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Police shooting caught on tape

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Preacherman, Oct 1, 2005.

  1. Preacherman

    Preacherman Elder

    Dec 20, 2002
    Louisiana, USA
    See here for video of a suspect in Kerrville shot by police. The suspect exited his car carrying a gun, and did not obey police instructions, so he was shot. You'll see his mother carrying on about "why didn't they send someone to talk to him?", and so on... Certainly, based on the tape, the suspect wasn't pointing the gun at anyone: but I can also understand the officer not wanting to take any chances.

    (BTW, this was in Kerrville, TX.)
  2. c_yeager

    c_yeager Mentor

    Mar 14, 2003
    I see no reason why they should have to let him get the first shot. He came out with a weapon and there is no reason to believe that he didnt intend to use it. This isnt some schoolyard game where he gets a free pass untill he actually points the firearm at someone.
  3. mr_dove

    mr_dove Active Member

    Oct 29, 2003
    The only problem i see with this kind of action is, what happens when the police show up on the scene of a shooting between a bad guy and a CCW holder? Shoot the CCW holder before asking any question?

    The "shoot anyone with a gun out" attitude will inevitably lead to good guys getting shot. Good guys on the other hand will not actually point the gun in an unsafe direction.
  4. Otherguy Overby

    Otherguy Overby member

    May 8, 2004
    Refrigerator box

    I've been there. I even looked for property around there. I like the area.

    However, one thing I sure noticed was the great number of police in the area. To me, it was quite amazing. Fredericksburg, somewhat northeast of Kerrville seemed to have maybe 1/4 or 1/3 the number of police as Kerrville. Also it seemed there was a fairly high percentage of young, inexperienced police in both areas.

    I guess police work is now a growth industry and with crime stats generally going down everywhere except inner cities, the chances of unsatisfactory public/police interaction are on the rise.
  5. migoi

    migoi Active Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    My Monday (well, Saturday, actually) morning QBing..

    8 seconds of non-compliance to verbal commands, gun in hand, about a second prior to shot he brings his hands together in what looks to me to be the initial stages of going into an isoceles shooting stance. If it was your life on the line as the police officer, would you take any further chances with this non-compliant fellow?

    I'm not sure what Mom wanted the police to give him a chance to do...get off the first shot?

    As far as danger to legitimate CCW folks... I guess if you remain non-compliant to 8 seconds of verbal commands after the police arrive you're very likely to get shot.

  6. skidmark

    skidmark Member

    Aug 25, 2004
    This flies in the face of all reason. As far as I could tell, the weapon was never raised, and therefore there was no iminent threat posed.

    There is nothing I saw that indicated if he intended to use the weapon or not. I agree that having the weapon in his hand is cause for great concern, but I did not see anything that would support this as a "good" or "clean" shoot.

    As I understand the rules for use of deadly force, you do get a free pass until you actually point the firearm at someone. There is nothing that indicated he had recently pointed at, or shot at, anybody. If that was the case, I missed it in the report. All I heard was that he had threatened to shoot himself because of some earlier case. "Threatened" not "had shot at himself" or otherwise endangered others.

    I am bothered by the thought that it is OK for cops to shoot anybody that they have pulled over, for whatever reason, if all that is known/observable is the subject has any sort of weapon in hand. I am just as bothered by the thought that you can take your sweet time in deciding to follow the orders of a bunch of cops who seemingly have drawn down on you.

    I've been shot at. I've shot at others. I've been threatened with all sorts of violence and fully believed the threat could and would be carried out. In all of those situations I was scared, and that certainly affected how I responded to the situation. I remember "rules of engagement" that said I had to be able to identify the specific person shooting at me, out of a whole villiage of folks shooting, before I could return fire at that specific target only. But those were the "rules of engagement." If I violated them, I got in trouble.

    I did not see the "rules of engagement" followed.

    stay safe.

    Last edited: Oct 1, 2005
  7. Werewolf

    Werewolf Senior Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    I personally am conflicted about this shooting. On the one hand I believe that the police should make every effort not to shoot when ever it is possible.

    Officer safety is, of course, a factor that must be considered in every situation where an officer deals with the public or a citizen. Unfortunately in this day and age it seems that officer safety takes precedence over every other factor in any situation. That said - risk comes with the job - it's what they get paid for - it's what they volunteer for. Officer safety should not be the prime factor - citizen safety should (of course that is just my opinion and if your aunt had balls she'd be your uncle). I also don't give a crap what the supreme a'holes in DC have to say about that particular aspect of the police either.

    Should the police put their lives at unnecessary risk? Absolutely not. The problem, though, is deciding what exactly constitutes unnecessary risk. At what point does risk to the officer override risk to the public or a citizen (remember this is the USA - we're innocent until proven guilty).

    In this case I saw no indication that the victim was going to shoot. Tuesday morning quarterbacking says to me that the point of unnecessary risk had yet to be reached.

