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SHELBY COUNTY SHERIFF INCIDENTOne evening in January 2001, a Shelby County Deputy was involved in a defensive shooting near Houston Levee and Walnut Grove. The deputy stopped to assist what he thought was a stranded motorist in a pick-up truck stopped in the roadway. Unfortunately, the truck was occupied by a disturbed person who was planning to start shooting people shortly. As the deputy approached the truck, the suspect fired a shot from a handgun, hitting the deputy in the chest. Thankfully, the deputy's body armor stopped the bullet. The deputy drew his standard issue Beretta .40 and returned fire with two shots, both of which hit the suspect. The officer retreated to his patrol car, radioed for help, and reloaded his weapon. The suspect then began moving toward the deputy, so the officer engaged him again, firing seven additional rounds and getting seven additional hits. The suspect went down and the incident was finally over. Several days after the incident, the suspect was still alive (although, not well) at the Med. Points to ponder: 1. As stated many times before, bullets, especially from handguns, do not always immediately stop an attack. This attacker took two hits in the chest that did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! The suspect then took seven additional hits before ceasing activity completely. 2. The object of shooting someone is not specifically to kill them. Even though shooting stopped the attack, the suspect did not die. Stopping the attack is infinitely more important than whether the suspect dies. 3. Shots that hit low may not have the desired effect. Handgun bullets are ineffective in general, but they are particularly ineffective if they don't hit a vital area. 4. Bullets do not knock you down. Both men were shot, but neither one fell down. The BG took two rounds, then seven more while advancing on the officer. 5. A 100% hit rate is unheard of among LEO. Nationally, depending on whose numbers you read, the average for LEO shootings is between 9 and 18 percent (yes, that means only between 9 and 18 percent of all shots fired hit the intended target, which also means between 82 and 91 hit something else. All of those bullets go somewhere and hit something). Most policemen only practice once or twice a year when they have to requalify. This particular officer is on the SSSD shooting team. You must practice regularly! 6. Many permit holders carry small, short barreled, low-capacity (5-6 rounds) pocket guns. Had this been the case here, a good guy may not have had enough rounds. For years the accepted average number of rounds fired was 2-4, but, in the last few years, the average number of rounds fired in a conflict has risen to 6-8, for various reasons that I won't go into here. 7. In Memphis, almost 50% of all violent crime involves two or more attackers. Nationally, the figure is about 36%. If someone with a low-capacity gun had faced two or more attackers of this audacity, they would have run out of ammo quickly. Once you are in the fight, you cannot go get more ammo. You must have enough ammo with you to complete the task at hand. "What you brought is all you got." 8. No matter what type of gun or ammo you carry, even with good centered hits, there is no guarantee you will stop the attacker with a certain "magic" number of shots. This deputy was carrying a good combination of caliber and brand of ammo (standard issue .40 caliber Black Talons), yet the BG took nine rounds. The only guaranteed stop is a good solid ocular window hit, which is difficult enough for the average shooter, even when not under stress. In order to actually be immediately physically effective, ocular window hits must actually hit the ocular window, which puts a bullet into the brain. Bullets that hit on the edge of the head actually tend to deflect. 9. Be mentally prepared. Problems can happen anywhere, any time, and they happen fast. The intersection of Walnut Grove and Houston Levee is out in the county not inside Memphis, and is considered to be a very nice, quiet, safe neighborhood. It should also be noted, recently (September, 2003) a bank was robbed in that neighborhood, and an insurance office in the Wolfchase area was robbed in November, 2003). Crime can happen anywhere, regardless of what neighborhood or part of town you live in. Robert V. Robinson My Experience and Training: