It's not over...

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics, and Training' started by JohnKSa, Jun 30, 2022.

  1. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Administrator Staff Member

    Jan 1, 2003
    DFW Area
    ...until it's really over.

    The videos may be disturbing to some.


    A homicide suspect is being pursued on foot after firing at officers. Two officers catch up to him and he shoots at them. They both fire back and the shooter goes down, hit 8 times.

    One of the officers kicks the weapon out of reach. The man is still alive--so that's a good idea. They do not cuff him. One officer pulls up the back of his shirt to see if he has anything in his waistband at the back but they don't search him. Over a minute later, after he rolls over onto his back under his own power--still not cuffed or searched, they allow a bystander to approach the man to arm's distance and lean over and speak to him.

    Awhile after that, one officer finally unzips the shooter's jacket to see if he has additional weapons on the front of his person but no pat-down is ever performed and the video ends with the shooter still unrestrained.

    The shooter survived and remains hospitalized.

    Fortunately there wasn't a second weapon or things could have gone very differently. The shooter could have posed a deadly threat to the officers and/or the bystander since he wasn't restrained or searched initially.

    Don't assume that multiple hits and a downed attacker means that they can't possibly pose a threat. Since armed citizens don't typically carry restraints, don't typically have the training to use them, don't have backup to provide cover while searching a downed attacker, it's best to stay back or get farther away--guns work just as well when shooting from the ground as when shooting standing.


    After a standoff, a man charges police with a knife and is shot multiple times with 12ga "bean bag" rounds.

    He continues the charge and is then shot multiple times by at least one officer who mag dumps. The man falls to the ground and rolls around. The officer continues to hold him at gunpoint--WITH HIS SLIDE LOCKED BACK. Good thing there were other officers on the scene.

    The man gets up and charges another officer. This officer shoots him multiple times and the man goes down again, this time he falls like a dead weight.

    After awhile he begins moving again.

    Don't assume it's over when someone goes down solidly--they may still be very much alive.

    If you end up having to shoot to slide lock then either reload or GET AWAY at that point.


    Two officers corner a car with their cruiser, ending a chase. When they approach the car with guns drawn, the driver jumps out and puts at least two rounds on the nearest officer, then turns to fire at his partner who shoots him. The attacker goes down hard.

    The officer walks over to the downed attacker while holstering his gun. He takes up a position standing over the attacker with his gun holstered. There is a LOT of confusion while other cops arrive and deal with the wounded officer.

    During this timeframe, the officer leaves the shooter lying alone on the sidewalk for awhile, near the weapon he used to shoot the other officer, then returns to take up his position standing over the suspect.

    At one point, standing over the downed suspect, the officer takes his body armor off to see if he's been shot.

    The officer does not search the suspect, cuff him, or examine him. He advises other officers that the suspect is down and that he shot him.

    Four and a half minutes later, things calm down a little bit and while the officer is in the process of repeating that the suspect is down and shot, the suspect, who has been lying face down this whole time, flaps both his hands, as if to let the cops know that he is conscious and alive. They begin medical care and he survives.

    Don't assume that because you shot someone and they went down hard that it's over. With a bit more determination this suspect likely could have retrieved his weapon (or a second weapon) and done more damage.


    It's over when the attacker no longer poses a threat, but don't make assumptions about when that is.

    Attackers who are shot can continue to pose a threat.
    Attackers who are hit multiple times can survive.
    Attackers who go down, even if they fall hard, can get back up again.
    Attackers can stay still for awhile after falling and still be alive and conscious.

    Fortunately, in all of these shootings, while the lessons are there to be learned, nobody had to pay the price for the unjustified assumptions that were made.
    jstert, bdickens, Night Rider and 4 others like this.
  2. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

    Dec 24, 2002
    Forestburg, Texas
    And, of course, Mark Coates thought it was over when it wasn't and it cost him his life.

    alsaqr, DoubleMag and JERRY like this.
  3. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

    Mar 15, 2009
    FL USA
    Good examples and the points you make are valid.

    That said, there are some that will continue to be content with a pocket 32 because they are not a cop and/or don't live where that happened so its invalid to them.
    scaatylobo likes this.
  4. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

    Oct 15, 2010
    south Florida
    We were pretty thorough in our officer survival training...First the basics- we were all taught in that initial Academy class that you never assumed you had found THE weapon on an armed individual - you always searched as carefully as possible for a second or third weapon. Secondly once a suspect was down - your first task was to secure him (or her) with handcuffs - and behind the back without exception (unless the suspect was too large or it was not physically possible to handcuff them..) even if they appeared to be deceased.... Last - never leave a good defensive position to approach a downed suspect and stay ready to resume the fight if necessary without exposing yourself, period... The second or third officer on the scene had the task of cuffing the individual...

