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Old July 15, 2007, 04:29 AM   #51
Para Bellum
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"Wait until a more favorable opportunity presents itself."

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Wait until a more favorable opportunity presents itself.
...like the hostage getting killed anyway?

It's a hard scenarion and nobody shall be blamed for whatever he decides to do. But if you have chance to shoot the brain stem and the ability to do so, I couldn't imagine a more favorable opportunity to wait for (not) to come...
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Old July 15, 2007, 07:50 AM   #52
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But if you have chance to shoot the brain stem and the ability to do so, I couldn't imagine a more favorable opportunity to wait for (not) to come...
It is always interesting when folks suggest trying to hit a specific an fairly small internal location, such as a brain stem that is shielded by bone. It becomes really hard if you have to do it from the front.
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Old July 15, 2007, 08:04 AM   #53
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Unfortunately, I never found out the actual path of the bullet.
An interesting point here, I was hunting in WV for deer several years back. I had a doe permit and was using my .270 REM. I took a head shot at about 50 yds. I hit just behind the eye right in the flatter part of the side of the skull. The deer dropped like a sack of potato's, however the bullet, a soft point, turned down at 90 degrees went down the neck and exited on the side I was shooting from just above the top of the leg. Moral of the story, bullets do funny things and can't be predicted. I never found that bullet, I'm just glad it didn't find me!
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Old January 27, 2008, 02:35 PM   #54
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Head shots? When I was teaching some police officers different shooting techniques involving precision shots, which is what head shots are, we found that before the officers had practiced precision shooting that about 3 out of 4 of them, at very close range of under 7 yards, would hit the victim in the head instead of the hostage taker. After about 2 years or so of practice involving precision shooting, the majority of officers could make head shots at 10 yards or less with no trouble. Believe me, it takes time and lots of ammo to make somebody into a fair precise shooter able to make head shots AND, get this, PRECISION SHOOTING IS A SKILL THAT CAN QUICKLY FADE AWAY IF IT IS NOT PRACTICED. So, if you're going to take head shots you will need lots and lots of practice to stay current in it.
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Old January 27, 2008, 03:55 PM   #55
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I've seen too many cases of the bullet not penetrating the skull and going around and exiting the rear, leaving the BG (or in some instances GG) capable of continuing the fight.

Hostages are often used as a way out, so if they think you are willing to shoot they're probably going to take what they can while they can.

I would comply until he thinks he's free, then punch his ticket . Or just stall until the real law enforcement come with snipers, who probably still wouldn't shoot a guy with a hostage under his direct control.
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Old May 19, 2008, 12:29 PM   #56
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I know this thread is a bit old, but I was reading through it on my lunch break, and wondered about the following. Suppose the BG has a relatively large handgun pointed at the hostage's head and you are only 10 feet or so away. Is it an obviously bad idea to try to shoot the gun itself? Would this almost surely cause it to fire into the hostage's head, or could the 350+ foot pounds of energy knock it back away from the hostage's head before it fired? I have no position on this, just curious if there is a well known answer.

S
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Old May 19, 2008, 02:01 PM   #57
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"Thanks for any input."

I'm getting in late on this one. DO NOT take the shot unless you can guarantee the perp will be INSTANTLY rendered nerveless with loss of ALL muscle control (ain't never gonna happen!). You can not guarantee the perp's knife will fall harmlessly away from the victim's throat or his index finger will relax harmlessly from the trigger. If you can somehow communicate to the victim to "faint", you MIGHT go for a shot when they go down, revealing more of the perp. As for letting the perp leave with a hostage, that's another scene entirely. You might have to take a chance there. Don't be too eager to shoot. If you have him cold in your sights, there's no need to hurry things. Try to talk him down.

Also, are you that good of a shot to hit that target dead center when you're pumped full of adrenaline? Think about what happens if you don't.
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Old May 19, 2008, 02:08 PM   #58
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"Is it an obviously bad idea to try to shoot the gun itself?"

EXTREMELY bad!!! First, if the perp has that pistol on SA, it only takes a couple of pounds of pressure to trigger a shot. My wife's Colt Defender only takes 3.5 pounds. Even my Taurus 85UL is only about 6 pounds with a custom spring job.

I'll ask the same question I asked the original poster. Are you that good of a shot to hit that small target even from only 10 feet away when you're pumped full of adrenaline? Can you guarantee YOUR bullet won't ricochet and hit the victim?

Remember, most states require you to use a thought process that any REASONABLE person would use when you decide to shoot. Is it really reasonable to shoot only inches from an innocent person's head? I think not.
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Old May 19, 2008, 02:58 PM   #59
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+ 1 chrisandclauida2


Thats a man that knows what he's talking about. He also gave a great argument for caliber vs bullet vs penetration. People have been shot right between the eyes with 9mm's and lived. If you want to quote movies check out Mercury Rising. Its one of the few movies that include a head shot that does not = instant death. The man in question is able to crawl over and dial a phone before succumbing to a flurry of additional bullets compliments of the BG.

