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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 6/13/2002 9:55:42 AM EDT
In reading NAKED-GUNMAN’s post, there was a reply from one member about shooing to kill. I think he said that it was his dad that told him that if you have to shoot someone that you need to shoot to kill. Well that is my question. Should you really shoot to kill? A buddy of mine took a class once that was instructed by a highly respected SWAT trainer, he told the class to shoot to kill. I guess the SWAT guy had to shoot someone in the line of duty and wasn’t shooting to kill and injured the person very badly. A month later the guy he shot came back and sued him and almost won. Then a couple months ago I was talking to a guy on the ol ham radio that was on his way into Denver for additional SWAT training. I asked him that question and he responded with, “Never shoot to kill, always shoot to stop!” What do you guys think? I personally think that that if I was ever in a situation were I had to fire on someone, it would be to kill, especially if my family was in danger. But then again I guess I’ll never know unless that does take place.

Diesel
Link Posted: 6/13/2002 9:57:03 AM EDT
Dang it!! I meant to put this in the general discussion!! Well I'm gona post it there too.

Diesel
Link Posted: 6/13/2002 10:00:38 AM EDT
Shoot to kill? Your damn right, you can bet that is what the badguy will be doing
Link Posted: 6/13/2002 10:12:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/13/2002 10:13:36 AM EDT by CITADELGRAD87]
This IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE. PAy a lawyer to give you some.

I will speak in generalities that may not apply in your jurisdiction.

Based on my training and schooling, the theory is that you cannot use deadly force unless you are in imminent fear of grievous bodily harm.

You meet dealy force with deadly force.

If you shoot someone in the leg, it is "evidence" that you were not in fear for your life. It also, more practically, will not likely stop whatever action caused you to be in fear for your life and limb.

"Stop shots" are, coincidentally, usually center of torso shots. "Stop" generally means "kill," but police are trained to SAY "I shot to stop " whatever action they are trying to stop.

So while you are shooting to STOP whatever assault or attack is taking place, that shot will probably likely KILL your assailant.

In the wrongful death lawsuit filed against you after a shooting (YOU WILL BE SUED, COUNT ON IT AND FACTOR IT INTO EVERYTHING YOU SAY AND DO) it will sound much better to the jury that you shot to stop by shooting at the easiest place to hit someone, center of mass, than saying you shot to kill the guy.

My two cents.
Link Posted: 6/13/2002 10:18:22 AM EDT
In terms of the outcome, there may not be any difference between a mindset of "shoot to kill" vs. "shoot to stop" since you may have to kill to stop. The difference will come later when you're questioned by the police, the press, the other guy's family's lawyer...
Link Posted: 6/13/2002 12:03:19 PM EDT
Killing someone will not save you from civil litigation as long as the deceased has living relatives or dependants. Say it nice like we do. Shoot to stop the threat, it sounds so much nicer than shoot to kill but we all know what it really means. Shooting at people, killing people are bad things to do and should be avoided. Exhaust every other means of self defense before pulling the trigger up to and including retreat if that is an option. I'm no coward but I'm not anxious but shoot someone either.
Link Posted: 6/13/2002 1:00:37 PM EDT
Or you could say it like DoD does.."engage the enemy"...course the current Secretary of Defense has been using the 'kill' word lately....
Link Posted: 6/13/2002 1:19:43 PM EDT
What else are you going to do? Shoot to tickle?z
Link Posted: 6/13/2002 1:25:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By zoom:
What else are you going to do? Shoot to tickle?z



That's what I was thinking.

Shoot to stop.

They'll stop relatively quick if they are dead, unless they fall of a cliff when they die, but even then they'll stop quickly.

In most States you ned the imminent threat of great bodily harm or death, and some States expect you to retreat if possible, before you can use deadly force. What you are attempting to do in the legal sense when using deadly force, is make the BG stop his unlawful use of force.

Link Posted: 6/13/2002 1:29:05 PM EDT
close with and destroy
Link Posted: 6/13/2002 8:12:32 PM EDT
If the police can't protect the innocent by shooting to kill, maybe they should just stay the hell out of the "hood" and let those assholes deal with the crime themselves.
http://www.austin360.com/statesman/editions/thursday/metro_state_3.html
Does everything have to be about race? What if the crazy bitch was white, the cop didn't shoot her, and she stabbed a black housing worker? Wrongful death my ass!
Link Posted: 6/13/2002 8:29:27 PM EDT
Move to a state that isn't out to imprison gun owners.

