to and not flip out. My hat is off to those that walk that line.
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Old January 3, 2006, 02:59 PM   #19
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That was an incredible video. Yes, shocking. Not a LEO (had a chance years ago) but I will always remember it. That was a good cop, the kind I would want to be stopped by if I had to (hopefully never).

Too bad Blackburn didn't get the chair.
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Old January 3, 2006, 03:43 PM   #20
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XavierBreath, that is perhaps the best post in summarizing the incident I have seen.

To those who have questions about the responding officers conduct or language, please try to understand--and definitely remember this:

We, as cops, have two calls that make our hearts plummet, and will make us drop anything and EVERYTHING to respond. These two calls are "Officer needs assistance", and Officer DOWN".

Here's why: We know that we function beyond the reach of immediate help in most circumstances, with the noteworthy exception of the good folks who will pitch in at a moment's notice. When we hear these calls, we become filled with a single purpose, and that is to get to our brother--or sister--officer's side. It doesn't matter if you are a city beat cop, a county mountie, a state trooper, US Marshal, feeb or MP--or guess what--even a private Security Officer.

Engines spike up and run at the redline. Rubber gets left on the pavement. Lunches or meals hit the dirt post haste and drinks get thrown out the window. The only thing that matters is to help the officer.

And when we arrive, if an officer is down or hurt, if you are anywhere near that officer, please have your hands in plain sight, and try to explain quickly what you are doing. Do NOT have anything like a firearm or weapon in your hands.

Because we are coming out of those cars like missiles; we are targeted on ANYTHING that may pose a threat to the fallen officer, and may God have mercy on anyone who even looks like they have hurt that officer, who does not respond immediately and fully to our commands.

In that case, playtime's over, folks.

Note: while we do respond at the same speed for "Crime in Progress" calls--especially violent crime--the thought of a good friend--or even relative--laying dying of homicidal violence just gets to you in a special way.

God bless all of those who stand in harm's way, and His blessings and mercy on the fallen.
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Old January 3, 2006, 05:16 PM   #21
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Thanks for posting this.

I had heard about this case but had never seen the video.

Originally I had heard that the trooper had fired .357 mags, but it looks like they were +P loads. I wonder if .357 would have made a difference.
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Old January 3, 2006, 09:23 PM   #22
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Full-house .357 magnums. 145 grain jacketed hollowpoints, or so goes the inforamtion I have.

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Old January 3, 2006, 10:02 PM   #23
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GetSetToJet,
Quote:
I would only use a revolver in self defense if it were a .44 magnum, .454 casull, or .50 ae so you know if it hits chances are they are going down (of course i doubt there is a police force in the US that lets you carry one as your patrol weapon).
Actually, I seem to recall reading in a book at Barnes and Noble (I don't recall the title but it was hardback and on the bargain table) that at least at some point in time, Tennessee allowed some of their officers to carry a .44 magnum. Now, whether this is still in effect or not, and whether city cops were allowed to carry them I can't recall. But I do recall the look of terror on a man's face while he was belly down on the hood of a patrol car with a 4" or 5" barreled .44 mag pointed to his head.

May God bless Trooper Coates, his family and the countless other U.S. citizens who risk their lives everyday.
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Old January 5, 2006, 09:26 PM   #24
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video

I think the other video on there of some redneck killing Deputy Kyle Dinkheller in 1998 was very disturbing as well. It just goes to show that you never know what some whack job out there is toting. That guy had a .30 carbine and knew how to use it.
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Old January 5, 2006, 10:30 PM   #25
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Doesn't the video say he was using +P's in a magnum? I've never heard of .357 magnum +P's so I'm assuming they were .38sp+P. Does anyone know what has happened to Blackburn since his conviction?
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