The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old July 16, 2012, 11:05 AM   #1
Bartholomew Roberts
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 12, 2000
Location: Texas and Oklahoma area
Posts: 5,667
Officer Shooting - 14 hits and attacker still fighting

Policemag recently did a story concerning a 2008 shooting incident in Skokie, IL. The story had so many interesting lessons in it, I thought it was worth discussing here.
http://www.policemag.com/Channel/Pat...8-25-2008.aspx

The link in itself is well worth the read; but here is a short synopsis of the incident.

Officer is involved in a chase of a possible bank robbery suspect. Suspect comes to an abrupt halt causing officer to also stop abruptly at about 15'. Gunfight kicks off with suspect firing at the officer through the windshield and officer returning fire through his own windshield. Fight ends with both men firing across the patrol car at each other. Both men reloaded autos with 10+ capacity during the fight. The SWAT trained officer who also spent his own personal time and money on training, fired 36 of the 40 rounds he carried and got 17 hits, 5 of which were capable of causing a physiological stop. Some of the interesting points:

1. The suspect fired from 15 feet or less using point shooting, first with a S&W 5906, and then later a Bersa .380 after he ran the 5906 dry. He got zero hits on the officer.

2. In the first exchange through the windshield, both men ran out of ammo at almost exactly the same time and at close range. This break in the action gave the officer a chance to exit his vehicle as the suspect sought cover.

3. The officer stated "Early in the fight, I didn't see where my rounds were going," says Gramins. "I had a favorable backdrop but didn't have my front sight. You need to find that front sight as fast as you can.

"They always talk about getting the front sight, and it's true. I knew the rounds I shot when I was prone and perpendicular to my unit hit him because I had a good sight picture on him as he was kneeling on the other side of my squad car on the opposite side of the street," he says."

I thought this was interesting, because there is a lot of talk about whether you can train to use the front sight in a fight.

4. Suspect was carrying a BUG as well as having an SKS in the car. He had been hit 14 times, including two hits that had already "killed" him; but he was still fighting and still trying to kill the officer when the officer put three shots into his head to end the fight. We talk a lot about the "average" fight; but by definition, there are a fair amount of non-average fights.

It is possible the officer's immediate aggressive response stopped the suspect from accessing the SKS in the car and creating a situation that would have been even worse for him.

5. The officer had a 50% hit rate - way above average for police shootings; but only 5 of his 17 hits (33%) landed in a place where they could force a stop - and even then, 2 of those hits still allowed the suspect enough time that he might have killed the officer. Those numbers really reinforce what a poor stopper a handgun is and how critical shot placement is.

6. If this officer had planned his training strategy around preparing for the "average" officer shooting, he'd likely be dead.
Bartholomew Roberts is offline  
Old July 16, 2012, 11:30 AM   #2
PawPaw
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 24, 2010
Location: Central Louisiana
Posts: 3,108
Fair enough. Lots of good lessons learned from the non-average gunfights. And yeah, we've seen plenty of examples where a perpetrator was shot with a disabling shot and managed to carry on the fight until he bled out or the oxygen left his blood.

The FBI Miami Shootout is a prime example of this phenomena.
Quote:
An adversary gets hit square in the head with a 158-grain +P, and he isn't stopped, you are having a bad day!
I'll say! One write opined (no citation available) that had Platt left the gunfight after the opening volley and sought medical care, he would not have lived long enough to make it to an emergency room, yet he managed to keep fighting for another four minutes.
__________________
Dennis Dezendorf

http://pawpawshouse.blogspot.com
PawPaw is offline  
Old July 16, 2012, 11:30 AM   #3
kraigwy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 16, 2008
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 9,416
Tells me I need to get into the ammo business.

I was a range officer on my department who started transitioning to semis shortly before I retired.

I saw the problem starting to crop up then. Depending on multi capacity mags instead of fundamentals of marksmanship.

I noticed those who stuck with their revolvers (and six rounds) tended to have better scores on qualifications.

I mean, why take the effort to get hits if you can spray down the area with high cap mags.

It doesn't help with todays combat or action type completions. Look at Steel Matches for example. Its about time, not hits. In these type matches they only add a tiny penalty for misses..........you get nailed more for not shooting.

There is no consideration give to where all those extra (missed) shots are going. Not a problem on a pistol range, but could be a huge problem on the street.

No thanks, If for some weird reason I was to get back into LE, I'd stick with the revolver and learn to shoot.

Quote:
The SWAT trained officer
Don't get the ideal that is one is SWAT or SWAT trained that they can shoot better then anyone else. That isn't the case. I was chosen to do the initial rifle training for our newly formed SWAT team. As much as I fought it, they decided to go the full auto, multi round magazines instead of learning to shoot.

