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Discussion Starter #1
Would like to hear what it was like for guys that have experienced a shooting with regard to the physical and emotional feelings you had. So if you had to pull the trigger, what did you experience (eg. tunnel vision, pounding heart, didn't hear things you would have normally heard, shaking, paranoia of someone else threatening you after BG falls, etc.)?? The rest of us can learn what may happen if we have a shooting and hopefully recall this type of experience is expected with such a stressful event. Thanks to all who are willing to share. Beside the negative aspects was there any positive experiences like being able to enjoy saving another or put a stop to the BG's threats? We all want this stuff but can you even really enjoy any of this til after the shooting and intellectually you know you helped.
 

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I guess after 35 views and no responses this thread is dying. Surprised no one had any experiences but then again an actual shooting must be fairly uncommon in our group. Thanks to those that read this thread.
 

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i did my shooting in so east asia nothing since and i hope never again
 

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Similar to Mark, I only had to engage personnel in Desert Storm. I hope I never have to engage a fellow American.
 

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Thanks for sharing guys. Appreciate your service. I treated a vet from Nam that killed an enemy that tried to bomb his group in the night. He did it with a knife and found it was a female. This was still a problem for him in the 1990's when I saw him. Surely the closer you are to the other person, the worse it is emotionally to heal from. Hopefully, our current gun interest is an insurance policy we will never need to use with deadly force.
 

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I think you'll find that most folks who have taken a life, really don't want to talk about it. It can bring back some very unpleasant memories, or flashbacks. (Yes, there is a difference.)

In order to give you an answer, I will briefly present my experience. It's been many years, and I'm okay talking about it.

On duty, uniform police officer. Day shift. Sunday afternoon. Grocery department of local department store. Radio call of an emotionally disturbed woman with a knife, threatening folks.

Some negotiation, then sudden movement away from me, but she was blocked by barricades. Another officer deployed pepper spray. Pepper spray failed and she attacked me with the butcher knife, from about 25 feet, with my firearm already drawn. (I was the only officer of 5 who drew when she became mobile.) I fired while backing up, both rounds hitting what would be the "X" ring. Both bullets (.40 S&W Silvertips) exploded her heart, and penetrated deep enough to sever her spinal cord. Instant incapacitation. She got to within 5 feet of me when she went down.

Understand, this happened in micro-seconds. I did not, and still do not, remember firing the shots. I did not hear the shots, nor feel the recoil. I saw her go down, and I became very confused. I didn't know what had happened. I looked at my pistol (S&W 4006) observing it was cocked. I was trained and well practiced in point-shooting. I did not use my sights. When I realized I had shot someone, my training kicked in and I kept the threat covered until my partner put his hand on my shoulder and told me to holster.

The pressure of her blood gushing from the wounds was enough to push her tank top shirt out about 2-3 inches. It wasn't anything like training. Paper targets don't bleed. The amount of blood was terrible. As she bled out, she and I made eye contact as she died. That became my nightmare.

I went through every emotion in the book. First was confusion, followed by anger (Look what you made me do!), followed by fear ( was it a good shooting?) because I could not remember anything. My partner tells me I swore at her. I cried. I went through the entire greiving process. The experts say that is normal.

I was beat up by the news media. They said that because she was emotionally disturbed, I should have shot the knife out of her hand, or shot her in the leg, or (I kid you not) thrown a bag of suger at her. A drunk who hadn't even been in the store, told a TV news crew that I had shot her in the back as she ran away from me. (Remember that when you next see an "eye witness" interview.)

I was cleared by the county Grand Jury, the department's Shooting Review Board and by the FBI's civil rights investigation. The news media went after another officer a couple of days later, so I was thankfully moved to the back pages.

I was diagnosed with PTSD, and my department did an excellent job of making sure I had whatever counseling and therapy I needed and wanted. I refused sleeping pills and anti-depressants. I didn't and still don't use alcohol. After a couple of weeks I was released by the pshrink to return to work. On my first day back to work, I responded to a man with a knife call. "Shit!"

Her family hired a lawyer to sue me, but after reading all of the reports and evidence, they decided not to. The fact that I had a lawyer who said we would counter-sue may have helped.

