A tragic mistaken identity shooting occurred recently in Fort Worth, Texas.  A homeowner was shot and killed when she pointed a gun at a city police officer who had been dispatched to an open structure call.

I have been warning about this sort of thing for decades.  This clip is from circa 2007, from Tom Gresham’s Personal Defense TV show. 

The call had come in from a concerned citizen in that Fort Worth neighborhood who had seen the front door to the home wide open in the wee hours of the morning.  The media originally reported it as a call for a “wellness check,” which would usually begin with the officers coming to the door and loudly identifying themselves.  Unfortunately, it later came out that the dispatcher had given the call to responding officers as an “open structure” report, indicative of a possible burglary or home invasion in progress.  This would account for the officer’s silent approach reconnoitering the premises from the outside in: a shouted “Police!” could alert a burglar to escape or ambush the officers, or cause a home invader to take hostages or perhaps harm a resident.

Initial reports, still unfortunately being quoted, described the young woman as harmlessly playing video games with her young nephew when she was killed by the police bullet.  However, the nephew soon told investigators that his aunt had heard noises outside, armed herself with a pistol, and was pointing it out the window – presumably at the officer – when she was shot.

It has been reported that the officer refused to give a statement.

The officer has been charged with Murder.  The incident strikes this writer as a tragedy on both sides.  It will be instructive to see how the matter proceeds from here. 

Lessons apparent at this point:

Keep your doors locked, and your curtains closed at night.

The person outside might be just a cop who is there on legitimate police business.

Even in your home, don’t wander about with deadly weapons in hand when visible to people outside who don’t know who you are.

Cops must always remember that law-abiding citizens have guns, too.


  1. I hope that this officer will receive his fair day in court. In the current climate, created by the American Left, the Obama DOJ, Black-Lives Matter and the Anti-American Media, I have my doubts.

    Under the new Caste System created by the American Left, via their Identity Politics, people are no longer judged by their actions or by the “content of their character”. The ideas of Martin Luther King, Jr. have been abandoned. Under the reverse-racism system that they have created, only the color of your skin and your sex (declared rather than biological) matter.

    The unfortunate woman killed in this incident was a member of one of the highest castes established by the American Left. She is a black female which they regard as a highly protected caste.

    Meanwhile, the officer, who (sadly) pulled the trigger, is a white male. He is in the despised “Untouchable Caste” according to the Caste System established by the American Left. As such, he may be freely hated, abused and oppressed according to current leftist thought.

    Since Leftist Ideology totally dominates the Anti-American Media, we can expect the news about this officer’s trial to be “spun” as negatively as possible.

    As we saw in the George Zimmerman case, intense negative reporting has an effect. George Zimmerman would have never been falsely charged with murder except for such reporting.

    Negative reporting in this case may make a jury hesitate to reach a verdict of “Not Guilty” due to concerns that the leftist mob, whipped up by biased media reports, may riot if such a verdict is rendered. So, this media pressure will make a fair trial difficult to achieve.

    In any event, the negative reporting, already done, guarantees that this man’s career in Law Enforcement is over. Even if he is acquitted, he had better be prepared to move away from the Dallas area, probably even to leave Texas, and start a new career in some other field.

    As has been noted before, there really are no winners in a lethal use of force incident.

  2. “Unfortunately, it later came out that the dispatcher had given the call to responding officers as an “open structure” report”

    I’m not buying that excuse anymore. I predicted that they would trot it out.

    “I’m d***** tired of “dispatch” “accidentally” upgrading the officer dispatch to something else so the officers have an “excuse” to be on unnecessarily heightened alert in which they can pretend it was “reasonable” to perceive a “threat.”

    “**** that. I’ve seen it multiple times, in multiple jurisdictions. It’s nothing but dispatch — maybe — presetting a defense argument for out-of-control psycho cops. If the dispatch was bad, charge the dispatcher as an accessory to murder, too.”

    If that many dispatchers are that incapable of making a correct dispatch, they need to be fired, along with everyone up the management chains that allowed it to continue.

    • With you on this. When the Killer’s Dept controls the information, and performs the investigation, chances are good (no, make that GREAT) the the result is going to favor that Departments members. I must admit I was pleasantly surprised that the charge against the killer was brought quickly-unlike in the Guyger case. Now we’ll see if the Dept tries to have it both ways by clearing the killer. It remains that THE VICTIM HAD NO IDEA THAT A COP WAS SNEAKING AROUND HER PLACE,READY TO KILL HER. The responsibility to assess the situation falls on the COP to ASSURE PUBLIC SAFETY, so EVERYONE who should be is safe at home at the end of his shift.
      Our host, as is not unusual, is cherry picking to produce a sympathetic view of the killer (that he killed the VICTIM is not in dispute; you know, sort of like how law abiding citizens who must fire a weapon in justifiable self defense are,with bias apparent, referred to as “the shooter”).

      • thinkingman,
        the officer didn’t go there to kill anyone! Unless you have ever been in that situation you have no idea what he was going through. Did he make mistakes? Yes, but so did she.

    • we know that 911 calls are recorded. We also know that sometimes radio traffic between base and officers in the field are recorded. “Has anyone retrieved the recordings of either of these communications? Seems it would be pretty siple to review the recording of the original “concerned neighbour” calling in their report, then review the radio transmission from police dispatch to the officer on patrol. If concerned citizen says “wellness check” and dispatcher says “open structure”, then SOMEONE nees to get their hand slapped.. HARD. If dispatcher says “wellness check” and officer responds as “open structure, well, then, it should be bye bye ossifer.
      Now, murder always implies a prior intent to end someone’s life without just cause. Even if the copper DID change the “mission” on his own, it would still be quite a stretch to consider he did it BECAUSE he wanted an excuse to kill someone.

      At most, manslaughter, even negiligent and felony level would seem appropriate.

      My tuppence……..

  3. Protected class or not, the officer is to be held accountable just as she would have been if she had killed him thinking he was a dangerous prowler. He will have his day in court, she won’t.

    • Richard – “He will have his day in court, she won’t.”

      Correct, he will (probably) have his day in court. Will it be a fair day?

      Will he have (as specified by the 6th Amendment) “a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury”.

      With the jury pool contaminated by extreme negative reporting, to the point that he is already found guilty by the press, will it be fair? With the jury pool intimidated that they might start a riot, if they vote to acquit, will it be fair?

      We can already see the politics play out with the charge being made “Murder” right off the bat. That is probably an “over-charge” since I have seen no evidence of malice (except the malice of the media reporters) yet presented. Even if Roger Willco is correct (below) and the officer panicked and fired prematurely at a possible threat, this would seem more in line with a charge of Manslaughter rather than Murder.

      Of course, over-charging and then plea-bargaining down to a lesser offense is a common practice. However, given the media pressure, does the Prosecutor DARE to offer the officer a plea-bargain deal on Manslaughter?

      If the Prosecutor does offer a good deal on Manslaughter, this officer might well be advised to take it. Given the media malice, however, I doubt that such a deal will be offered. Most likely, this case will go to trial on the murder charge with extreme pressure being placed on the jury to convict, facts be damned, for murder.

      Still, one never knows how a jury will jump. I think it likely that they will have the option for Manslaughter and (of course) acquittal if they think they are appropriate and if they have the courage, like Zimmerman’s Jury did, to ignore the pressure and pick the appropriate finding.

      Let me be clear, however, as to my own views. I have not prejudged this case. Based upon what I know (so far), I am doubtful that this is truly a case of Murder but I am open to new facts changing my view. Right now, based upon my limited knowledge, I think that (maybe) a conviction on Manslaughter is likely correct.

      On the other hand, if the facts persuade me that the officer was truly in fear of his life and that this fear was reasonable, I would be open to acquittal. Unlike the media, I am open to following the facts to a final conclusion. I don’t jump to a conclusion and then twist the facts to fit it, as is the common Media/Left-Wing practice.

