WA Deputy Fires At Man Shooting Himself

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Police call it “sympathetic fire.” One officer shoots, so the other officers shoot. The phenomena accounts for more than a few instances where a bunch o’ cops let loose an inordinate amount of lead. Worse still, it accounts for times when cops unleash their fusillade at people who don’t need shooting. I’m thinking here of the Charles Dorner-related LAPD shooting, where eight jumpy LEOs fired more than 100 rounds at a mother and daughter delivering newspapers, believing them to be the cop killer. As often happens in these cases of frenetic fire, they more-or-less missed. Same deal here, where a Washington state Deputy responded to a suicide . . .
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I've always heard it referred to as, "contagious fire." This is where one cop starts shooting at something, then all of his cop friends join in the shooting, just because everyone else is shooting; must be a reason to shoot, right? o_O

This sounds like a different scenario though...."Deputies, hearing the shot and thinking officers were under fire, fired two shots, but didn’t hit anything, according to sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer and Sheriff Paul Pastor."

I wonder if one, or maybe both shots fired by deputies was a negligent discharge?
 

rsmccsman

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If you cannot articulate the threat, in other words that facts and circumstances that would lead a reasonable person to believe that immediate use of deadly force was necessary to stop the threat in order to protect yourself or another human being and/or cannot account for each and every round fired then they should be disciplined. (always be sure of your target and backstop, Never point your muzzle at anything you do not wish to destroy, keep your finger off the trigger until you are on target and ready to shoot just some of the firearms safety rules that come to mind that would prevent this sort of thing.) Two issues here, firing the gun when it is not a conscious decision :eek:(reflex response to stimuli of other officer), and 2 lousy marksmanship and poor fundamentals. Both are signs of poor training. o_O
 
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Maybe the reason the cops didn't hit anything - they had fingers on the bang switch, but didn't have guns aimed at the guy. He pulls the trigger, they are startled by the sudden BANG and then sympathetically pop of "Oh, ****!" rounds.

We can only hope.
 
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If you cannot articulate the threat, in other words that facts and circumstances that would lead a reasonable person to believe that immediate use of deadly force was necessary to stop the threat in order to protect yourself or another human being and/or cannot account for each and every round fired then they should be disciplined. (always be sure of your target and backstop, Never point your muzzle at anything you do not wish to destroy, keep your finger off the trigger until you are on target and ready to shoot just some of the firearms safety rules that come to mind that would prevent this sort of thing.) Two issues here, firing the gun when it is not a conscious decision :eek:(reflex response to stimuli of other officer), and 2 lousy marksmanship and poor fundamentals. Both are signs of poor training. o_O
No No No No! Those rules (of common sense) are for us, not the police! They're sacrosanct!
 
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If you cannot articulate the threat, in other words that facts and circumstances that would lead a reasonable person to believe that immediate use of deadly force was necessary to stop the threat in order to protect yourself or another human being and/or cannot account for each and every round fired then they should be disciplined. (always be sure of your target and backstop, Never point your muzzle at anything you do not wish to destroy, keep your finger off the trigger until you are on target and ready to shoot just some of the firearms safety rules that come to mind that would prevent this sort of thing.) Two issues here, firing the gun when it is not a conscious decision :eek:(reflex response to stimuli of other officer), and 2 lousy marksmanship and poor fundamentals. Both are signs of poor training. o_O
I wonder what the ongoing training requirements are for the various LE agencies around the state. We all know pistol marksmanship is a perishable skill. When I was a military cop many years ago, our training was a once a year trip to the range. Stationed in England for two years, that was the ONLY shooting I got to do. Stateside, it was still a once a year qualification. I did a lot of shooting on my own, however.

I recall hearing a story on the news a few years ago of an Oregon State Trooper who went on a head call, and removed her duty belt in the lavatory. When she left, she forgot the duty belt, with sidearm. When she returned to retrieve it, the whole thing was missing. That left me scratching my head for awhile. Training, training, and more training. Maybe it's all about budget constraints. I reckon some LE take the training seriously, but then some of these stories are pretty frightening.
 
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One of my best friends father was the chief of police in the Oregon town I grew up in.
Avid hunter and one hell of a marksman I have to admit.

When I was about 15 I asked if he's ever shot someone.

"Of course, more than I care to remember." He didn't even look up.

I was shocked..."Where, here???"

He shook his head and gave me that look. "Vietnam dummy, cops don't shoot people".

In over 30 years in various positions on the force he not only never shot someone but never even pointed his revolver at another person.

He'd been punched breaking up drunken bar fights dozens of times, even got stabbed during a domestic dispute once. Never felt his life was in enough danger to warrant killing someone over it.
I have admire his resolve and ability to calm people down.

Of course that was before 9/11 and the influx of crystal meth.
2PAC was still alive and kids on BMX bikes with .22 rifles slung over their backs was normal.

Can't even imagine what typical 2014 police training is like.
 
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I talk to LEO's at the shooting range often. They're always friendly and outgoing.
If anything they're more relaxed there than anywhere else.
Certainly wouldn't assume were "buddys" just because we're both carrying a Sigg P226 on the street.
At the range it's different, everyone is armed and everyone is polite. I've always felt comfortable.
 
