Should Cops Make Limb Shots? Yes, Actually.

This will, without a doubt, stir up controversy, debate, and much, much ass-pain. The proposition in this article is intended to address one of most common, seemingly ignorant, questions ever asked of any law enforcement, anywhere — why didn’t they just shoot him in the leg? If you’d like to get in on this discourse, please do, but let’s have it done civilly and intelligently, shall we? (Now cue the outraged commentary from those who will make no effort to actually read this.) Mad Duo

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Should Cops Make Limb Shots? Yes, Actually.

Chris Hernandez

Georgia Tech University is currently in uproar over the recent police shooting of a troubled student who committed suicide by cop. The student was armed with a knife, and was shot one time after repeatedly refusing commands and walking toward police officers.

The shooting produced the usual outcry about police “murdering innocent citizens who were only armed with knives,” when the officers could have (allegedly) easily tased or pepper sprayed them. After almost every controversial police shooting, people who often have no idea what they’re talking about demand to know some version of, “why the police didn’t just shoot the criminal in the leg.”

This question, which is usually a suggestion, usually betrays a lifetime of TV and movie brainwashing, coupled with an absolute lack of training and experience.

But…

What if it’s not a completely stupid question? Is it possible – just possible – that in certain, very specific situations, possibly much like the Georgia Tech shooting, an officer could try a limb shot instead of shooting center mass?

It would not be easy, nor would it take the place of available intermediate weapons like beanbag shotguns. The idea would also, right off the bat, have to overcome two major problems:

  • People like those I described above who know nothing about lethal force encounters will assume police should always aim for a limb, and.
  • Cops who will have a knee-jerk reaction against the very suggestion that officers should ever aim anywhere other than center mass, for any reason whatsoever.

Those not in law enforcement might not understand how strong police resistance to the idea of limb shots will be, and the unreasonableness of some of that resistance. Police agencies are stone-age bureaucracies highly resistant to change and overrun with liability concerns. That combination of institutional inertia and irrational worry has led some agencies to ban the smartest recent tactical innovations (things like weapon lights and red-dot sights), until leadership was dragged out of the 1970s and forced to accept those tools and the incredible advantages they give us.

Irrational liability concerns have led police officers to literally warn other officers not to carry tourniquets or trauma kits, because “…you can get sued if you try to treat someone and they die, but you can’t get sued if you just call for EMS because that’s all we’re required to do.” Irrational liability concern led one agency I’m familiar with to destroy just-expired body armor rather than honor a request from an American police officer in Iraq to donate them to the Iraqi police, because, “…if an expired vest fails and an Iraqi officer gets hurt they could sue us in the international courts.” I’m willing to bet a trillion dollars that most police supervisors will immediately reject the idea of limb shots because “…shooting someone in the leg just means they’ll sue us.”

Some of that resistance makes sense, of course. Cops know better than most that guns aren’t magic wands, bullets aren’t frickin’ laser beams, and a limb shot isn’t a guaranteed solution to a problem. Police know that the best method for stopping a threat is shooting center mass. That’s almost the only place you can hit anyway, and in any dynamic situation (i.e., with a running or charging suspect) there is almost zero chance of anyone actually making a limb shot. Cops know that any training to shoot limbs at all will be weaponized against law enforcement in courts of law and public opinion.

That’s where the reasonable resistance to limb shots will come from.

So let’s be clear, particularly with regard to fellow cops. I’m not suggesting we should try for a limb shot in all, most, or even 10% of shootings.

I’ve been a cop for decades. I’m well aware that a limb shot is impractical or impossible in the vast majority of police shootings. I know that in any dynamic, volatile situation a limb shot would be not only impossible but actually in the realm of fantasy. What I’m suggesting is that maybe we should consider developing a protocol for limb shooting only if several specific circumstances or conditions exist. I’ll go into those shortly.