Here its your choice. If you want to risk your life and only shoot someone in the leg the cops arent going to use it against you. They cant, case law here in AZ doesn't permit it.

There are a couple of other states that are like this too. Texas, Louisiana.
Link Posted: 6/13/2002 8:37:16 PM EDT
inresponce, i wrote that, and a guns job is to kill. thats its design. if your in a situation which calls for force like this, then your life is in danger. therefore if you just wound, there is still a possibility that the suspect will have another weapon to attempt to hurt or kill you with. for example (i hear about in the leg all the time). but if the guy has a gun, after he gets over the inital pain (if he can feel it) he will be real ed and use the gun in his hand to shoot back. the point is if you need to use such force in the first place. make the guy stay down. if you mess him up bad, you dont want him comming back to snipe you later. SHOOT TO KILL!
Link Posted: 6/13/2002 9:33:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/13/2002 9:37:15 PM EDT by thebeekeeper1]
Link Posted: 6/13/2002 9:36:22 PM EDT
but if forced to shoot the best is to Shoot to kill. correct me if i am wrong. (which i am not!)
Link Posted: 6/13/2002 9:42:33 PM EDT
The way i've been trained (AF) is always "Use the minimum amount of force nessicary to stop the threat" If i got a knife or gun weilding 6'3" tall guy coming at me in a threatening manner "minimum" is 11-9mm rounds really fast.

I live by 3 rules, I present my gun ONLY when i'm willing to use it, and if i'm willing to use it, it's my last line of defence so i don't have a second chance "When in doubt, empty it out"
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 12:34:57 AM EDT
Shoot to kill! As the old saying goes: "I would rather be judged by twelve than carried by six!"
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 12:55:11 AM EDT
OLY's answer was best... for legal purposes you were shooting to stop the threat. "Yes, your honor... I just shot until he stopped coming. I didn't want to kill him, but he kept coming and I was in fear for my life."
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 1:38:02 AM EDT
True, for legal purposes you are going to tell the police and the court that you shot only to stop the attack. The reality is that in the case of an person coming at you armed with a knife, you are going to hit him with as many torso shots as you can to stop his advance. The reason is that if he is close enough, his forward momentum could still get you stabbed if you do not stop him dead in his tracks. Also if the attacker is high on some stimulant, he may be harder to put down. In the case of an attacker armed with a gun, it is kill or be killed. I do not see retreat as an option in these scenarios. In the home, definately shoot to kill. Hesitation will get you killed if the intruder is armed.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 2:37:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CITADELGRAD87:
Based on my training and schooling, the theory is that you cannot use deadly force unless you are in imminent fear of grievous bodily harm.

You meet dealy force with deadly force.



This is what I've been taught as well.


If you shoot someone in the leg, it is "evidence" that you were not in fear for your life. It also, more practically, will not likely stop whatever action caused you to be in fear for your life and limb.


Not to mention that shooting someone in the arm or leg is somewhat hard to do, especially under stress. That's why you shoot center mass. You're more likely to hit and stop your target.


"Stop shots" are, coincidentally, usually center of torso shots. "Stop" generally means "kill," but police are trained to SAY "I shot to stop " whatever action they are trying to stop.

So while you are shooting to STOP whatever assault or attack is taking place, that shot will probably likely KILL your assailant.

In the wrongful death lawsuit filed against you after a shooting (YOU WILL BE SUED, COUNT ON IT AND FACTOR IT INTO EVERYTHING YOU SAY AND DO) it will sound much better to the jury that you shot to stop by shooting at the easiest place to hit someone, center of mass, than saying you shot to kill the guy.

My two cents.



Exactly, it's a semantic argument. Cops say shoot to stop because that's what is drilled into them at the academy and at firearms training because it sounds better in court and police departments are very scared of liability these days. A marksman who does sniper duty for the local PD calls what he does "shooting to stop" just like the patrolmen do, even though his job is to kill someone.

When you learn gun safety, they teach you that anything you fire at is going to be killed or destroyed, and you must assume that is what is going to happen. So, while you're shooting an attacker, who you are afraid is going to kill or harm you, you are certainly likely to kill them, but your statement must always be "I shot to stop." It will sound better to a jury.

Remember the Alamo, and God Bless Texas...
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 4:21:23 AM EDT
What you should say and what you should do may be different things entirely.

Link Posted: 6/14/2002 7:26:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Gunbert:
OLY's answer was best... for legal purposes you were shooting to stop the threat. "Yes, your honor... I just shot until he stopped coming. I didn't want to kill him, but he kept coming and I was in fear for my life."



