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Old August 29, 2008, 10:05 PM   #1
Glockeroo
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Let's discuss the North Hollywood shootout

What could the police have done differently to end the situation much quicker? The gunmen were able to keep the police at bay for a long time. What do you think could have been done differently, and what have officers learned since the incident? Is there standard training included now for officers because of the North Hollywood ordeal? After rewatching the shooting unfold, I was surprised that out of all the first officers to arrive to the scene, not one was equipped with a high-powered rifle to at least give the gunmen a run for their money.

I would like to hear your opinions of the tragic day.
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Old August 29, 2008, 10:23 PM   #2
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The most relavent lesson was to not prohibit line officers from employing slugs in their shotguns.

Other relevant lessons largely centered on providing the means for non-tactical unit personnel to effectively and efficiently meet a-typical threats head on. Lessons that might not have been learned at that time had a few slugs been on hand.
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Old August 29, 2008, 10:54 PM   #3
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...and to get them to practice with the slugs.
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Old August 29, 2008, 11:11 PM   #4
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Another factor, according to reports I've read, is that officers were trained to only shoot COM. None were trained to take a head shot if COM hits weren't working out. Mind you, it does take some cajones to return fire against a FA long gun when all you have is a handgun.

Not having shotgun slugs and training to use them was a huge problem.

Until that incident, police did not consider it "likely" that one or two men would have full-auto weapons, let alone any full-auto .308 weapons.

The situation didn't unfold the way most cops would expect. Usually you might expect the perps to throw a few rounds or fire a dozen shots and then flee towards his escape vehicle. These guys more or less stood their ground and seemed more intent on shooting the cops than immediately getting away.
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Old August 29, 2008, 11:41 PM   #5
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They had perfection: Glocks.

Seriously. Officers are not trained for that kind of combat. Glocks are NOT accurate at that range. Most police calibers are incapable of penetrating even the most basic vest, or armour, or, the ammunition is designed to expand, rather then penetrate.

The tactics of hiding behind a car become deadly when the bad guys are using rifle rounds capable of going through most everything in your average car. Cover in this case was non-existent. None of the weapons LAPD carried were capable of long range shooting, and, or, the officers were not capable of shooting at that range. It's the classic,
"You brought a pistol to a rifle/machine gun fight."

LAPD could have had a cheap rifle, like a Mosin Nagant, and, with proper ammo, and multiple positions, have been able to put the guys down quickly...
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Old August 30, 2008, 12:20 AM   #6
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Bill

Bill said "The situation didn't unfold the way most cops would expect."

You win the Big Bingo pot of the night for that one, brother. One of the real lessons in this gunfight, and in other historic high profile police gunfights. Luck of the draw exists, never be happy with a minimum standard, have some plan for the unexpected.

I keep dusting off this old saying from Clint Smith, even though he is a Marine, got to give him a tip of the hat for this one.

"the fight is never what you THINK it will be. It is gonna be what it's gonna be, the only variable is what YOU are going to do."


By the way nice to read your words again.

Good Luck & Be Safe
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Old August 30, 2008, 12:24 AM   #7
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CBS's "60 minutes had a program on them...

as part of their usual tirade.
In it the LAPD & FBI knew of these guys for a year and had no plans developed.
It just coincidence that it happened during the BJC & her majesty's tenure!
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Old August 30, 2008, 12:29 AM   #8
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Glocks are NOT accurate at that range.
Curious, what kind of practical** accuracy do you expect from a semi-auto service pistol?

**shot offhand or using a field expedient rest from behind cover.


This group was shot offhand. I purchased the Glock used from a gun shop/range that was closing down. It was one of their rental guns and was completely stock at the time this group was shot
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Old August 30, 2008, 03:10 AM   #9
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"You brought a pistol to a rifle/machine gun fight."
That sums it up for me.

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Old August 30, 2008, 06:36 AM   #10
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LAPD

Weren't they still using Beretta and S&W? I don't believe the Glock was in service yet. A 10/22 and a cool head would have done more than anything.
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Old August 30, 2008, 07:07 AM   #11
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Let's discuss the North Hollywood shootout

