To Shoot Or Not To Shoot — That Is The Question These Officers Faced

In 2014, police officers in Nebraska began to be issued body cams to capture their encounters with others.  This video, taken in October of 2014, shows two officers responding to a report of some suspicious activity in an apartment.  While the majority of the video is just these two officers walking up to the door, you can see when you get to the end, that it’s hard to make a life-and-death call in a flash of a second.

So what happened?

It appears from the video that the occupants were pulling some sort of prank involving a fake gun.  The police showing up have no idea whether it’s a fake gun or not.  All they know is that these occupants are potentially armed and definitely unstable.

And, as you can see, the officer facing down the barrel does the absolute correct thing.  That said, how many of us could say we’d do the same?

Concealed Carry Comes With Great Responsibility

Concealed carriers are under a lot of pressure to keep their wits about them even when others are acting the fool.  While concealed carriers are not sworn officers of the law, we’re still under a great responsibility to protect ourselves and stay within the law.

There’s a lot of dumb kids out there in this world.  Most of them don’t intend any harm and, unfortunately, the rest of the world that’s dealing with them don’t know that.  Good job to both of these officers for handling the situation appropriately.

A couple quick tips for staying on top:

  • Always know what’s in front of and directly behind your target.
  • Never point your firearm at anything you do not intend to shoot.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to fire.

It’s the simple things that keep us on the right side of the law.

Note The Officers’ Technique — Never Hang Out In Front Of A Door

Another quick thing to point out is how they approach the doorway.  There’s two officers present in the hallway but neither take a direct position in front of the door.  Both move off at 45° to the front of the door.  That way, if that idiot was actually armed and dumb enough to shoot through the door, they would have room to move.

It’s planning for the worst case scenarios that keep us safe.

Similarly, notice how the officer handles it when he thinks he sees a gun in the occupant’s hand.  He doesn’t expose himself but instead pulls back close to the wall.  His pistol has the lead in “slicing the pie” — that’s the technique where you incrementally clear sections of the doorway before proceeding.  He has another officer as backup.  Us, as concealed carriers, can’t count on such reinforcements.

Slice the pie and minimize your exposure in open doorways.

Another piece of the puzzle is having an officer facing on either side of the door provides some amount of overwatch against people coming up behind either of them.  That’s something a lone concealed carrier may not have — which is why you have to prioritize your movement.  Slice the pie to clear the doorway and either commit to enter and clear the room or clear the hallway via another exit.  Hallways and corridors are bad places to hang out because there’s no where to go if an attacker opens fire.