Perfect.. The jury will eat it up...
Link Posted: 6/15/2002 6:12:28 AM EDT
Shoot to hit, ie...center mass.
Link Posted: 6/15/2002 7:33:13 AM EDT
Shoot to kill. Dead men tell no tales.

Link Posted: 6/15/2002 8:10:04 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/15/2002 8:30:45 AM EDT by gcmj45acp]
I realize my reply comes a little late but here it is anyway.

I too have heard both shoot to kill and shoot to stop. Today, I hear "shoot to kill" mostly from folks who are lucky enough that they have never been to court to defend their actions in a shooting. Now, I'll agree that it is "better to be judge by twelve than carried by six." My dad, now a retired 32 year veteran of the Houston Police Department told me the very same thing countless times. But, in all his time with the PD he only fired his gun once in the line of duty as a "warning shot" that resulted in no one being hurt. However; in today's litigious society, that alone would send the average Joe to jail and throwing BS macho slogans around in the wrong company or better yet in court will get you screwed.

I completed an Advanced Defensive Handgun course with John Farnam of Defense Training International about six months ago. In that course, the term shoot to stop was specifically used for both legal and practical reasons.

In specifically shooting to kill with a handgun, you have very few choices for targets and a poor choice in tools for the job. Something like 97% of all single gunshot wounds from handguns(even head wounds) are survivable(ask an ER doc who doesn't have his/her head up his/her ass). If you are specifically trying to kill with a handgun, you can try to hit the head which is a ridiculously small target that moves quickly and is quite good at defeating most handgun bullets at all but contact distances. A better choice is to try to shread the cardio pulmonary system in a hail of bullets, which requires hits in a slightly larger and considerably less well armored location. Either one has it's problems and when you get to both your criminal and civil trials, the prosecution and plaintiff's attorneys are going to have a field day with you when you say you shot to kill rather than shooting to stop the threat. Yes, you may have justifiably used deadly force but, to the average person likely to serve on your jury these days, saying you shot to kill boarders on an admission of murder regardless of the situation.

Now in saying, shoot to stop, one thing that kept being drilled into us was we should shoot like they vote in Chicago...Early and often. Early enough that you are not behind the curve trying to catch up with a fight that started before you knew it was there. And, often enough that your opponent is constantly taking wounds and/or ducking for cover so that he never gets to change the equation on you. Now in the course of those actions he may very well get shot enough to bleed out and die. The fact is however, that after issuing verbal commands and finally resorting to deadly force, you simply kept shooting until his threatening movements stopped. Unfortunately, he may die but that was not your intention or your choice and it looks MUCH better that way when you go to court.
Link Posted: 6/15/2002 8:46:48 AM EDT
As the goal would be survival, STOPPING the aggressor would be the solution. The most commonly taught method is several rapid impacts to center of mass, ie: heart,lungs,spine etc.

The terminal effects of Shooting to STOP should be high providing the degree of proficiency in impacting the desired STOP zone is adequate.

I shoot to STOP, by inflicting massive lethal injury.
Link Posted: 6/15/2002 8:58:15 AM EDT
Shoot to kill vs. shoot to stop mentality for police (and for you) really seems to mean:

Shoot the guy center mass until he falls down and doesn't get back up w/ his gun, knife, fist, or whatever weapon he has that you believe may cause immediate deadly harm to you or another.

If he dies, he dies. If he lives, call an ambulance... don't walk over and put a few in his skull "just in case."

It doesn't mean shoot him in the hand or knee cap.
Link Posted: 6/15/2002 9:11:03 AM EDT
Shoot to stop is exactly that. You shoot to stop the threat. The most sure way to do that, and not present yourself with an overly difficult marksmanship problem, is to shoot center of mass and incapacitate your assailant by delivering damage to vital body organs, thereby causing your opponent to lose the ability to commit aggressive acts towards you. If that fails, then follow-up shots to the brain may stop the aggressive actions. If that fails, then the pelvic girdle may be targeted, to mechanically stop your opponent by removing their ability to stand and walk. These are all standard "failure to stop" drills, practiced regularly by those who excessively worry about such things (and some should).

Remember though, the point is to stop the threat. If you fire one shot, miss, and your opponent drops their gun and surrenders (and I know someone this happened to), then the authority to use deadly force is generally gone, or at least greatly diminished, because you have "stopped" the threat that required deadly force. Likewise if you make a minor or non-fatal hit and the opponent ceases aggressive actions. You can't (legally) continue to shoot.