  4. If I’m not mistaken, the neighborhood had something to do with this shooting as well. I think the police officer perceived this to be a high-crime area. So here he is, late at night, and the dispatcher made him even more nervous. If he had seen the woman, and yelled “Drop your weapon!” before pulling the trigger, there may have been no shooting.

    I think he panicked, and shot at what he perceived to be a threat. If it had been daylight, or a neighborhood of stately McMansions, he may have felt less threatened. Definitely a tragedy.

  5. What a tragedy that should not have happened.Every citizen gun owner should take professional training. Being a MAG 40 graduate I distinctly remember Mas saying not to answer the door with a gun visible in your hand, same goes for peering out your windows. I’m not defending the policeman or blaming the citizen. It is just a horrible situation.

  6. How can any conclusions be drawn before all the facts are known? People are entitled to their opinions- but some of the views expressed here are concerning.

    This blog is an “issues and considerations” piece for BOTH civilians and LEOs. As is evident in the comments here- politics and prejudice enter into the thinking of many, which is normal human behavior (veiled threats are not appropriate or acceptable, however): all the more reason to consider these matters from both sides. Education and training set the occasion for prevention- from which we all benefit.

  7. Sometimes bad things happen when people don’t think before they act and there’s little that can prevent a tragic ending.

    Back in the 1990’s when I was on the job, I was dispatched to a single female’s house where a call was made from to the police by a male who stated he had met this woman at a bar who took him home and he was concerned that she was mentally unstable and he wanted to leave. According to the dispatcher, the male said the woman was preventing him from leaving and he did not wish to get physical with her. When I arrived on scene, I rang the doorbell and heard a female voice ask “Who is it?” I replied in a loud voice, “This is the police!” The front door was opened by a small woman in her 40’s who I noticed was holding a dark pistol by her side. I quickly jumped to my left and drew my SIG 220 while yelling “Drop the gun!” twice and aiming at her. The woman had taken a step forward onto the porch and the gun was still pointed down. The hammer of my pistol was halfway back and I could see the white ringed Tritium front sight on her chest. Fortunately the female did not move and when I told her again to put down her pistol, she slowly laid it on the floor and stepped back. I had no cover in the porch but did get the drop on her and the only thing that saved her was not moving and keeping her pistol pointing down. The woman told me she thought I was a home invader posing as a police officer until she saw the uniform and froze in place. This situation could have ended badly had the female raised her gun. Of course I warned her about answering the door with a firearm, especially when someone outside identifies him/herself as the police. Her home was in a good middle class neighborhood. The pistol, a Bersa .380 ACP which she had purchased recently had a full magazine of FMJ ammo, but an empty chamber. She thought the gun was ready for action when the magazine was inserted and I gave her a quick lesson in how it functioned. I didn’t charge her with anything as what she did was obviously a mistake in poor judgement.

    This story just goes to show that there are folks who because of their way of thinking and actions bring tragedy upon themselves and others, and there is not a whole lot we could do to prevent that, except to expect the unexpected and train to respond accordingly.

  8. It is strange that she was armed with a gun for protection, but then left a door open.

    And yes, not a good idea to go about with a gun (or anything that looks like a gun) in plain sight, even in one’s own home–some do-gooder will call the police claiming there is a armed invader at the address.

    Some things call for immediate action, and others call for a retreat to call in backup to sort things out. Seems to be happening in reverse sometimes. Like the case of the psycho who shot up a school in Florida, while a deputy stayed outside and “took a position” during the whole thing while people were killed. Then there is a case like this when the cop outside (maybe–I wasn’t there) could have taken a step back and called in reinforcements and professional negotiators to figure out what was what via megaphone–especially if it was not clear that any innocents were in the house and in immediate danger.

    As far as racial stereotypes go, that could be a factor, but in a different way. The media will have nothing to do with pro-gun black people, and the stereotype is that law-abiding black people are all card-carrying liberals who do not own guns. Therefore, if one sees a black person with a gun, what is the obvious conclusion? Unless they are in uniform they must be a criminal. Of course, the truth is very different. As there are few atheists in fox holes, there seem to be few willing to give up guns when they themselves live in a dangerous area. And besides that, there are people from all walks of life who are into the “gun culture.” But all the media does these days is push narratives that contradict reality. Maybe that contributes to cases like this.

  9. (Different Richard than elsewhere in the thread.)

    Don’t know the protocol in Ft. Worth but it sounds like there could be a training issue. Gun in the home isn’t exactly unusual even in anti-gun jurisdictions. And on the street, the situation is even more fraught with a lawfully armed citizen ( or for that matter, an off-duty officer from another jurisdiction). PD doesn’t control training or mind-set of the armed citizen but they do control the training of their officers. Scenario-based training with a lot of scenarios being scary but ultimately benign would seem to be called for. Training is expensive but not as expensive as having one of your officers arrested for murder.

    Your advice for the armed citizen is good, as always, but has a limitation in that it only works when you KNOW that there is a home invasion in progress. The much more likely situation is something goes bump in the night and warrants investigation but probably not a call to 911. Calling 911 every time would probably get you put on their list of cranks. Yet it is prudent to be armed. Since I am not a criminal I am not expecting the police but know that things like this do happen. Concealment of your weapon is definitely a good thing but not always possible. Hard to conceal in whatever you sleep in. Locking your doors and not going outside are definitely good ideas.

  10. It seems to me that how the call was dispatched is irrelevant. If a police officer is responding to any type of call and looks through a window and sees someone pointing a gun at them, what are they supposed to think? That the person is just playing games or is just joking and is not a deadly threat to the officer? It is apparent that you folks that are throwing the cop to the wolves are jumping to conclusions and not logically considering the facts of the incident. If a person is pointing a gun at you, you had better assume that they intend to use it or you will likely not survive the incident. It is about time that these “victims” of police shootings are not automatically assumed faultless and not having contributed to the totality of circumstances.

    • @ nukakinau – “If a police officer is responding to any type of call and looks through a window and sees someone pointing a gun at them, what are they supposed to think?”

      If the facts of this case indicate that the situation, that you outline above, is correct, then self-defense would seem to apply.

      Unfortunately, the Media-climate generated by the American Left (and their subsidiary organizations such as Black lives Matter), has created a dangerous climate for police officers. Increasingly, the police are under attack.

      As an aside, this is a natural result of the Left’s efforts to “transform” America into a Socialist State. The plan is to first create chaos then use this chaos as an excuse to impose the “order” of Socialism. What better way to create chaos then to neuter the police?

      For example, voters in Nashville (during a recent election) approved the establishment of a Community Police Oversight Board. As a result, the Nashville PD is under a microscope. I understand that the new Board has issued a blizzard of requests for NPD documents. So many that, I understand, NPD is having a hard time putting it all together. No doubt, the NPD will have to create several new positions to just work with, and feed information to, the Oversight Board. These are resources that will be spent on bureaucratic paperwork rather than on true police work. This is why I voted against the resolution to create this new bureaucracy. However, our homegrown leftists carried this vote and “more government” (and more disabling of the NPD) is the result. See this link;


      My point is that this Left-Wing media/ideological climate is handcuffing true police work. Police officers will soon be afraid to pull a trigger even in self-defense.

      As I noted in a recent blog post, it is reaching the point where a police officer, confronting an armed African-American suspect, had better just let the suspect shoot first and hope that his vest works to stop the bullet, before returning fire. This is especially true if the officer happens to be born with a white skin.

      Otherwise, if the officer shoots and kills the suspect prior to being fired upon, it is going to be a media-circus and it is likely that the officer will be automatically fired and then charged with murder. The officer will be “thrown to the wolves” by his department. The media will do everything in their power to twist their so-called “news reporting” to enable his conviction. Even if he (somehow) manages to beat the “stacked-deck” arranged against him, the officer reputation will be trashed and his career in law-enforcement will be over.