As mentioned previously, a “limb shot protocol” could be another tool anti-cop types unjustifiably use against LEOs. It’s not the least bit difficult to imagine a Cop Blocker shrieking to the nearest camera, “That cop was trained to do limb shots, but he still shot that poor innocent AK-armed active shooter in the chest instead of the leg!”

Of course, anti-cop types would expect us to always shoot for the leg, even if the suspect is an ISIS terrorist sprinting down the street firing a flamethrower into school buses. Anti-cop people are going to accuse us of doing the wrong thing/committing murder/using excessive force and or generally being evil in pretty much every single case, so who cares what they think?

 

You know whose opinions we should care about, though? Regular people who have the reasonable belief that police should try to avoid killing certain suspects, if at all possible. Those regular people understand that not everyone who goes temporarily crazy, or gets stoned and grabs a knife, is evil incarnate. We don’t want to push the reasonable, caring public into the anti-cop fold. One way to keep them on our side is to open our minds, approach a problem from a new angle, and maybe try something that makes them say, “Hey man, those officers really tried not to hurt that crazy guy with a knife. They did their best.”

But before we talk about the possibility of limb shots, we need to discuss the reality of knives, guns and gunshot wounds.

What you’ve seen on TV and in movies probably has no relation whatsoever to what actually happens in knife attacks or gunfights. Bullet impacts don’t make people fly through the air. A knife to the stomach doesn’t instantly kill someone. Chest shots aren’t always fatal, and shoulder wounds aren’t always harmless. People can get shot or stabbed multiple times, even sustain wounds they can’t possibly survive, but stay on their feet and keep killing people. A person can be stabbed, or shot, and not even know it. A head shot at close range might not immediately kill someone, or might not even kill them at all.

Maybe most importantly, knife attacks are far faster and more brutal than most people realize. Here’s video of one from overseas:

One important thing to understand is that an attacker with a knife can murder someone even after he is shot. If you think bullets always put a suspect down or makes them stop their attack, you’re wrong.

That’s not just my opinion. You’re objectively wrong.

Here’s one example. A suspect in Mexico stabs multiple cops, killing one (who was armed with an AK), and keeps attacking after being shot. The action starts around 7:15.

And here’s another one. A French MMA fighter in Bali stabs a police officer to death, even after being shot. Note that not only did the MMA fighter keep attacking after multiple gunshot wounds, but the police officer who died managed to get up and walk away after being mortally wounded.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFFsDD4luT4

Incidents like the ones in these videos should completely explain why officers are averse to the whole, “In order to save this criminal’s life, I’ll take a chance and give him the opportunity to stab me” thing. Considering how bad stab wounds and knife attacks can really be, it’s not reasonable to demand that we risk getting stabbed in order to keep the stabber safe.

Now let’s talk marksmanship.

There are plenty of cops who can easily make a shot on a limb-sized target from a safe distance – ON A STERILE RANGE. Shooting an actual limb in real-world conditions is a different matter. When you inject movement, reduced light, fatigue/labored breathing after a foot pursuit or fight, bystanders in close proximity, and/or multiple other factors, that simple shot on a limb becomes much more difficult. Anyone who thinks a limb shot would always be easy is living on another planet. A limb shot is possible in some situations, not easy.

Let’s also acknowledge a little-appreciated fact: a leg shot might still kill you.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a leg shot kill someone in a movie, but in real life they regularly do. Bullets into a leg can deflect upward off bone, enter the abdomen, and cause lethal damage to vital organs. More likely, a bullet can sever the femoral artery or bounce into the super-vascular pelvic region and cause massive, lethal bleeding.

Watch this video from Iran. A police officer shoots a robber in the leg at :33, and at 1:13. Only forty seconds later, the robber is already unconscious from blood loss and probably shock.

Here’s another, where a man “just shot in the arm and leg” by soldiers in another country (no, not American soldiers) bleeds out and dies in a very short time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7e8gGXZDRY0

So we’ve established a few things:

  • Knife attacks are freaking dangerous;
  • In real life it’s hard as hell to make a limb shot; and
  • Even if a cop successfully makes a limb shot, it might still kill the suspect.

