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Old February 10, 1999, 02:57 PM   #26
Harry Humphries
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Join Date: October 13, 1998
Location: Huntington Beach, CA, USA
Posts: 59
I have been watching this one with great interest and have seen, what I would call some pritty good 20 - 20 hindsight, and also some darn good input.

Some have mentioned tactics, no question the tactics of "felony stop" should require "Back Up" - they do as does the tactics of common sense. Bad field call? Perhaps but I wasn't sitting in the hot seat, I don't know what influenced the decision to engage.

Training ? Do they? If so, how do they? They do, infrequently, and train like most LE - mostly square range, some mount training but very little, and probably resist compulsory qualification as a quarterly or bi-annual pain in the posterior. They train front sight, center mass, they train failure drills - you know two center mass (thoracic cavity) and one to the head. By the way the head shot lethal target zone should be the triangular outline defined by the eyebrow line and nose because it is well known that the outer perimeter of the brain case housing ( sorry Doc ) has been penetrated without effect many times in combat. I have had a prisoner, VN type, walk up to me with the outline of a bullet lodged under his forehead. The round had penetrated and traveled around the scull - he had no idea of its presence. Yet not twenty minutes later one of my shipmates, Ted Rischer, took a round in the head standing next to me - he went down - dropped as if hit by a bat. The difference - a matter of fractions of an inch and luck of the draw.

In actuality guys, and some of you know this all too well, it is often very difficult to stop an individual in a gun fight.

With respect to equipment, I refer to my comments on the "What is the smallest Caliber, etc.?" posting. Bottom line - the hand gun is a woefully underpowered device, chambered in any caliber, for the stopping job (the barrel is too sort). The operative here folks is "Stopping Job". For this scenario, there is absolutely no weapon in the arsenal better than the SH.G.. It needs to be thought of, and trained on, as the primary weapon in high risk service - not an after thought if this type of catastrophe is to be avoided in the future. It needs to be fitted with rifle sights and properly equipped to carry stand-by slugs and appropriate shot rounds with the magazine loaded with shot designed for the environment it is normally deployed (i.e. Game shot for household use and large cal. buck, shooter's choice, for close quarter outdoor encounters).

But most of all guys, be certain - the combat experience does not remotely equate to the range experience. Why do you think the national statistic for officer involved shootings has remained around ten feet with a successful hit ratio of about 20% or in 80% of police shootings 1 round in 5 actually hits the target within ten feet. Heck you can stand on your head and close your eyes on the range and hit 90% of the time at that distance. Point shooting, Front sight shooting, does it make a difference within ten feet? Not really, however, the superior value of front sight shooting comes into play eventually.

The key here is the realization that combat stress or survival stress triggers physiological changes within all of us. In the face of perceived extreme danger, especially when surprised by it, hormonal secretions induce adrenal activities that activate the sympathetic nervous system which creates all sorts of damaging effects to our ability to think clearly and respond normally.
Fine motor skills disappear at 115 beats per minute (hormonal induced hart rate increase), loss of complex (multi function activity) motor skills occurs at 145 BPM, the eyes become binocular dominant and peripheral vision is lost to a cone of about 10 inches. Auditory exclusion occurs when the visual system becomes the dominant sensory source and reaction time increases up to 400% and finally irrational behavior occurs.

( I site Bruce Siddle of PPCT here)
It is only through a quality continuing training program that these effects are minimized. We are dealing with highly perishable skills here.

Any good combat program must address the value of gross motor skills as these are the dominant skills we are left with under extreme stress, that is simplicity must rule, KISS. The program must build technique confidence which will lower the hart rate and activates a positive mind set which, in turn, enhances all types of performance. It must include a Methodology for practicing survival motor skills:
• Static - slow motion repetitions designed to develop basic motor program.

• Fluid - slow motion repetitions designed to match threat stimulus to survival response.

• Dynamic - full speed roleplaying.

Train in a minimum of response options as reaction times will increase with available options (time out-which one do I use here). And finally visualize every conceivable combat scenario. Visualize your responses - this is almost as effective as experiencing the combat and will condition you accordingly. Reaction times will quicken as will response time and anxiety and hart rate comes down.

Breath control will reduce the hart rate by controlling respiration. In through the nose in two seconds, hold two seconds, out through the mouth for two seconds resisting and working the diaphragm. this signals the hart to slow down but this is a short fix and must be used just prior to engagement.

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Old February 10, 1999, 03:40 PM   #27
Join Date: October 15, 1998
Location: Washington
Posts: 62
Michael : My view is just slightly different than yours on this matter. I do not think that the Miami shoot out shows that center of mass hits should be avoided in some circumstances, but rather that One Shot Stops really shouldnt be expected or counted on. I think that multiple lethal hits to platt, center of mass, would have put him down quicker. He was shot, what, 11 times? But basically bled out. Only the first shot was deemed unsurvivable. Only one lung was perforated, correct? Well we all know that a person can live with one lung. Some, obviously, can fight with just one, too. But if both were collapsed, and his heart was hit, along with various other essential organs, he might not have lasted as long. What do you think? Stay safe, - 01paw
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Old February 10, 1999, 09:45 PM   #28
Walt Welch
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Join Date: November 3, 1998
Location: Alamo, CA
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Esteemed colleague Lucibella; I really don't think that we disagree, hard enough as that is to believe .

