Editor's Note: 3 Must-Know Gun Battle Tips

Sensitive video provides several training points


Dale Stockton | Monday, January 3, 2011

Editor's Note:  The following is not to be construed with "Monday Morning Quarterbacking". As seen already this year, we should be prepared to be ambushed at any time. To borrow a 'tweet' about the Ohio tragedy, "This is a reality check folks. Anywhere. Anytime. Be prepared."

The killing of Clark County (Ohio) Sheriff's Deputy Suzanne Hopper and the injuring of another police officer during a gunbattle at a trailer park on New Year's Day is still raw and incredibly sensitive for all involved.

Some feel that the video should not be run at all, but the reality is that it's out there for the world to see. Accordingly, let’s consider what can be learned from what we can see in the video. (If you haven't seen the video, click on the video link to your right.) 

1. The importance of adequate cover: The officers are trying to get to where they can rescue a downed officer and their position is a compromise at best.  As such, at least one of them does not have adequate cover for protection and is subsequently hit. When possible, always seek cover behind something capable of stopping bullets.

2. Awareness of surroundings: Both officers are next to a propane tank at the front of a trailer. Although there may not be an option, the propane tank is certainly an element to consider.

3. Awareness of where the bad guy is: The natural reaction is to return fire at the open window. Consider the construction of the trailer. It’s aluminum and unlikely to stop even handgun rounds. It’s possible to take the suspect out by anticipating where he’s likely to be positioned behind the metal--again the difference between cover and concealment. Use this knowledge to your advantage both in protecting yourself and targeting the bad guy.



Related:




Deputy Mourned After Trailer Park Shootout


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Dale StocktonThe editor of Law Officer Magazine, Dale Stockton is a 32-year-veteran of law enforcement.

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