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Old February 5, 2014, 02:47 PM   #1
tipoc
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Distances involved in shooting instances by LAPD, etc.

Every year the Los Angeles Police Dept. releases it's end of the year reports on Officer Involved Shooting Incidents and use of force. The NYPD does the same.

The reports are a wealth of useful information and the reports are valuable reading and worth tracking from year to year. Often the information circulated as gospel on the internet and repeated over and over is shown to be maybe not so gospel.

This is some information from the 2010 report of the LAPD.

In 2010 75 Officers discharged their firearms in 40 hit/no hit incidents (the latter means a miss or in one case a warning shot).

The weapons involved were Berretta 9mm 4 times, S&W semi in .45 6 times, Glock 9mm 2 times, Glock 40 S&W 28 times, Glock 45 19 times, Remington shotgun 8 times, carbines and other weapons make up the additional 7 times.
(Interesting to note that the guns most often involved in Unintentional Discharges in LA and NY are Glocks).

The distances involved in the shootings are noteworthy. Of the 40 incidents in 2010:

3% were at 0-5 feet
9% were at 6-10 feet
10% were at 11-15 feet
15% were at 16-20 feet
23% were at 21-30 feet
10% were at 31-45 feet
16% were at 46-60 feet
14% were in excess of 60 feet

Keep in mind that L.A. is a very vehicle oriented place.

Number of shots fired is also useful.

37% involved 1-2 shots
27% involved 3-4 shots
15% involved 5-6 shots
12% involved 7-10 shots
4% involved 11-16
5% involved 17-23 shots

79% of the time 6 shots of fewer were fired.

In these incidents 16 suspects were killed and 13 injured.

Those most often involved in shootings are patrol officers.

The full report is available here:

http://www.lapdonline.org/assets/pdf...rEndReport.pdf

Annual reports are also available from the NYPD.

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Last edited by tipoc; February 5, 2014 at 02:56 PM.
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Old February 5, 2014, 02:53 PM   #2
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I don't know if this distinction is easily made, but I'd be curious about how many instances were the officer taking fire first versus seeing the person grab for a gun and fire the first shots. I think why this would be valuable is regarding the distances. 21-30 feet is often used as a typical SD scenario.

Thanks for posting!
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Old February 5, 2014, 03:43 PM   #3
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It would appear that the reason for most NDs happening with Glocks is because those are the standard issue for the 40,000+ NYPD officers, and are carried by the majority of LAPD.

To borrow a quote from Ant, "you don't need Scooby Doo to solve THIS mystery!"
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Old February 5, 2014, 06:19 PM   #4
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According to one of the pie charts a 7 round 686 plus or 1911 is good enough to cover most of the incidents.
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Old February 5, 2014, 06:20 PM   #5
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And if it doesn't, you can call for a do-over.
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Old February 5, 2014, 06:40 PM   #6
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Interesting.

It's common to see 7 yards held up as the limit of practical self-defense handgun range. In this data we find that nearly two thirds (63%) of the shootings took place at 7 yards or beyond. Well over a third (40%) of them took place beyond 10 yards.

We often see people argue that if you can't handle it with 5 shots, then having more probably won't help. The data shows that more than a third (36%) of the shootings required 5 or more shots. In more than a fifth (21%) of the shootings more than 6 shots were needed to end the "festivities".

For those inclined to believe that a 10 round limit is reasonable, the data points out that nearly one in ten (9%) of the shootings required 11 rounds or more. In fact, in 1 out of 20 of the shootings, not even 16 rounds was enough.
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Old February 5, 2014, 06:40 PM   #7
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The majority of patrol officers with the LAPD do carry Glocks. They are the most common handgun in service there. But they are not the only handgun available to the LAPD or the NYPD.

Neither the NYPD or LAPD publish the info to make some point about Glocks. Other than what I said I did not make a point other than the obvious. One years tally doesn't tell much about a particular handguns safety anyway.

In this case in 2010 there were only 7 UDs by the LAPD. 2 involved Glocks in 45 and 40 S&W. 3 involved Remington shotguns, 1 H&K carbine, and one unknown pistol (meaning not a department firearm). For 2010 one could easily blame the Remington if you tried to draw conclusions from a single year.

Of the incidents 3 were while in action and they pressed the trigger unintentionally. 4 took place during inspection of the firearm and the trigger was pressed.

The report for the same year for New York states that Glocks regularly appear in the UD reports in instances involving cleaning of the sidearm or placing a finger on the trigger while holstering or in other action. I believe there were 4 such incidents. This says less about the gun than where training may be needed.

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Old February 5, 2014, 06:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
It's common to see 7 yards held up as the limit of practical self-defense handgun range. In this data we find that nearly two thirds (63%) of the shootings took place at 7 yards or beyond. Well over a third (40%) of them took place beyond 10 yards.
These aren't self defense shootings. These are police shootings. While there is some overlap, things cops are expected and allowed to do are very different from what we can do.

A cop can shoot a dangerous person in the back who is escaping, or return fire rather than take cover. The same actions by a civilian may be second degree murder or reckless endangerment.

The limits of SD are the ranges that a jury is likely to believe were necessary to immediately preserve life. (Unless you're in Texas.)


