Here's a scenario for you. Bear in mind I'm looking at this from an "off duty" standpoint for the LEO's. This actually happened and the Training Officer for my Agency and I had a "discussion" about this.
Inside the food court 3 young males arguing. 2 males start "grappeling with the third. One pulls a gun, 2 shots fired then 2 "beat feet" out of the mall while one lays on the floor groaning and wimpering. The 2 that run out of the mall ditch the gun under a car and proceed to another car and "fly" out of the parking lot and disappear in to traffic.
OK, you're in the food court eating, family is with you. What do you do?
This is taken from an actual scenario. My response is really simple. Take family to cover, call 911 and ensure our safety.
I do not follow, attempt to apprehend or any other such LEO action, and be a good witness. If I knew where the gun was "ditched' I would not touch it, but have someone, if not myself, guard it so the local LEO's can retreive the weapon.
The training officer was thinking along the lines of attempting to stop them and pulling his weapon. I asked him, why? In short, "It's just an automatic response." After we talked about it he saw my viewpoint. Lets say the 2 in the Mall didn't want to stop when you commanded them to. What if they turn and fire at you? You just went from a 2shot fight with bullets going in one direction to a multi directional firefight.
Now, the T.O; if he acts as he initially wanted to has opened himself up to a huge bucketload of "vicarious liability". "No actions taken off duty will be considered within the scope of employment." That comes straight from the "legal beagle" at my agency.
So my question, besides what would you do is, what preparations have you made in case you are charged with a crime, sued, wounded or killed?