I will add one thing however. The brain is encased in a skull, and thus does not respond well to compressive forces. Meaning, if you step up your ammo a little bit, .308 for snipers and adequate .40 JHP's and up for pistols, you will be able impart significant damage in the form of blunt force trauma to the entire brain. The result is a drastic increase in your likely hood of incapacitation. You might not have to actually permeate the "off switch" in order to effect it.

Point blank hollow points to the head can be very messy. (trust me) I've seen photos that vividly prove that point. Bullet weight is of key importance as well . . . a heavier bullet won't as easily glance off of bone as a light 9mm round.

So, to add specificness to this debate. Do you have a 9mm service pistol loaded with full metal jackets OR is it a magnum wheel gun chambered in anything from 10mm to .500 S&W? It does make a big difference.

The disposition of the BG is also key. Assuming he his violent, on drugs and not rational at the time (and you are in possition relative to your own shooting abilities) hesitation may not be the best defense. But if he is not all of those things, shooting would be irresponsible and the outcome would be on your hands. Regardless of which way it went . . .
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Old May 19, 2008, 04:40 PM   #60
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For example, I might assume that in this situation I would have a box of small ball bearings that I could spread across the floor making it impossible for the BG to keep his balance when he tried to leave with a hostage. Hooray, problem solved!
Quote:
Sure. There are lots of options that involve taking some action other than shooting. Shove the couch in front of the door. Lock the deadbolt and swallow the key. Pretend not to understand what the BG is saying, and talk back in a foreign language.
David, Kinda late (my response) but you already knew I was responding to Lurpers twist on the scenario. Great to see that you do have a sense of humor. Still can't see how you can keep them in the house as they usually have 2 entrances/exits and you are only one person.
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Old May 19, 2008, 05:25 PM   #61
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I didn't read all the other posts, so forgive me if i repeat anything said prior to this post.

In this situation of the BG holding a weapon to another person's head, who is the other person? Is this a bak robbery or carjacking? is it someone kicking in your backdoor and grabbing your wife/son/daughter/husband/etc? Are you in a LE position? the answers to these questions may determine what actions should be taken. As an NON-LEO, drawing and shooting to save a civilian, while very commenadable, may land you in some legal trouble. As a civilian carrying a gun for personal protection, the gun should only be used for that-personal protection. What happens if you miss and hit the hostage as a civilian. What kind of criminal or civil charges await you? what are the penalties for action? Loss of gun or permit or both? Jail time? Is it worth it?

From a LEO perspective, everything changes and i am in no position to give such advice.
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Old May 19, 2008, 05:54 PM   #62
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Several posts did emphasize that the BG wants to keep the hostage alive so they have some "power" over the situation. I agree with that, but think the BG might need reminding of that. So, given that shooting the BG's gun is apparently a bad idea, I think I would explain to the BG that:

1. "I assume you will kill my wife or child for certain if you leave with her/him."
2. "Therefore, you cannot leave with them, period. Period!"
3. "If you try to do so, I will shoot you in the head and take my chances on survival of the spouse/son. At least this way, they have a chance of survival."
4. "But the easiest thing would be for you to just leave, in which case I won't shoot you in the head and we all win. See, it's a win-win situation. Go!"

If I were the BG, and someone were 10 feet away with a 9mm aimed at my head, I think I would take this deal and literally run with it.

Hunkering down in your own bedroom is a great idea for those who don't have family members in other parts of the house, but it is clearly not acceptable to leave the BG roaming around your house when other family members are not hunkering down with you.
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Old May 19, 2008, 06:17 PM   #63
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WOW! I was surprised to see this thread resurrected. The best response to my original question was probably from chrisandclaudia2 and Aqeous brought up some good points as well.

There was never any "set" scenario. None of this "It was 8:43 at night with a SW wind at 5 mph; just having finished a Sydney’s Sinful Sundae and regretting it as I'm lactose intolerant when...blah, blah, blah," LOL! It was just a simple question of the possibility of a muscle contraction after a shot to the brain. Of course with anything, there's always a possibility.

I was looking for any scientific data or definitive answer along the lines of my cousin's wife has a friend who works with a guy who dated a girl in 1978 who's uncle that was twice removed witnessed...you know, first hand experience type stuff. I ended up having the police, SWAT and hostage negotiators showing up. I'm throwing out ball bearings, moving furniture and swallowing keys. Of course, the key won't stay there long due to the whole lactose intolerant thing. I have Girl Scouts with cookies, Jehovah Witnesses and kids trying to sell magazines to fund their trip to Florida.

In all seriousness, there was some very well made points and it was interesting to see this thread come to life. Probably more so than if I would have given a specific scenario to start off with. I appreciate everyone's input and taking the time to post a response.