    On the other hand, having had a pistol pointed in my face at a distance less than a foot, I know that the ability to analyze a situation logically and rationally, quickly and accurately, pretty much goes out the door rather sooner than later - the adrenaline flows and the reptile brain takes over.

    I was taught in the Army and by my father that any action is better than no action. I believe that is what happened here. Repeated and unresponded to commands lead to a hair trigger response by the officer. Understandable yes. Avoidable? Realisticly - probably not. LEO's are men - they experience the same fears in a life or death situation as everyone else and don't want to die anymore than anyone else does.

    In the final analysis it boils down to if you've got a gun and you're in the presence of the police keep it holstered or immediately use it if that is your intent - CUZ there ain't no in between!
  8. Rob1035

    Rob1035 Participating Member

    May 3, 2005
    MD, USA
    i'm curious, is it normal for car camera tapes to be made public?
  9. 3rdpig

    3rdpig Active Member

    Sep 13, 2004
    If you're armed and the police show up and order you to drop your gun you have 3 options as I see it.

    1. Drop the gun.
    2. Hang onto the gun and probably get shot.
    3. Hang onto the gun and shoot the police, at which time your life, as you've known it so far, is over.

    This seems like a no brainer to me.

    But I can understand why no one wants a family member shot. My father was shot by the police many years ago. My Dad wasn't a criminal but he had a tendency to go armed about the house and he drank way too much. He was fooling around in the garage, drinking, and some neighbor kids saw him with his gun and ran and told their parents. He didn't threaten anyone and didn't even see the kids, or did and didn't take any notice of them. The parents (who didn't like him) called the police who came by and ordered him to drop the gun. He didn't and they shot him. While he did have his gun in his hand he did not shoot at them or threaten them, just refused to drop the gun. The cop who shot him testified to that effect. He was probably to darn drunk to understand what was happening. Fortunately for him the cop who shot was either trying to kill him and was a lousy shot, or was trying to shoot the gun out of his hand and was a very good shot (He claimed the latter but I've never been sure). His right thumb was ruined and he damn near lost it. He pleaded Not Guilty (I can't remember the actual charges), lost the court case and spent 10 months in jail out of a 3 year sentence. This happened in a nearly crime free, upper middle class neighborhood. My Dad had no police record, was college grad and had a salaried full time job. Until the day he died he believed that the cops had no right to shoot him. I told him he was lucky he didn't get killed. While it didn't ruin his life it sure screwed it up for years.

    Moral of my story is, if you're a law abiding armed citizen and the police tell you to drop the gun, then drop the gun!
  10. PaladinVC

    PaladinVC New Member

    Apr 5, 2004
    In this instance, based on what I've read here (Can't load the vid for some reason), I can see no reason to give the suspect the benefit of the doubt. Armed, uncooperative and already suspected of something (not sure what) is a recipe for a very unpleasant situation. I can't imagine a legitimate set of circumstances that would lead to that behavior in that scenario. Even a deaf mute who accidentally epoxied a squirt gun to his hand that morning would have tried to comply while attempting to communicate the situation to the officers.

    But I share Werewolf's dilemma. It does seem that police safety is beginning to overshadow their duty in certain cases. On the one hand, I think the law enforcement profession is becoming more dangerous in some areas. Also, many people seem to want to see police as bad men who apply force recklessly. This makes it tougher for police to use force wisely. As the pendulum swings, however, it becomes possible for the police to use unnecessary precaution and pre-emptive force, and then attribute general outcry and censure to the bias that has already been identified in the media and the public.

    In the police academy, we were told to expect to be a federal defendant at least once in our careers if we became municipal officers in a major metropolitan area. There are criminals who will escalate a confrontation to the lethal force threshold, and there are defense attorneys who will portray those criminals as victims of everything from racism to straight-up police machismo. Even in a "clean" shoot, we were told, we should expect a long, costly civil suit from the deceased's next-of-kin.

    So the solution to escalating danger is to prepare yourself for these "malpractice" events, and once you're bolstered against them, to use whatever force is necessary to avoid personal danger and go home at the end of your shift. That might mean fighting tooth and nail once a fight begins, or it might mean shooting first and asking questions later.

    As always, the conscience and judgement of the individual officer is the final word in any police action. A few examples culled from the media is hardly enough to demonstrate a trend or policy shift. But this is something that we and, more importantly, police organizations should be thinking about.

    Personally, I have my hopes pinned on less-lethal technology, so officers can get that "phaser set to stun" and bring violent situations under control without the heavy consequences of a lethal force exchange.
  11. magsnubby

    magsnubby Active Member

    Apr 20, 2004
    Watch the video closer. He got out of the car with a weapon in his hand. He refused orders to drop the weapon. The weapon wasn't in plain view of the officers. He made a movement with his left as if reaching for the weapon. So what were they supposed to do? Waite for him to shoot first?