If I sound cynical, its because I am, this has been a pet peeve of mine since the late 70s when I got involved in LE Firearm instruction.
__________________
Kraig Stuart
CPT USAR Ret
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
kraigwy is offline  
Old July 16, 2012, 12:03 PM   #4
Neal_G.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 1, 2010
Posts: 110
This wasn't a qualification test, a determined opponent was shooting bullets at him intending to kill him. I think he did very well.

To hear LE from the revolver era talk, you would think every badge back then was a cool as a cucumber, deadeye Wild Bill type. I thought LE departments dropped revolvers because of increased officer deaths from criminals who were being armed with semi-autos, machine pistols, assault rifles, etc?

"There is no consideration give to where all those extra (missed) shots are going. Not a problem on a pistol range, but could be a huge problem on the street"

While this is always a consideration, I would guess it takes a back seat to survival when bullets start shattering your windshield and slapping into your cruiser.

If this officer was up against two determined opponents instead of one, I think it's safe to say he would not be alive. 17 hits to drop a bad guy kind of makes JohnKSa's graphs even scarrier, were he was factoring in 2 hits to disable an opponent...
Neal_G. is offline  
Old July 16, 2012, 12:10 PM   #5
kraigwy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 16, 2008
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 9,416
Sorry, I could never bring my self to join the "spray and pray" club.

We all know the old saying: "You can't miss fast enough to win a gunfight".
__________________
Kraig Stuart
CPT USAR Ret
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
kraigwy is offline  
Old July 16, 2012, 12:12 PM   #6
PawPaw
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 24, 2010
Location: Central Louisiana
Posts: 3,108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neal_G.
To hear LE from the revolver era talk, you would think every badge back then was a cool as a cucumber, deadeye Wild Bill type. I thought LE departments dropped revolvers because of increased officer deaths from criminals who were being armed with semi-autos, machine pistols, assault rifles, etc?
That's not the way I remember it. I was a badge-carrier during those days and we got carried away with the "latest and greatest" craze. Like all Americans, cops like to try the newest stuff, and when Gaston came out with his plastic pistol and SW came out with the second generation pistols, we all wanted to try them. I carried a revolver on a rural beat and I still consider the ,357 magnum revolver to be a very useable firearm for a rural deputy. My brethren in the big cities like the increased capacity of the semi-autos, but I never felt a need for it. I only went to a high-capacity semi-auto when the Sheriff started issuing them.
__________________
Dennis Dezendorf

http://pawpawshouse.blogspot.com
PawPaw is offline  
Old July 16, 2012, 12:38 PM   #7
RedBowTies88
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 18, 2011
Location: 609 NJ
Posts: 705
Wonder why he didn't go with a long gun? if he had time to reload and then exhit the vehicle and most squad cars have a chotgun/carbine in the center of the front seat one would think he could/would of grabbed it. Not to mention if you're chasing someone suspected of bank robbers there's a good chance a shootout may occour I know that if I had the option I would of had a longgun ready for the the chase ended.
RedBowTies88 is offline  
Old July 16, 2012, 12:51 PM   #8
mete
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 14, 2004
Location: NY State
Posts: 5,338
I remember reading about gun fight statistics .The cops that hit the BG REMEMBERED seeing the front sight ! That's why the good instructors emphasize FRONT SIGHT . BTW they found that while bringing your gun up to your eye it takes just a very small amount of time , it DOUBLES your hit probability !
__________________
And Watson , bring your revolver !
mete is offline  
Old July 16, 2012, 01:44 PM   #9
Woody55
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 19, 2012
Location: East Texas
Posts: 407
"If this officer had planned his training strategy around preparing for the "average" officer shooting, he'd likely be dead."

Perhaps. Or not.

My view is that for everyone there is a risk. The risk is a combination of the severity of what you'd like to avoid (pretty severe in a shooting) and the probability of it occurring (rather unlikely for most of us).

You want to devlote enough resources (mainly time and money) to mitigage the risk to an acceptable level.

My choice is to overtrain a bit for the most likely eventuality. (The overtrain part is probably due more to OCD than paranoia.) For example, I'll engage two or three targets on occasion. On the other hand, I don't carry an extra magazine let alone practice changing them.
Woody55 is offline  
Old July 16, 2012, 02:30 PM   #10
ltc444
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 3, 2011
Location: Vernon AZ
Posts: 1,195
in support of Kraigwy position.