So with all that in mind, does it ever make sense to try for a limb shot?

I think it does, but only in very specific situations similar to what officers faced at Georgia Tech.

For the record, I am NOT criticizing those officers for this clear case of suicide by cop. The student they killed had made previous suicide attempts, left suicide notes, called the police and reported that someone who matched his description was armed with a knife *and a gun*, ignored multiple lawful and reasonable orders, and repeatedly approached officers with a knife in his hand while the officers were backing away and trying to communicate with him. In the Georgia Tech case one officer fired one shot, an incredibly well-controlled application of lethal force; even so, that one shot hit a troubled, suicidal student’s heart and killed him. I’m pretty sure the officers involved followed their training and did everything by the book, but let’s consider adding a new chapter to that book. Let’s maybe end up with a live student with a leg wound, instead of a dead student now known to have been severely troubled and suicidal.

Based on the video and what I’ve read, the Georgia Tech incident checks most of the blocks I consider necessary for executing a limb shot:

  • A numerical advantage over the suspect. An officer would only attempt a limb shot if he had at least one officer covering the suspect with a weapon, ready to apply lethal force if the limb shot fails and the suspect charges. (Note: this is similar to an extant protocol in which a lethal-armed officer provides overwatch to an officer preparing to deploy less lethal measures, ed.)
  • A relatively stable scene without a rapidly-moving suspect. A limb shot on a rapidly-moving suspect is pretty much a fantasy. But a suspect who is, for example, backed against a wall holding a knife over his head but not moving, wouldn’t be too difficult to shoot in a limb from a safe distance.
  • A lack of bystanders in close proximity. Awareness of backstop and beyond is one of the basic firearm safety rules, and is a concern in any police shooting. But since the likelihood of a miss increases as the target size decreases, a clear backstop is more of a concern when an officer is attempting a limb shot than when aiming center mass.
  • The presence of at least one officer who’s not winded or otherwise fatigued. Most cops aren’t marathon runners, and the exertion of a fight or foot pursuit will cause a heart and respiration rate spike in most officers. A heavy-breathing, heart-pounding cop who just chased and fought a suspect but then backed off when the suspect pulled a knife isn’t the right guy to try a limb shot.
  • A suspect who’s not a possible terrorist with a bomb. If it’s a London Bridge-type attack with terrorist car rammers who run down the sidewalk stabbing people while wearing what look like suicide bomb belts, shoot them in the head repeatedly until they’re incapable of setting the bomb off. If they turn out to be fake bombs like in London, that’s not LE’s fault or problem. A limb shot is for use against a suspect who is probably a threat to himself more than anyone else, not for a terror suspect who might blow himself up.

To recap: in a situation where multiple officers, including one who’s calm, are facing a stationary or slowly-moving non-terrorist suspect armed with an edged or impact weapon, and there are no bystanders in the immediate area, I think it’s both reasonable and possible to make a limb shot (especially if an officer on the scene has a carbine). A successful limb shot could still kill the suspect, but it’s an attempt to neutralize the threat and protect the suspect’s life.

I know what some readers will say, because I’ve already seen similar responses to articles about the Georgia Tech shooting: “So the cops killed that dumb kid with a knife, but that’s what he wanted anyway. Who cares?”

We cops should care.

More than almost anyone else in society, we should understand that some people have problems that lead them to do irrational things. We should know that some problems can be handled without deadly force, even if deadly force is legal or authorized. We should care about even the troubled members of the public we’re sworn to protect, including those like my autistic son, who might seem like a threat but maybe aren’t. We should care when we legally shoot and kill someone, then find out the threat they presented wasn’t what it seemed and they could have been brought under control a different way.

Despite how it may seem, the public doesn’t expect cops to be perfect. But it expects us to care, and to do everything we reasonably can to avoid killing people who aren’t actively trying to kill us. Shooting a kid in the leg while he’s very slowly walking toward us with a knife is reasonable, and I think it’s way past time we started training to do it.

