My Life Changer

There have been a few mentions in articles here about my having been involved in a shooting. During my career, I have been involved directly in two, and indirectly in quite a few more. The more recent one in which I was directly involved was a much different event that has caused me to make many changes in the way I do things, both at work and at home. As the two year anniversary approaches, naturally I find myself contemplating it. I find writing this out to be somewhat therapeutic, but this is a long one so, if you choose to read it, please hang in there.

Also, as this is my story, some of my personal views may come out. Take those for what they’re worth, but please don’t try and lecture me about my opinions if they happen to differ with yours.


I have been a Deputy Sheriff for just over 17 years. I work in a very wide spread, mostly urban, metropolitan area that includes six incorporated cities, plus the unincorporated part of the county. The unincorporated parts of the county vary greatly, from tightly packed residential neighborhoods with lots of low income housing complexes, to large rural areas that are sparsely populated. My department provides service to the unincorporated parts of the county, in which about 560,000 people live.

The last 12 years of my career have been spent working patrol on swing shift (3pm-1am). I love swings, both because of the volume and variety of calls, but because the hours best fit my life outside of work. My department utilizes a computer aided dispatch (CAD) system and we all have computers in our cars. The cars are also equipped with a GPS locator system that is tied into the CAD, which has a mapping system that allows us to zoom in all the way to specific addresses, including the corresponding lot lines (similar to Google maps, but not as pretty).

It was a hot 100 degree early July night two years ago. That particular night, I was working our north central area, which is mostly residential housing, commercial properties and lots of low income apartments. It is a very small but diverse district, which routinely has the highest volume of calls for any of the patrol districts. It was almost 9pm and I had just finished dinner when I got sent to an incomplete 911 phone call at a local Motel 6. The caller said nothing and hung up. I told the dispatcher that I would handle the call solo because it sounded rather innocuous. While driving to that call, I got an update that on callback, the handicapped female in the room was asking for the fire department to assist her in getting dressed. The fire department advised us that deputies were not needed.

I began exchanging silly comments about that call with my dispatcher via the CAD messaging system. I have known my dispatcher for about 15 years and we have always been friendly. A few moments later, she dispatched me to another incomplete 911 call. This one said that a disturbance could be heard in the background and that someone had hung up. As a rule, when a disturbance is heard, the call takers will not call back. Initially when I was dispatched, I was sent by myself because no other units were available.

One of our canine units offered to cover me. He has a similar number or years of service with our department, but he and I had only recently begun working the same area and prior to this call, I think I had only been on maybe one or two other calls with him. Since as a canine unit, he covers the entire north part of the county, I had no idea where he was coming from. As I drove to the call, which was located in a fairly nice residential neighborhood, I continued to joke with the dispatcher about my previous call, asking how I could request a fire truck loaded with hot women to come get me dressed. She had similar concerns, but was instead looking for the calendar model type firemen instead. As I got within about a mile or two of my call, I decided to look at the CAD map and see about how far off my cover unit was. He appeared to about the same distance from the call as I was, perhaps a little further away. Since I had the map pulled up at this point, I zoomed it in to see where on the street the house I was going to was located.

As I got close to the call, I pulled to the side of the road around the corner from the call location to await my cover unit. That placed me a little more than two houses from the call location. I blacked my lights out and I cracked both windows a few inches so I would be able to hear if anything was going on. I advised my cover unit where I was waiting for him and then I closed my computer lid to avoid illuminating myself inside my dark car.

As I sat waiting for cover, I heard a male voice yelling and it sounded like it was coming from the area of my call. I could hear the yelling, but could not make out what was being said. My car was positioned so I could just see the corner of the front yard of the target house. It was fairly dark and there were no street lights near the house, but there was a light on at the front porch. In that dim light, I thought I saw some movement so I decided I needed to approach to see what was going on. I figured my cover had to be pretty close by now.

I put the car in drive, turned the corner onto the street, crossed the street and drove south against the left sidewalk (wrong side of the street). As I slowly approached the house, I saw a male walking from the north corner of the garage, down the short driveway, and south away from me on the sidewalk. It was poor lighting, but he appeared to be carrying a rifle. It looked to me like a rifle with a wood stock and what appeared to be a white sling. As previously mentioned, I am a gun nut, and the first thing that came to my mind was a presentation or parade type rifle, like an ‘03 Springfield or a Garand with a white patent leather sling.