Thanks.
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Old May 19, 2008, 09:40 PM   #64
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After reading this thread I have taken to placing a small kiwi fruit inside a canaloupe and practicing at shooting it it out without hitting the more innocent looking honeydew placed in front of it slightly to the side. You never know when these skills might come in handy.
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Old May 19, 2008, 10:09 PM   #65
Scattergun Bob
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This IS a no shoot no question

Sorry guys,

This is a lose, lose, lose, win.

you LOSE if you are too slow, bad guy pulls the trigger (remember the gun is cocked)

you LOSE if you miss the shot. (bad guy pulls the trigger)

you lose if there is movement and you shoot the hostage.

YOU do win if everything goes your way.

I do not want those odds, nor do I want to be the stimulus for the BG to pull the trigger.

Find cover, Keep your sight alignment and wait for a better shot.


We don't have much in the way of details in this nightmare, distance to target, light conditions, BG state of mind. MY testing indicates that the average Joe does not make this shot.

Good Luck & Be Safe
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Old May 20, 2008, 12:28 AM   #66
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Take the shot!

In the words of FPS Doug..."BOOM, HEAD SHOT!!!"


JK!!
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Old May 20, 2008, 06:18 AM   #67
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About ten years ago we had a hostage situation in a local fast food place. Knife to the throat of a female patron and a city LEO took the shot from the roof of another fast food joint accross the street with a rifle. Only one injured was bad guy, he sort of died. Now, with a handgun and say the hostage and the BG are so close their heads are touching, you may miss and hit the hostage.
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Old May 20, 2008, 06:44 AM   #68
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"About ten years ago we had a hostage situation in a local fast food place. Knife to the throat of a female patron and a city LEO took the shot from the roof of another fast food joint accross the street with a rifle. Only one injured was bad guy, he sort of died. Now, with a handgun and say the hostage and the BG are so close their heads are touching, you may miss and hit the hostage."

A trained police sniper with a high powered hunting rifle, special ammo, and telescopic sights is a LOT different than an untrained civilian CWP holder with a short barrel pistol, Wal-Mart brand JHPs, and a tongue and groove sight.
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Old May 20, 2008, 09:44 AM   #69
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evan

In return fire of titans, in the immortal words of Cooper, "no amount of sheep like utterances of I'm sorry, will call back a round WHEN YOU MISS and hit the hostage."
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Old May 20, 2008, 11:34 AM   #70
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Quote:
evan

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In return fire of titans, in the immortal words of Cooper, "no amount of sheep like utterances of I'm sorry, will call back a round WHEN YOU MISS and hit the hostage."

I was completly kidding in my comment...quoting FPS Doug..I thought that was obvious ...I did say JK by the way!

No but seriously...that would be a shot I would really not want to take. I shoot a lot and Im fairly confident in my pistol skills, however high stess situations make for a low probability of placing a successfully head shot with a handgun. Additionally, movement of all parties involved as well as the unpredictability of handgun rounds (even if they strike the threat's head) makes for a terribly difficult shot to pull off.

With a scoped rifle on a SWAT team...well, thats a different story.
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Old May 20, 2008, 12:03 PM   #71
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With a couple of my handguns I'm a pretty good shot, but I have to defer to the gentleman from Camp David. I would hope I could stall long enough for LE to arrive. I don't have the faith in my abilities to try the head shot with a loved one being the hostage. I don't know what Id do but Id ahve to rule the coconut shot out. Hope for a better shot or for help to arrive. God forbid any of us ever has to face that situation.
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Old May 20, 2008, 09:00 PM   #72
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Evan

I am the one to apologize, I know so little of the protocols concerning chat boards, did not know JK meant just kidding.

thanks for the info

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Old May 20, 2008, 10:10 PM   #73
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This is my first post in this section because I am not trained in this area and I have very limited knowlege of this nature. But what I do know is that I trapped racoons when I was a kid, and I carried a 22 mag on the trapline. I can tell you one thing: when I shot trapped coons in the head, nearly all thrashed and wriggled and flipped around for a good 10 seconds. This was from a few feet away with a bullet that turned their head into pudding. I pray I will never be in this situation, but if I was, I would never shoot a person in the head who had their finger on the trigger of a gun pointed at a hostage.

I do remember reading somewhere that military snipers always shoot for the torso since its the biggest target, but in a hostage situation the point of aim is the upper lip with a head on shot, I guess it would allow the bullet to expand and then take out the spinal cord right under the brainstem. Maybe I'm wrong, but thats what I remember.
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Old May 20, 2008, 10:19 PM   #74
bobthewelder
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This isn't meant to the last poster or anyone in specific. Hitting the brain stem? Are we 15 here?(we all know that when your 15 or so to about 20 you KNOW EVERYTHING).
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Old May 20, 2008, 11:09 PM   #75
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I would never take a shot at a BG with a hostage. Its not worth risking the lives of anyone I love.
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