Tacoma Shooting Details (Graphic Content)

This is a discussion on Tacoma Shooting Details (Graphic Content) within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Officer Safety – Tacoma Shooting Details (Graphic Content) 12/22/2009 The Oregon TITAN Fusion Center received the following information which provides significant, graphic details of the ...

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Thread: Tacoma Shooting Details (Graphic Content)

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    Member Array ibesarcasm's Avatar
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    Unhappy Tacoma Shooting Details (Graphic Content)

    Officer Safety – Tacoma Shooting Details (Graphic Content)

    12/22/2009 The Oregon TITAN Fusion Center received the following information which provides significant, graphic details of the recent officer shooting in Tacoma , WA :

    The following information was relayed from an Indianapolis Police Department Range Instructor who has a colleague performing the investigation into the Lakewood Police Officer shooting which resulted in the death of four police officers.

    Coffee shop was owned by a retired Tacoma PD Officer. It was considered a safe" hangout for cops waiting to go on duty, or to stop by for a break.

    Lakewood PD (officers that were killed) was a newly formed department. Almost all of the deputies were hired from Pierce Co Sheriffs office (See today’s article on Pierce Co Sheriff’s Deputy Shooting). The deputies were hired from the jail; most were sworn but had primarily worked the jail. It sounds like they had little time on road.

    The four deputies were drinking coffee before shift (11/29/2009) and working on laptops with heads down. Their table was approximately 15 feet from counter/check out register.

    The shooter came in, smiles and acknowledges the two deputies facing the doorway/entrance. They return the greeting. Shooter goes up to counter like he is going to order.
    After stepping up to counter, he pulls a semi-automatic pistol from under his coat and takes a couple of steps toward table, where the deputies are seated. Distance is now approximately 12 feet.

    The shooter shoots first deputy, who is facing him across table in head and is killed instantly. Shooter then shoots nearest deputy, seated away from him, in the back of the head, killing him instantly.
    Shooter then shoots across table at third deputy, who is facing him, and misses. Fourth shot is fired and strikes third deputy in face, killing him instantly.

    Last Deputy is a SGT who stands, while drawing weapon, and charges shooter, knocking over the table. SGT grabs the shooter by his coat and engages shooter. First round strikes shooter in mid-section and goes through.
    Second round is fired and strikes shooter in front pocket. Round hits keys, but penetrates about 1.5 inches into shooters thigh. Deputies carry 180 grain gold dot ammunition (unknown at this time what kind of pistol).

    Shooter raises gun and shoots SGT in face. SGT falls to ground. Shooter kneels/bends over SGT and does a contact shot to the right eye. Shooter then shoots SGT in the other eye, once again a contact shot.

    Shooter takes SGT's wallet and steals credit cards and SGT's duty weapon. Shooter does not rob the store or hurt or threaten anyone else.

    The shooting lasted approximately 3-5 seconds for the first three deputies. The SGT's encounter lasted another 5-7 seconds.

    Accomplice waiting outside and gets into car. They leave the area. Accomplice is a former cell mate he did time with in Arkansas prison. Federal agents track shooter by cell phone "pinging" to locate phone/area.
    Five more additional accomplices help shooter with medical issues, food, money etc. Federal Agents find driver and get the name of shooter. All accomplices are arrested and agents are able to discover the general area where shooter is headed.

    On Tuesday (12/01/2009) at approximately 3:00 a.m. shooter turns off phone and takes battery out, so that Feds can no longer track phone. (Two days later) Short time later, Pierce County Deputy checks an abandoned car. The car is running with its lights on and the driver’s side door open. As Deputy was walking back to squad car he sees movement from behind squad car.

    Once he clears his headlights, which were blinding him, he sees shooter and recognizes him. Shooter is crouching behind squad car now. Deputy orders him to ground and give other commands. Shooter attempts to draw weapon and
    starts to run. Deputy fires five rounds with three striking the shooter. Shooter falls to ground. Deputy covers shooter until back up arrives. Unknown how long this took. Once back up is on the scene, the shooter is cuffed and is dead at this point.

    Deputies find slain SGT's duty weapon on shooter. The round recovered from the shooters body is traced to the SGT's weapon, confirming the SGT shot the shooter.

    Some lessons to learn from our fallen brothers.

    Just because you are "off duty" or in a "safe" restaurant, keep your head up and your eyes and ears open.

    Do not sit close to the register or other focal point (entrance doors, bathrooms, hallways etc). Try to sit where you can scan the area.

    Leave devices that distract you, like laptops, etc in the car. Do your reports and other things that take your mind off your safety, at post or far away from the public.

    Even at lunch or break, don't let your guard down. You should always be in condition yellow.

    Keep your distance. Take those lateral steps or diagonal steps and move. It is a lot harder for the bad guy to shoot a moving target, let alone a lot of distance.

    Each time you train, train as if your life depends on it. When the time comes, you will not arise to the occasion and be a hero, you will fall to you level of your training effort and perform at that level. While I do not think they could have done anything different after the contact, do your best at whatever training you attend. Lose the mentality of "It will never happen to me" and train as you wish to fight, fight like you train.
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    A good read, thanks.

    Hope I never have to read anything like it again, but I'm pretty sure I will.
    CCW permit holder for Idaho, Utah, Pennsylvania, Maine and New Hampshire. I can carry in your country but not my own.

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    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    A good read. Unfortunately, it is very hard to stop someone with nothing to loose.

    thanks for posting
    "a reminder that no law can replace personal responsibility" - Bill Clinton 2010.

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    Distinguished Member Array Bill MO's Avatar
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    A very good read and something to think about. But for me this quote is something we need to think about each time we are at the range sending lead down range.

    Each time you train, train as if your life depends on it. When the time comes, you will not arise to the occasion and be a hero, you will fall to you level of your training effort and perform at that level. While I do not think they could have done anything different after the contact, do your best at whatever training you attend. Lose the mentality of "It will never happen to me" and train as you wish to fight, fight like you train.
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    I am sick and speechless after reading this. My deepest, most heartfelt sympathy to the families, friends and coworkers of those LEO's.

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    That was really disturbing. I doubt I'll ever forget that description. Thank you for the post - it is the reality that we must deal with.
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    Member Array thedogfather's Avatar
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    Thanks for this. The news articles I saw credited a Seattle PD officer with the shooting.

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    Senior Member Array stevem174's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting this, it was a good read.

    I think a lot of people will be surprised to realize that this lasted a few seconds.
    Don't do things you don't want to explain to the Paramedics!

    Stupidity should be painful.

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    Just because you are "off duty" or in a "safe" restaurant, keep your head up and your eyes and ears open.
    A cop is never really "off duty" and he is never really "safe".

    As it is, although its not quite as dangerous for the average concealed gun owner, it should be the same for them also.

    Always be ready.
    Always.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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    Member Array Geno's Avatar
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    The shooter came in, smiles and acknowledges the two deputies facing the doorway/entrance. They return the greeting. Shooter goes up to counter like he is going to order.

    I believe that this would put the average cop from a yellow condition into a very pale yellow condition. Especially being former jailers, they should know that a smile and greeting mean absolutely nothing about freindship from anyone that they do not already know really well.
    Still, it makes my blood boil!

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