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Old October 11, 2010, 07:53 PM   #1
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A story all CPL holders should read & why you need plenty of ammo

This is from another forum that I frequent.

It also makes clear why you need plenty of ammo. You listening revolver people?

Article submitted by PoliceOne member who would like to remain anonymous

In response to a recent Force Science News article ( Have Gun, Will Travel? ) discussing the issue of off-duty/concealed carry, a sergeant in California shared the following account of a horrific off-duty engagement he and his family unexpectedly fell into. The hard-earned lessons he shares may save your life in an off-duty encounter, so we hope you will take them to heart.

[Editor’s note: Because of the impact this incident has had on his family, this sergeant has asked for anonymity.]

He writes:

I had taken my family to a McDonald’s Restaurant on our way to a pool party. I was off-duty, in civilian clothes, and armed.

I was standing in line and oblivious (like all the other patrons) to the fact that an armed suspect had taken the manager hostage and was forcing her to open the safe in the restaurant’s office. One of the cashiers had seen this and I overheard her telling another employee that the business was being robbed.

At that time, I had approximately 15 years of experience and was a SWAT team member and use-of-force/firearms instructor. I had talked to my wife about such an occurrence and we had a preplanned response. When I told her to take the children and leave the building, she did not hesitate. I began quietly telling employees and patrons to leave. My thinking was to remove as many innocent bystanders as possible and then leave myself.

I thought that because I did not see the suspect enter he must have come in from a side door or employee entrance and I assumed (wrongly) that he would go out the same way. As I was standing near the front counter trying to get some of the kitchen help to get out, the suspect came from the office area and began running in my direction.

I immediately noted the large semi-automatic pistol in his hand. The distance was about 15 to 20 yards. I drew my weapon, announced myself and took a kneeling position behind the counter. Unfortunately, the suspect raised his weapon at me and the gunfight erupted. The suspect fired a total of 2 rounds in my direction. I fired 11, striking him 10 times.

My weapon was now empty and I ran from the line of fire to reload my spare magazine. I then approached the downed suspect and could tell that he was seriously wounded. It was right then that I considered that there might be more than one "bad guy" (the thought had not crossed my mind before this) and I began to scan the 360 to check.

I immediately noticed a small child lying behind me. I saw blood pooling under her head and knew at a glance she was dead. One of the bullets fired at me had struck this child. Unbeknownst to me, my family had tried to exit out the fire door, which was locked. My wife was still trying to get out when the shooting started and she pushed my kids under a table where they all witnessed the gunfight.

The end result was that the suspect died, I survived, but a 9-year-old girl did not.

I tell you this story because I think that this topic is of utmost importance. It is largely ignored in mainstream police training. I want to tell you some of the lessons I learned from this incident:

If you are going to carry a firearm off-duty, you should carry extra ammo. Security camera video of this incident revealed that I fired all 11 rounds from my Glock 26 in about 2 seconds. My extra mag held 17 rounds. Words cannot describe the emotion I felt when I slammed that mag into my weapon and was able to still be in the fight.
Mostly because of circumstances (distance) and my training, my rounds were on target. It could have happened differently and the reality is that most of us miss more than we hit when involved in a gun battle.

You cannot have the typical police mind-set in an off-duty situation. I ended up in this incident without a radio, without backup, without body armor, handcuffs, other force options and without taking the time to think it through. I was truly most frightened when the gunfight was over and I was standing there covering the suspect with my weapon in my T-shirt and shorts.
I was really worried that one of my own guys might not recognize me. I was worried too that there might be some other off-duty copper around who would think I was the bad guy.

The smartest, most responsible thing I could have done would have been to take care of my family first. I should have seen personally to their safety. If I had grabbed them and gone outside, I would have spared them this entire experience and that little girl would probably still be alive today.

Again, words cannot describe the emotions that we all went through after this incident. I recognized afterward that it could have been one of my children lying dead because of my actions. When you are off-duty your first responsibility is to your family. You should never forget this.