I think civilians should take a longer view of what a handgun might need to be used for besides 3 yard defense shootings, but shooting at an escaping car is not going to be one of them.
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Old February 5, 2014, 06:55 PM   #9
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This is only one year and other years from both departments are available.

A note about distance, L.A. and cops. When a suspect is stopped it is often from a vehicle. The officers arrive in a vehicle or they stop a vehicle. They issue commands from behind the cover of a vehicle and a distance away. It's useful to keep this in mind. Most of us here do not stop suspects on the street and take cover behind our vehicles while issuing commands.

Distance is a friend to those who can shoot some with accuracy.

We are usually told in discussions of "the average gunfight distance" that the FBI issued a report some 20 years ago now that the "average" gunfight took place at 3 yards or under, lasted 3 seconds or so and involved 3 shots. I'm not sure what the "average gunfight" is. The most common shooting is in domestic disputes. They are close. Other things, not so much.

Look at the distances here. Take time to look at other years.

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Old February 5, 2014, 07:12 PM   #10
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The FBI says most handgun combat occurs at 7 feet between shooter and target.

I think for us civilians, that is entirely correct. The police are required to engage at any range the circumstances require, we don't quite need to shoot at speeding cars, or at the bad guys coming out of the bank, or take rifle shots at barricaded suspects. A traffic stop shooting could involve half the length of the two cars involved, and any intervening space, could easily be 30 or 40 feet right there.

I note that about 10% of the shootings involved rifles or carbines. I would think that is most of the 14% at 60 yards or more in the LAPD citation. Probably a good number were single shot, as well. The citation could strip out the long gun usage and we would have a better basis for discussion. Number of shots fired would be another good discussion, but not with the long gun data skewing the bias.
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Old February 5, 2014, 07:14 PM   #11
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That's 60 feet, or 20 yards.
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Old February 5, 2014, 09:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
These aren't self defense shootings. These are police shootings. While there is some overlap, things cops are expected and allowed to do are very different from what we can do.

A cop can shoot a dangerous person in the back who is escaping, or return fire rather than take cover. The same actions by a civilian may be second degree murder or reckless endangerment.
While your point is well taken, in practice, most (though certainly not all) police shootings are actually self-defense shootings.

You would, of course, expect some of these shootings to be quite different from a typical non-LEO self-defense shooting, but it's pretty clear that we're not talking about just a small percentage of these shootings that are taking place at longer ranges. Two-thirds took place at 7 yards and beyond. That's significant enough to take note of.
Quote:
The limits of SD are the ranges that a jury is likely to believe were necessary to immediately preserve life.
Same thing applies here in TX.

However, it's important to understand that there's no quoted range limit in any self-defense law I've ever seen. If the attacker poses an immediate and deadly threat and there's no other reasonable method to deal with that threat other than deadly force then deadly force is justifiable even if the attacker is 100 yards away. Obviously, the more common scenarios take place at closer ranges than that--no question about it.
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Old February 5, 2014, 10:00 PM   #13
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Other than an active shooter the above post are correct in that you can expect a close encounter attack (for whatever reason; $, your car, your life...) under 20 feet. The NRA LE is teaching distance shooting as a priority as Officers are encounter extended range gun fights when responding to holdups or alarms where they park and meet an antagonist coming out of the establishment at ranges of 25-50yds (when you think of it not that far away, about one pace per yard.)
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Old February 6, 2014, 07:29 AM   #14
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Quote:
According to one of the pie charts a 7 round 686 plus or 1911 is good enough to cover most of the incidents.
For a cop......

For your average gun enthusiast, that's probably twice the number needed -

On the whole, cops aren't real good shots.

That's not a slam against cops. To the average cop a gun is just another piece of equipment.
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Old February 6, 2014, 11:49 AM   #15
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Not saying cops are amazing shots, Hal. But I think you're giving way too much credit to the majority of civilian shooters.

Most of the time when I go to the range the majority of targets are hung at 7 yards and look like an explosion went off.
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Old February 6, 2014, 12:21 PM   #16
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operator error due to poor training and little or no practice
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Old February 6, 2014, 12:48 PM   #17
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Rx - that's why I specified "gun enthusiast" instead of average gun owner.

The vast majority of cops I know think way less about their gun than they do their footwear or flashlight.
They're perfectly content if they can qualify.
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Old February 6, 2014, 12:53 PM   #18
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Just a bit from the NYPD 2010 report in terms of distances.

In 2010 in NYC there were 33 incidents where shots were fired at suspects. 38 Officers fired a total of 236 shots in the 33 incidents. This was up from the 2009 figure of 184 shots fired and was due to two protracted gunfights.

In terms of distance:

26% were at 0-5 feet
39% were at 6-10 feet
8% were at 11-15 feet
16% were at 16-20 feet
11% were at 21-50 feet.

The report notes (pg. 37) that NYPD officers are trained to shoot at up to 75 feet (25 yards) but that in 2010 only one officer shot at this distance and he missed. 6-10 feet is more common.

The difference in the distance involved in shootings between the NYPD and LAPD is a reflection of the cities.