What could the police have done differently to end the situation much quicker?
They could have been responsible for their own skill level (which we all ultimately are anyway) and capable of making rested head shots from behind cover, to 50-75 yards.
The gunmen were able to keep the police at bay for a long time. What do you think could have been done differently, and what have officers learned since the incident?
Hopefully, to shoot.
Is there standard training included now for officers because of the North Hollywood ordeal?
The is no 'standardized training'; individual departments set their own.
After rewatching the shooting unfold, I was surprised that out of all the first officers to arrive to the scene, not one was equipped with a high-powered rifle to at least give the gunmen a run for their money.
Sarge's Administrative Control Theory: Generally speaking, the larger the agency, the greater the restrictions on the individual member. I doubt those officers could just throw a 94 Winchester in the trunk cuz they thought they might need it that day...
Seriously. Officers are not trained for that kind of combat. Glocks are NOT accurate at that range.
THIS officer is. THIS officer has trained others for 'that kind of combat'- long before 'North Hollywood'. Not all of us have sit on our thumbs, waiting for somebody to 'issue' us skill.
I believe John answered the question on service pistol accuracy quite nicely. Good shooting, Amigo.
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Old August 30, 2008, 07:08 AM   #12
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#1: The crooks had, in fact, been arrested just a few months before this incident (don't recall what agency, but it wasn't the LAPD). They had firearms at the time of the arrest, which were confiscated, but returned to them due to "lack of evidence" of any crime.

#2: The crooks had practised their procedures, and pretty much knew what police response times were. The shooting didn't originate from an alarm call or a call to 9-1-1, but a 2-officer unit that happened to observe the crooks coming out of the bank.

#3: The crooks were hyped-up on pain pills. During the exchange of gunfire, both crooks took hits from pistols or revolvers, but they shook off the pain....or were hit in their body armor which covered most of their bodies and limbs.

#4: Several officers that were within range of attempting head shots had to back off, due to the background behind the crooks (residences, moving vehicles). The crooks could have cared less about hitting innocent people.

#5: Slugs in shotguns were forbidden by the LAPD at the time. Likewise, rifles were forbidden to be utilized by "patrol" officers at the time, due to the lack of training, liability issues AND the costs involved in training and issuing rifles to patrol officers.

The LAPD (and several other agencies) have increased their training, purchased shotguns specifically for shooting slugs, have purchased "UPR" (Urban Police Rifles) and have deployed numerous trained sharpshooters in all of the geographic divisions.
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Old August 30, 2008, 09:04 AM   #13
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Seriously. Officers are not trained for that kind of combat. Glocks are NOT accurate at that range. Most police calibers are incapable of penetrating even the most basic vest, or armour, or, the ammunition is designed to expand, rather then penetrate.
Uh, Socrates. Glocks are more than accurate at the range, and 2nd, those cops had Berettas.
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Old August 30, 2008, 10:36 AM   #14
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#5: Slugs in shotguns were forbidden by the LAPD at the time. Likewise, rifles were forbidden to be utilized by "patrol" officers at the time, due to the lack of training, liability issues AND the costs involved in training and issuing rifles to patrol officers.
The lack of shotgun slugs and lack of training were probably the biggest problems. Shotguns slugs, even if they don't penetrate kevlar, cause massive blunt force trauma, they are easily capable of breaking ribs, or a persons spine if you shoot them from behind. Those types of injuries will bring someone to a stop, probably not instantly though, regardless of whether they are on pain pills or not. A head shot with a Slug, game over man.
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Old August 30, 2008, 09:42 PM   #15
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A revolting development....

My oldest son, despite my admonitions to find honest work instead, recently started the police academy. About that same time he also bought the first Glock that's ever been 'in the family'. He seems to have inherited my gift for finding lemons and his factory-reconditioned G22 soon gave light-strike FTF's. Off it went to a Glock LE armorer friend who corrected a few things and this afternoon, I took it out for a test drive.

Standing unsupported at 25 yards, I fired 10 rounds of WW/USA 165 FMJ at a LEE target you can print off the internet. I aimed each shot but triggered them as soon as the sights settled in the black. While not as neatly centered as John's group pictured above, seven of those ten went in 2 3/4 inches and three flyers opened it to six. The gun was obviously more accurate than my ability to hold it- and more than accurate enough for rested, 50-yard noggin' shots- once zeroed with a specific load.

The revolting part is that I shot this disgusting, soulless plastic sproing-popper about as well as I would have shot my 1911... and on the second magazine I ever fired through the G22.

I may have to give these things another look.
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Old August 30, 2008, 10:28 PM   #16
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It is my understanding that the Police officers responding were only issued #4 buckshot. Slugs would have given the officers a better chance in my opinion. I believe a pistol is made to fight your way back to a rifle which none of these officers had.
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Old August 30, 2008, 10:49 PM   #17
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That gets a lot of press but the fact is that a pistol is for solving whatever emergency you find yourself in, when you couldn't plan for having the long-gun along.

