85 Rounds

The Philadelphia Police are taking heat, even some from their own commissioner, for shooting 85 rounds into a crazed man who was waving a gun at police.

“I am concerned about the number of shots fired,” Johnson said in a phone interview yesterday.

The city’s top cop, with 44 years on the job, said he wants to know “what can we do in this type of situation.”

He added: “You shoot to minimize a threat.”

Police said the gunman, Steven “Butter” Miller, 30, who lived nearby, suffered at least 21 wounds, including entry and exit wounds.

I’m not concerned about the number of shots fired. I’m more concerned that at a reported distance of 30 feet, the officers seemed to land less than 21 hits out of 85 round fired! If I were police commissioner, my response would be “I think some of our officers need to work on their marksmanship.” This is, of course, why I will never have a career in politics.

Some neighbors were upset by the police actions, complaining that excessive force had been used and that no effort had been made to negotiate with an obviously deranged man.

You don’t negotiate with someone who has a gun pointed at you. This here is exactly why Philadelphia has a crime rate that’s out of control. These people should be grateful their neighborhood is rid of one more criminal, and should be understanding of why the police officers did what they had to. Is 85 rounds excessive? Officers are trained to shoot until the threat stops. If they each, individually did that, then no, it’s not. The lesson here is don’t point a gun at police.

UPDATE: Wyatt Earp has more.  Seems they’ve built a memorial.

5 thoughts on “85 Rounds”

  1. That’s pathetic. I qualified on an M-9 w/ 34 out of 40 in the Army and I HAD NEVER SHOT ONE BEFORE. But we’re supposed to trust the police. I wonder how many rounds ended up in neighboring houses.

  2. One thing to keep in mind is that firing under stress, you’ll be a lot less accurate than you normally are at the range. If the target is moving, that can complicate things too. But I’m still amused by responding to reporters with something along the lines of “I’m more concerned that the guy didn’t have 85 bullet wounds. Gotta work on those shooting skills” ;)

  3. Excessive force? One .22 round properly placed can kill a man. What difference does it make whether they shot him twice or a hundred times…they still used the same amount of force…it is sometimes known as “deadly”, or possibly “lethal”.

    As you said, the number of rounds fired speaks to the efficiency of the applying the level of force, not to the level of force applied.

  4. I shot in a law enforcement charity steel match once, a timed event with two person teams. The winning team dropped 56 targets, steel plates, steel silhouettes (poppers), and bowling pins (4), spaced from about 8 yards to 45 yards, in about 68 seconds. One team took more than 6 minutes. Several teams had to reload magazines while the clock continued to run after burning through at least 4 hi-cap mags. I watched one pair shoot two full mags at a 12″ plate about 18 yards from the firing line. I have great respect for those that choose to go into law enforcement, but too many of them can’t shoot for diddly.

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