1. Where the police officers should be criticized, is their extremely poor tactics, or lack of tactics, in approaching the suspect. They created the shooting situation by charging up from behind and yelling at the suspect, before they were close enough to physically control him.

  2. I didn’t find this case very troublesome. If they hadn’t fired and the “bad Guy’s had killed others people would be crying as to why they hadn’t shoot the suspect sooner. What does confuse me though is the case of the six police officers firing 42 rounds into the knife wielding homeless man. I’m not questioning the decision to shoot but the six officers basically unloading their weapons on the man seems to me a bit nuts. Was it fear, tunnel vision, it pure hate?

  3. I agree with your assessment. Though if it’s true that NYPD officers have to use 12-pound triggers on all their service pistols, I’m pretty sure that will exacerbate any accuracy problems that come from being in a life-or-death situation.

    Are there any other police departments or military forces in our nation or the world that have such a requirement for their firearms?

  4. In your last post I read a lot of comments by people who have no idea whatsoever of the effects the chemical dump ones body undergoes in such situations. After viewing the video several times there are things I see that could have been done better but hindsight is 20/20. The video is sixteen seconds long and the perp turns to shoot at seven seconds. In a dynamic fluid situation of only nine seconds there’s not much time for strategic planing. Indeed,when TSHTF the plan, if you had one, is no longer valid. I score this coppers 1 bad guy 0. I know some are still going to pee and moan but YOU WEREN’T THERE!

  5. Once again Mas you are dead on giving a well thought out analysis of the events which occurred.

  6. Agreed with Mas’s overall assessment- though I do wonder about the tactics/procedure as KBCraig mentioned.

    Wouldn’t SOME effort at a (relatively) stealth, close-range ambush/take-down been better to at least attempt?

    Seems like the two of them loudly trotting up to him would make it all the more likely that the perp would A) draw his weapon to fight back and B) because of the “loud trotting,” had ample advance warning and opportunity to do so.

    I’m neither a cop, nor a professional tactician…but I am interested in knowing more about why they used the approach they did.

  7. Z, you asked about who else is using guns with 12 pound triggers. Most of the service revolvers of the 20th Century, some still in use today, had 10-12 pound triggers for every shot. Most traditional double action auto pistols in use by military and police — Beretta 92 and SIG-Sauer, for example — are in that range for the first shot. NYPD mandates NY-2 trigger system, a/k/a “New York Plus,” which runs in the 11-12 pound range for every shot on the Glock 19, the most popular of the three double action only pistols they authorize, the others being the S&W Model 5946 and the SIG P226 DAO last I knew. The NY-2 to my knowledge is only used by NYPD and NY State Parole Officers. I’m not sure that trigger pull weight was a very significant factor in this incident, with all the other elements the involved officers were facing.

  8. I wonder if another factor in this overall equation is that in New York the constant threat of weapons of mass distruction has lead to 100% forceful reactions. There is no way of knowing if the shooter is also a suicide bomber or has a dirty bomb in his briefcase.

    So possibly the “friendly fire” is just a natural consequence of 21st century crime fighting.

    Nine innocents or thousands of innocents. Possibly we now err on the side of extreme retaliation?


  9. I have no problem with the cops shooting as soon as this guy pointed a weapon at them, although if it turns out that some (a lot?) of the rounds completely missed the target, then maybe a little more discretion AFA pulling the trigger may have been in order?

    What I DO have a problem with is the theoretical argument put forth by many (I believe King Michael is one also?) that had someone in the recent Aurora shooting (and others) been armed and taken a shot at the killer, the “Wild West” would have erupted (and things could have been worse)!

    I find it strange that historically it seems most civilian shootings end quickly, with few shots fired, and little / no bystanders injured. Based on their history, it sounds like the same cannot be said for the NYPD?

    My biggest problem with this is the hypocrisy of those that constantly whine ‘bout the danger of civilians carrying guns, but say little / nothing when it comes to collateral damage from LEO fire.

