Miami Shootout 25 years later........

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Thread: Miami Shootout 25 years later........

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    VIP Member Array Old School's Avatar
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    Miami Shootout 25 years later........

    "Violence is seldom the answer, but when it is the answer it is the only answer".

    "A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves".

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    From article:


    On April 11, 1986, the FBI agents were closing in on a pair of robbers who had shot several guards during a string of bank and armored car robberies. Following them in cars through a quiet neighborhood south of Miami, agents saw the pair loading a weapon and decided to make a traffic stop that ended with one agent ramming the suspects' car.

    Hanlon said that earlier that morning Grogan, a 25-year veteran of the FBI, knew they'd probably run into trouble once they caught the men later identified as William Matix, 24, and Michael Lee Platt, 32.




    ^^^^^^^These two small paragraphs from the article tells me these agents went picking a fight(albeit uunfortunately for them) with known thugs. Why on Gods green earth did they pick that fight with the woefully inadequate choice of firearms that they selected.

    They, I believe only used ONE shotgun in the whole battle, in addition to their pistols.
    Why didn't they have , at the very least, besides their sidearms, a few M14's, or AR 15's?
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    VIP Member Array Old School's Avatar
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    Two of the agents were reputed to be on the FBI SWAT Team and had MP-5's in their vehicle trunks but I cannot confirm that. What was true is that they were going after harden criminals who liked to shoot people and had killed at least one.
    Metro -Dade PD was not notified until neighbors in the area of the shootout began calling after the gunbattle began.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1986_FBI_Miami_shootout
    "Violence is seldom the answer, but when it is the answer it is the only answer".

    "A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves".

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Lot of things went wrong. The 357s were carried with 38spl ammo, and during the stop, one of the agents had his gun on the seat next to him instead of in his hand. When the cars came to a sudden stop, the gun slid off the seat into the floor of the car, and while the fight had already started, the agent wasted valuble time trying to retrieve it. The 9mm got a bad rap here, although the Winchester Silvertip worked as designed.
    Actually, the weapons used by both sides were state of the art for that time. There were no 40s, or 357 sigs, or 10mms. The Robbers were apparently gun enthusiasts and chose better than the LE did.

    Lesson learned; do not take a handgun to a rifle fight.
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    oneshot, I don't think they were 'picking a fight'....they were doing their job trying to stop/catch these thugs but it wasn't done properly,
    there were many things that were done wrong or contributed to the overall situation
    some already mentioned--first and foremost was inadequate firepower for going after known armed criminals (one a Marine and another was a Ranger) that had already killed....take more/higher firepower than the adversary as oneshot said...AR-15, etc, the 2 agents that lost their lives were shot by the .223 mini 14, the thug had better range, accuracy, and capacity on the agents
    9mm silvertips didn't penetrate through the vehicles as was needed, but the Winchester ammo performed as designed on the bodies....it just wasn't designed to go through what they needed it to
    they should have got on the radio and got more assets on scene/en route while pursuing...local PD, the other agents (that had more firepower), whatever it would take
    gun left on the seat made that agent a non-factor--he never fired a shot
    .357 revolver using .38+P ammo, agents were sitting ducks while trying to reload
    note that Platt was shot 12 times, one of the first shots ripped through a lung stopping just short of his heart yet he fought on and killed 2 agents, just a little reminder for us all, gotta shoot until the threat is stopped
    many lessons were learned from it
    God bless the agents involved and may Dove and Grogan RIP
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    Senior Member Array Phillep Harding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    Lot of things went wrong. The 357s were carried with 38spl ammo, and during the stop, one of the agents had his gun on the seat next to him instead of in his hand....

    Lesson learned; do not take a handgun to a rifle fight.
    As I recall, three of the feebs put their handguns on the passenger seats, and lost them.

    I noticed a pattern, there for a while: New magnum comes out with long barrel, everyone enthusiastic, people want a shorter barrel to make it easier to carry/lighter/etc, people load with weaker ammo to reduce muzzle blast and recoil, wondergun gets bad rep and a lot of badmouthing, new wondergun comes out with long barrel...

    .357mags with full length barrels would have done the job just fine, if they had been loaded with full power .357, and were not sliding around on the floorboards.

