The following is a video of a shooting between Miami-Dade narcotics detectives and a resident of a marijuana growhouse. There is two camera angles in this embed, the second beginning at 7:43. My opinions are just that and I am not a tactical guru nor I stayed at the Holiday Inn last night. Grain of salt recommended.
We are used to see highly choreographed shootings in TV and the movies, but Real Life is just plain ugly and Murphy is her Significant Other.
Starting with the imperfect timing of the shooter getting in the car and out of the view of the first officer coming toward the house’s driveway. One second…half a second difference and the guy would have seen and taken care possibly without violence.
The first officer missing the guy inside the car. It could have been tunnel vision, a play in light, shadows and reflection on a late July afternoon (The house is facing west as per the shadows in the video,) possible tinting in the car’s glass or a combination of all. Who knows? We cannot predict all the circumstances and we just get to ride them sometimes.
Officers’ reaction at the Individual coming out of the car were just about under 4 seconds from detection to firearm deployed as they were not looking at the car and they were distracted making the arrest of the second individual. Not a criticism but simply how much time it requires to absorb, process & act from an unexpected target even when there must be enough adrenalin already running in the systems.
“No plan survives the first shot” pretty much should explain the rest of the video. The officer closest to the house seeks shelter somewhere after being hit three times in the abdomen which might explain the less than tacticool stance at the end and the three shots to the ground. I don’t care who you are, having a bullet impacting in you will trigger certain “Get me the @#$&! outta here” basic instincts and the according behavior. “In the shootout Detective John Saavedra, 34, was struck below his bullet proof vest; twice in the abdomen and once in the thigh. He was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital and rushed into surgery.” CBS Miami.
The second officer was trying to control the second individual, once the shooting started made a dash for cover behind the car, withdrew his weapon and joined the exchange. His momma raised no fools and he is not getting paid to die unnecessarily. Far from me to say anything against his tactics.
The third officer (closest to the street) had the great advantage of the tree in between him and the shooter. Now there is a lesson here: Cover works for both parties, especially if there is only one cover to share. The officer smartly uses the tree to shield himself from the shooter as he engages him and retreats to better cover. I like the footwork.
And now the Shooter. I can’t tell if he came out of the truck shooting but I’d say no from the lack of immediate reaction from the officers. As we know, he managed to get “good” hits on one officer and he used cover but not properly. In the video we see two possible wounds in the torso: one on his left side and possibly one in middle of the chest by what the blood on his back is showing (or maybe the shot came from Detective John Saavedra as the shooter’s back was turned to where he was hiding.) The way he started to favor his right leg may indicate that he got shot there (IDPA Shooters: 100% of the lower body behind cover, remember? His procedural was much longer than three seconds) and then came the head shot. According to the movies, the shooter was supposed to be dead at least twice yet he lasted a long time before he joined the cruise to Hades. “Pistol calibers are inefficient” was one if the first lessons I learned from a couple of instructors that dealt in reality and not Hollywood drama. We carry sidearms because they are lighter and easier to conceal than a rifle or shotgun but we must never forget we are trading efficiency for comfort (and no prison time in most localities.) Even the Mighty .45 is not a good stopper no mater what the faithful say as that was the caliber of shooter’s weapon.
And to close this post, I wonder how many shots were taken by each individual officer. I am willing to bet that at least some of them went over the stipulated NY Safe Act seven rounds and probably more than ten also.
If anybody has a copy of the video or knows where to download one, let me know. This one as teaching moment is a keeper.