You said:

Rich Lucibella posted 02-09-99 03:50 PM ET (US)
I've stayed away from this one for my own reasons. However, I must disagree with your conclusion that the 9mm Silvertip did it's job admirably.
I said:
My opinion as an Emergency Dept. physician with 20 year's experience, is that the 9mm. bullet performed admirably. What more do you want of a bullet? It severed his brachial artery at the elbow, which began spurting blood immediately and continued to do so; the lung was collapsed, pulmonary vessels severed, 1300cc of blood was in his chest (nearly 3 pints).

Bullet placement is essential. Even with a lethal first hit, subsequent lethal hits may well be required to stop the suspect. In fact, multiple lethal hits, until the suspect is immobilized is probably the best way to minimize danger to LEO's

I don't see our viewpoints as being that different. I believe you see as beneficial shooting the largest, most powerful pistol cartridge you can shoot accurately. So do I.

The point I was trying to make is that ANY pistol cartridge is a mediocre tool for rapidly incapacitating a human being. Even though you are shooting a powerful, large caliber hand gun, be prepared to have to shoot and hit vital organs repeatedly to assure stopping a suspect.

Would Platt have died more quickly had he been shot with a 10mm or .45 ACP? Perhaps. Again, perhaps not, blaming a mediocre tool for a mediocre performance seems foolish to me.

I think you are saying, 'if only that bullet had gone a few more inches.' I agree that would have been beneficial, but I would add, AND SEVERAL MORE BULLETS PENETRATED VITAL ORGANS justto make sure that SOB went DOWN!


[This message has been edited by Walt Welch (edited 02-10-99).]
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Old February 11, 1999, 08:38 AM   #29
Ed Brunner
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Join Date: October 11, 1998
Location: Natchez, MS, USA
Posts: 2,562
I am not expert in tactics,training or medicine but I do have some ideas.

Police departments are woefully undertrained usually because of budget limitations.

I think the Miami shootout and the L A Bank robbery illustrate the same point. The good guys were outgunned.

At the risk of being impeached let me state that the 9mm is not a good pistol round for anti-personnel use.Its place is in a full auto submachine gun where it can be dispensed by the pound.

The reason that most 9mm police shootings involve many many rounds is that it requires many many rounds.
A .45ACP JHP would be a much better choice but public opinion opposses its use because it might hurt somebody.
Marksmanship training would help in the use of any caliber but its not goung to solve the problem bt itself.

Better days to be,


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Old February 11, 1999, 08:54 AM   #30
Rich Lucibella
Join Date: October 6, 1998
Location: South Florida
Posts: 10,224
You're right. We do agree for the most part. (God, I hate when that happens! )
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Old February 18, 1999, 12:52 PM   #31
Shutoku Shia
Join Date: November 9, 1998
Location: San Leandro, California, U.S.A.
Posts: 48
Harry Humphries wrote:
( I site Bruce Siddle of PPCT here)
It is only through a quality continuing training program that these effects are minimized. We are dealing with highly perishable skills here.

Harry, who is Bruce Siddle and what is PPCT? Thanks. BTW, to all who have contributed to this thread, this was one of the most informative and interesting thread on FBI Miami shootout I have ever read.


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[This message has been edited by Shutoku Shia (edited February 18, 1999).]
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Old February 23, 1999, 03:38 PM   #32
Michael Marks
Join Date: February 15, 1999
Posts: 55
Throwing my 2-cents in, I think there were fundamentally two factors that contributed to the disaster.

1st: as so clearly attested in earlier posts, there was every reason to believe these were really, REALLY bad guys. Bunching all the cars into a tight ball just seems like a bad plan. Dropping one car back with your average AR15 would have changed the dynamics considerably.

2nd: these bad guys were COMMITTED to the fight. I've studied the autopsy photos at length and see prime examples of "lethal" hits - one striking the cheek and driving into the skull, which failed to immediately incapacitate.

I think the big lesson here is one we can all reference when discussions come up re "excessive" force of heavy calibers, etc - if faced with a foe who is determined as these two scumbags were, there is no amount of pain or superficial injury in the world that will stop them in a timely manner. They were not jacked on PCP, just pumped on pure adrenaline and nastiness. That has carried soldiers through incomprehensible battles at war, and sadly will carry many a perp through a "textbook" defensive effort.

Shoot big, effective bullets, and shoot as fast and as accurately as you can until the bad guy goes down and stays down.
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