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Several weeks ago my sniper partner was involved in an officer involved shooting. The investigation is over, firearm returned and life goes on so to speak.

I have preached over the years about why we carry, what we train for and the mindset you have to have. You are not getting prepared for the average bad guy who runs when you say boo, or who is so intimidated by your OC super blaster magnum that he runs the other way. You are preparing for that one determined individual who does not care for whatever reason and simply wants to kill you.

Deputy B. is an Army Airborne Combat Veteran. He is a tremendous shooter and he and I train together often. He and his wife run a bloodhound for our county and travel all over the state assisting other agencies in locating fleeing felons or lost kids. So is the case when they were called to a surrounding county to trail a suspect wanted in connection with home invasions where firearms were taken.

The suspect was approached by a deputy from that county and immediately fled into the woods. The deputy gave a full description and also stated the suspect was armed with what he believed was a sawed off shotgun. Deputy B. and his wife responded with the dog.

Lacking a scent article or an exact last known location it was agreed to save the dogs energy and simply wait. Suspects like this usually surface rather quickly running across a yard or seen walking down a road. Deputy B. and his wife decided to travel back out to the road where it all started and simply stand by. "B" jokingly stated that he was going to use the handheld FLIR while driving down the road so as not to get ambushed on the way out. Lo and behold they had not gone 100 yards when the suspect showed up in the FLIR standing in the yard of a vacant house.

Deputy B. carries a Glock 34 on a tactical vest along with a Rock River Arms 5.56 pistol attached to the same vest on a wolf hook. The rifle was loaded with 55 grain ball ammunition, yes I know not the best but waiting on ballistic silvertip, in a 30 round magazine. The troops were called in with Deputy B. and his wife going to one side of the house with deputies from that county going to the other side.

The suspect was located in a depression in the backyard with the FLIR. He was laying face down spreadeagled. As "B" got closer he switched to a flashlight and began giving verbal commands and pushing the AR pistol out against the sling. As he got to about 8 feet the suspect looked up at him, pushed himself to his knees revealing he had been laying on a .22 caliber rifle. The suspect grabbed the rifle in both hands and began to point it towards "B".

At this time Deputy B. fired the first round from the 5.56. The suspects weapon was about the level of the deputy's knees. The round struck center chest. The suspect continued to raise the rifle to about the deputy's chest level. Deputy B. fired the second round of 5.56 again striking the suspect in the chest. The suspects rifle was now pointing at the deputy's head. As he fired his third round of 5.56 he threw himself backwards to the ground to keep from being shot in the face as the suspect fell back about 5 feet landing on his back.

Deputy B. immediately came back up to his knees, got back on the light and AR and again began to issue verbal commands to the suspect. One of the three 5.56 rounds that struck the suspect had also traveled along the barrel and forearm of the rifle and struck the suspect in the left hand. This round traumatically amputated the thumb and forefinger of the suspects left hand.

The suspect after taking three rounds to the chest and losing part of his left hand then sat up, took the pistol grip of the rifle in his right hand and scooped the forearm up and cradling the rifle in the crook of his arm, raised the rifle again to shoot Deputy B. At this time the deputy fired his final round striking the suspect in the right eye ending the confrontation.

The suspect had suffered significant trauma to his chest cavity along with the injury to his hand but still had the will and ability to grab his gun and attempt to shoot the deputy.

There was no significant results from the tox screen other than a small amount of marijuana. There was no alcohol in his system. The autopsy showed that he had sustained a significant self inflicted shotgun wound to the head when he was a teen, most of the lead shot remained in his head. The 5.56 ball ammo created multiple would channels in the chest cavity destroying everything it hit. The suspect was simply determined to kill the deputy.

It is unknown if the suspect fired any rounds. No casings were found from his .22 rifle however the fireball from the AR pistol covered any other sound or light in the area. No other shots were fired from other deputy's weapons.

After giving statements and turning over his AR pistol the deputy was placed on administrative leave during the investigation. The case was determined to be a justifiable shooting and the deputy was returned to duty.

This is the guy you train for. By reason of mental disease or defect, alcohol, drugs or simply his give a damn is busted will take everything you throw at him and keep on coming. The only way to stop someone like this is a shot to the head, sometimes multiple shots.

Do not limit yourself in training by distance, number of shots fired or what you think will happen. Shoot the threat and keep on shooting til they are no longer a threat...PERIOD.

Note: This same deputy and his wife were running the K-9 in our county last year trailing a burglary suspect. Running with them was Johnson County Deputy Sonny Smith. As the deputies came to a fence Deputy Smith crossed over to provide security while they brought the dog over. The suspect, armed with a .22 caliber semi auto rifle, engaged the deputy's at close range. Deputy Smith began returning fire advancing on the suspect. Sonny was struck several times including one round which hit above his body armor and traveled into his chest cavity. Other deputy's returned fire until the suspect ran out of ammunition. Deputy Smith died at the scene. EOW 5-15-15. The second shooting occurred within three days of being one year of Deputy Smith's death.
 

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Thanks for sharing a very intense situation. Glad all turned out good this time. Ya'll be careful out there.
 
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I spent my lifetime in the military and am always in awe at the courage the police show. Their threat is not as defined as the threats we faced (until recently), could come from anywhere and their every action is under scrutiny and often in video. I can't thank police enough for their contribution to society. The way the public treats police reminds me of the way Vietnam vets were treated when they returned...I hope this changes.

Please everyone, thank a law enforcement person next time you see one.
 

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Deputy B is one of many people that provide truth to the concept of the thin blue line. I am glad that his skill, determination, and preparation meant that he was able to manage the situation effectively - and I can only hope that he does not bear too many burdens as a result of having done violence on our behalf.
 

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I hope all of our officers are trained as well a Deputy B.
 

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A lesson paid with blood. It is a reminder of what is needed. thanks Brother....
 
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Thanks for the story. Good reminder on how to fight. Rip Deputy Smith.


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