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Old June 30, 2016, 01:10 PM   #1
rjinga
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After Istanbul Do You Go Straight For The Headshot?

Assume the following facts in the following scenario: you are caught in an active shooter situation; the shooter is wearing body armor covering his chest and back; the shooter is a terrorist (not mentally ill or crazy ex-boyfriend); he may also be a suicide bomber, but you don’t know for sure; you are armed with a handgun; the shooter has not seen you yet; you decide to engage the shooter.

Would you shoot at the head first, or a different part of the body, and why?

If the shooter was down and unable to fire his weapon, but was still making furtive movements, would you try a headshot then? Why or why not?
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Old June 30, 2016, 01:27 PM   #2
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Move to cover, assess threats if possible....

None? Move off the X.

Threat in close proximity? Assess from cover if shots can be taken. (No one running in front of you or behind target, barriers, etc)

If all is clear, shoot if you must.

If all is not clear, don't shoot.


If you shoot. Shoot until the threat is down. (Assuming there's one,)
If you shoot and there are multiple threats. Bad move. Expect a barrage of bullets heading your way.

If all is not clear. Stay put and let them come to you if they do come to you. Shoot until the threat is down.

If you can move, move, move, move. Get to safety and as far away as possible.



Bottom line is, I can go on for days or weeks with "ifs". Fact of the matter is that there is no black and white answer for this either. Someone will always throw a "What if" into the other persons attempt at advice.


If you can engage, engage. If you can't, don't.

It's already a very bad situation. A pistol vs rifles and bombs doesn't look too good. So mindset would be what keeps you alive. Some chances leave you to be the first to get blown up. We never know.

Stay vigilant.
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Old June 30, 2016, 01:34 PM   #3
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I believe they often implement a dead man’s switch, so in that case it probably wouldn’t matter. I suspect the best strategy is to simply run the opposite direction.
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Old June 30, 2016, 02:39 PM   #4
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There are too many unknowns, even with the "givens" to make that determination.

Is the active shooter alone (or appears to be alone)? What sort of weapon is the shooter using? How often are they stopping to reload, if at all? What is the distance? Am I in immediate danger and/or being targeted or am I engaging with surprise on my side? Am I, more or less, in front or behind the shooter? How much and how erratic are the shooters movements? What is behind/beyond the shooter? Am I in the midst of a crowd or am I relatively free to move and unencumbered? Do I have family to protect?
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Old June 30, 2016, 03:26 PM   #5
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If you gotta' - you gotta'.
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Old June 30, 2016, 06:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Assume the following facts in the following scenario: you are caught in an active shooter situation; the shooter is wearing body armor covering his chest and back; the shooter is a terrorist (not mentally ill or crazy ex-boyfriend); he may also be a suicide bomber, but you don’t know for sure; you are armed with a handgun; the shooter has not seen you yet; you decide to engage the shooter.

Would you shoot at the head first, or a different part of the body, and why?
I'm don't think I would presume to know who the shooter is or what his motives are during a fight. I'd be too busy trying to survive.

If you're bound and determined to engage I would suggest incorporating moving target drills into your training. Active shooters don't stand still and neither does the crowd.
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Old June 30, 2016, 06:37 PM   #7
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while it won't necessarily mean stopping the criminal or terrorist from shooting, a shot to the pelvic area can very well immobilize them and make it easier for your escape. the head is a small target that is even harder to hit when the target is moving. the lower torso/gut/buttocks/pelvis.... a little easier.
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Old June 30, 2016, 06:49 PM   #8
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Your choice of actions will likely result in 1 of 2 outcomes:

. You'll be judged by 12 people you don't know.
. -or-
. You'll be carried by 6 people you do know.

And you'll have only a few seconds to decide.
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Old June 30, 2016, 08:29 PM   #9
Glenn E. Meyer
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However, we will all watch your decision on CNN.

There's no right answer. All you can do is train up your abilities. If you go 2 to the body and one to the head, you usually can't go wrong - except when the vest goes off.

BTW, how to you know the guy is a terrorist and not a crazy boy friend? Do you give him a tactical version of the MMPI or Beck Depression Inventory?
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Old June 30, 2016, 08:57 PM   #10
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BTW, how to you know the guy is a terrorist and not a crazy boy friend? Do you give him a tactical version of the MMPI or Beck Depression Inventory?
I agree. The MOTOVATION for the event is immaterial to the PROBLEM.