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    VIP Member Array Old School's Avatar
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    This is a clip from the movie "In The Line Of Duty". I suppose as close a re-enactment as is possible.

    YouTube - The 1986 Miami FBI Shootout
    "Violence is seldom the answer, but when it is the answer it is the only answer".

    "A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves".

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    What a nasty shootout and tough violent criminals. If they would've had their revolvers loaded with .357 Magnum, a couple more shotguns and an M16 rifle, this wouldn't have turned out so nasty. Nonetheless, out of terrible tragedy comes great knowledge and the FBI sure has evolved in ballistics, training and firearm selection. In today's World, the arrest of two violent criminals like these would be over quickly without firing a single shot due to improved strategy and training or the two criminals would be shot to death without having a single casualty.
    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous... If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for?" [Clint Smith - Thunder Ranch]

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    A very sad occurrence.
    One primary error, underestimating the opponents and overestimating mere numerical advantage.
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    No doubt about it, that incident caused some major changes in the way things are done. Sadly some of those changes have come about slowly.

    Sometimes, it hard to look back 25 years ago and not criticize based on today's thinking. So many of the "mistakes" made were common practice for the day.

    Often I find myself looking at the common practices of today and wondering how they will be viewed in 20 - 30 years.
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    It is interesting how this event changed the arms of law enforcement in this country. I personally feel the big ballistics witch hunt was just an attempt by the FBI to white wash the incident. Would the .40 S&W be so popular (or even exist) if the AAR simply stated their tactics sucked?

    The FBI had perfectly adequate weaponry in their arsenal at the time. The simple fact is those weapons were left at the office. The tactics that were employed sucked on multiple levels. Good men died, and rather than admit that the FBI and it's agents are fallible, they instead chose to blame it all on the 9mm Silver Tip. That way no one has to be held accountable for the decisions that were made that cost men their lives.
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    Senior Member Array wdbailey's Avatar
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    Platt and Matix were the ones looking for a fight. Platt was reported to have made the FBI and then grinning, seated a magazine in his Mini-14 and jacked a round into the chamber.

    At that point the game was on. Platt and Matix were not merely "killers", there's tons of those running around who will fall apart when presented with a superior force of police officers. They were dedicated, hard men who I believe fully intended to solve the problem by killing ALL the agents in attendance.

    They died in an FBI vehicle that they were attempting to commandeer.

    The greatest lesson that can be taken from that incident is that just because you're hit doesn't mean you're out of the fight.

  14. #13
    Senior Member Array Phillep Harding's Avatar
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    As I have said repeatedly, the first problem was not the handguns the feebs had. It was the holsters that they did not have.

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    I just finished somewhat of a case study on this event. Perhaps some of you will find this information interesting.

    On April 11, 1986, Special Agents Jerry Dove and Benjamin P. Grogan were killed in Southwest Miami, Florida, during a gun battle with robbery suspects William Russell Matix and Michael Platt. While Agents were conducting a mobile surveillance in connection with a series of violent bank and armored car robberies, they observed a suspect vehicle. A high speed chase ensued when the Agents attempted to stop the vehicle. When Agents in three FBI vehicles succeeded in stopping the suspect vehicle, suspects Matix and Platt emerged, firing their shoulder weapons. In the resulting gun battle, Dove and Grogan were killed, and five other Agents were injured. During the exchange, Matix and jPlatt made their way to an FBI vehicle. Agent Edmundo Mireles, Jr. had been seriously injured during the altercation, and his left arm was totally disabled. Mireles used his uninjured arm to fire rounds from his pump shotgun at the vehicle's driver and passenger compartment. When his shotgun rounds were exhausted, Mireles managed to rise to his feet, draw his service revolver, and kill Matix and Platt.