    Remember that none of this takes into account the incredible emotions after a shooting or near fatal incident... It takes a well trained individual to keep following good safe procedures after nearly getting badly injured or killed... In my own one shooting incident - all those years ago I fired one shot from a distance of about forty feet (using a basic riot gun), the target dropped on the spot - then I advanced still covering him - without racking my shotgun to load a second round - until I was within a few feet and my backup had cuffed him - as he lay dying.. If he still had any fight in him I was totally exposed and pointing an un-loaded weapon at him as I approached... In fact, in my one and only shooting incident I fired a single round - and the truth is I was totally un-prepared to engage in armed action that day - even though I was a veteran with five years service... For the rest of my career I did my best to remedy those shortcomings... and thankfully never had to fire another shot although I was involved in many armed confrontations we were always able to resolve them without a shot being fired..

    For an armed citizen involved in a shooting incident - my best advice is to keep in a covered position while still covering the target until you were certain it was safe to approach - and if in any doubt - no approach at all until some assistance was on scene with you..
    jstert, DoubleMag, gila_dog1 and 2 others like this.
  5. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

    May 31, 2008
    Only in the movies,,,,
  6. AK Hunter

    AK Hunter Member

    Jul 28, 2020
    It like in English class you have to cross your Ts & dot the eyes. LOL
  7. scaatylobo

    scaatylobo Member

    Oct 7, 2010
    Western NYS
    GREAT POST and should be THE LESSON for any who CCW or "think" they can protect their house with a firearm.

    If your not thinking THREAT in capitol letters,your a fool.

    Train as if any one of these scenarios are you,and your ALONE and scared sh!tless cause you just fired on another human.
    DoubleMag and luzyfuerza like this.
  8. Good Ol' Boy

    Good Ol' Boy Member

    Apr 26, 2016
    Mechanicsville, VA
    I fail to see how the original post has anything to do with SD but mods be mods so....

    As for the title yes, shoot until the threat has stopped. As citizens we don't worry about detaining people. If a threat is warranted shoot until the threat is not a threat.
  9. rust collector
    • Contributing Member

    rust collector Moderator Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2004
    Pierre, SD USA
    This section is entitled Strategies, Tactics and Training. What makes you think it is limited to self defense? Why is ensuring that a threat is curtailed not self defense? And what purpose does the "mods be mods" language serve?
    Please ask yourself before posting: "Am I adding something valuable to the conversation?"
  10. equin

    equin Member

    Nov 10, 2014
    North Texas
    I think the principle the original post (and others following it) are trying to convey is that the threat may not necessarily be over even after the aggressor is shot and on the ground. He could’ve pulled another weapon hidden on him and used it. So I’m guessing the self-defense lesson to be learned is that the threat may still exist and one should remain aware of that.
  11. Choctaw

    Choctaw Member

    Sep 6, 2005
    Texas-Along the Preston Trail
    I was wounded in an ambush and stayed in the fight and I'm not even Superman. As a civilian if you shoot someone and they go down you need to seek cover and call for help. You have absolutely no reason to approach a downed suspect. If you are law enforcement you need to wait for cover to arrive if at all possible. Everyone gets cuffed whether "dead" or alive.
    alsaqr, JohnKSa, Kleanbore and 2 others like this.
  12. old lady new shooter

    old lady new shooter Member

    Apr 26, 2015
    This video is how I learned about this phenomenon. It is a terror attack in Israel in 2015. Terrorist drives car onto sidewalk to kill man at bus stop, then gets out of car and begins stabbing him and another man. Armed citizen runs into the picture and shoots terrorist. Terrorist goes down but gets up after several seconds. Armed citizen shoots terrorist again. After a longer interval, terrorist AGAIN gets up and starts running away despite having been shot twice at close range and going down both times, other citizens intervene to keep him from escaping, one by kicking him, hard to see details on the video, can't see how far terrorist gets or whether he again gets shot.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2022
    JohnKSa likes this.
  13. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

    Oct 15, 2010
    south Florida
    How any individual reacts to violent injury (of any kind) is downright unpredictable...We're all different in that regard - one person is hit a non life-threatening wound in the arm - and promptly falls down and dies right there... The next individual is hit several times center of mass - and you might have to outrun him (or her) to keep from being wounded yourself.. and so it goes... One individual shooter in that infamous Miami FBI shootout - had already received a lethal wound - before he killed or wounded nearly every agent on scene... and that's not the only example that comes to mind...

    Treat any wounded opponent like the terrible danger they represent... Stay behind cover, look for additional opponents, make sure you're going to be okay until help arrives... Things can go wrong in a heartbeat and some, fortunately very few, are actively planning on using your weapon... against you... or at the very least taking you with them as they bleed out...
  14. DoubleMag

    DoubleMag Member

    Sep 4, 2011
    That video brought up an unpleasant memory during training. Our TO played it, I think at lunch. That was around '94- 95 or so. 1st time I've seen it since then. Was a very somber moment.

    Watching a fellow officer die right in front of you, even on video, does that.
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