And WHY are we only thinking about this AFTER the attack in Turkey? This kind of attack has been seen all over the world for DECADES.

Single head shots as plan A, have been taught as a standard response under specific conditions as long as ive been teaching the serious use of the handgun (3 decades).

Basically, anytime you cannot accecpt the possibility of a failure to stop. Distance from the threat is usually the limiting factor.

As for "Deadman" swithing... What do you think will happen if you DONT shoot? So, against a guy wearing an obvious Explosive vest...2 options, dont shoot him and he clacks it off, shoot him and it MAY go off.

Pelvic shots will have ZERO effect on his/her ability to push the putton. So thats out as a viable option.

Aggressively closing the distance from behind is the best tactic. Once inside the range you KNOW you can guaranty the hit....CNS the guy and hope for the best. What other option is there.

Again, we are back to the moral question of do YOU engage or do YOU run away. Thats a question YOU need to answer for yourself.
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Old June 30, 2016, 09:17 PM   #11
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Glenn noted:
Quote:
BTW, how to you know the guy is a terrorist and not a crazy boy friend?
If he was in (many large cities in the Middle East), it wouldn't matter.

While living in the Middle East in the 90's I had the chance to work with a lot of government gun toters and policy makers. Whether it was a bad guy on the street or bad guys in airplanes, the goal was always stated to "get the bad guy", where in the US and many western nations, the goal is to save the innocent. The line in the movie "kill them all and let God sort it out", is culturally correct.
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Old June 30, 2016, 09:19 PM   #12
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Well, all of this is under the presumption we know he's a bomber. I watched that footage and at no point prior to the crap hitting the fan would I have been confident enough to shoot had I been LEO or a Soldier on scene. As a civilian I would never feel confident enough to shoot unless the explosives were visible and threats had been made.

But, assuming I had preternatural knowledge, I'd take a shot if I was at a distance I had made consistent headshots before. 3-5 yards if he's moving, 7-10 if he's stationary. I can land a headshot farther of course but I'm betting my life on a single round, so with that kind of stress I might try to walk up to contact distance if I was already that close.

On the other hand, if I'm much past 10 yards and I see cover nearby I might shout "He's got a bomb! RUN!" and hopefully enough other people can run that I save a lot of lives.

I would never close distance with a suicide bomber, no way no how.
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Old June 30, 2016, 09:21 PM   #13
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No easy asnwer here.

Just understand that responders will isolate/ neutralizes any one with a firearm that is not a specific uniform and / or displaying any sign / countersign.

Friendly fire is a possibility.
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Old June 30, 2016, 09:38 PM   #14
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Long time ago I started studying what I call nutjob attacks.

Noticed they almost always prepared, wore body armor, and tended to chicken out when pressed with am armed response.

Figured right there to go for the head and hips of any nutjob who was shooting up the place.

Only thing is, with Islamic nutjobs, best just to go for the noggin to begin with. That takes precision SPEED shooting.

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Old June 30, 2016, 10:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Assume the following facts in the following scenario: you are caught in an active shooter situation; the shooter is wearing body armor covering his chest and back; the shooter is a terrorist (not mentally ill or crazy ex-boyfriend); he may also be a suicide bomber, but you don’t know for sure; you are armed with a handgun; the shooter has not seen you yet; you decide to engage the shooter.

Would you shoot at the head first, or a different part of the body, and why?
Given your scenario here, I would go for two to his groin area and follow with a head shot if he was still moving. I made these choices because the femoral arteries run through the groin area and both are major arteries plus that area is a bigger target to hit. The head shot would be a topper.
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Old June 30, 2016, 10:46 PM   #16
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^^^^
Or just unload the magazine while he shows movement.
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Old July 1, 2016, 05:14 AM   #17
shafter
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Single head shots as plan A, have been taught as a standard response under specific conditions as long as ive been teaching the serious use of the handgun (3 decades).

Basically, anytime you cannot accecpt the possibility of a failure to stop. Distance from the threat is usually the limiting factor
I don't know about you, but as for me any deadly force situation is one where failure is not an option. Are there situations where you could accept the possibility of failure?
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Old July 1, 2016, 07:33 AM   #18
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It's difficult to employ small arms against suicide bombers, and particularly against undetected ones.

Airports are difficult to carry in, and especially while traveling. And even more so in foreign countries.

I guess it depends on your level of skill, training, and equipment.