As far as folks (particularly peace officers, who are more likely to get into shootings because of the nature of their jobs) dumping a whole magazine into, or more likely in the general direction of, their target, that has more to do with the "startle response" of "Oh, crap! I'm in a gunfight!" than it does any training or pre-meditated thought. The first response under that kind of threat is generally to unload at the target until the slide locks open, and I've seen it hundreds of times in simunitions training (with the majority of rounds missing, and most of the hits to the opponent's weapon arm, hand and actual weapon). I've heard it a articulated by one use-of-force instructor as "Shoot 'till it stops wiggling." It is probably not the best response in many situations, but only intense, realistic and structured training can eliminate that response. Most people, and unfortunately law-enforcement agencies, do not have the time, money, resources or inclination to do that kind of training. It takes an enormous amount of training and self-discipline to get someone to the fire one round (or a double-tap) at an actual threat and then wait to see what happens. Punching holes in paper alone won't do it, because the first time you get that "startle response," all of that time spent at the range goes out the window and you are just a monkey with a gun trying hard not to die.
Link Posted: 6/15/2002 9:30:35 AM EDT
I'm curious about couple things.
1) Am I going to be held liable for lack of training (marksmanship) if I do shoot the burglar armed with a knife? Lets say I tried to shoot the guy in the torso but I hit his right eye and he was permanently blinded. Or lets say that I aimed for the torso but shot the guy in the left leg and now he can't walk. If you have poor accuracy weapon or if you lack proper training, you will most likely have to shoot more to stop the attack. So I'm very
curious.
2) Distance between myself and the enemy -
How far can they be before I can assume that he (armed with knife) is a threat for my safety and my weapon can be used?
3) Multiple shots -
If I am shooting to stop then am I justified to empty 10 round mag on a burglar armed with a knife? Wouldn't this be use of excessive force?


Link Posted: 6/15/2002 9:54:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Graffiti:
I'm curious about couple things.
1) Am I going to be held liable ...
2) Distance between myself and the enemy -
How far can they be before I can assume that he (armed with knife) is a threat for my safety and my weapon can be used?
3) Multiple shots -
If I am shooting to stop then am I justified to empty 10 round mag on a burglar armed with a knife? Wouldn't this be use of excessive force?





1. If you shoot someone, you are probably going to get sued, regardless of how righteous the shooting was. Count on the bad guy surviving. In my experience, these folks live through stuff that no one should, and usually come away without any permanent injuries. I once arrested a bank robber who had lost four gunfights with the police over his career, including getting machinegunned and taking multiple hits to the chest when he ran a roadblock. Except for chronic halitosis, he was no worse for the wear (he also got life for the last one, so you don't have to worry about him any more). If a gunshot wound is not instantly fatal, the survival rate is at about 97% these days in the US, due mostly to advance in trauma medicine. If you don't kill an assailant DRT (Dead Right There), you will probably see him in civil court a few years later.

2. 21 feet is the generally accepted standard. Peace Officers almost universally see a training tape called "Surviving Edged Weapons" at some point in their career (usually in the academy), and can henceforth truthfully testify that they know based on their training, that a person armed with a knife who is closer to them than 21' can kill them before they can stop the threat with their sidearm. The tape shows various scenarios and taped encounters done as research that shows how long and what "reactionary gap" (distance) an officer needs to be to recognize a knife as a threat, draw their weapon and fire enough COM shots to stop an assailant. Real eye-opening stuff, and highly recommended for anyone who anticipates edged weapons threats or is training for self-defense with a firearm.

3. Depends. What was he doing when you fire the second shot? How about the third? the 9th? The 10th? Each shot should generally require a separate evaluation before you launch it. You have to account for all of your rounds, and the one you don't is going to go through a couple of walls, travel 8 blocks and kill an innocent person. Tactically, you probably don't want to shoot yourself dry, anyway. If you habitually empty your mag in one rapid sequence (which is what usually happens in real gunfights), most of your rounds probably missed your target anyway. Take your time and make 'em count. You may need the rest of the mag for his buddies, and you should always assume that there is someone else. That being said, it is only excessive if you used more force than you needed to stop the threat. Rest assured that there will be a detailed investigation, and forensics determines that the last rounds in your magazine were fired into the BG while he was laying on the ground, you will have lots more trouble.
Link Posted: 6/15/2002 10:12:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/15/2002 10:14:16 AM EDT by Yankee1911]

Originally Posted By Graffiti:
I'm curious about couple things.
1) Am I going to be held liable for lack of training (marksmanship) if I do shoot the burglar armed with a knife? Lets say I tried to shoot the guy in the torso but I hit his right eye and he was permanently blinded. Or lets say that I aimed for the torso but shot the guy in the left leg and now he can't walk. If you have poor accuracy weapon or if you lack proper training, you will most likely have to shoot more to stop the attack. So I'm very
curious.
2) Distance between myself and the enemy -
How far can they be before I can assume that he (armed with knife) is a threat for my safety and my weapon can be used?
3) Multiple shots -
If I am shooting to stop then am I justified to empty 10 round mag on a burglar armed with a knife? Wouldn't this be use of excessive force?