Or at least talking about it.

CH

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breachbangclear.com_site_images_Chris_Hernandez_Author_BreachBangClear4About the Author: Chris Hernandez, seen here on patrol in Afghanistan, may just be the crustiest member of the eeeee-LITE writin’ team here at Breach-Bang-Clear. He is a veteran of both the Marine Corps and the Army National Guard who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also a veteran police officer of two decades who spent a long (and eye-opening) deployment as part of a UN police mission in Kosovo. He is the author of Tacos Are Racist, Females in the Infantry – Yes Actually, The Military Within the Military, and several other delightfully opinionated bloviations. He has also penned several modern military fiction novels, including Line in the Valley, Proof of Our Resolve and Safe From the War. When he isn’t groaning about a change in the weather and snacking on Osteo Bi-Flex he writes on his own blog. You can find his author page right here on Amazon.

Chris Hernandez

Chris Hernandez may just be the crustiest member of the eeeee-LITE writin’ team here at Breach-Bang-Clear. He is a veteran of both the Marine Corps and the Army National Guard who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also a veteran police officer of two decades who spent a long (and eye-opening) deployment as part of a UN police mission in Kosovo. He is the author of White Flags & Dropped Rifles – the Real Truth About Working With the French Army and The Military Within the Military as well as the modern military fiction novels Line in the Valley, Proof of Our Resolve and Safe From the War. When he isn’t groaning about a change in the weather and snacking on Osteo Bi-Flex he writes on his own blog.


Chris Hernandez has 108 posts and counting. See all posts by Chris Hernandez

20 thoughts on “Should Cops Make Limb Shots? Yes, Actually.

  • October 8, 2017 at 6:35 pm
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    Here’s my thinking as a civilian perhaps choosing a limb shot… I will have MORE difficulty defending the fact that “I feared for my life” if I’m ‘only’ shooting the BadGuy in a limb. If I REALLY feared my Attacker, I’d be shooting to stop the threat via the highest percentage I could muster… so Center Mass it is for me. I do agree on the idea your proffering for consideration as far as LEO/MIL goes though.

  • October 7, 2017 at 12:53 pm
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    The premise of your article seems to be that under specific and controlled circumstances that a shot fired at a limb may be less lethal. Without some research I would not know for certain if that is the case or not, but I am skeptical that a limb shot would indeed be less lethal given the fact that there arteries are in the limbs. In fact, one of the videos, shown in your article shows a bleed out occurring in 40 some seconds. It seems to me a knife wielding student who bled out and died would be just as much a public relations problem and liability as one who was shot center mass. ” Thinking outside the box”, is necessary and required for growth and improvement, but I would respectfully submit that the circumstances you are describing would be better served by with the application of a less lethal bean bag, provided another officer is providing cover with a firearm. This would seem to me to provide better public relations, less liability and less risk of death to the subject.

  • October 2, 2017 at 8:14 pm
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    Clown Shoes!

    Fuck that GA Tech student for putting that officer in that situation. This is the perfect example of Monday morning quarterbacking. What if’s, could be’s and maybe’s don’t count for much if the shoe had been on the other foot.

    You pull a knife on me, and advance on me, and you will be ventilated with a quickness. Sorry. I’m not going to take the chance that all you really need is a hug and a nearly impossible to place flesh wound in your leg. Nope!

    A knife is deadly force. It has been demonstrated over and over again what a determined person with a knife can do within 20 feet of an officer with a gun. Over and over. Our agency does it with sim rounds. Sure, you might draw quick enough and place a shot on me; however, you are going to get cut.

    I once fought a guy with a broken femur, in the dark, and it took a taser & several of us to just get him in handcuffs. Thank god he wasn’t armed. My point to that is in different circumstances, I could have inflicted a devastating gunshot wound to his upper thigh and he still would have been dangerous.