If you realistically can make a headshot with a pocket pistol on a moving target at range under the stress of indoor automatic weapons fire and bombs going off around you, sure.
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Old July 1, 2016, 08:36 AM   #19
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My 1st response will be to get me and my family in the opposite direction as the suspect.

If I have to shoot, I have to shoot. if he goes off is immaterial to my decision.
I may try, two to the body and one to the head. Who knows.

If he goes off he goes off. Maybe a few more people live because he went off in a unplanned spot with every one running away.

My main line of defense is to not be in places that are targets. If I have to go, go on off days and hope for the best.

Truth is though in the Air Port scenario. We dont get a choice. They are gun free zones. So if your armed... Your the target.
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Old July 1, 2016, 08:42 AM   #20
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I cannot imagine why anyone would plan on doing anything differently "after Istanbul".
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Old July 1, 2016, 09:24 AM   #21
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Quote:
Quote:
Single head shots as plan A, have been taught as a standard response under specific conditions as long as ive been teaching the serious use of the handgun (3 decades).

Basically, anytime you cannot accecpt the possibility of a failure to stop. Distance from the threat is usually the limiting factor


I don't know about you, but as for me any deadly force situation is one where failure is not an option. Are there situations where you could accept the possibility of failure?
The generally acknowledged first response to a deadly threat is mtpl shots "center mass". This usually means 2-4 rounds into the chest as fast as you can deliver them.

Human physiology and wound ballistics tell us that has a LIKELIHOOD of stopping the attacker, but the possibility of a failure to stop is present.

So, yes...there is a possibility of a failure in the traditional response.

Thats response, however, is the easiest to perform and has a good chance of success.

Contrast that with going straight for a CNS shot. MUCH harder to guaranty at anything but the closest ranges and your skill level must be higher.

Am I reading your question correctly??
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Old July 1, 2016, 09:27 AM   #22
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What appears to have happened at least once in Istanbul was that a security officer shot at a shooter until he was down, then realized that there was a bomb vest on him and ran, trying to get out of range of the bomb blast. I don't know if he got away or not, but I can't quibble with his actions. Gun against gun gives you some kind of chance; gun against bomb is not a winning hand.

Would I try a head shot if I was certain a shooter was wearing a bomb? I doubt it. A dead man switch would mean that I triggered the bomb, and if there were other people in the vicinity, I just cut to zero the time they had to get clear.
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Old July 1, 2016, 09:51 AM   #23
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Personally, I would ALWAYS shoot for the chest first for several reasons:

1. That's how I train, so that's what I'm going to be best at;
2. Chest is still the biggest target;
3. Body armor doesn't mean bullets just bounce off leaving the wearer unimpacted. At the very least, it's going to feel like a mule kick to the chest. It's going to take some time for a shooter to recover enough, after taking 2 shots of hot 9mm or 45 to the chest. You can use that time to possibly take cover or possibly make a groin, leg or head shot.
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Old July 1, 2016, 10:05 AM   #24
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A dead man switch would mean that I triggered the bomb
Everybody seems to be looking for a nice neat answer to this. Its a GUNFIGHT. Its sloppy and messy and nobody "wins"

Yes, IF he has a pressure release trigger on his vest, then its going off. But thats only IF HE HAS it wired that way.

If you dont shoot him it WILL go off at the time and place of his choosing, and thats going to be a place of maximum effect.

So shoot him and take the chance it might go off. Or dont shoot and ensure it will go off????
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Old July 1, 2016, 10:24 AM   #25
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3. Body armor doesn't mean bullets just bounce off leaving the wearer unimpacted. At the very least, it's going to feel like a mule kick to the chest. It's going to take some time for a shooter to recover enough, after taking 2 shots of hot 9mm or 45 to the chest. You can use that time to possibly take cover or possibly make a groin, leg or head shot.
Skans, i dont mean to be argumentative, but...

Dont count on a bullet impact into a vest to discombobulate an attacker.

Personal example... When i was working in LA, we had a guy shot in ther back with a 44mag bullet impacted about 3" above the kidney. He was wearing a Safariland vest (dont remember the model) in level 3a.

He never went down... Turned and returned fire. That evening when i saw him after being checked out at the hospital. He had one heck of a bruise and said he felt like he had been hit by a baseball. AT THE TIME..he just fought on. No incapacity at all, and that was with a 44mag

I would not expect a 9 or 40 or 45 to have any more effect.
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