Wheel gun vs Auto. Some years back I read a report on an encounter, I believe it was Miami. They had just converted to autos. A young officer and veteran officer were engaged in a shoot out.

The veteran reported that they were both shooting an missing until he reverted to his revolver training and ended the engagement.

The officer involved in this incident did a good job. He went home and the bad guy will never injure another citizen.
ltc444 is offline  
Old July 16, 2012, 06:16 PM   #11
Deaf Smith
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 31, 2000
Location: Texican!
Posts: 3,236
Let's see here...

Quote:
1. Officer Gramins was 'caught off guard' as in surprised.
Surest way to rattle you!!

Quote:
2. Maddox 'more or less' uses pointshoting and 'let loose with a barrage of rounds hoping that what he might lose in accuracy would be compensated for by its suppressive nature.'
And scores zero hits (thankfully.) So what is this pointshooting. It sounds to me like he just stuck the gun out there and jerked the trigger all over the place (thankfully.)

Quote:
3. Both men aimed their guns through the driver's window of Gramins' car and squeezed their triggers.
Define 'aim'. But.. Gramins does get SOME hits. Not good ones but hits no less.

Quote:
4. 'Maddox and Gramins then began a deadly game of cat and mouse, firing on each other from opposite sides of the patrol vehicle. One would rise and fire as the other would duck.'
Most humans don't want to be shot and sure won't stand still! Does that shock anyone here? Plan on it happening. At the Tyler Texas Courthouse shooting the bad guy and Mark Wilson did that same kind of jack-n-the-box shooting. Mark got several hits on the bad guy, Ayrro, but the BG had a bullet proof vest.

Quote:
5. Gramins went prone, and resumed firing under the patrol car in Maddox's direction, more point shooting than not.
And still no go. But I wonder.. all this point shooting and not much being accomplished. SLOW DOWN AND AIM. Tough to do when rattled but as you can see the alternative is missing.

Quote:
6. "He paused, took a breath and a second to consciously line his sights up on what he could see of Maddox's head as the man crouched on the downslope of the opposite side of the street. Slowing himself down, Gramins locked in his sights on the suspect's head and fired a three-round volley in rapid succession."
In short, HE AIMED.

Quote:
7. "There were 17 total hits on his body including three fatal shots to his head, a couple to his torso, and one to his abdomen," Gramins says. "Which means that even though Maddox was mortally wounded before the head shots, he was still able to engage me."
Whoa... 3 + 2 + 1... that ain't 17!

So 11 shots were nicks? And the abdomen... that is not a 'stopping' shot. And the 'couple in his torso'.. well where in his 'torso'?

All I can see is three head shots that were fatal, and the rest were not.

I bet some of those hits were when he shot through the glass of his widow and when he dropped below his car.

But the hits were peripheral and with the bad guy all jacked up with adrenaline, it didn't bother him.

The big lessons (to me) to learn are these:

a) Only good hits count. Peripheral hits don't cut it.
b) 'Firepower' is no guarantee you will win. Good hits do, like three head shots!
c) See them coming and not let yourself get 'surprised',
cause if you do get surprised you may very well loose.
d) If at all possible, AIM.
e) If you pack a revolver, pack two and AIM.

To be honest, this is an example of why spray-n-pray does not work so well.

Yes when your hair is standing on end it is not so easy but men like Jim Cirillo showed the way. So just don't stick your gun and there and jerk away.

At least the officer, with some good training, did get hits and keep shooting till he slowed down and AIMED.

