View Full Version : You just shot a bad guy, do you perform first aid?

February 4, 2011, 01:23 AM
Had to renew my first aid certification today and it got me thinking.

So for some justifiable reason you had to draw your weapon and shoot an attacker. The attacker is now down from your gunshot wound. Do you perform first aid?

If you don't perform first aid, are there any legal ramifications of not?

If you do perform first aid, how do you do it a way that you don't get attacked by the guy you just shot or maybe one of his buddies you didn't know was there.


February 4, 2011, 02:00 AM
So, you played some of the scenario's.... but it depends on what's going on.

Dude you just shot someone that was going to harm you... getting that close to a conscious injured attacker without back up is a fool's choice.

So, you shoot them in self defense and by chance it's in the arm or leg or even a torso - causing them enough injury to stop them in their tracks. You can still provide aid by tossing them bandage supplies for self aid without getting close enough for them to lash out at you.

Change the scenario with a crowd of people then you can certainly direct basic first aid if someone is willing to assist.

But bottom line you need to stay in control until help arrives. Typically in a urban setting that means 5-10 minutes for police, fire and ambulance to respond. Until that happens your best bet is to maintain a safe distance and keep your head - aware of what's going on and who's around you.

So you can still render aid but you don't have to be that close to the BG. Also remember that we talk about back up guns - the BG's also may have another weapon.

February 4, 2011, 02:30 AM
Only if you can approach safely, and that translates into backup, plus, for an officer,...........and as a civilian, I'm not sure if I would do much more than a phone call, from cover. LE is going to cuff and search that guy before anybody treats him in most cases.

That subject has committed some act that 'compelled you or somebody, to use deadly force. You have survived and made the effort to summon assistance.

We used this scenario in simunitions training on occassion,..... if the officer leaves cover, the perp draw a second gun and re engages.

February 4, 2011, 02:30 AM
If you are thinking of giving first aid to the attacker,you didn't stop the threat.

February 4, 2011, 03:58 AM
No way am I getting within arm's reach of the guy. I may throw some bandages at him, if available, to help stop the bleeding. But if someone was enough of a threat that I had to shoot, and he is still alive, then very little has changed.

February 4, 2011, 09:02 AM
We went through this one on a thread not too long ago and it got a bit heated.

As for myself, I would probably not render first aid for the stated reasons; however I can come up with scenarios where I would in fact render "aid" of one sort or another. It does not have to be some full blown first aid, CPR, compression bandage etc. situation to be "rendering aid". Those scenarios where I may in fact render aid are far less likely to occur than scenarios where I would not, but I am not prepared to make up my mind now about what action or lack of action may occur in a dynamic situation, understanding that the dynamic situation does not end after (hopefully) the BG ceases to be an immediate danger.

I will leave it there as a thought for discussion and will not post further on the situation (probably).

February 4, 2011, 09:09 AM
STEP ONE in every first aid, first responder or CPR course I've ever taken was:

Check the Scene; only proceed if the scene is safe for you.

The Scene in your scenario: A bad guy right smack in the middle of your scene who up until a moment ago you felt you were justified to shoot. Does that sound like a safe scene?

February 4, 2011, 09:11 AM
Then why did you shoot him in the first place? Might as well invited him in for cookies.

No seriously..It's known, if you're not willing to take a life to save your own or a loved ones. Do NOT possess or carry a firearm. A little extreme. Yes.

Then again there is no reason and you are no where near obligated to help out an assailant and give him first aid. You may disarm him further if he is armed...Kick the weapon away and keep him at bay till the proper officials arrive.

February 4, 2011, 09:15 AM
Tough call in a discussion like this.
Depends on the circumstances.
The bad guy is a human, you are a human. Giving aid is the human thing to do regardless of who the injured person is.
If I had to shoot an attacker I would make sure the threat was over then give aid. My intent in a situation like that is not to injure or kill a human, the intent is to stop an attack.
Only if it happens and we are there can be question be answered.

February 4, 2011, 09:20 AM
If you do the first aid you better make sure you do it perfectly because the last thing you need is for the BG to sue you for shooting him and then sue you again for improperly performing first aid.

A scared wounded person can be a dangerous thing and if the wound didn't immobilize them I would still see them as a threat and would keep my distance.

February 4, 2011, 10:07 AM
Sure I would, after I zip tie his hands behind is back with the zip ties I keep in my emergency supplies. Of course as I approach him I cover him with my gun until he is laying on his back and arms in the ready position...

If he is unconscious, you treat him. Of course if the area is still not secure (too many hostile lookie loos, too much cover for his buddies that ran off, etc), I am afraid he is on his own until help arrives.

February 4, 2011, 11:12 AM
Not only should you administer first aid, you should apologize for having to shoot him.

February 4, 2011, 11:35 AM
Your not a LEO, they HAVE to perform compressions and whatnot after a shoot if the attacker is alive, so I would assume we would not "have" to. Does not make sense to because you could simply say you aren't certified and did not feel it was safe.

February 4, 2011, 12:32 PM
Sure, if I can do so safely. After all it's not like I want to kill anyone.

February 4, 2011, 12:47 PM
STEP ONE in every first aid, first responder or CPR course I've ever taken was:

Check the Scene; only proceed if the scene is safe for you.

Good point! I finished my Emergency Medical Responder course in October of 2010. In my mind, I have played out the scenario of the original post many times, and couldn’t come up with an answer. You just answered it for me. The first thing you do in an emergency response, the very first thing, is examine the situation and the location around you. If there is anything questionable, or anything that could cause harm to the responder, you do not enter the area and you do not administer first aid. If you had to use a firearm to stop an attack, there is no way the area is secure until law enforcement arrives. I don’t see how a first responder that had to use this type of force could get into any legal problems by not administering medical aid.

Glenn E. Meyer
February 4, 2011, 12:54 PM
Folks, if you use obscenity in a post, it doesn't make you sound like a tough guy.


February 4, 2011, 01:23 PM
First aid on a dead person is counter productive.

Glenn E. Meyer
February 4, 2011, 01:29 PM
Ok, now we are chest pounding.