      Law enforcement has never been a job with either great hours or great pay. It has now been made worse then ever. Why anyone would choose a career in law-enforcement, in today’s climate, is hard to understand. Those brave souls who do choose this career, in these times, deserve all the praise and support that we can give them. Just showing up for work, each day, is an act of courage!

      • TN_MAN,
        I agree with you and you make some very good points. I was a police officer in my younger days when the media and Left Wing zealots were not so active and vile. At that time there was still respect for law enforcement. Times and attitudes have changed. You couldn’t pay me enough to be a law enforcement officer now. My hat’s off to those with the courage and dedication to serve.

  11. Why anyone today would seek a career in law enforcement is beyond me.

    Often police chiefs and sheriffs will immediately kick their officers to the curb whenever they’re involved in a shooting or an incident that’s rumored to be politically incorrect. Many US police and sheriff departments are lacking funds, understaffed, and overworked, making an already stressful job worse. Add the news media’s (and certain social justice organizations’) hysterical and slanted reporting on police use of force encounters, then the public is left with the erroneous impression that all police officers are barely restrained, slavering killers. In turn, the public loses faith in their police. And nationwide, police recruiting is down because many people don’t want to run the risk of being charged with a crime as a result of protecting the public. Criminals probably love this scenario.

    Most of us enjoy reasonably safe lives because of our police. Without them I think we’d end up with a society similar to Mexico’s, Somalia’s, or Venezuela’s. Who wants that?

    • Spencer – “Most of us enjoy reasonably safe lives because of our police. Without them I think we’d end up with a society similar to Mexico’s, Somalia’s, or Venezuela’s. Who wants that?”

      The American Left wants that. In their minds, America is a flawed nation. A nation founded upon slavery, sexism, racism and exploitation of the non-white population. They do not look at America and see greatness. They do not look at our republican form of government and see the best system ever created for mankind. They do not look at our Constitution and see a brilliant and wise document. All they see is a rotten system built upon out-of-date ideas by a bunch of old, dead, racist white-men.

      They are totally sold on the left-wing idea of socialism. In their minds, that is the future. That is the true system of greatness. All the previous failures with socialism are discarded. The people behind those movements just did not “do it right”. This time, it will be different. This time, they will truly build a social-justice paradise. This time, they will make the left-wing utopia glow in brilliance for all of mankind to see and admire for a thousand years!

      As an old building must be demolished to make way for the new, they want to demolish the old America to make way for their new utopia. They know that this demolition will create a period of chaos. In their minds, that is the necessary price to open space to build the new. They welcome and work toward creating the chaos. Ripping down the police is just part of it. Ripping down the history and monuments of the old America is another. Ripping down what they see as right-wing nationalism is yet another. Therefore, they eagerly work for the demolition of the old America.

      You need to understand that left-wing ideology is like the Dandelion plant. Some people like the dandelions. They think that their flowers are pretty. They enjoy the taste of dandelion greens.

      However, if you let dandelions establish a foothold in your lawn, they will soon overrun and push out the grass and take over the lawn. The lawn-keeper has to work tirelessly to root out and kill off the dandelions. They are so pernicious that you can’t let your guard down for even a short time.

      Furthermore, even if, by great effort, you eliminate dandelions from your lawn, the seeds are likely to “float in” from one of your neighbor’s lawns and restart the plague. There is no defeating the dandelions for good and all. They are always waiting to re-infect your lawn. The only thing that you can do is to constantly battle and root them out in an effort to prevent them from totally destroying your lawn.

      Yes, left-wing ideology is like the dandelions. America is our lawn. It is being overrun even as we speak.

      We, the American people, have a lot of work to do if we are to save the lawn from being ruined. There are dandelions EVERYWHERE and their seeds are floating, like a thick cloud, through our school system. We need to dig out the roots like crazy. We really need to pour on the dandelion killer.

      Time is growing short to save the lawn! Many fear that it is already to late. That we have already waited too long to start digging. Given the resistance that Head Lawn-keeper Trump has encountered in trying to dig out the dandelions, these fears are not without foundation. All the people, who love the beautiful and original American Lawn, need to be helping with the labor of rooting out this plague. The Head Lawn-Keeper cannot do it all by himself!