A link to the full report:

http://www.documentcloud.org/documen...ge-report.html

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Old February 6, 2014, 01:01 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnKSa
While your point is well taken, in practice, most (though certainly not all) police shootings are actually self-defense shootings.
While this is true, it's also true that the VAST majority of those situations are ones in which the officer has intentionally inserted himself. That singular fact is the one thing that completely eliminates any meaningful comparison to civilian situations, IMO.
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Old February 6, 2014, 01:51 PM   #20
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Hal, I guess I don't know what a gun enthusiast is. I've known plenty of people who own lots of guns and talk about them all the time, but would score in the bottom 10% of their first IDPA match - if they didn't just get DQ'd.

I think a lot of people on these boards hang with like minded people who train and shoot a lot, but I think those people are a fraction of the "gun enthusiasts", who are in turn a fraction of gun owners.

If you can qualify on a police course, you can probably do at least top 50% on IDPA night.


I only make this point because we live in a time when interest in combat guns and CCW is huge, but I don't see corresponding growth in shooting sports or range use. I think the average level of competence among people who carry is likely to be lower than ever, just because of the political based growth of CCWs. Most CCW holders give their skills way too much credit, and forum goers are way too optimistic about the CCW community's competence.
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Old February 6, 2014, 03:09 PM   #21
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One thing seems clear from the statistics.
There's no definite scenario one might face in a potentially deadly encounter.
Close, far, in between, there's no guarantee of what to prepare for.
Best to be competent for any and all.
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Old February 6, 2014, 04:25 PM   #22
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Quote:
While this is true, it's also true that the VAST majority of those situations are ones in which the officer has intentionally inserted himself. That singular fact is the one thing that completely eliminates any meaningful comparison to civilian situations, IMO.
To add to your comment, folks might consider the number of reported instances which resulted from uniformed patrol observation incidents, dispatched incidents and task force activities. Not exactly the same sort of situations in which most private citizens will find themselves involved (when lawfully armed and going about their lawful activities).

Then, look toward the relatively small number of off-duty incidents in the report. It would seem as though "trouble" isn't finding off-duty LAPD cops with anywhere near the same frequency as on-duty cops are finding trouble, or being sent to it.

Granted, an off-duty officer can invoke status and take an enforcement action to intervene in a situation, but it's not uncommon for agencies to also have clear policies governing off-duty conduct in this regard.

I'm sure this report will make interesting reading for people interested in LAPD's activities regarding use-of-force, but it's not something that should be taken out of context and applied to private citizen activities.

As far as the "average" cop v. the "average" gun owner when it comes to familiarity with firearms, as well as safety in handling and manipulating & shooting skills?

I'd not be surprised to learn that a number of folks may experience confirmation bias more than they might realize or suspect.
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Old February 6, 2014, 05:11 PM   #23
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Just to warn that the sample size is so small from both L.A. and N.Y. that some of the statistics may not mean what they first look like.

Quote:
While this is true, it's also true that the VAST majority of those situations are ones in which the officer has intentionally inserted himself. That singular fact is the one thing that completely eliminates any meaningful comparison to civilian situations, IMO.
Several have pointed out the difference between what leos do and what the non leo is likely to encounter. But I'm cautious about the "completely eliminates" point I highlighted above. It's too strong and broad a generalization.

Most shootings involving non leos (civilian shootings if we must) are at close ranges of speaking distance. This is usually because such shootings are between, family members, co-workers, friends, ex boyfriend and current boyfriend, etc. They are proceeded by anger and words. These shootings are most common and so numerous as to go almost unnoticed in the daily press. (The daily press highlights the random shooting and the spectacular. So do the folk who sell guns, gear and training.)

There are other types of shooting though even if less common.

To have a shoot out in a parking lot in L.A. is more likely to occur and involve greater distance than the same shoot out in N.Y. "Everyone" is in and out of parking lots constantly in L.A. in New York not owning a car is common. But if a drunken argument between BFFs over the Super Bowl ends in a shooting that is likely to happen either place.

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Last edited by tipoc; February 6, 2014 at 05:17 PM.
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Old February 6, 2014, 07:25 PM   #24
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The Police shootings tell me one thing, no one can predict what circumstances are going to govern their particular gun fight/shooting, as a LEO.

Which now should govern my choice of weapon I carry, because I also can not predict an incident, if one ever takes place.

So I shoot a Glock 19 in IDPA competition, I carry a Glock 19 every day. A couple of months ago, at my own large Gun Club, I was the most accurate shooter, out of 68 competitors.

So we can take it as read, I can hit what I aim at, most of the time.
Using the same gun I compete with, I carry. My pistol has 16 rounds? Because it does, and more is better, always.

I have fiber optic night sights, TruGlo, to my mind the best on the market.

So when I hear people (lots of them) say the average gun fight is ten feet, and 3 rounds? That's why they carry a Chief Special, 5 shot revolver? I smile, and pat my spare G17 magazine, and my bright LED Flashlight.

I broke my Crystal ball years ago.
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Old February 6, 2014, 09:46 PM   #25
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Hal is right. I love my brothers and sisters but I have 24yrs on the job and Hal is right.
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