I survived this incident. Partly due to my training and tactics. Partly due to God's grace and blind luck. But the other side of the coin is that I got into this incident because of my training. I switched immediately into “cop” mode without stopping to consider that I was at a great tactical disadvantage. Most of us are driven and dedicated to the point of self destruction and I think good cops die because we are taught to place our personal safety second when others are in danger.
Because I had never trained realistically for a situation like this, I was unprepared. Most of the guys I worked with then and now carry off-duty weapons. But few of them, if any, have really taken the time to engage in realistic training and preparation for how to handle an off-duty incident.

Training can be as simple as discussing these types of situations with your coworkers. Since this shooting, I have devoted at least one quarterly range session with my students to off-duty encounters and the associated considerations.

The responsibility of carrying a firearm is huge. I had devoted countless hours to training for the fight, but was not fully prepared for the aftermath. None of the training scenarios, books, films, etc. that I learned from touched upon the fact that when you take that gun out and decide to take action, 9-year-old kids can get killed. Even if you do everything by the book, use good tactics, and are within policy and the law, the outcome can still be negative.
You have to remember that the suspect does not go to the range and he does not practice rules of weapons safety. He does not care about what's in his line of fire. If it’s you or him, you gotta do what you gotta do, but whether you’re on-duty or off-duty we need to train to look at the totality of the incident.

Letting the bad guy go because doing otherwise would place innocent people in grave danger needs to be more “socially acceptable” amongst our ranks. I think we're starting to see more of this in the pursuit policies of most agencies and I have tried to carry this message over into my training and teaching.

I guess the bottom line here is that it’s good to be on “auto pilot” when it comes to tactics in these situations, but we can’t go on auto pilot in our assessment and examination of the environment and circumstances leading up to and during the event. On-duty mind-set and off-duty mind-set need to be strongly separated and the boundaries clear.

- A California Sergeant
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Old October 11, 2010, 07:57 PM   #2
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11 rounds from a g26 in 2 seconds and all on target? Right....

Brings the whole story into question.
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Old October 11, 2010, 08:02 PM   #3
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Not exactly a ringing endorsement of the 9mm as a fight-stopper.

The off-duty officer was certainly within his rights, and the law, to intervene to stop the robbery in progress. But the bottom line is, a 9-yr old girl is dead when it's likely she wouldn't have been if he'd merely acted as a good witness.
Violence is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and valorous feeling which believes that nothing is worth violence is much worse. Those who have nothing for which they are willing to fight; nothing they care about more than their own personal safety; are miserable creatures who have no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of those better than themselves. Gary L. Griffiths, Chief Instructor, Advanced Force Tactics, Inc. (Paraphrasing John Stuart Mill)
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Old October 11, 2010, 08:08 PM   #4
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While I'm not against carrying spare mags and having large capacity semi's, I think you're going to get responses like - "If he had just left the building like the rest of us would have, he still wouldn't have needed all the ammo." Or "if he had a .357 he wouldn't have needed to hit the guy 10 times." I have a feeling JimMarch would say that in those 2 seconds he would have fired twice and those two bullets would have had about the same effect as all 10 of the 9's with less chance of strays hitting bystanders.

Like I said, I'm not anti large mag/extra mags by any means. Just making a couple arguments.

OP, you seem to be on a mission to prove the vast superiority of the semi these days. Do you have any specific reason?
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Old October 11, 2010, 08:13 PM   #5
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Sure...blame the caliber. Of course, firing 11 rounds in 2 sec. barely gives the BG a chance to drop before they're all expended. Could have been the 1st of 10 shots that disabled the guy. Could be the first 9 hit non-vital areas (even in the chest).

Whether real or not, I think the guy did pretty well. It is in no way, shape, or form his fault the girl was shot.

