Friday, February 24, 2017

Stopping Criminals By Gunfire

FBI Study

The FBI study In the Line of Fire: Violence against Law Enforcement—A Study of Felonious Assaults on Law Enforcement Officers shows that 41 percent of officers who fired in the study hit their intended targets, and the average distance to the target was 21 feet.4 Although this is a limited study, these averages are fairly consistent with the multiple shooting data available.

During court proceedings concerning an officer-involved shooting, the number of rounds fired by the officer or officers involved will be released to provide full disclosure. Grand juries often question why numerous rounds were fired. It is important, especially in handgun shootings, to show that (1) immediate incapacitation of the target with handgun rounds is not a reliable factor, even if there is a direct central nervous system shot; and (2) direct shots that cause lethal blood loss are also not immediate. There is sufficient oxygen within the brain to support full, voluntary action for 10 seconds to 15 seconds after the heart has been destroyed.
5 A determined individual who has received a fatal shot may continue to function because of adrenalin, sheer emotion, or stimulants in their system. Law enforcement personnel are taught to shoot at center mass and to continue until the threat is removed. Under stress, it is difficult to fire accurate shots that strike vital organs, and, in the average shooting, less than half of the shots fired hit the intended target. As the distance increases, more shots may be fired by officers to compensate for decreased accuracy.
Bullets do not physically knock people to the ground. Jury participants often have limited weapons knowledge or experience and base their perceptions on novels, TV shows, or movies in which the hit ratio is high and bodies fall violently after being shot. It is important to explain that a fired round’s impact on the body is no more than recoil from the weapon. Sir Isaac Newton proved this in the seventeenth century with his hypothesis: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. To stop a determined threat, multiple rounds are often needed. To stop shooting also causes a delay because the officer’s senses must send a message to their brains to stop the physical movement of trigger pulls..


Adams. Ronald Et. Al.Street Survival---Tactics for Armed Encounters; Caliber Press; 1987.

(At Page-215) “Medical researchers have established that nearly 20 percent of the time, suspects who are shot will not be incapacitated by just one round even though they are fatally wounded. (Followed by some examples and a photo of an armed robber's body where 33 rounds were needed to “put him down.)

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