    Aside from rounds to the pelvic girdle, there is no guarantee that a “limb shot” will incapacitate the person to the point that they are no longer a danger to you. Hell, even someone with a broken pelvis is dangerous. What are you going to do? Just walk away? You still have to put that person in custody. You still have to get the knife away from them. What if they aren’t done?

    And if you do happen to make that shot, now what do you do? You have to render aid. You are now under investigation for firing your weapon. You are now vulnerable to litigation.

    People need to learn: pull a knife and advance towards an armed police officer, and all bets are off – you get what you get.

  • September 30, 2017 at 11:09 am
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    Center mass shooting has been taught forever in order to achieve one thing, a higher hit probability. That higher hit probability also tends to have a higher probability of stopping the threat. Now if we examine what the outcomes for shot placement on extremities there is nothing good.

    First you are likely to have to expend more ammunition. When you expend more ammo you may run out of time due to have to make a tactical reload, higher probability for weapon malfunction, higher probability of hitting an unintended target, running out of time due to failure to make a stopping shot.

    There is no expectation that such shot placement is even possible during an event that triggers tachy-psychia symptoms such as tunnel vision, auditory exclusion, loss of fine motor skills etc.

    Shooting center mass along with failure drill is THE solution to stopping a threat. Baby faceNelson was shot 17 times with .45 ACP from a Thompson SMG and he still managed to kill two FBI agents. This is a farce predicated on a fairy tale viewed through a lens of political correctness after imbibing a pint of unicorn piss.

    • October 1, 2017 at 7:08 pm
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      If the conditions I described are met, nothing stops an officer from being prepared to fire center mass until the threat is neutralized. An officer attempting a limb shot would be backed by at least one other officer prepared to fire center mass.

      Do you believe the only way to stop the kid in the GA Tech video was a center mass shot?

      • October 2, 2017 at 8:16 pm
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        Yes. Or maybe a center mass shot followed quickly with a head shot.

  • September 27, 2017 at 10:36 pm
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    FWIW, it seems that in Russia police shooting someone in the leg is not considered deadly force (assuming that he doesn’t die). That may be the thinking in the Iran video above too; I don’t know.

  • September 27, 2017 at 12:42 am
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    Question:

    How do police departments consider the firing of a bullet? Is it, legally speaking, the same as for civilians?

    I’m asking because, at least in most states I know of civilians are held to a standard where they have to justify using lethal force which simply firing a bullet is considered. This is why warning shots are often illegal in my understanding; because you discharged a round (used lethal force, legally speaking) when you can’t justify doing it. The warning shot itself being considered evidence that you didn’t have good reason to shoot the person dead (or make the best effort you could to do so) and therefore the discharge itself is illegal because there obviously wasn’t enough of a threat presented for you to actually use lethal force (fire the bullet).

    So how would that work with the cops? Couldn’t an argument be made that since the cop wasn’t in enough fear for his life/someone else’s life to shoot to kill that, legally speaking, he shouldn’t have shot at all and therefore the ninja-esque legshot is actually a crime?

  • September 26, 2017 at 7:44 pm
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    Sure, there are times when it might be appropriate. I’ve seen video of a sniper shooting a gun out of a dude’s hand in just such a situation. But asking regular patrol officers (who often get very little firearms training because, let’s face it, they don’t use their guns much) to make that shot? To communicate that shot? I don’t really buy it.

  • September 26, 2017 at 7:39 pm
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    Always…ALWAYS love a fresh and different perspective! But the photo of those horrific knife wounds? I’ll keep aiming for center mass thank you!!!

  • September 26, 2017 at 5:45 pm
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    You have a really nice “opinion”. I think cops deserve better. Evidence based tactics so we don’t get people dead based on opinions. Read Hontz (1999) Justifying the Deadly Force Response. Police Quarterly, or Nieuwenhuys, A., & Oudejans, R. R. D. (2011). Training with anxiety: short- and long-term effects on police officers’ shooting behavior under pressure. Cognitive Processing —– to name just a few. More from the, “I have done no research, but let me tell you my opinion” files….