Being lucky enough to have the resources I have, I have been able to see the effects of handgun rounds to the human body. I will tell you, a .357 or any other round would not have been any better. I know it goes against the common theory, but it's true.
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Old October 11, 2010, 08:16 PM   #6
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What I got from the article was not "carry an extra mag", it was "get as many people as far away as possible as quickly as possible and do not escalate". This LEO did not do that last part, although I commend him for his sense of duty in stopping the crime.

The officer makes the point that if he had not engaged the criminal, the girl would still have lived. While we cannot prove this, it is a very likely outcome.

The officer probably does not read these forums, but I would like to tell the officer that had the girl been able to exit like he had wanted her to that her death would not have happened.

edit: wow, didn't take long for this to go from a very thought provoking article to semi vs. revolver to 9mm vs. x caliber. There is more to this than those tired thread topics.
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Old October 11, 2010, 08:16 PM   #7
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I suppose you do need to carry an auto if you intend to go out of your way to take on an armed adversary and respond with 2-second, 11-shot strings.

This story hasn't changed my comfort level with carrying a 5-shot J-frame, sorry.
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Old October 11, 2010, 08:25 PM   #8
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The real lesson is not to turn a robbery in to a shoot-out.

This "news" is also 13 years old.
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Old October 11, 2010, 08:31 PM   #9
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It also makes clear why you need plenty of ammo. You listening revolver people?
I sure am listening... this article shows allot of people (including trained cops?) still rely on spray and pray shooting with large capacity auto pistols.

If he had a 33rd mag he probably would have shot the bad guy 32 times.

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Old October 11, 2010, 08:36 PM   #10
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I have a feeling JimMarch would say that in those 2 seconds he would have fired twice and those two bullets would have had about the same effect as all 10 of the 9's with less chance of strays hitting bystanders.
Welll...yeah, actually, I was thinking about that. Seriously - he was throwing down about 350 to 400ft/lbs energy per shot...and I too doubt he hit with all 11, although it's of course possible. I'm dropping 800ft/lbs energy per shot, Gold Dot projectiles, and I'll pit the accuracy of my piece against a G26 any day of the week...firing about one shot per second on my part.


Does that mean the outcome would have been any different? Quite possibly not. The goblin fired first. We don't know which of the goblin's shots killed that girl - it wasn't the cop that did it if this is at all accurate.

I think what the cop is getting at is this: his best bet would have been to scoot his family out the door, take up a barricade somewhere inside, peek with one eye, see what the bad guy does. If he just runs away, let him, better that than a gunfight in a bystander-dense environment. If however the guy is an outright killer (or a rapist, or a sadistic torturer trying to stick the cook's hand in the deep fryer or something), put him down ASAP.

And if that's what he's getting at, the Sgt. has a point.
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Old October 11, 2010, 08:43 PM   #11
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I agree after reading the story the last thing I was thinking about was how I need to carry around a higher capacity pistol and more reloads.
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Old October 11, 2010, 09:34 PM   #12
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More ammo?

Seems more like study of irresponsible behavior, much like many of the omnipresent "Walter Mitty" scenarios on this board.

Sorry, but you're not going to convince me that a few thousand bucks is worth endangering a restaurant full of people.
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Old October 11, 2010, 09:49 PM   #13
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Another point of BS in the story, who has been in a McDonalds where it is 15-20 yards from the front counter to the back especially if someone is "running" at you from the back.

Whoever posted that BS, assuming it was really the police officer who was involved, sure did embellish a lot.

No one fires 11 rounds of full loads (even 9mm) in 2 seconds on target at 15-20 yards.
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Old October 11, 2010, 11:06 PM   #14
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I've been in this McDonald's and it is VERY easy to see 20 to 30 yards in this one. It is a series of rail road cars strung together. I think its one of the biggest in the country.

This story has nothing to do with caliber or with the # of rounds you carry or even how fast you shoot. It has everything to do with WHEN to take action.

