DOOMED TO DIE
Officer Brent Thompson was one of the five Dallas police officers killed on Thursday 7/7/16. Brent was 43, a newlywed of two weeks, a father of six, a grandfather, and an officer with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit system.
He was an international police trainer who mentored Iraqi and Afghan police in the concepts of "democratic policing," and he trained Afghan officers in how to avoid being ambushed. He'd also worked with the tactical team of the Corsicana Police Department, and trained police officers in active shooter situations.
However, in his confrontation with an obviously well experienced shooter, a lack of training in a simple and effective CQB shooting technique circa WW II, lead directly to his death.
The technique is easily learned and at minimal cost. All that is needed is a box of bullets, some range time, and a target placed at 20 to 25 feet out, which was the distance of his encounter with the shooter. The gun is held at low ready on the center of the body, and with the wrist and arm locked. The arm stays locked (stiff), as the pistol is raised from the shoulder, and when on target, a convulsive squeeze is used to fire.
The technique counters low left shooting which happens when a gun is gripped convulsively in the extreme stress of combat, and the gun twists down and around to the left. (Colonel Rex Applegate -- Kill or Get Killed 1943)
In a video of the encounter, the shooter is seen walking to and then stops by a pillar by the entrance to a building.
Officer Thompson (1), approaches and stops at a pillar about 20 feet +/- from the shooter. He then shoots at him (2), from the right side of the pillar.
Note that his shot hits the ground to the left of, and behind the gunman. The bullet strike clearly shows a brave attempt to stop the gunman, but without compensating for the instinctive use of a convulsive grip under the stress of combat, with resultant low left shooting.
Then the gunman, using suppressive fire, closes the short distance between them. He outflanks the Officer by going around the right side of the pillar being used as cover, and shoots the Officer at point blank range. That takes just four seconds.
Low Left Shooting
Traditionally, trainees are taught to grip the gun with the thumb placed along the side of the frame but not pressing against it, and with the index finger being held aloof from the gun, so it can be used to squeeze the trigger straight back for firing.
However, with a convulsive grip, the thumb will push the gun over and down, and the index, middle, ring and little fingers will continue to pull the gun muzzle down and around to the left. And as such, the fall of the shot will be low and left.
The FBI moved away from teaching the simple and effective method of shooting described above, without proof that what then was new, was better. And that and Agency acquiescence, no doubt doomed many an Officer to an untimely death over the past 60+ years.
Agencies continue to train Officers in traditional marksmanship (Sight Shooting), which is good for shooting at distance, but it has never been proven via photos or video, of being used effectively in CQB. And it is in those situations where there is the greatest chance of being shot and/or killed. Also, for years now, the accepted hit rate in actual armed encounters given current training, is less than 20%, which is atrocious.
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