Interior of modern cop car (not my department's, but ours are similarly setup)

Interior of modern cop car
(not my department’s, but ours are similarly setup)

When I saw him holding the rifle, I decided that it would not be prudent for me to go to a rifle fight with my pistol, so I hit the lock on my rifle rack and pulled my personal 14.7” LWRC M6A1-S from the rack. I charged it and put the forward vertical grip in my left hand. Since he was walking toward a parked car, I decided I would wait to see if he was just going to place his rifles in the trunk of the car. He did not. In fact he walked past the car and then started across the street heading deeper into the neighborhood and towards a very dark, unlit area. Open carry is not legal in my state, and we were responding to an unknown disturbance call in which this man was likely involved, so I could not let him just wander off into the darkness toting a rifle. I decided I would hit my lights and using my PA, tell him to put the gun down. I rested my rifle’s forend on the steering wheel, I hit the high beam switch first, then turned the lights on with my left hand and using my right hand, grabbed my PA mic and told him to put the rifle down and turn around with his hands up. At this time, he was approximately 40 yards from the front of my car.

Apparently, this man I had never once met, had other plans. As soon as I told him to drop his gun, he turned around, shouldered the rifle and fired a shot. I saw the muzzle flash, heard the report, saw sparks near the front of my car and heard the round impact my car. Still seated in my car, I shouldered my rifle and brought it up. I immediately noticed that in the stress of the moment, I had neglected to turn on my EOTech (why I switched to the Aimpoint PRO), but since my rifle has a fixed front sight, I decided to use the EOTech as a very large rear sight aperture. Of course, that whole thought process took about 1/8th of a second. I dropped the safety and clicked off several rounds directly through my windshield. I looked up and he was still standing and had the rifle still shouldered. Not knowing if the windshield was affecting my shots, or if the lack of having my EOTech on was causing me to miss, I decided I needed to move (another ½ second thought process).

I stuck the car in reverse and began backing out. This is the point that my in-car camera begins recording. In watching the video, this man can be seen firing two more rounds at me as I back my car out onto the adjacent street. Since the street I had been parked on previously is a four lane street that often has heavy traffic, I checked the oncoming lanes as I backed into the intersection. I cranked the wheel and backed across the road at an angle getting myself out of the direct line of fire. I activated my light bar, which is what activated my in car camera system, and the 30 second buffer is what captured the shots fired as I am backing. I grabbed my radio mic and voiced that I had exchanged gunfire, that the suspect was still armed and that I needed additional units.

I placed the mic back in the holder and exited my car with my rifle. It was at this point that I turned my EOTech on. I stayed on the driver side of my car, near the driver door, keeping the hood, and subsequently the engine, between me and the suspect. About 5-10 seconds later, my cover unit pulled up and stopped on my right and just slightly back from me placing his front bumper at about my front doors. He exited his car with his department issued 16” barreled Colt AR-15, equipped with nothing but iron sights. He saw the rather large hole in my windshield and asked if I was ok. I told him I was fine, I gave him a brief suspect description and pointed to the direction in which I last saw him.

About 2 seconds after the canine handler arrived, one of our CSI units pulled up to the left of my patrol car. Our CSI units are sworn deputies who have completed patrol training. Additionally, the one who showed up has several years patrol experience in one of our contract cities. He exited his truck and had to dig his rifle out of the back of the extended cab.

The windshield of my car

The windshield of my car

The CSI officer had just got his rifle out when we saw the suspect approaching us, only now he was armed with a handgun. He was walking at a very rapid pace. I looked past him and saw another male, who appeared to be wearing a black tank top and a pair of dark colored shorts, standing directly in our line of fire. I yelled at him to go back in his home, and thankfully he listened. I redirected my attention back to the suspect. At this time, he was about 40 yards from me and was holding the handgun down at his right side. He was still walking directly at us at a very brisk pace.

Both the canine officer and I began directing him to drop the gun and stop where he was. He repeatedly said “That’s not going to happen”. He kept approaching us at the same brisk pace, holding the gun down at his side. I recall having drawn an imaginary line on the street in the back of my head, and he was not going to come past that line because that would put him within range to easily hit us with his handgun. When he got to that line, I fired, as did the canine officer.

I remember thinking this as it happened, it was the weirdest thing. It was like my brain was controlling two guns. The canine officer and I both fired the same number of times, and almost in perfect unison. Thankfully, the CSI officer used his better judgment and did not fire. He was behind and between the canine officer and me, and if he had fired, he could very well have struck either of us.

Upon being shot, the suspect dropped immediately and began bleeding out very rapidly. I walked past my car with my gun still on him. As I arced around him, to get a better view of his hands, I could see that he was no longer holding the gun. I advised the other officers his hands were clear and then I got on the radio and requested the fire department for medical aid. The canine officer began looking for the handgun and the CSI officer was helping him.