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I wonder what the ongoing training requirements are for the various LE agencies around the state. .
For SPD:
"
Sworn Employees Shall Qualify Annually With Each Firearm They Wish to Carry in Their Capacity as a Seattle Police Officer
Sworn personnel, including Reserve Officers, will qualify with their primary duty firearm annually as a condition of employment.
All sworn personnel shall qualify with backup and secondary firearms to maintain Department authority to carry them under the authority of an officer.
After qualification, employees will initial their score on the sign-up roster. The Firearms Training Squad (FTS) maintains the qualification score in the employee’s training record.

If the employee fails to qualify on their primary duty firearm in the calendar year, the ETS Captain shall forward the failure to report for training to the Office of Professional Accountability for investigation."
 
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For SPD:
"
Sworn Employees Shall Qualify Annually With Each Firearm They Wish to Carry in Their Capacity as a Seattle Police Officer
Sworn personnel, including Reserve Officers, will qualify with their primary duty firearm annually as a condition of employment.
All sworn personnel shall qualify with backup and secondary firearms to maintain Department authority to carry them under the authority of an officer.
After qualification, employees will initial their score on the sign-up roster. The Firearms Training Squad (FTS) maintains the qualification score in the employee’s training record.

If the employee fails to qualify on their primary duty firearm in the calendar year, the ETS Captain shall forward the failure to report for training to the Office of Professional Accountability for investigation."
So, we answered what the frequency of the recurring training is. What does this training consist of? As I said before, my "qualifications" when in the military police years ago consisted of sticking a certain number of rounds into a generally large target once a year. If we managed to get all our rounds into a small enough area, we were awarded with an Expert marksman medal. I think we fired 100 rounds apiece in sidearm and M-16. And it certainly wasn't a "Combat Course". I would imagine that SWAT members get a lot more trigger time and more intense training than the average patrol officer. That training also consists of live fire in realistic scenarios that puts the officer under some level of perceived stress. It is critiqued not only by the instructors, but fellow participants are required to evaluate each other. From a purely budgetary point of view, most LE agencies do not have the budget to put each and every officer through this kind of training.
 
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Mark W.

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Dad taught me you had to know how many points were on the antlers before you pulled the trigger. Maybe the cops should have the same kind of training. In the 3 situations where I thought there was a reason to point a firearm at someone. It was dads deer hunting training that kicked in and in the time it took to ID my target in all 3 cases it was clear there was no actual threat.

1st. late one evening a classmate picked up my younger brothers from working in the fields and as a joke thought it would be funny to bang on the front door like they were going to kill me. I was home watching my younger sister. WE were in the living room watching TV when all hell broke loose at the front door. I threw her in her room went to dads room got the M1 carbine and a magazine. On the way to the front door which sounded like a football team was trying to knock it down. I ran into the kitchen where I could see the front door from behind a brick wall. I put the muzzle of the carbine right through the window screen. And before I shot I made sure of my target. Scared the crap out of my buddy. Bet he never did that again.

2nd time Younger brother staying with us in our 14 ft wide mobile home. About 2am one night comes home drunk and rather then wake us up knocking on door (idiot couldn't find his keys) he decided to break the decorative glass besides the door. My Cocker Spaniel Alerted and went tearing down the hall. I rolled out of bed retrieved my 9mm Star and stood inside the bedroom with just one eye and the pistol into the hall way. I watched a head coming through the wall of the house. And as I watched my hunting dog react I realized the head was not a threat. So instead of shooting the threat coming through the wall it turned into a dissertation on what an idiot my younger brother is.

3rd time Neighbors on vacation in Mexico we were asked to watch the house (their bedroom is like 17' from our living room wall) At about 1:30 am I'm watching TV and I hear someone messing with the neighbors house. I run grab my 870 and Mag light. Walking out the front door to the little gate between our houses and right next to the bedroom window that was being pried open. I see someone crouching working on getting the screen off the window. I rack the 870 with it pointed into the ground and flick the flashlight on. Here is the Neighbors 21 year old son trying to break into the house because he's to drunk to drive all the way to Salem home and he didn't have his house keys. His reaction was DON'T SHOOT MARK IT'S ME BRIAN WITH HIS HANDS REACHING FOR THE SKY.

In each case rather then over reacting I fell back on my dads training and made damn sure of my target BEFORE pulling the trigger.
 
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In all fairness to the police, I think you need to factor in the very real effects of adrenaline and fear when evaluating their performance in a given situation.

As civilians, we have the luxury of being able to run away from the gunfire whereas they have a duty to run towards it. Actions and expectations that seem perfectly reasonable when sitting on ones couch with a laptop and a cup of coffee may not be quite so reasonable when one's duty is to put one's life at risk in a dangerous encounter involving guns.

I have no problem with the idea of holding the police to a high level of accountability but we need to remember that they are still human beings who are as imperfect and as prone to the effects of adrenaline as the rest of us.
 

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