If this is the first hand account of the cop which it seems to be, then the lesson he is telling is very clear. Having the tools to protect and defend are only the smallest part of the equation the larger part it knowing when and how. With emphasis on when. He stated that he did not know how to respond without a radio and uniform reinforcements. And he is also relaying that he picked a poor time to elevate the situation. If he had let the BG go the might have found him later when it would have been better for public safety. If not the BG got a few bucks, how much is that little girl worth?
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Old October 11, 2010, 11:11 PM   #15
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11 rounds from a g26 in 2 seconds and all on target? Right....
And you have tested

No one fires 11 rounds of full loads (even 9mm) in 2 seconds on target at 15-20 yards.
Uh huh. Better talk to Jerry Miculek. He does 12 rounds of .45 ACP in under 3 seconds--from a REVOLVER...with a reload.

I think, friend, that you would be truly surprised at what an educated trigger finger can accomplish.
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Old October 11, 2010, 11:26 PM   #16
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I'm sorry, but am I missing something? Didn't the crook shoot first? Wasn't the officer evacuating the premises when he ran into the crook? If you're a cop, and someone shoots at you, you shoot back. And maybe, just maybe, his agency dictates what he can carry off-duty. Many do you know.

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Old October 11, 2010, 11:34 PM   #17
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Gents, reread and understand his position

He wasn't expecting but due to his profession he had a plan for his family.
He initiate that plan, and quietly started a sensible evacuation and switched to a LEO.

He didn't take time to analysis fully the scenario, HE REACTED, according to training!

I CPL and I will not draw in any public situation unless the threat is DIRECTLY against me. I will assist in evacuation of the area, but an active shooter situation is a NO WIN situation, incoming LEO's are going neutralize/contain any person showing a firearm. After securing the area then they will figure out who is who. All they know is, no badge showing, ain't one of us!

Reloads are NEEDED adn don't even consider BOBBLING that important step.

I have done bowling pins at my club, with my J & K frames, and when it come to make ready for follow-up tables. I'm NOT looking at the piece to load but keeping my eyes on the pins and speed-loading by feel.

You can't do this, YOU have a PROBLEM.

the author is conveying actual info that is missing from ALL training classes.
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Old October 11, 2010, 11:37 PM   #18
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I drew my weapon, announced myself
This was his elevation, the BG then aimed and fired.

took a kneeling position behind the counter. Unfortunately, the suspect raised his weapon at me and the gunfight erupted.
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Old October 11, 2010, 11:45 PM   #19
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Drawing while already in someone's sights?

How I read it: The cop was seen drawing his G26 from concealment by the BG who ALREADY HAD HIS GUN POINTED AT HIM.

That is just begging to be shot at, IMO, and he was at a huge disadvantage to have drawn at that moment. I don't have to get in to the "He should have done this..." mumbo jumbo, because he admitted to being at a tactical disadvantage and to being unprepared for off duty shootouts.
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Old October 12, 2010, 12:46 AM   #20
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I have a CCW, but I'm not a cop so I don't feel any obligation to protect anybody elses personal property with my gun. I don't believe an off-duty cop has any obligation in that situation either, beyond just being a good witness. However, I sure don't fault a trained police officer, or even just an ordinary citizen from trying to stop a felony in progress by using deadly force if they feel they must act, although I would agree that THEY should make every effort not to injure or kill inocent bystanders with THEIR gunfire.

However, some of the responses to this thread come dangerously near to saying that it is also expected that an officer of the law not attempt to stop a felony-in-progress if stray gunfire from the PERPETRATOR could possibly injure or kill a bystander. In my opinion that would handcuff law enforcement and practically guarantee that criminals would always try to keep innocent people in the line of fire between themselves and the law.

Last edited by DG45; October 12, 2010 at 01:10 AM.
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Old October 12, 2010, 12:51 AM   #21
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So, I'm missing something. Is the assertion that more ammunition would have saved that little girl's life?

I'm sorry, but he had a chance to leave, but he did not. Furthermore, he chose to escalate the situation. Those are two decisions I would have made much differently.

