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Old November 17, 2012, 10:27 PM   #1
Double Naught Spy
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Training, Target Identification, Fratricide

Had lunch with my VFD EMT BIL who told me of an unsual call he went on and asked if I had heard about it. He responded to a gun range for a shooting incident where one of the participants was shot 4 times by another participant in an apparent "accidental" shooting. He and I then chatted about the differences in accidents and negligents and ended up calling it fratricide.

Apparently, the shooter in a class at TDSA south of Dallas started a drill in the shoot house in low light without a light, at twilight. The shoot house was not clear before the drill started and the shooter, apparently knowing there were targets in the house, shot all the bad guys including one that was a living instructor who wasn't a target!!!

Here is all that I can dig up on this and I had not heard of it before speaking with my BIL. Does anyone else know more about the incident?

The account from the local newspaper is reprinted here...
http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/201...oting-academy/
You can go to the original source, but you have to pay to see the original story.

http://weaponsman.com/?p=5741

So it was apparently instructor on instructor fratricide. The information in the articles includes a lot of detail my BIL did not have, but the details that he provided me were repeated in the articles.
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Old November 18, 2012, 05:53 PM   #2
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Wow. I'm glad the poor fellow wasn't killed.
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Old November 19, 2012, 07:25 PM   #3
Frank Ettin
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This could be a fine opportunity to discuss the serious issue of safety protocols for shoot-house and simulator training.

If folks want to see this as an opportunity to rant or make snide comments about this instructor, instructors in general, training or anything else, the thread will be closed.
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Old November 19, 2012, 07:33 PM   #4
Glenn E. Meyer
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Having another person in a 360 live shoot house is a dangerous thing. I know another case where the SO, referee trailed behind the shooter. They got separated and the SO was shot. That installation moved to just the shooter with TV monitoring.

When targets come at you from all directions, you don't pause that much. Yes, you should and no shoots got shot but you don't REAL no-shoots.

I've seen referees shot with sims and paint balls. Some were scary. One referee, even with safety equipment had a shot uncomfortably close to damaging an eye. Another, a referee, started the scenario and then for some reason stuck his leg into an open corridor - got a painful inner thigh for that. He was wearing an orange vest but out came his leg. BTW, in the training, you were to shoot any available opponent target - you didn't have to wait for a COM shot. The SO were supposed to stay out of the way. He didn't.
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Old November 19, 2012, 07:50 PM   #5
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Maybe living people could wear some sort of glow-stick or beacon while inside?

It does seem like there should be some way to differentiate between people and targets.
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Old November 20, 2012, 03:11 PM   #6
Glenn E. Meyer
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The problem is a speed accuracy trade off. With people under stress and rushed, you will get accidents - even with folks glowing bright orange.

Such might reduce them, but startle responses when surprised by a man shaped target can override color cues.

Having live folks in a 360 shoot environment and separate from the shooter is very dangerous.
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Old November 20, 2012, 03:28 PM   #7
m&p45acp10+1
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I have only been into one shoot house in all of my shooting days.

They had a system like the old mines to tell if a person was still in there. There was a peg board with numbered tags. If a tag was not hanging on the board then some one was inside. There were more than one for group training. Though the group training was for LEO's only.
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Old November 20, 2012, 04:06 PM   #8
pax
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Quote:
The problem is a speed accuracy trade off. With people under stress and rushed, you will get accidents - even with folks glowing bright orange.
The problem starts further back than that, with a lackadaisical approach to the Four Rules. Once you start saying things like, "In the real world you won't always have time to identify your target..." -- you're headed for a mess like this. Low expectations about safety tend to lead to poor safety performances.

No matter what the course of fire might be, the instructor should always require students to identify the target before engaging. That's an engrained safety response that's absolutely critical in the real world where you can't just tape the target and have a do-over if you get it wrong. If you're training for the real world, you should train for the real world -- the one where it's both tragic and expensive to shoot a no-shoot.

Unfortunately, basic safety awareness increases times and reduces the brag factor, so it'll never fly at the high testosterone end of the market.

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Old November 20, 2012, 04:19 PM   #9
dawg23
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Quote:

Maybe living people could wear some sort of glow-stick or beacon while inside?
Better to have them wear body armor.
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Old November 21, 2012, 11:11 AM   #10
Glenn E. Meyer
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You still have a head and exposed legs. I think I said I saw SOs shot in the leg and head with paint balls and sims.