  10. Mas, thanks for your comments. I want to avoid a gunfight, but because of your teachings and others, I am mentally prepared for one, if it’s unavoidable.

    I agree with Marc. Why are police officers, soldiers and physicians not allowed to make mistakes? I am sure every American makes mistakes on their jobs every day, but they expect PERFECTION from police, military and doctors. This is unrealistic. While I’m on this subject, I want to mention that since America started worrying about “collateral damage” we have been unable to win wars. I believe the house clearing that was practiced in Iraq was the American equivalent of the suicidal Banzai Charge. Houses should be cleared with tanks, not my beloved young American soldiers. Non-combatants should not be targeted, but I would rather see them die than to see GIs lives wasted. Maybe our military should just stay home and prepare to fight defensive wars here, and stop being the world’s policeman. Sorry to ramble, but perfection does not exist in this world, and maybe if Americans knew God they would not be so afraid of death, which is inevitable anyway! I guess our lives are so good here, we are shocked when we see the brutal side of life. We have high expectations because we are spoiled.

    Lastly, those by-standers should have hit the ground, not run away.

  11. @Marc-WI – Hind sight is a good learning tool. The bystanders add to the unpredictability of this situation. You certainly could not put concrete planters in a course of live fire. I do wonder about the officer’s perception of the surroundings before and during the incident.

  12. Analyzing the video and shooting very carefully if the NYPD Officers had not reacted when they did they both would have been dead, they had no choice here but to fire their weapons at that particular time in that crowd. The suspect is seen drawing his 1911 out of his case and immediately begin firing at the one officer who was off camera, the reactionary time in my opinion was excellent and without a second to spare. Unfortunately the bad guy choose a very heavily pedestrian area to begin firing at the two officers at a very close range of a couple of feet leaving them no time to duck for cover only to react by pulling their Glock Model 19 and taking him out.
    I speaking as a 25-year police firearms instructor who trained officers how to react in situations like this, retired police supervisor who had my share of street encounters by experiencing them first hand would say this was a good shoot. There was no other way out of it except to go home in a casket. Sadly innocent bystanders were hit but that is because the suspects choose this very crowed location as I mentioned above to attempt to take out two NYPD officers.

  13. Lots of armchair quarterbacking. Your analysis is spot on, Mas, as usual. There is no way for most of us to ever know the sheer terror of being in the situation those cops were. Like Marc-wi says, cops 1, bad guy o.

  14. As always Mas, through your professionalism and experience, you supply the rational perspective. Thank you.

    However, since these are Bloomberg’s boys they suffer under the same zero tolerance the mayor has been throwing around for years.

  15. I also agree with your assessment, Mas. Every dash-cam video, surveillance video, or other source video that I’ve ever seen of a shootout shows that when the shooting starts, almost all of the carefully planned steps from the practice range go out the window in a heartbeat! Instinct often seems to take over as the people involved try to dodge bullets & to return fire (wildly) at the same time. Although it would be better if the good guys reverted to their training immediately, rather than seconds or minutes later, who can blame them? It’s a split second life-or-death decision!

    The rush of adrenaline, the sudden fear of being killed, & the speed required for a reaction are clearly not conducive to either accuracy or to careful deliberation. If these officers had more time to assess the situation & to plan a takedown, it might have gone better, but that may not have been possible under the circumstances, not knowing what the murderer would do next or how soon he would do it. In light of several recent public mass murders, it would not have been unreasonable for anyone at the scene to assume that he was another copycat mass murderer who intended to shoot people randomly, which would have required immediate incapacitation. Although that may not have been true in this case, no one other than the perpetrator could have known that.

    You summed it up best when you stated that the officers “…made the best they could of the lousy hand circumstances dealt them.” I’m sure Jim Cirillo would have had some relevant insight into this case & I wish he were here tell us about it. Even so, it would be good to remember that the old NYPD Stakeout Unit usually had time to plan their ambushes in advance, including the probable lines of fire, yet things did not always go as expected. They seldom do in a sudden emergency. That’s why training first responders how to adapt to the situation & how to improvise is so important.

    It’s ironic that Mayor Bloomberg is on record defending the responding officers’ actions as being entirely appropriate, because he certainly would not have done so if the first responders had been civilians. It would be amusing to remind him of his own words the next time he goes on another anti-guns-for-self-defense diatribe.

  16. I agree with the points in your op-ed. There’s a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking going on. The point is that the police were there to get the suspect. I honestly don’t that that they really were 100% certain he was the suspect, until he drew his pistol. Maybe they were, IDK.

    The point is this, life isn’t perfect. You can train all day long, you can even participate in actual situations on a regular basis (infantry in active combat areas do it all the time). There is no guarantee that bystanders won’t become involved. This is especially true for people who don’t deal with these kinds of situations as a matter of course in thier duties, no matter how much training they have. Anyone who thinks that real life should go down like some Hollywood action film is simply not cogniscent of what the real world is like.

    Does that mean that we (as a society) should simply accept innocent bystanders being hurt during incidents? Of course not. But it also doesn’t mean that if any bystanders are hurt that the police are automatically at fault. The details do have to be sorted out and those involved bystanders should receive some recognition. It doesn’t mean the police acted inappropriately, it just means that they (the bystanders) drew short straws that day.

  17. I’m tired of the armchair quarterbacks saying the police should have handled this differently. If the scumbag had gotten away and further murders/injuries had occurred, the public would have been outraged because the officers had not taken him down immediately and thus allowed more people to be hurt or killed.

    Despite all the technological advances and conveniences that society enjoys we’ve been lulled into complacency but it still comes down to the fact that life is dangerous because of the sociopaths that walk among us. They’ve always been here, they always will be. Work on identifying these deviates early, to start with, not disarming the public and preventing them from defending themselves.

  18. @Andy- I would add C.) Surrenders at Police presence.

    While A) does happen, I’d be tempted to say C.) is far more common, we just never hear about C.) incidents only A.) incidents. Think lawful self-defense. Have any of us ever read “Law-biding citizen ends violent encounter by merely drawing his/her firearm”?

    Also look at the heavily armed Aurora shooter, doesn’t fire a single shot at Police after he just killed a bunch of civilians. Most bad guys don’t want a fight, they just want an easy target.

    Don’t recall who said this but “Gunfights are like family get-togethers, neither ever go as planned”.

  19. My look says the guy turns with his gun out at ~8 seconds, the shooting starts at maybe 11 and he is down, or going down, by 12+, is down at 13+. Getting off 8 shots in ~2.5 seconds doesn’t indicate any real speed problems with the trigger pull. But if the 2d-8th were at 3-4 pounds I’d expect the accuracy to be better, and a need for fewer follow up shots.

    The first pull may be elongated to prevent “accidents” but once that first shot has been fired one would hope the rest are aimed and taken deliberately. Why not make those easy?

    It also looked as if the cop who was moving had his view of the perp blocked by the other officer who moved to cover- masking his partner, forcing his partner to step away from cover and retreat. (Both cops move to their right at 9, cop 2 begins a move to his left at 10 seconds and is clear at 11.)

    The perp may have fallen through the “bullet window” before the cops reflexive trigger pulling could be brought to a stop, creating a number of the injured bystanders.

  20. Since today our (certainly mine) attention spans are equivalent to a Jack Russel terrier, the NYPD shooting is old news now. Saw this video this morning and it, IMHO, is just about as good as it gets. Watch this security guard about to get pounced on by thugs. EXEMPLARY use of two hands, fighting stance, movement, cover, sustained appropriate firing etc…this guy done did it right !

  21. I have ZERO problem with the police shooting the bad guy.
    I have a small problem with their “approach” movements, but circumstances often dictate, and you deal with it.
    I have a big problem with citizens getting hit 9 times, and the overwhelming response has been of a “stuff happens” mentality.
    I have a HUGE problem with the idea that Mayor Bloomberg promotes only the “trained” law enforcement officer has the right to self-defense, and this is the level of proficiency on display.

    If a citizen in a truly defensive shoot hits 9 people(non-badguys), will they be on “paid administrative leave”? My guess would be that the press and political response would be much different with all else being equal other than the profession of the defensive shooter. This is another prime example of the “us vs. them” that is so prevalent in the shooting and LEO community. A badge should not make you less responsible for every bullet that leaves your weapon, the city and the officers need to be held liable for these stray(if truly misses) just as a citizen in every other state would be.

  22. You have to look at the world in which we live. New York seems to be a favorite target of nut jobs looking to do harm to innocents. Recently before this incident we had shooting in Colorado and Wisconsin.

    Every officer knows that when he leaves his house each day he may not come home. The number of violent crimes may be down but the intensity of the crimes we do have is up greatly. These guys are responding to a call about a man who just murdered another man. No one could know the mental state of the man. Would he open fire into the crowd? Would he kill himself? Any number of things could happen while the good guys sit back and plan how they can sneak up on this fellow wearing their adorable fuzzy bunny slippers. Maybe if they just told him a few jokes he could have got to laughing and then realized that life isn’t so bad and just give up.

    Allow me to break it down to simple terms. The wolf was among the flock of sheep. The sheep dogs put the wolf down before he could harm any other sheep. The flock survived without losing any more of the sheep. As tragic as it was the day ended on a good note.

    In the end many of the sheep will sue the sheep dogs, not because their lives were saved but because it is the easiest way to get rich in America.
    I have no idea what country I live in anymore.

    Thank you sheepdogs for your willingness to step between the sheep and the wolves.

  23. I have a question. Why are cops held to lower standards than civilians? If a mere mortal were to have initiated a magazine dump in a crowd, killing the bad guy and injuring 9 innocents, I somehow suspect that the reponse would be less, “Oh, well, crap happens,” and more, “This dude is a poor representation of gun owners.”

    At least hold police to the same standards you hold civilian gun owners to. I’ve got nothing against cops in general – I highly respect most of them and am personal friends with a deputy. These two guys? Not so much. I understand that it’s hectic, insane, and terrifying, but good grief, dumping a magazine in a crowded area is just a bad idea. Nobody else was killed, but what if someone had been? Would your response still be, “You wouldn’t have done any better?”

  24. Nine innocent civillians injured by police gunfire is not good. -doh!-

    But, as Mas says, it could have been worse.

    Here’s hoping the investigation into the shooting fully illuminates what happened and what, if anything, could have been done differently.

  25. Two clown cops …. guns in holsters …. yell at a killer, who turns around with a gun, and one cop hides behind a planter, and the other does a Michael Jackson ‘moonwalk’. Then they open up in a crowd. Now we listen to the LEO-lovers cover up for these two inept clowns.

    They should have had their guns out, ‘closed-the-distance’, and shot the killer.

  26. Same problem as the 1986 Miami FBI shooting. Poor choice of locale for confrontation, and not ready for action.

  27. I don’t fault the cops, per sé, for defending themselves. Cops 1, bad guy 0.

    But why the he’ll are they carrying guns that are so inaccurate or why are the dumping so many rounds with such poor marksmanship?

    It is either poor/ lack of training in the or an accuracy issue with their guns.

    Possible both, but, the G19 and the NY-2 trigger is utterly craptastic. I’ve fired oe like that and it’s not something I would want a copy around during me to be shooting with.

  28. Gunsmith, you need to re-think your comments. You say the cops are inept clowns because they didn’t just walk up and execute a suspect? REALLY??

  29. Mas,

    Why does it take so long to investigate an officer involved shooting? Am I mistaken in my belief that officer involved shootings take a lot longer to investigate than non-officer involved shootings?