It would be one thing if the perpetrator had already shot someone, or if he showed that he was intent on doing so. I don't see anything like that in the account.

What I do see is someone getting in over his head and placing others in danger. 11 shots in 2 seconds, from someone who admits he wasn't fully aware of the situation, is uncontrolled. What if the manager had been exiting behind the perpetrator?
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Old October 12, 2010, 01:00 AM   #22
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What some people don't seem to get is that stories like that don't reflect a self-defense situation. That was an off-duty LEO who (may have) had a duty to stand and protect. I'm not saying whether or not he reacted correctly or if I'd have done any different.

As a concealed handgun license holder I have the right to retreat. I could have scooted my family, myself, and anybody else that wanted to go right out the door. I have no responsibility to protect McDonald's money.

It also makes clear why you need plenty of ammo. You listening revolver people?
So what, exactly, does this story have to do with the amount of ammo a ccl holder needs to carry?
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Old October 12, 2010, 01:12 AM   #23
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Bingo, Sport45 is right on.

A ccw is a last measure to get you out of a dangerous situation. I's not a license to get into an extended shootout. But hey, this is America. Everyone should protect themselves as they feel they need to.

This story isn't proof of anything for the civilian in the normal course of life imo.
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Old October 12, 2010, 07:54 AM   #24
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I fully agree that this story has nothing to do with caliber or capacity.

The thing that struck me is that the author is grieving for the little girl who was killed. Legally and ethically he was in the right, but he has reflected on his actions and he wishes he had done some things differently - things that may have avoided the death of a nine year old child.

It matters not that we do not condemn him - he has, in a manner of speaking, condemned himself. He knows, without us telling him, that he was not the bad guy, and that he did not initiate the situation that led to the little girl's death. His rational mind can tell him that he was in the right, but his soul is crying out at the knowledge that he had a role, albeit a role that was not entirely within his control, in the death of a precious, innocent child.

This is an aspect of concealed carry that is ignored by some. This incident had an irreversible impact on the man and, apparently, on his family, even though he was legally justified. I wonder if those who profess to be looking for an excuse to deploy and fire their carried firearm would feel differently were they in the shoes of the author.

This story, rather than arguing about caliber and capacity, reinforces the message that we need to resort to gunfire only as a last option. That which is legal, and that which is our right, is not always the wisest course of action. Exercising our rights may well leave us and our loved ones with some haunting memories.
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Old October 12, 2010, 08:08 AM   #25
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I agree.

I see a trend on most boards where the majority of CCW holders have this "Rambo" type mentality. They are gonna take on any bad guy come hell or high water, walk around with 1000 rounds of extra rounds, 3 hi cap pistols, yeah, hell yeah!!!

In my opinion, I view a CCW permit as an opportunity to carry a firearm as a LAST DITCH OPTION. Its a DEFENSIVE weapon, not an offensive IMHO.

I carry Glocks and/or snub 38/357's depending on a variety of variables.

People need to get it in their heads that thier carry permit, does not permit them to act like a 1 man SWAT team.

The above example is not a SD situation. Had the guy been walking to the crapper, turned a corner, and had this BG in his face in an instant with a gun drawn on him, perhaps a different story, who knows.

Your role as a civilian is to keep you and your loved ones safe, i.e. get OUT of the building, and be a good witness and call it in and relay real time info to dispatch.

Of course, I could be wrong...


Edit: The off duty LEO is not in the wrong, his profession as an officer of the Law, and sworn to serve and protect obviously took over. Thats great, no one can second guess his tactics as we werent there. Sounds like he was trying to evac, when all of a sudden he was "ambushed". NOW, he was in a SD situation as he took fire first.
Regading the comments about caliber, lets get real here. We will never know that just becuase the BG soaked up 10 rounds of 9mm that the first 1-2 didnt shut him down. The object is to STOP and attack, not kill in a shooting, althouht this is often the outcome. So be it as long as it was justified.
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