1) I suppose it would depend on the prosecutor. Remember, in a gunfight, fine motor skills are going to go right down the toilet. Your accuracy IS going to suffer in this event even if you train regularly. I really can't see this as a basis for a criminal conviction, provided you were justified in using deadly force in the first place. Then again, I'm not a lawyer. But, with that said, the people who buy a pistol and put it in a dresser drawer, never training with it, are only fooling themselves about their level of safety.

2) Remember the "21 foot rule". It's been said that an attacker can cover that distance before you can draw and fire your pistol. If he's armed with a knife at that distance and you don't have your pistol ready, you're probably in trouble.

3) If it takes 10 shots to stop an attack, then it takes 10 shots. Again, a lot will depend on the prosecutor, should you be charged. As I said above, fine motor skills go bye-bye in a stressful situation. I doubt that you (or most of us) would be able to put all 10 rounds in a vital area during a gunfight. So, you shoot until the bad guy is down.


Edited to add: natez beat me to it, and probably stated it better than I did, anyway. Good post, natez.



Link Posted: 6/15/2002 7:27:50 PM EDT
YOU CANNOT USE DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY!
Link Posted: 6/15/2002 7:54:51 PM EDT
Is there any other way ?
Link Posted: 6/15/2002 9:49:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By natez:

Originally Posted By Graffiti:
I'm curious about couple things.
1) Am I going to be held liable ...
2) Distance between myself and the enemy -
How far can they be before I can assume that he (armed with knife) is a threat for my safety and my weapon can be used?
3) Multiple shots -
If I am shooting to stop then am I justified to empty 10 round mag on a burglar armed with a knife? Wouldn't this be use of excessive force?





1. If you shoot someone, you are probably going to get sued, regardless of how righteous the shooting was. Count on the bad guy surviving. In my experience, these folks live through stuff that no one should, and usually come away without any permanent injuries. I once arrested a bank robber who had lost four gunfights with the police over his career, including getting machinegunned and taking multiple hits to the chest when he ran a roadblock. Except for chronic halitosis, he was no worse for the wear (he also got life for the last one, so you don't have to worry about him any more). If a gunshot wound is not instantly fatal, the survival rate is at about 97% these days in the US, due mostly to advance in trauma medicine. If you don't kill an assailant DRT (Dead Right There), you will probably see him in civil court a few years later.

2. 21 feet is the generally accepted standard. Peace Officers almost universally see a training tape called "Surviving Edged Weapons" at some point in their career (usually in the academy), and can henceforth truthfully testify that they know based on their training, that a person armed with a knife who is closer to them than 21' can kill them before they can stop the threat with their sidearm. The tape shows various scenarios and taped encounters done as research that shows how long and what "reactionary gap" (distance) an officer needs to be to recognize a knife as a threat, draw their weapon and fire enough COM shots to stop an assailant. Real eye-opening stuff, and highly recommended for anyone who anticipates edged weapons threats or is training for self-defense with a firearm.

3. Depends. What was he doing when you fire the second shot? How about the third? the 9th? The 10th? Each shot should generally require a separate evaluation before you launch it. You have to account for all of your rounds, and the one you don't is going to go through a couple of walls, travel 8 blocks and kill an innocent person. Tactically, you probably don't want to shoot yourself dry, anyway. If you habitually empty your mag in one rapid sequence (which is what usually happens in real gunfights), most of your rounds probably missed your target anyway. Take your time and make 'em count. You may need the rest of the mag for his buddies, and you should always assume that there is someone else. That being said, it is only excessive if you used more force than you needed to stop the threat. Rest assured that there will be a detailed investigation, and forensics determines that the last rounds in your magazine were fired into the BG while he was laying on the ground, you will have lots more trouble.



Wow, thanks for the in depth response. Hopefully I don't have to use deadly force on anyone.
Link Posted: 6/16/2002 2:07:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 7point62:
YOU CANNOT USE DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY!



Maybe you can't, but I can.
507. Use of force for the protection of property.



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