Actually... without any hostages present, he was not a threat to anyone who did not willingly engage him. The on scene officers have the option to take cover, and wait. There was no hurry.
Me thinks the FBI HRT would be sitting there eating sandwiches right now and playing music (Unless they happened to bring Lon Horiuchi along)
Hi Willie. My understanding, from reading the always questionable media reports is that he was shooting at the police most of the time. Again, no idea if that is true or not. I am not saying they were justified, I am willing to say I will give them the benefit of the doubt until I can read more of the "facts". If we assume they should have set up a perimeter and waited we would also have to assume that perimeter would have to be out of rifle range. If this crazy fellow was shooting at them with a 5.56 how far away would they need to be? I would not feel safe within 1000+ meters without cover myself. In that terrain (which I assume to be wooded mountains) how many officers would it take to set up a secure perimeter? I have no idea as I really know little about running this type of operation. Lets assume they backed off and this guy some how managed to get away. First, they look like fools and second they endanger more citizens by allowing him to get away (and may endanger other officers which I assume to be a large motivator for police).
Did they have some way to verify he was alone (clear view into the cabin)? I have no idea. I don't know if they made the right decision or not. I would like more info. before throwing the police under the bus.