    While I don’t think this looks like a bad shoot, there is a common belief that police agencies drag out investigations into questionable officer involved shootings to allow media attention to die down. With the obvious caveat that all cases are different, what’s a reasonable amount of time to investigate something like this?

  30. Mas, Gunsmith is correct up to the point where he says “and shot the killer”

    He said “They should have had their guns out, ‘closed-the-distance’, and shot the killer.”

    So why didn’t the cops approach the killer, with their firearm out at the low-ready position, and order him to stop and drop his bag? They could have had bullets into the bad guy(and only the bad guy) the second he went for his firearm. That seems like the correct tactic in this situation. The cops got beat to the draw and were caught un-prepared and out in the open…shoulda never happened.

  31. @ Gunsmith if that NYPD officer did not move as he was shooting he would been dead today from a hit from a .45 at that range. I taught my officers to move as you are shooting to avoid beeing hit and I guess that officer listened to his training officer and his training kicked in and he prevailed. The suspect also opened fire on the officers and they were not hit and he died so that tells me these officers did something right.
    To everyone asking about the guns the NY trigger pull is very stiff making the NYPD issued guns very hard to fire accuratly and most police agencies DO NOT use these guns they use the standard easy to fire factory Glock trigger.

  32. Mas — you are The Man when it comes to logical analysis of a violent exchange of firearms. Hindsight is 20/20 – we all know it but the guys behind the badges were under extreme stress and a compressed window of time. They reacted according to training — and the world is an imperfect place.

  33. Some people have been critical of the cops running into the area. But in this case were they just responding to a call that went out about a shooter on the loose? Were they supposed to hang back and wait for SWAT, while more people could have died? Did they even have a great description of the shooter, how many shooters, etc? And some of those calls turn out to be false alarms too.

    The focus, post-Columbine, has been to get there quick with what you have. That’s proven to be the right way to do it.

    That they took out a guy who had the advantage of surprise was pretty good. Don’t see how it was comparable to Miami, that was a case of accepted tactics wrong in hind-sight (gun under the thigh in the car), bringing hand guns to a rifle fight (knowing that a perp had a rifle), and a lot of bad luck.

    As too civilian damages, sounds like John Kerry purple hearts to me (band aids over a sliver).

    Never been to NYC, don’t care to go. Do wonder how many, if any, policemen shoot on their own (for recreation, non-police competitions, etc). How easy is it to find a range anywhere close to NYC? Seems like cops that shoot on their own are the ones who shoot really well.

  34. It’s a sad fact of the times, that an apparent (in my view) majority of people on both the left and the right of political center are always very quick to make an emotional and prejudiced (based on preconceived views) judgement without knowing all the facts yet being 200% sure that they are correct in their view.

    I believe we should all assume these officers did their best in an extremely difficult situation and judgement should await the detailed analysis. How many of those who are so critical of the police, would be able to handle it “better”. I see this scenario as an almost “no win” one.

  35. “Gunsmith Says:
    They should have had their guns out, ‘closed-the-distance’, and shot the killer.”

    Dear gunsmith,

    Are you serious? “close the distance” with a guy pointing a pistol at you? What distance would you consider close enough? Three feet away and hope the guy is a gentleman duelist and holds fire until you say ready? Your comment is absurd.

  36. The simple fact is that NYNY does not trust the NYPD to have a manageable trigger on their Glocks. The difference in 8lbs. and 12lbs. does not lead to excellence in accuracy under stress. Yeah, a heavy DA trigger is common on a Model 10 S&W, but it’s still smooth unlike on a Glock 12 pounder which allows the gun to wave all over the place during the firing impulse, especially under life and death stress I know Mas can be an expert with any handgun made, but we mortals can’t, (including NYPD rank and file.) I love my five Glocks. but under restrictions that NYNY puts on officers Glocks, I’d rather have a Sig. Only unbiased research can determine if stupidly heavy triggers have led to so many wild rounds being fired.