Deaf
__________________
"The government has confiscated all of our rights and is selling them back to us in the form of permits."
Deaf Smith is offline  
Old July 16, 2012, 07:08 PM   #12
Bartholomew Roberts
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 12, 2000
Location: Texas and Oklahoma area
Posts: 5,667
One thing that surprised me is that he chose to go prone in a highly mobile fight like that. When I read that, I was reminded of the Mark Wilson Tyler shooting as well where he comes around the car and shoots Wilson as he is prone. I am glad it worked out for the officer in this incident but I would have been really concerned about limiting my mobility with someone that close.
Bartholomew Roberts is offline  
Old July 16, 2012, 09:00 PM   #13
Nanuk
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2005
Location: Where the deer and the antelope roam.
Posts: 1,690
People do funny things when they are being shot at. I carried a 357 wheel gun until they made me carry a 40. I would have like the auto when I was walking dark canyons looking for Mexican bandits near El Paso, but I did have a 12 gauge with 8 rounds of 00 buck loaded.
__________________
My rifle and pistol are tools, I am the weapon.
Nanuk is offline  
Old July 16, 2012, 09:01 PM   #14
scrubcedar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 3, 2012
Location: Southwestern Colorado
Posts: 478
Adrenaline, the wonder drug. You see better, can run farther, faster, feel no pain and use the limits of your strength(far stronger than you think) your body can function with tremendous damage to it. There is nothing we have made that even stands in it's shadow.
The drunks and druggies would come into the ER with gaping wounds and still toss us around like rag dolls. I think about all the horribly wounded (for whatever reason, accident etc.) patients that came in still fighting hard, look at my small revolver, and hope and pray that I get a chance to hit a heart,lung,or head.
Think about it this way, get yourself an anatomy text, look carefully at it, how much of the area covered by the torso has either the heart or a large artery in it? Less than you thought eh? Those things (heart,artery) will cause LOC fairly quickly. Maybe not quickly enough if he closes with you, but you probably have the advantage.
Lungs? once again maybe a little smaller than you thought. It takes more time than you think for a lung shot to kill, but he might be incapacitated a lot quicker than he dies.
CNS shots( head, spine) work well but are a tough target. Maybe break a pelvis or a femur? He will still be able to shoot back.
Your pistol of any caliber will never be a magic ray gun.
This post is a VERY good lesson in the anatomy and physiology of a wounded human. Expect these results(or worse) when you pull the trigger.
__________________
Gaily bedight, A gallant knight In sunshine and in shadow, Had journeyed long, Singing a song, In search of El Dorado
scrubcedar is offline  
Old July 16, 2012, 10:31 PM   #15
raimius
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2008
Posts: 1,317
I completely agree that "only good hits count," but the guy had multiple good hits before the BG dropped (3 to the head will do that!)

For you gentlemen arguing the advantages of revolvers, this officer would have had to have ALL of his 6 rounds make fatal hits before the BG dropped. How likely is that when someone is emptying multiple mags at you from 15 feet?

Ammo capacity and quick reloads sometimes have an important role in fights. While I am NOT arguing that revolvers are not up to the job, some jobs are tougher than others!
raimius is offline  
Old July 17, 2012, 10:54 AM   #16
Old Grump
Member in memoriam
 
Join Date: April 9, 2009
Location: Blue River Wisconsin, in
Posts: 3,144
Well I'm another old time instructor teaching police and deputies to shoot back in the 70's when the only pistols on the rage were their BUG .380's and my 45. After a couple of classes they stopped making fun of my 45 and they started listening when I was out shooting them with their own guns. I stressed over and over and over again it was the first good shot that won a fight and not the first shot. During time and rapid fire drills I told them over and over again they do not get any extra points for getting all their shots off first, they get the points for hitting the target whatever it was that day. It took quite awhile but I finally got the students I had slowed down and shooting accurately and there is no doubt in my mind that this training would stay with most of not all of them.

We had a couple of cowboys who were into quick draw and fast shooting who were unhappy with my way of teaching and neither of them was still on the force a year after the class. One was gone in less than 3 months.

Attitude wins fights and if you have the right one you will do what you have to do. If you are on a hair trigger you may kill somebody alright but who will you be killing and was the person killed the one that needed killing. Attitude, you gotta be in the right frame of mind but till you are in the balloon up scenario you won't know what you will do or how well you will do it but the well trained man will do better more times than not than the cowboy. The cop in the OP adjusted and ended up doing well, apparently the bad guy never adjusted and had no training to fall back on. Adrenaline will only take you so far.
__________________
Good intentions will always be pleaded for any assumption of power. The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern will, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.
--Daniel Webster--
Old Grump is offline  
Old July 17, 2012, 11:13 AM   #17
Hansam
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 21, 2012
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 763
I'm in support of Kraigwy's position about aiming.

Now I'm not an LEO nor have I had nearly as much experience in firearms as many of you have however I too have seen the effect of high capacity mags and handguns on people and their marksmanship.

I belong to a sportsman's club that holds regular practical shooting shoots every week. These aren't IPSC or anything else but just a bunch of like minded people who get together and practice practical shooting - around barriers, moving and shooting and multiple weapons use. I use what I carry and carry what I use. That means that my EDC is what I use for my handgun in this. I carry a 1911. I use Wilson Combat 8 round mags. So that means initially I get 9 rounds - 1 in the chamber and 8 in the mag. Afterwards I only have 8 rounds each mag before having to change mags.

While I have slower times than the a lot of the guys who have their high cap glocks, XDs, MPs etc. I am also more accurate than they are. When we're talking slower times we're talking a couple seconds or less. Yet I typically have an 80% hit rate on my targets while the high cap guys tend to have a 50% or less. Now there are some guys who are better shots than that but what I've seen is the guys who are carrying high cap guns tend to just shoot till they knock down their targets then move on.