Kathy's so correct! In one of the exercises, my partner in clearing a house came out saying - I shot my son. Said son was hiding in the shower. The shooter threw back the curtain and bang.

On the other hand, a prof I know was an expert witness in a trial where a wife shot a big black shape coming towards her in the family bed. Oh, dear - it's hubby, coming back from the can. She claimed she couldn't tell. My friend did a high end vision test (now why did she consent to that?) - and guess what, she is now a guest of the state. I opine she thought she could get aware with that story. There was family history.
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Old November 21, 2012, 11:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pax
The problem starts further back than that, with a lackadaisical approach to the Four Rules. Once you start saying things like, "In the real world you won't always have time to identify your target..." -- you're headed for a mess like this. Low expectations about safety tend to lead to poor safety performances.
We shouldn't forget that Cooper's Four Rules were originated for an active combat environment. Of course they are of great benefit all the time. That doesn't change the fact of why they were originated. The incident described in the OP, was exactly the kind of thing Cooper was trying to help prevent.

RULE I: ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED

RULE II: NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY

RULE III: KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET

RULE IV: BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET

If you can't positively identify your target, you're not supposed to fire. Period. Shadowy figures, glimpses, noises, etc aren't known targets and should not be fired upon.
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Old November 21, 2012, 12:13 PM   #12
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I remembered the video below. It it Clint Smith reviews the four rules. He talks about the dangers of not positively identifying ones target and also how the four rules were designed for fighting.

Clint Smith on Gun Safety

Unclenick was recently telling me in another thread, on how Cooper thought we could never visually check our chambers often enough. Well, we can't go over the four rules too often either.
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Old November 21, 2012, 02:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
The problem starts further back than that, with a lackadaisical approach to the Four Rules. Once you start saying things like, "In the real world you won't always have time to identify your target..." -- you're headed for a mess like this. Low expectations about safety tend to lead to poor safety performances.
Absolutely! I have been an LEO for over 30 years and a street cop for 25 of those. You had darn sure be sure of your target before you shoot.
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Old November 21, 2012, 06:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
No matter what the course of fire might be, the instructor should always require students to identify the target before engaging.
And the instructors should hold themselves to the same level of instruction...or they run the risk of shooting their fellow instructor multiple times as he is discussing a target with another student who has just completed the drill.

Here is Len Baxley's statement as he said it was told to him by Puzikas.

http://soldiersystems.net/2012/11/14...ntal-shooting/

Quote:
“I was standing out front of the shoot house talking with students. I was taking some money and shaking hands and saying bye to students. I had heard the last shooter’s number called out, #41. (It seems that 41 was the last student that day) So I knew the last shooter was going inside to shoot. I heard the shooting stop. I did not hear shooting for a while. I finished saying good-bye so I decided to make a run in the house before I left. I made the statement, “I am going to do a run” and then I heard a person standing behind me respond to me saying, “OK” I did not turn around so I don’t know who said OK to me. I, wrongfully, assumed it was clear to go.
So the guy in charge didn't have a clue things were clear or safe for doing a run through the shoot house. He announced he was going to make a run and apparently took permission from an unknown person and started his run. So from a safety protocol standpoint, even before the failure of identifying his targets, Puzikas entered the shoot house intending to engage targets without having control of the range he was entering or having any safety protocols in place to know the range was indeed clear of humans before starting. Even if he identified his targets, the fact that he entered the shoot house and would have been shooting would have still endangered those inside as they were not supposed to be there when somebody else is to be firing.
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Old November 23, 2012, 11:37 AM   #15
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Sounds like a totally out of control situation to me.
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Old November 23, 2012, 12:21 PM   #16
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Come to think of it, this shooting really highlights the mindset difference between military and non-military training, and why it's so bad to conflate them.

A military person might very well be allowed to shoot anyone inside a given building, or at least anyone wearing a particular color or type of clothing. But non-military people do not have that advantage, and can come to a great deal of grief if they train as if they do.

If you are an ordinary person who carries a firearm for self-defense in a civilian context, you should probably stick with schools that emphasize ordinary self-defense in a civilian context.

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Old November 25, 2012, 07:45 PM   #17
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The shoothouse training that I've participated in involved either instructors on catwalks, instructors in the stack or both. Armor (soft and hard dictated by the guns being trained with) was worn by anyone on the ground level.
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