I very nearly came close to quitting police work, which I learned is a very common trait among Officer Involved Shootings. If I had been younger, I probably would have. My desire to do the job hit a very steep down-hill slope. I was angry and could not sleep. I eventually agreed to take a mild sleeping prescription. It got better with time. A year or so later I visited her grave and made my peace with her and God.

I had previously tested and interviewed for the detective division. About a year later, I was offered the transfer and was able to remain there until I retired. (2001) Being the new guy in detectives, I was assigned to work child abuse and sexual assault cases. As strange as it may seem, that work invigorated me. I became very involved and focused on helping kids and putting pedophiles away for some very serious prison time. It saved my career and helped me recover. I wormed my way into the county's Major Crime Team, investigating murders and Officer Involved Shootings.

My kids bought me a puppy to help me recover. We called her my "Thera-puppy." Going through the K-9 training with her and my wife, helped my recovery and mental health. She was my best friend and constant companion. One month ago I had to put her to sleep. She had a cancer that became aggressive. She was with me 14 years. I miss her terribly.

About one month before the shooting, I had purchased the pistol, S&W 4006. Until that time I had been carrying a S&W model 59, 9mm. The medical examiner told me some time later that had I still had the 9mm, the bullets very likely would not have penetrated deep enough to take out her spine, and she very likely would have gotten me with a downward plunge of the 8" butcher knife. You can take that for what it's worth, but from that day onward, I've not been a fan of the 9mm cartridge.

There is not a day in my life that goes by, when I don't relive the shooting.

That was my experience. This is very much more detail than I intended, but I guess I was on a roll. I hope this may somehow help anyone who may have to defend themselves. As I said, that was my experience. Not everyone will have the same experience.

In Loving Memory. Kali.



 

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pioneer

it was a good shoot
 

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Thank you Pioneer for sharing this life changing experience. It was a great example of the story I wanted to be told here. We spend so much time talking about our guns, ammo, holsters, and target shooting trips that we need to hear about the actual shooting experience with a person out to harm us. You did what you were trained to do and it saved your life. We decide we will not allow ourselves to be a victim and therefore pay the aftermath price.

Your dog was beautiful! What a partner. Thanks for sharing his picture with us. I lost an indoor cat after 19 years who laid across my shoulder while I read Guns & Ammo magazine. Hard to describe how difficult it was to see him go.

I hope it helps to hear today a repeated message in that I see you had no option but to do what you did on that day. Anything else would have put you in harm and maybe your partners.
 

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Pioneer461, it takes a certain amount of courage...not to mention "healing" (as healed as one can possibly be, I mean), IMO, to be able to disclose what you have here, and I want to say thanks...it is info others need to hear, sometimes, i think.

My Dad served in 'Nam as an equipment operator, and my being young, shoot, I figured that was that. He never spoke much of his service (he was incountry in the end of the 60's), and once told me even my Mom never knew if he had taken a life.

Then, one day, a friend of mine who was, all gung-ho and ready to save the world (he was set to go to basic after graduating; did, and later was discharged; I'll leave it at that), was over and we were talking about it, when my Dad came in the house in the middle of the conversation....

I forget how he joined in, but by the time he had finished speaking, we were both quiet. There was no bragging, it wasn't anything like you'd hear on TV, it was just a part of his life he was relating, an incident he was directly involved in. A firefight is not something I hope to be in. This description was real, and it was not glamorous.

Having said that, he instilled firearms in my family, and me and my brother from the beginning. Everyone shoots/hunts, or did, even Mom. And I would hate to be the person to try to break into our house/do harm, to my folks, or me or mine. But everytime I hear/see some of the things I do from some "commando" about his/her guns, and how they view the topic of deadly force against another human being...I remember that story, and hope they never have to find out the truth.

Thank you for sharing...
 

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My stepfather was the same way. He dropped out of high school to go to war in the Pacific in WWII. He would never talk about any of it until the last few years, and going to the WWII memorial in DC was when he started opening up. I still don't know if he killed anybody there, but he has hinted that was the case. That had to be an incredible experience, and I can't blame him for not talking about it. When he went to the memorial and was looking at the stars that represented the dead, he said he was seeing faces of people that he had known, that were killed there. Memorial Day indeed....
 
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