  • September 26, 2017 at 3:28 pm
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    Chris,

    You’re one of my favorite bloggers and I enjoy the detailed research you put into your articles. I realize all good writers have to find the right edge of controversy and balance there to keep readers coming back while focusing attention on subjects they are interested in.

    And I’ve got to tell you I’m not a cop, and I didn’t join the military, but my core firearms training comes from cops. I’ve shot with cops, competed with cops, took courses with and from cops and based on that I think you’re wrong on this.

    Purposely shooting someone in a limb is a bad idea.

    The bullet leaving the gun barrel is an application of deadly force. You propose shooting someone in a limb because you don’t think they warrant the use of deadly force. So why are you using deadly force in an application that you admit doesn’t deserve deadly force?

    I think your example of a leg wound that severs the femoral artery is a perfect example of one outcome of shooting at a limb. We both know it’s only TV that a person can be shot in the ankle and come back limpless a month later.

    Do I have a workable suggestion? No, not really. This is a problem that deserves serious discussion. How does both the LEO and the armed citizen deal with disturbed, possibly handicapped person armed with a contact weapon. Possibly a person bent on suicide by other?

    As an armed citizen I could run away. I could take my wife, child, grandparent and leave the problem for another. Maybe. The police, as you know better than I, don’t have that option.

    Pepper spray? Taser? Your five rules of engagement? I suspect we have to deal with this problem as it is presented to us and with the tools available to us at the moment. If druthers were possible, I’d want a Star Trek phaser set on heavy stun. But druthers are wishes and I’m going to keep pelvis shots on my agenda.

  • September 26, 2017 at 10:21 am
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    If non lethal is the goal and since they could still die anyway from gun shot, then gun is not the tool anyway for this. If the officer has this amount of time for this, perhaps a newly developed type of long gun that shoots a restraining cord or device that wraps around the legs? Good luck getting departments to fund that though for what may be option maybe 1% of the time.

    • September 27, 2017 at 7:54 am
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      Wasn’t the army working on a squirt adhesive for crowd control. Worked a little too well I understand. I see to remember a cartoon character from the 50’s that had a gun that shot sticky marshmallow. Maybe we now know the Army’s origin of that project.

      In any case stopping these people might be beyond what could be expected of today’s LEO with today’s technology.

  • September 26, 2017 at 10:11 am
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    It’s not wrong to think about this, but I don’t see this ever becoming a reality.

    1. With the parameters you state to even make it an option, I think this represents a 1%, or less, of the encounters in the use of force. Most agencies are not even developing and conducting training often enough to meet the much more likely scenarios. Some officers can barely pass the center mass requirement, good luck on developing drills and certifications for limb shots or that might get used a fraction of the time.

    2. The primary suspect you’re proposing this tactic against is someone who is suicidal or ‘only’ a harm to themselves. Let’s say it works and they’re shot, treated and released. Their mental issue still exists and they will continue to do themselves harm and possibly harm someone else in the process the next time.

    3. You suggest this tactic from a ‘safe’ distance. Practically, distance has to be at least 25 or more feet away. There are too many variables that can interrupt that safe distance in an instant; bystanders running from an irrational person with a knife in panic crossing the shot trajectory, that already irrational knife wielder deciding to charge full on, a legally armed citizen seeing someone with a knife, but possibly not the responding officer and drawing to engage, etc.

    4. As the adage goes, give a mouse a cookie, he’ll want a glass of milk; give the anti-cop crowd this, next they’ll go for disarming cops of guns all together when this is tried and still kills the suspect anyway. Is not the reason this is being suggested is exactly because some, who will never understand the the pace, dynamics and intensity of violent or potentially violent encounters, have complained about not shooting to wound?

    I’m truly sorry that some are troubled enough to devalue their own life and commit actions to end it, but it is not the rest of society’s fault or that of the average patrol officer or has to deal with them.

  • September 26, 2017 at 12:06 am
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    Black Hawk Down, somebody dies from a bullet wound to the leg. Just a reminder.