    Verified FBI shots: 70
    Verified total shots: 119
    Likely actual total: over 130

    Suspect Platt: Weapons used, .223 Caliber Ruger Mini-14, at least 42 rounds; .357 S&W Revolver, 6" barrel, 3 rounds; .357 Dan Wesson revolver, 6" barrel, 3 rounds
    Suspect Matix: Weapon used, 12 Guage S&W Model 3000 shotgun, 1 round fired

    Agent McNeill: .357 magnum revolver, 2" barrel, 6 rounbds (38+P)
    Agent Mireles: 12 guage Remington Model 870 shotgun, 5 rounds (2 3/4 00 bukshot); .357 magnum revolver 6 rounds (38+P)
    Agent Grogan: 9mm automatic, 9 rounds
    Agent Dove: 9mm automatic, 20 rounds
    Agent Risner: 9mm automatic 6 rounds confirmed by casings found (Risner stated that he had fired 13 to 14 rounds and then had placed a second loaded magazine into his weapon. Agent Orrantia also reported a large number of rounds fired by Risner. It is likely that many of the casings were removed by souvenir hunters.)
    Agent Orrantia: .357 magnum revolver, 4" barrel, 12 rounds
    Agent Hanlon: .38 caliber revolver, 5 shot, 2" inche barrel, 5 rounds (38+P)

    Notes of interest:
    *McNeill engaged BGs from across the hood of a car, at a range of 6 to 8 feet. Grogan and Dove engaged Platt from 30 feet. Risner and Orrantia engaged from 84 feet.
    *Matix was hit twice while still inside the suspect vehicle - once in the face and once in the right forearm by Grogan. At this point Matix stopped fighting, although he did remain ambulatory, and was able to later join Platt in Grogan and Dove's car in an escape attempt.
    *Matix was struck twice in the face during this fight, with .38 Special 158 grain lead hollow point +P ammunition. Neither bullet managed to penetrate the heavy facial bones.
    *As Platt climbed out through the window of the suspect vehicle that was initially stopped, Dove hit him three times. One bullet passed through his arm and into his lung. The other hits were superficial.
    *As Platt crawled out of the suspect vehicle, Dove scored a solid hit from about ten yards. The 9mm Silvertip went through Platt's arm, tumbled, entered his chest, and went most of the way through one lung. The bullet stopped just short of Platt's heart. Platt's right lung filled with blood, but he fought on for approximately three minutes, killing Grogan and Dove AFTER sustaining this wound.
    *Risner fired a shot from his S&W 459 that struck Platt in the right arm, perforated the bicep, and lodged into Platt's chest wall. It did not penetrate the chest deeply enough to damage anything vital.
    *Platt was struck in the head with a .38 Special 158 grain +P hollow point. This bullet skidded around the skull - under the scalp - and did not enter the skull or damage the brain.
    *McNeill engaged Platt and Matix from 6 feet away, but missed with 5 out of 6 shots.
    *Mcneill, Hanlon, Mireles, Platt, and Matix were all hit in the hands or forearms.
    *Neither Platt nor Matix had any sign of alcohol or drugs in their bloodstreams at the autopsies. They functioned solely on pure, raw, determination.
    *All of the agents had body armor available, but only a few were wearing it.
    *Shotguns were present in several cars, but were only deployed by one agent.
    *TWO agents lost their guns during the initital stop, as cars rammed each other, ran into trees, and so forth. They would not have been disarmed if they had simply left their guns in their holsters.
    *the distances involved in the gunfight ranged from six feet to 38 yards.
    *There was significant damage to some participants, each of whom nevertheless STAYED IN THE FIGHT after being shot: Mcneill - part of gun hand blown away..kept shooting; Mireles - left arm almost blown off...kept fighting; Platt - hit with several pistol bullets and multiple buckshot pellets...Platt had twelve real hits and Matix had six when they ceased aggression
    *Agents failed to use available cover. Grogan was standing in the open when he was killed. Dove was kneeling in the open when he was killed.
    *In the beginning of the surveillance, when looking for the suspect vehicle with Platt and Matix, there were 16 Agents involved, 3 cars with 6 agents on pone end of Dixie Hwy and 5 cars with the remaining 8 agents on the other end (approx 5 miles separated their locations. The 5 cars were the ones to engage Platt and Matix. By the timne the other 3 cars arrived on scene, the fight was over. Interestingly, the six agents in the 3 cars that were in route, were all SWAT team members that never had the opportunity to utilize their training/skills.
    *One of the agents, who placed his gun on the seat of the car and lost it, made an attempt to try to find/recover his gun while the firefight was going on. He was never able to enter the fight, subsequently resigned from the FBI, and to this day has nightmares of his action/inaction...

    I just thought some of this information might be of interest. I'm sure you can read a detailed report just by googling the incident.
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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Thanks First Sgt., interesting details.
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