    Let's change the scenerio. He turns towards the officers, raises the weapon, he refuses orders to drop the weapon, fires, strikes and kills an officer. Every one would be yelling "WHY THE $#&& DIDN'T THEY SHOOT THE #?%????

    You disobay orders to drop a weapon, make a movement like you'r reaching for a weapon, you die. Period.
  12. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

    Jan 1, 2003
    SouthEast PA
    I have precisely one question:

    Would if have been a "good shoot" for a civilian?
  13. James T Thomas

    James T Thomas Participating Member

    Sep 15, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA
    witholding judgement

    That suspicious hand movement is classified as a "furtive movement" in many states, and has resulted in quite a few "actors" being shot.

    This is only the preliminary report on this incident, and I expect, if things go as usual, it will be given later that this guy was: high on drugs, had just fled the scene of some felony he committed, had left a suicide note at home for someone to find, etc.

    I'm filing it away in the storage bin for later update.
  14. Hobie

    Hobie Member

    Feb 16, 2005
    Staunton, VA
    Why, when stopped, did he get out the car with the gun? He had no other reason to do so other than to do harm to somebody and that somebody was apparently only police officers. The tape doesn't show a lawful gun owner in conflict with anyone else, it shows a felony car stop in which the suspect gets out of the car with a gun and refuses to drop the gun (or set it down) when so ordered multiple times by uniformed officers.

    I guess the big deal is that he's crippled, he's Latino, and they used a rifle. Hit in the mouth (we know what kind of shot was taken), he's darn LUCKY to be alive given a series of choices that brought him to this place and time. Choices HE made.

    Yeah I bet his mom is genuinely upset. However, what kind of mom is having her minor children watch this with her ON CAMERA.
  15. c_yeager

    c_yeager Mentor

    Mar 14, 2003
    So let me get this straight. Some obviously unbalanced fellow is holding a weapon and ignores every instruction you give him despite the fact that you are covering him with a weapon, he walks towards you, and you wait for him to put the muzzle to your temple before you react? Maybe that works for you, but i wouldnt put anyone else in such an absurd position.
  16. ExtremeDooty

    ExtremeDooty Member

    May 18, 2004
    Rifle, CO.
    It's as simple as that for me too. If he didn't have shooting someone in mind, why didn't he leave the gun in the car? How long does it take to snap a shot off if you've already got the gun in your hand even if it's at your side? And where is the rule that says you have to raise your whole arm and aim at someone to shoot a gun? Has no one here ever practised shooting "from the hip?" I have. With a flick of the wrist, this BG could have started shooting at the cops.

    This BG set the stage when he got out of the car with the gun in his hand. I think the cops should be applauded for giving him a chance to drop the gun in the first place.
  17. FireBreather01

    FireBreather01 Member

    Jul 17, 2004
    About 15 years ago I once witnessed a somewhat similar episode such as this outside my apartment, albeit with a far different ending. A neighbor had been drinking and was waving a 357 S&W around threatening to shoot some unknown 'burglars'. When the deputies arrived, about 7 of them, they had the guy cornered against an outside apartment wall. He was holding the gun down, pointed towards his feet. It took about about a dozen commands from the deputies, lasting about 30 seconds, before he dropped the gun. I clearly remember two commands, "if you don't drop your gun, you WILL get shot!", and "drop it or you're going to die!".

    I remember thinking at the time that the deputies showed amazing restraint. I have no doubts that had he made a similar move such as the guy did here, they would have shot him up. I think that's the main thing here - the furtive movement. This guy had the opportunity to drop the gun, he didn't and made an additional movement and was rewarded with a round in the head. I can't fault the cops in any way.

    As far as the video being made public - even if they tried to keep it private, under the Freedom of Information Act it would have eventually been released.
  18. Technosavant

    Technosavant Senior Member

    Mar 24, 2005
    St. Louis, MO
    And just how long does it take you to raise a weapon (already in your hand, by the way) and fire?

    Almost no time at all. While "police safety" can be misused, I do not see this as being one of those times. Anybody with a couple brain cells to bang together knows that you do NOT, when stopped by the police, exit your vehicle with a weapon in hand.

    It would be nice to know a bit more about this- was the deceased under the influence of alcohol or some other substance, what was the cause for pulling him over, etc. I would think that, as you stack the facts together, we see a young man who was not some blessedly pure young man who was on his way to mow his old grandma's lawn.

    My condolences to his mother, but there are some actions a person can take that will result in death. This young man took them.
  19. MDG1976

    MDG1976 Active Member

    Jul 8, 2005
    Suicide my cop.
  20. Steam dragon

    Steam dragon New Member

    Sep 1, 2005
    N.E. Ohio
    LEOs ARE civilians. Well, at least they are supposed to be.

    But, Geek, If the shot had been fired by a non LEO, EVERY THING ELSE remaining the same, police presence, dash cam, the works, only two things would be different.

    1: dead suspect.
    2: dead shooter.

    The cops would have run out of ammo.

    Oh, short answer to your question? No.

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