  37. The NY victim disarmament laws have stopped a determined bad guy from obtaining an illegal pistol, and killing his boss. UHH, nope.

    Here’s a suggestion, how about appropriating some of those tax dollars to more CQC training and less state of the art, tricked-out, stealth cop cars?

  38. It seems to me that not wanting to provoke a shootout in a crowded street was not on there mind. Why didnt they just run him down and tackel him from behind instead of yelling at him? Just a thought..

  39. It’s been some time since the shooting and I still read people saying that bystanders were shot by the cops. ONLY THE PERP WAS SHOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All bystanders were hit by bullet FRAGMENTS!!!!!!!!
    This came out about two days after it happened.

  40. That was clearly a DON’T SHOOT situation. The officers had no way of knowing if this person had commited a crime, they were responding to a complaint from two construction workers. The perp had not been followed nor seen by LEO. Crowded street and the perp had drawn and pointed a weapon but had not fired (and infact it seems he had a jammed weapon). Extreamly piss poor performance by both cops, although #1 did much better. Nither cop seemed to be aware of thier surroundings at all and at the end of the video clip it looks like #1 shot a bystander in the back! No justification for this reaction. I have thirty years as an LEO and a combat tour in Iraq as an MP. From the very begining situational awarness was pounded into me. These two have no situational awarness and seem to use a spray and pray method of attack.


  41. I was raised by and around policemen and still have them in my family. They are overtaxed and underpayed. But the NYPD are over zealous. They just yesterday killed unarmed and innocent Reynaldo Cuevas for running from the bad guys. Bloomberg has convienced them they are all super heros . In a city were he thinks his police department are the only individuals qualified to carry a gun he needs to get control of his guys.

  42. As an armed security officer, I carry an issued 4 inch S&W Model 686-6 .357 Magnum revolver in an assignment full of Glock 22 toters (no NY triggers!). There is no comparison between the trigger of my duty revolver and the standard trigger of the issued Glocks, let alone the various versions of the NY trigger. It’s for sure and for certain that the officers wouldn’t have fired as many rounds if they were still armed with revolvers.


  43. “It’s for sure and for certain that the officers wouldn’t have fired as many rounds if they were still armed with revolvers.”

    ummm, yes… sans reloading

  44. ” the heart-pounding danger of a known murderer pointing a .45 automatic at you ”
    i would bet they “just saw a gun”. probably an experienced individual as yourself could make that quick distinction, but most just see a gun, period. quite frankly, it wouldnt matter what caliber he had, same response though.

    “they draw their 9mm pistols and light him up”
    you seem to inferring his is bigger than ours, justification for proceeding amongst a crowd of people. everything i have learned about discharging firearms, they violated coopers 4th law of gun safety. “Know what it (target) is, what is in line with it, and what is behind it”. yes, they are in a life threatening situation, but it seems they are more willing to put everyone elses life in jeopardy to save their own skin. not exactly heroic in my estimation, nor defensible.

    as someone else mentioned above, nypd just killed an unarmed hostage recently, and also another responder crashed into a stopped vehicle causing injury to the passenger and himself responding to the same incident. more cowboy attitude.

    being a cop isnt an easy task to be sure. however, the old ‘to serve and protect’ cops are only in the history books. i blame the above reactions on the recent (since 9/11) shift of the militarization of the police nationwide. the old maxim learned from a vietnam vet/marine i heard was ‘destroy, then search’ not the reverse. in full play now.

    as to major bloomberg, too bad he wasnt there to be collateral damage. he deserves nothing less. a frightfully intellectually dishonest man. nuff said.

    thank you for your insightful critique on this incident. your voice is one of truth in the wilderness of lies and misdirection that i would listen to.

  45. Replace the cops with an armed non-LEO citizen in the same circumstances. Having an armed murderer turn and point the weapon at them? If they had hosed down several innocents in their attempt at self defense, does anyone doubt there would be serious legal ramifications, even criminal charges?

    Why do the police get a lower standard when they are forced to defend themselves?