How quickly can things go sideways?

This body camera recording a police encounter shows how quickly things can go from an uncooperative driver who just had a car crash threatening to cut himself to a deadly force encounter.

The cop makes contact with the guy about 1:40.

The guy advances on the drawn gun of the cop and despite repeated commands to stay back, to drop it and retreating by the cop (sound familiar for those of you who have had training?), less than ten seconds later, the cop fires repeatedly.

Good shoot?

You bet.

If you’ve got a drawn gun on someone who is acting irrationally (threatening to cut yourself is irrational behavior, as is refusing to discuss a simple incident) and they advance upon you, that should be a clue that things aren’t going to end well for one party or another.  If you’re unable to retreat with complete safety, then it’s up to you to decide which half of that equation will go home to their family and loved ones.

The video is also a good lesson about being able to handle your gear.  If you’re fumbling a draw or grip on your gun as Mr. Knife Wielder is advancing on you, particularly within 21 feet as was the case in this video, then you’re probably going to be toast.

In this case, “Eric” wasn’t thinking straight and decided to commit suicide by cop.

17 thoughts on “How quickly things can go sideways”
  1. Damn whomever wrote this story. This is NOT a “good shoot.”

    This is a MURDER by a lawless cop. Period. No debate.

    It is an ILLEGAL search followed by an utterly NEEDLESS killing.

    So the guy’s a threat to himself. So what? So you go in and kill him so he can’t kill himself? BS.

    The threat to anyone else was removed when the woman exited. The cop didn’t have a THREAT. Except what he WALKED INTO, just so he could kill someone. a car accident does NOT constitute immediate or exigent circumstances authorizing entry into someone’s HOME.

    This DID NOT Have TO HaPPEN.

    I’m ashamed and appalled that GSL would claim, of all people, that this is acceptable.

    This is YET ANOTHER instance of law enforcement’s wont to kill citizens, and without justification. See all the youtube vids of similar shootings like the guy who pulled his pickup into his driveway, ALLEGEDLY had a knife (though no KNIFE was even within his reach) and was executed by the cops on his front lawn, cause he was caught up in his seatbelt.

    Shame on you. Shame on the cop.

    Of all gun support groups, I would hope and pray that GSL opposes this kind of cop killing to our DEATHS.

    1. Disagree.

      He did a hit and run and ran home.

      We hire peace officers to handle things like this so we (you and I) don’t have to.

      This guy advanced on a peace officer brandishing a knife – ignoring lawful commands – and he got his ticket punched.

      Good shoot.


    2. I don’t know what video you were watching, but “Eric” ignored SEVERAL commands to put down the knife AND THEN ADVANCED on the officer with that knife. It was completely justified. IANAL, nor do I claim to be one, but with what I’ve learned through countless hours of defense training classes, this was completely justified.

      I think you typed in the wrong website. I think you typed in when you actually meant <–Look, I even gave you the URL so you won't get lost next time.

    3. See SED’s post below on Ability, Opportunity, and Jeopardy (or look it up via google). All three were present.

  2. With concealed carry in IL now, remember ONE thing: We do NOT have to kill just BECAUSE we can.

    1. Who or what makes you think we would want to? If/when I get my CCL, it does not mean I am now going to go into bad areas just so I can shoot someone. It would be my hope that I would NEVER have to remove my weapon from its holster. If I did, it would mean that I would be in a situation where my life would be threatened. I prefer to avoid that situation if at all possible.
      For any one to be so stupid as to pull a weapon on a cop, they get what they deserve, even if it means death. If they did that because of being drunk or high, too bad. They decided to put that stuff in their body, nobody else.

  3. Why the hell couldn’t he have just shot the guy in the legs so he wouldn’t advance??? He didn’t have to shoot him that many times in the chest to keep him from coming at him. After the first shot the guy with the knife wasn’t lunging towards him. Why fire so many shots??? That was completely unnecessary. One or two less lethal shots would have put the guy down without killing him.

    1. Pretty easy being a Monday morning quarterback, isn’t it? You have the comfort of criticizing him from the safety of your computer chair. He is having to deal first hand with a real life and death situation. Since you have likely not been in a similar situation, you have no idea how you yourself would have handled it if it were you. Many factors come into consideration, especially having a very short amount of time to react to a threat, with your adrenalin pumping. If you have ever watched the show “Cops,” then you know that many people, when high on drugs, do not go down or retreat with just “one shot.” How long should he have waited to fire the second shot? How much closer should he have allowed the guy to get before deciding to fire again. If you have had training, you know that an assailant can cover the distance of 21 feet in the blink of an eye.

      Being a law abiding citizen, I’ll give the benefit of any doubt to the cop on the beat before any scumbag with a knife, unless and until he is found to be wrong.

  4. How many of the Monday-morning quarter backs decrying this shoot have ever run the Tueller drill? That guy with a knife was well within the 21ft “you’re already dead” zone. You don’t play with knives … lethal threats get lethal responses. [Ever see morgue shots of folks done with knives?]