There are guys who can keep up with the high cap crowd while using a 1911. I know one guy who uses a GP101 in .357mag who can keep up with me... like me he reloads on the move and I'm amazed at how he does it.

That's not to say that the officer in this situation wasn't highly trained. Obviously his superior training allowed him to win the day but really I have to wonder if he'd been trained on a firearm that held less ammo if he'd had a better hit rate.
__________________
This is who we are, what we do.
Hansam is offline  
Old July 17, 2012, 12:33 PM   #18
MCab
Member
 
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Posts: 47
Learning about my S&W Sigma and the reasons for its features has been a revelation to the horrible marksmanship practices of many LEO departments. Shooting by the onesies leads to shots getting dropped (flinch), but in rapid fire, they form a nice group.

Of course, using the (what's the term?) trigger release technique helps after the first shot.
MCab is offline  
Old July 17, 2012, 12:52 PM   #19
zincwarrior
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 1, 2011
Location: Texas, land of Tex-Mex
Posts: 1,214
More evidence of increasing zombie outbreaks? The officer forgot the cardinal rule...destroy the brain.
zincwarrior is offline  
Old July 17, 2012, 02:12 PM   #20
Nanuk
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2005
Location: Where the deer and the antelope roam.
Posts: 1,690
Quote:
For you gentlemen arguing the advantages of revolvers, this officer would have had to have ALL of his 6 rounds make fatal hits before the BG dropped. How likely is that when someone is emptying multiple mags at you from 15 feet?
That depends on the revolver and the shooter. You have never seen a master of the revolver shoot I take it. The benefit of the revolver is you can usually carry more powerful ammunition than a service auto. When I was a rookie cop, we continually had it stressed " You only have 6 shots, you better make them count".

Then I was taught continuity of fire and carried 6 shots in loops and 2 speed loaders. That is, shoot 2 load 2, shoot 2 load 2. If you practice that from cover you can load pretty darn fast.
__________________
My rifle and pistol are tools, I am the weapon.
Nanuk is offline  
Old July 17, 2012, 03:04 PM   #21
raimius
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2008
Posts: 1,317
The guy was using a .45 caliber service pistol. I don't think the "more powerful" pistol round argument is really practical here. Sure .357mag has a bit more muzzle energy than most non +P .45ACP, but both are considered on the upper end of service calibers for pistols.
raimius is offline  
Old July 17, 2012, 03:47 PM   #22
Nanuk
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2005
Location: Where the deer and the antelope roam.
Posts: 1,690
Quote:
The guy was using a .45 caliber service pistol. I don't think the "more powerful" pistol round argument is really practical here. Sure .357mag has a bit more muzzle energy than most non +P .45ACP, but both are considered on the upper end of service calibers for pistols.
The 357 Magnum has significantly more power than any 45 ACP load.
__________________
My rifle and pistol are tools, I am the weapon.
Nanuk is offline  
Old July 17, 2012, 05:23 PM   #23
youngunz4life
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 15, 2010
Location: United States of America
Posts: 1,877
ramius, most of us aren't an officer patrolling the beat either. you're not, right? so part of your argument about how a revolver wouldn't work is as bad as your power argument(and 357 is more powerful like pointed out).

this story proves once again unless you are pointing straight center mass accuracy becomes increasingly difficult (just like most people practice at the range)
__________________
"Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" -Admiral Farragut @ Battle of Mobile Bay 05AUG1864
youngunz4life is offline  
Old July 17, 2012, 06:19 PM   #24
Elkins45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 24, 2010
Posts: 369
I don't think I can armchair quarterback this guy. The way I read the story if he had a revolver he probably would haven't survived. He hit the guy 17 times, for heaven's sake! That's pretty good shooting under that kind of stress.

There was one line in the story that really struck me: the part where the officer seriously thought it was a good idea to skip rounds off the asphalt to try and score hits. I hope I'm never in a gunfight, but if I ever am I hope I never have to seriously rely on "aimed ricochets" to survive!
Elkins45 is offline  
Old July 17, 2012, 06:59 PM   #25
moxie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 17, 2006
Location: TX
Posts: 513
Jeff Cooper once said at Gunsite, "You will learn to worship your front sight."

Things happen fast. When the worst happens, we fall back on our training.

Are you trained? Do you practice?
__________________
If you want to shoot...shoot...don't talk! Tuco

USAF Munitions 1969-1992
RVN 1972-1973
moxie is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:54 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13630 seconds with 9 queries