Besides which, if your problem is 25-50 yards away and you can't hurt it- you ain't fighting your way back to nothing.
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Old August 31, 2008, 01:03 AM   #18
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.50 BMG! Problem solved. Armor, drugs, doesn't matter when you put a .50 cal in the chest.
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Old August 31, 2008, 04:01 AM   #19
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You win the Big Bingo pot of the night for that one, brother. One of the real lessons in this gunfight, and in other historic high profile police gunfights. Luck of the draw exists, never be happy with a minimum standard, have some plan for the unexpected.
:
:
"the fight is never what you THINK it will be. It is gonna be what it's gonna be, the only variable is what YOU are going to do."
When you're being fired upon, do something. Do Anything. By doing something your odds are 50-50 and if you do nothing the odds are 100% that you'll die.
--Academy instructor talking about firefights and ambushes

The most appalling part of this is that it's not the police who are to blame for the lack of proper equipment. It's lawyers and spineless politicians running the city.

Cops are not trained for the kind of incident they fell into that day in Hollywood. All it did was reveal that the training the cops did have was focused on following doctrine and not solving the problem.

(At one time in the 60's, LAPD training on shotgun involved various standing and kneeling positions. After a gunfight in a parking lot where an officer stopped the shooter by firing under several cars from prone, the officer was reprimanded for not following training doctrine by using one of the taught positions. )

I think PD's are now focusing on doctrinal shooting techniques to get people qualified, but then spending some time on what's possible to solve the problem at hand.
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Old August 31, 2008, 05:28 AM   #20
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Lack of official education disclaimer... *I am just a red neck utilitarian with a survival mindset...

Got the legal stuff out of the way.
IMHO Ya'll have hit the points on the head. I can only expound a bit.
Training... City guys with a career mind set and lack of training.
LAPD... A city agency with the aforementioned lawyers and politics.
Weaponry and ammo... Severely limited by above lawyers and politics.
Bad guys... Trained, armed and unhindered by rules of law or rules of engagement... And they intended to win and survive.

Lookin' at the most rural of LEA's I see both benefits and deficits.
The only deficits I see are lack of man power (not normally needed) and lack of infrastructure technology in some cases (simply too expensive for the smallest forces), Of these not the least is limited radio range and no cell phone signal for backup calls.

Benefits are NUMEROUS.
Limited manpower (yes it is a benefit too) leaves less guys to teach and train.
The smaller force often requires the officer to supply their own weapons. This means they are unfettered by dept. bean counters and since self supplied some legal responsibility is removed from the dept. The officer gets to choose weapons they are familiar and comfortable with.
Lack of infrastructure technology is a point of interest as the officer KNOWS he is alone out there much of the time thus imparting a heightened state of awareness and self reliance and accountability.
Last I can think of is these smaller forces tend to have very stable officers capable of judicial discretion and allowed to think for them self. These same officers are often avid hunters and shooters who self train all year with thousands of rounds compared to the 25 or 50 shots many big city officers fire each year.
Hope I wasn't too off base...
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Old August 31, 2008, 07:47 AM   #21
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There is the repeated claim that the cops were outgunned. That just was not the case. Dozens of officers fired on just two bad guys. They were outarmored. The bad guys simply came better prepared to handle what the opposition had to throw at them.

Quote:
Another factor, according to reports I've read, is that officers were trained to only shoot COM. None were trained to take a head shot if COM hits weren't working out. Mind you, it does take some cajones to return fire against a FA long gun when all you have is a handgun.
Actually, the problem here goes deeper. LAPD cops didn't qualify beyond 25 yards at the time either. The cops had NO idea where their rounds would print at the distances being fired when they did aim. Mind you, only a few shots early on and at the end were close range (inside 50 yards). The distance from the cops in the intersection to the BGs was approximately 75 yards. The next layer was some 50 yards further back at 125 yards.

They didn't practice on moving targets. At those distances and at walking speed, even if the cops took a well aimed shot at the head of the suspects that would have hit a stationary target, the shot would have missed a person at walking speed. I doubt any of the cops were able to both estimate proper holdover and proper lead to make head shots at those distances.

They didn't practice firing from non-traditional positions such as from behind cover. They may have been exposed to some training in the areas, but these were not maintained skills.

Quote:
Curious, what kind of practical** accuracy do you expect from a semi-auto service pistol?