    Only a fool would try empty-hand disarms or pepper spray against a knife. Taser, maybe at a distance if the target is stationary and refuses to drop it – but not on an advancing threat at that distance.

    And shooting folks in the legs – that’s movie crap. Please. How many have tried to run a qual under stress just trying to get torso hits? Now try it’s for real, on a moving target, armed with a lethal weapon, advancing on you like a psycho even though you’re drawn down on him.

    In my opinion, this cop showed *amazing* restraint and waited longer than he had to. Way longer than he had to.

  5. A couple of disclosures. First, I am an attorney and help teach the deadly force portions of the GSL concealed carry course. Second, I am disgusted by the numerous number of stories of excessive use of force by police officers. This was a lawful and appropriate use of deadly force. The police officer was investigating a crime and was informed the suspect was threatening violence with a knife. When ordered to stand down by the police officer he advances. He was clearly within 21 feet of the officer. The suspect clearly had the ability (a knife) to inflict deadly force on the officer. Being within 21 feet the suspect had opportunity to utilize that force since as noted above the Tueller drill indicates the assailant will win over the pistol much of the time. The assailant had threatened force and was advancing on the officer even after being warned. Thus, there was jeopardy. All of the elements for a rightful use of deadly force by the officer were present. The comments here also indicate the reason why the use of deadly force is legally risky in that its use is always second guessed.

  6. I was not there and from the video I think everything the officer did was legal and probably did everything he was trained to do. I would not criticize him for what he did. You all who criticize him, do not understand how fast a person with a knife, within X feet of you can rush in a cut you to shreds. f I were the officer I would have wanted to know why the suspect did the hit and run, but we might never know that. If I, as a REASONABLE PERSON, were put in the position of the officer, I might have done the same thing. I personally might have tried some Verbal Judo to try to deflect the tension, if I could. I would have wished this could have been settled in a less violent way, but you can’t always have that. Let this be a lesson for all of us who carry a firearm. We don’t always get to chose when WE USE a firearm for self-defense. The OTHER PERSON decides. And I would rather NEVER EVER have to shoot someone. But I resolved the day when I started carrying, to prepare myself that I might actually kill someone and that I could not hesitate if that dreadful circumstance occurred, as a famous Japanese Swordsman once said, “He who hesitates dies”. If you are not prepared to take someone’s life to protect your own or your loved ones, then don’t you ever carry a firearm.

  7. What an unfortunate situation. I am not defending the officer’s actions. The officer had a report from the woman that he had a knife and she was worried he would cut himself. As I understand it, this gives the officer the authority (not “right”) to go into the house and apprehend the man. This is above and beyond the any traffic issues. Unfortunately, the man decided to advance upon a police officer who did give him ample opportunity to comply. The man’s intent was unknown since he did not speak, so we can only use the fact that he advanced upon the officer while disobeying lawful commands. My thought is that the officer’s tactics could have been better and avoided the shooting through the use of those tactics.

  8. Oops, I hit post too quickly.

    One thing to keep in mind: never, ever get into a knife fight unless you know what you are doing and accept that you will get injured. The wounds are terrible and very difficult to treat. The mortality rates are higher than from a bullet fired from a handgun. The first five minutes of an AMOK! class are a knife fight with trainers. Everyone learns they never want to do it for real in the first 30 seconds. The class progresses from there and is 16 hours of brutality–and that is just half speed practice.

  9. I can’t believe the stupidity I’m reading here. There is such a lack of knowledge in use of force, blades, officer responsibilities and defense law, as well the presence of a complete and utter moronic thought process regarding the number of shots it takes to stop an aggressor [Hint: none of us get to know that.]

    I mean, holy s#!t – and you guys want to carry guns?

    This was a 100% clean shoot, and that officer couldn’t have done it any better.

    Heaven help any police officer or CCW holder who ever has Ken or James on their jury.

    By the way, Ken, you say:

    “The threat to anyone else was removed when the woman exited. The cop didn’t have a THREAT. Except what he WALKED INTO, just so he could kill someone. a car accident does NOT constitute immediate or exigent circumstances authorizing entry into someone’s HOME.”

    …no, being informed that there is an armed suicidal person in the home constitutes and immediate and exigent circumstance. There’s no way you’re this dumb…seriously. You can’t be and know what the word exigent means.

    And your accusation that this officer walked into that home with murderous intent? Where do you even muster such nerve? Absolute shame on you.

  10. John, I don’t know what disappoints me more about you, whether your suggestion that this was a good cop killing or your acts of censorship. Shameful, all around. Just cancel my membership. You guys are as bad as the crooked cops.

  11. Why has EVERYONE missed the fact that this was a SUICIDE BY CO P! After the COP entered the changed his mind, from cutting himself to forcing the COP to shoot him……..

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