      • Some people on the Left seem to want to destroy America’s peace and security for reasons I find hard to understand, but I believe most don’t. In fact, most Lefties want to improve our nation, especially in regard to equal opportunity, making a decent living, treating other nations fairly, and having a sustainable future, one that’s not completely trashed by certain greed-crazed neocons whom I don’t understand either.

      • TN_MAN,

        You painted an excellent picture of how the Left views the USA. I wonder how they reconcile in their minds that so many non-white people want to live here. They must believe the immigrants are attracted by all the wealth to be found here. It’s like, “Let’s all go to the land of our oppressors, so they can make us rich, or at least better off than we were at home.”
        Well, those are some mighty fine oppressors!

        The Left has run the education system, into the ground. The Left ran Detroit, into the ground. They are currently running San Francisco and all of California, into the ground. They ruin everything they touch.

        It takes an overdose of narcissism for them to believe they can create a just society. The Left is skilled at destruction, not construction.

  12. Anecdotally, I seem to remember criminals storming a house yelling “police”. I may be wrong, but it strikes a chord.

    I have read waaaay too many reports of mediocre, bad, and actually evil cops to place any faith in them anymore.

    And I certainly dont trust politicians, which includes every high ranking cop.

    • As a former LEO with two departments over a thousand miles apart, I can state with some degree of accuracy that 9 of 10 police officers are good, but watch out for the other 10% of them. Most of the lieutenants and above are not necessarily evil but they only look out for themselves and will do anything to keep their superiors happy and retain their positions. Once someone reaches the rank of police captain, they are groomed to become a chief by being sent to seminars where they get certificates to add to their resumes and get department funded post graduate college education to become MBAs. There are even racist groups like NOBLE, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement dedicated only to the advancement of black members. White, Asian, and non-black cops don’t bother to apply. In the police community, I have met some of the best and worst people ever. I’m sure this situation exists in most other fields of employment.

      • Mark and Tom606,

        I’m trying to think of a field of work which has not been stained by the actions of corrupt people. I can’t think of any male-dominated fields which have escaped notoriety. Two female-dominated fields come to mind; nurses and librarians.

  13. Every occupation has it’s share of less than outstanding individuals. Now with that out of the way, just because you’ve read it/someone printed it, doesn’t make it accurate or true. Decades ago, I read an account of an incident. If they hadn’t printed the address where it happened, I wouldn’t have realized it was an incident I was involved in. I quit trusting the media long ago. They have their own agendas.

    I’ve always been astounded by people’s lack of care at closing drapes, blinds or otherwise shielding their activities from those outside the dwelling. Particularly at night.

    Yes, dispatch miscommunication is not unknown. Sometimes it’s horridly bad. Unfortunately, in many places/cases the position is under valued, under paid and the training is inadequate.

  14. Also, I have never heard of a wellness check on a residence with the door open. Around here we do wellness checks on people that haven’t been seen or ableto be contacted. An open door is totally different.

  15. Why is the modern day law enforcement officer’s first response to slap Kydex and empty the magazine? And then, before his brass is finished jingling on the floor to start babbling, “I was in fear of my life, I was in fear of my life…” as instructed by his cop union lawyer?
    The ass*hole who murdered the lady in St. Paul Mn. who walked up to the patrol car in her pajamas to ask about a report she called in and paid for it with her life when the Somali cop reached across his partner and shot her dead should pay for the rest of his life. As should the cop who gunned down the man he pulled over for speeding that was driving a stolen car, and shouted, “TAZER, TAZER!” for the benefit of his dash cam before he gunned down the unarmed fleeing “suspect.” As should the female cop in Houston who murdered the totally innocent man in his own apartment whose only crime was to forget to lock his front door?
    Massad Ayoob saw fit to blame him for this oversight. As he did for the three dirt bag cops in New York City who murdered the Somali man (a total of 41 rounds fired at an innocent man) who cowered in a doorway trying to show them his identity card in his deadly assault wallet.
    Ayoob was authoring a column for a gun magazine I was subscribing to at the time and I remember wondering, “How will he excuse this atrocity?”
    The next month I got my answer.