  • September 25, 2017 at 11:56 pm
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    Caveats — not a LEO, and last Motel 6 stay was when it was $8.99:

    My thoughts are a bit complicated on the subject, but my bottom line is that I think a limb shot would be. 1. Against training until both targets and procedure change (we tend to perform as we train, right?); 2. Possibly appropriate, but in a VERY small number of incidents; 3. Possibly dangerous to the LEO taking time to decide the preferred POI; 4. Opening the legal door for the survivor/perp to become a “victim” with the rights many of us don’t have in the first place.

    As you addressed in the article, given the geography of arteries in the legs and bullet fragmentation and deflection, I’m not so sure the odds of survival are as great as folks make them out to be. Bleedout from a leg GSW can be pretty darned fast, so if a LEO is trained to call EMT and not provide immediate aid, a leg shot would seem a fairly high set of odds for lethality, and still high even if EMT were called. You did not address the odds of this happening. [A refrigerator ice maker has a ¼” feed tube. Ever have one break? Amazing how much water is on the kitchen floor in only a minute or two…] On the issue of lethality I just don’t see much gain.

    Bottom line for me I suppose is that given the extremely small odds of positives, I wonder if going down that road is worth the investment. [I can hear the counter now — but if it saves only one life! Fact is, not great odds of it actually doing so,eh?].

    I like the article, Chris — well thought out and subject worth discussing — as usual for you.

    • September 28, 2017 at 5:40 pm
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      I would add to your comment about the lethality of a limb shot…

      PREVENTING that limb shot from becoming lethal might indeed require immediate first aid (your comment on the ice maker line leak is a really good analogy), and a person shot in the leg is still perfectly capable of carving an officer up with the knife they may still be holding. How would an officer determine that a threat is ‘stopped’ in an instance where a limb shot is used to control the situation? If you wait until they pass out from blood loss, you’ve probably only got seconds left to stop the bleed before the person dies. *Camera cut to a protestor* “Those cops shot that guy in the leg and then just STOOD THERE while he bled to death!!”

      Concur this was a thought-provoking article.

  • September 25, 2017 at 12:30 am
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    Uh, the author did say NOT MOVING…

    I’d agree that there are cases where a (hopefully) non-lethal shot could be attempted.

    Personally I think police departments should be more equipped with the ability to fire non-lethal shots, i.e., things like beanbag guns in every vehicle, and trained to use them when appropriate. Of course, no cop wants to be facing a potential attacker who is displaying a firearm while he only has a beanbag gun. No one is suggesting that. In most situations you have at least two cops confronting a suspect. Having one or both of those cops armed with a beanbag gun IN ADDITION TO their regular armament (available in their vehicle for immediate deployment) seems not unreasonable.

    Other options might include shotguns is every vehicle loaded with a first couple rounds of less-lethal followed by the usual rounds of 00 buck and slugs. Shattering someone’s knees is more likely to take the fight out of someone than a shot in the arm or even the fleshy part of the leg. Crippling someone is still a liability but less so than a death.

    Bottom line: All of this is perfectly doable. It’s just a matter of imagination followed by budget and training. Unfortunately all 3 are lacking in the police establishment.

    As for those videos, the knife attack was hopeless incompetent. Guy was stabbed a zillion times and was still moving at the end. The Mexican’s were hopelessly incompetent. Most of them must have been unarmed since they were running away from the guy instead of shooting. The AK wielder tried to use a STICK? And once the perp was shot, everyone ignored him even though he was still moving. They even allowed the camera operator to approach him.

    With this level of incompetence, it’s not surprising things didn’t turn out well for these guys.

  • September 24, 2017 at 2:01 pm
    Permalink

    So, do I not get to be held accountable for every round I send downrange anymore? Because hitting a 3″ wide moving target consistently and accurately at 10-15 yards under duress is going to require that I spend a lot more time on the range. Probably about 75-80% of my duty time. The boss isn’t going to like it but………….

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