**shot offhand or using a field expedient rest from behind cover.

This group was shot offhand. I purchased the Glock used from a gun shop/range that was closing down. It was one of their rental guns and was completely stock at the time this group was shot
JohnKSa shoots well. With no disrespect to the cops, he shoots better than most, without question. And I have put him to the test with this sort of situation in mind. He attended the ISHOT1000 match and had to shoot head size moving targets out to 75 yards. He was one of the better shooters and I don't recall anyone hitting the target more than 7 times out of 50 shots. The target was a 6" diameter circular metal 3-D target that moved in all three planes. Of course, these weren't the first rounds of the day fired. We worked back at to that distance such that the participants had opportunities to to learn as the distance increased. Shots were offhand, but not from behind cover. So John didn't just show up and was then immediately put into a high stress situation of hitting a tiny moving target at 75 yards.

Here is an example from just 1/3 that distance...
http://www.vholdr.com/video/second-range-test

There is yet another problem with shooting such small targets at that distance. For most defensive pistols, the front sight is fairly large for rapid acquisition. While maybe not really large, a 6" target at 75 yards is only about 1/2 - 1/3 the width of the front sight when viewed down the sight axis. You can have the target aligned with the front sight, but if the bore isn't exactly aligned with the sight, then you can be "on target" and miss with every shot. Remember that most guns are sighted in at 10-25 yards and will seem to print just fine at those distances, but when the distance is increased my many times, slight issues at short range that may not even be noticed will become serious issues at long range. For example for the gun I used in the match, a Springfield EMP, I found that at 75 yards that my shots were printing lower than the top edge of my front sight and on its left side.

The bottom line from this is that even if officers were there who understood holdover, lead, etc., they still probably didn't have guns sighted well enough to make the necessary shots with any sort of expected consistency.
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Old August 31, 2008, 09:02 AM   #22
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Besides which, if your problem is 25-50 yards away and you can't hurt it- you ain't fighting your way back to nothing.

I do not believe any handgun would have mattered in this case. A handgun is made for short range quick encounters. No military force would issue handguns only. I know police are not military but the people they were fighting were going way beyond your typical street criminal.
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Old August 31, 2008, 02:25 PM   #23
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Recently (6 months maybe) I saw a Discover channel type show. The patrol officers involved were interviewed and all agreed that the best thing that came from this is that they're now allowed to carry patrol rifles and also upgrade from the standard 9mm to .45ACP. The police are much happier not being limited to the 9mm.
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Old August 31, 2008, 03:30 PM   #24
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They didn't practice on moving targets. At those distances and at walking speed, even if the cops took a well aimed shot at the head of the suspects that would have hit a stationary target, the shot would have missed a person at walking speed. I doubt any of the cops were able to both estimate proper holdover and proper lead to make head shots at those distances.
John Linebaugh has a similar test. He puts a balloon on the end of a remote control car. The car starts at 35 yards, and the shooter, using a high powered rifle, has about enough time to get off two shots. The balloon, in this case represents what the target area is on a charging cape buffalo. Not the way people are normally taught to shoot. The bottom line is shooting at a moving target is NOT something police are taught.

The targets in this case kept moving. Head shots WERE NOT practical. Somebody mentioned a Browning .50. Overkill, but the right idea. Something that can go through a Class III vest, is needed. An old beat up Mosin Nagant 44 would have done the trick, with ball ammo.

My experience has been the combat sites on M1A's, and others, work well for hitting a moving targets, better then even scopes, and, in particular at the ranges in this shooting.
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Old August 31, 2008, 03:56 PM   #25
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Recently (6 months maybe) I saw a Discover channel type show. The patrol officers involved were interviewed and all agreed that the best thing that came from this is that they're now allowed to carry patrol rifles and also upgrade from the standard 9mm to .45ACP. The police are much happier not being limited to the 9mm.
.45 acp would not have made a single difference. It would not go through body armor either and has a greater drop rate (more trajectory arc) than the 9mm.

Quote:
The targets in this case kept moving. Head shots WERE NOT practical. Somebody mentioned a Browning .50. Overkill, but the right idea. Something that can go through a Class III vest, is needed. An old beat up Mosin Nagant 44 would have done the trick, with ball ammo.
Post hoc information is great. Nobody at the time had a clue that the vests were Class III. All the officers knew was that the vests were bulky and stopping pistol and buckshot rounds. Level III vests will stop your standard .308 rounds, but not the AP version. Not many depts have AP ammo, certainly not on their patrol officers.

Head shots with a rifle would have been practical, especially for all that time the robbers were in one location with their backs to the bank wall, just walking back and forth in a small area. An AR15 with normal combat sighting at 25 or 50 yard zero would have required no holdover. With a velocity of 2.50-3.0 times greater than that of the 9mm would be enough to still make the head shots with little or no tracking lead.
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