    You wonder why people don’t trust cops?

    Ayoob has also opined that if the order ever came down to local cops that they were to confiscate personally owned firearms he believed most cops would refuse to obey the order.

    I seriously doubt that. I think the majority would enthusiastically enjoy enforcing a Constitutionally illegal order and take a perverse delight in abusing citizens who resisted just for the thrill of punishing those who displayed an, “Attitude.”

    • M, I get a sense that you pay a bit too much attention to one side of the stories you hear. You say you “think the majority would enthusiastically enjoy enforcing a Constitutionally illegal order and take a perverse delight in abusing citizens who resisted just for the thrill of punishing those who displayed an, ‘Attitude.’”
      Tell us how many cops you actually know, and why you would think something like that?

  16. Suppose a cop comes across a guy with a gun standing over a bullet riddled corpse. I can think of three explanations. One is that the guy with the gun just committed murder. Another is that the one on the ground is a violent criminal against whom the guy with the gun just defended himself. A third is that a passerby happened upon the corpse and picked up the gun for no particular reason. The challenge for the cop is to come up with a procedure that handles all of these possibilities (plus ones I haven’t thought of) without leaving himself vulnerable. That’s a tall order.

    • Kendahl,

      I like your scenario, and I agree it is difficult for a cop to make a snap decision in the circumstance you describe. I am not a cop, but I want to offer an approach, just because I like to play the “what if?” game.

      Ideally, I would be in my patrol car, and use the PA system to communicate with the armed man. If I was on foot, I would draw my service weapon and point it at the suspect, WITHOUT TOUCHING THE TRIGGER, then shout, “Put down your weapon!” If I saw compliance, I would aim at the ground, then begin to question the man.
      If the suspect pointed the gun in his hand at me, I would shoot him until he was no longer a threat. Another alternative would be to call and wait for backup.

      If I can’t handle such a situation, then I should be a cop in Mayberry, not Camden, NJ.

      • Roger, you wouldn’t want to be in your patrol car. It doesn’t provide cover but does restrict your ability to evade fire.

        Suppose your suspect is the victim of a violent crime who just defended himself. What do you do if, hearing you shout at him, he turns around to see who it is? If you shoot, you’re not defending your life. You are finishing what the criminal started.

        There’s no easy answer. The best I can suggest is to employ shrewd tactics, such as use of cover, to give yourself time to determine whether you are actually in jeopardy.

    • I would first order the man with firearm over the body to “freeze” then put down the gun and lay on the ground where he/she will be handcuffed and searched. The officer should always be aware that this may be an ambush and other suspects may be nearby. The suspect will be questioned and then evidence collected to determine if the story is accurate and what happened in the incident. The officer should always be concerned with his/her safety while being aware that the suspect is considered innocent until proven guilty, unless he/she confesses to the crime. Forensic evidence like fingerprints on the weapon and gunshot residue or lack of it on the suspect’s hands and clothing will show if the suspect in innocent. Any passerby who sees a dead person on the ground and picks up a gun laying next to it is an idiot, most likely a Democrat.

  17. Tom606,

    Thanks for a great answer! A passerby picking up a gun next to a corpse would be destroying the crime scene, right? A big “no-no.” I reckon the average person, if they saw a corpse, would 1) leave the area, 2) phone 911, or 3) start making a video of the scene.

    Everyone’s a jounalist now, except my flip-phone only takes still photos, but at least they are in color.

  18. When dealing with “preprogrammed” dispatch, demand that they “read back” what you are reporting to make sure they get it right and positively identify the good guy. Increase law enforcement training. If a cop is outside, with available cover, stealth, and concealment, he has the option to take the time to make sure of his decision. Hold the GD chain of command directly responsible since it is “they” who have actively, knowingly, and wilfully denied the street cops adequate training to do their job.

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