Real Life Shooting: It ain’t Dancing With The Stars (Graphic Content)

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.

10 Replies to “Real Life Shooting: It ain’t Dancing With The Stars (Graphic Content)”

      1. Keepvid is safe. They use a Java applet to extract the video from the indicated flash player. I use it to grab any YouTube videos I may want to hold onto in the future(on account of a dozen of my favorite YT videos got taken down and have not been replaced)

        There’s a pop-up that says “Are you sure you want to run this?” that you should click “yes” to. Anything else definitely indicates something wrong, and you should probably run a virus scan, but it would be something that got into your computer elsewhere.




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        1. I did an Add-On check yesterday and deleted a bunch of crap. As I was downloading this thing, the browser started to act funky and I stopped the download. Lo and behold I had a new bar added and the start page was some funky search engine I never saw before. Went back to the add-on and found three new things that were not there before.




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          1. Just did a check both on the LiveLeaks video(which… actually doesn’t use Java) and on the latest Minecraft SMP LP episode by Direwolf20(which does, as I’m used to), clean on my end. You’ve got something funny going on in there.

            I have no browser bars installed. Never have.

            If Colorado and Florida were closer together I’d offer to clean it out for you, but you can probably find someone closer.




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      2. Yah I can’t vouch for the Firefox add-on, which is why I specifically said “for Chrome”, but it does look like it still gets 4 of 5 stars with over 1 million downloads on Mozilla’s site. I love it and haven’t had any extra crap installed. Keepvid is good too but there’s a bit more work involved to get the file.




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  1. I think it’s a pretty terrible idea to send people on a bust who don’t look like cops, though.

    Don’t really believe the guy’s story that he thought they were intruders, but they weren’t in uniform either.

    Also, from the linked article:
    When the detectives approached Estevanell to ask if he would consent to a search of the house, police say 56-year old Gerardo Delgado jumped out of a nearby parked car and started shooting.

    I’m gonna go ahead and say they didn’t just approach the guy to ask if they could search the house, either.




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  2. What is this “they weren’t in uniform” crap? They are wearing tactical vests that say “police” on them and every person in this country has seen television and knows that detectives don’t wear uniforms. the only thing I see that the cops did wrong was they ignored and walked past the guy in the car until he got out and brandished a weapon.




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    1. Yeah, television shows are accurate.

      If you serve a warrant, bring some people who are in uniform. If I see an overweight guy getting out of an unmarked car wearing a vest that MIGHT say “Police” on the front walking up to my house, I’m getting my rifle.




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