About this time, a motor unit arrived. Since we had not yet contacted the house from which the 911 call had come, that was still a possible threat or a location with other possible victims. I grabbed the motor officer and we covered the front of that home until other units arrived and one of my coworkers relieved me at my position.

Through the investigation, it was found that I initially fired four rounds through my windshield and six rounds in the second engagement. The canine officer also fired six rounds during the second engagement. The investigators determined that one of my first four rounds struck the suspect in his right side causing a large laceration, but not hitting anything vital. They told me they were able to determine that because there was windshield safety glass embedded in his shirt at the location of that wound.

It was also found that what precipitated this event was that the 44 year old suspect, a man who had battled bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia his entire life, had just gotten into an argument with his elderly parents, with whom he lived. He told them he was going to kill himself which was why they called 911. When he heard that 911 had been called, he told them he was going to go out in a shootout with the cops.

mn-m44

Not the actual rifle, just same model.

I firmly believe, and after mentioning this theory to the canine officer, so does he, that the suspect was walking away from his home to set up an ambush for us, and that my early arrival may have very well saved our lives. The suspect was leaving the home with a loaded Mosin Nagant M44 bolt action rifle (coincidentally, I own the identical rifle), for which he was carrying spare ammo. What I saw that I thought was a white patent leather sling was actually a section of white rope he was using for a sling. He was crossing the street and heading to the darkest area on the street, which has an excellent view of his front doorstep providing him an excellent place from which to ambush us.

When I began replaying the incident in my head that night, something stood out in my mind as not adding up. When he fired his first shot at me, I remembered seeing sparks at about the same time as I heard the impact, but jacketed lead bullets don’t spark when they hit a plastic front bumper cover or plastic grill. I began examining the front of my car and was not able to find any holes, which further stumped me, until I heard what type of gun he was using. An examination of the ammo he had revealed it was steel core Russian surplus. What had happened was his elevation was off significantly. His first shot hit the street about eight feet in front of my car, causing the sparks when the steel hit the asphalt. That round ricocheted up and struck a frame member directly under my driver seat, leaving a ½” deep dent in the steel frame.

Some of the work related things this incident taught me consist of:

1) Had I relied on my department to issue me my gear, I would have been carrying a department rifle instead of my personal gun, and this incident would have played out very differently. At the time, our department issued 40 year old military surplus M16A1 rifles, with iron sights. It is not because they don’t care, but the budget is just not there to purchase 300 new rifles for every patrol deputy. The guns we got were free, and any long gun is better than no long gun. Since my shooting, I have tried to shoulder that full length rifle in my patrol car, and even with the seat back all the way (which is where I have it anyway since I am 6’3” tall), it would not have been possible to return fire from inside my car. My LWRC is significantly shorter in overall length and was easy to maneuver inside the cramped confines of my patrol car.

2) I am thankful that I have always taken range training serious, and that I have always practiced as if it were a real gunfight. I will continue to do so, and will make every effort to ensure others take their range time seriously as well.

3) I made some changes to what I carry on my gun belt, and I added a way to carry a spare AR magazine at all times (Blade-Tech Double Pistol & Rifle Combo Mag Pouch). I always had multiple spare mags in the trunk, but in case of a rapid deployment, like this incident was, I want to have a spare on me just in the off chance that it could turn into a prolonged firefight.

4) I retired my beloved, personally owned, blinged out Sig P220, and got a department issued P226 in 9mm. With the purchase of three 18 round flush fitting Mec-Gar mags, and with one of the issued 15 round Sig mags, I more than doubled the amount of pistol ammo I am carrying (from 25 to 70). Plus, I have the other two issued 15 round Sig mags as spares in my tac vest, along with my other 6 spare AR mags. Taking fire really made me paranoid about the possibility of running out of ammo. I do not plan on ever letting that happen.

5) I have played multiplayer first person shooter video games for many years (much to the amusement of my beat partners), but have always tried to play with a realistic mindset. I honestly think that the 80,000+/- simulated firefights I have been in on the computer helped me think very quickly when the real one happened. I never froze or stopped to think once during the incident. Firing through the windshield, backing the car out to get to a better place to engage him, staying behind cover, etc. All of that came naturally since those are things that I do when I play video games. Granted, video games don’t help with all the physical aspects of shooting a gun, but I feel they can definitely play a role in training your mind to react quicker when you are confronted with a real world gunfight, plus their just plain fun.

I made some changes in my personal life after this incident also:

1) I make sure my wife and kids know that I do not take them for granted. I make sure I tell them how much I love them every day, usually several times a day, and especially every day before leaving for work. As much as having coworkers killed in the line of duty over the years (7 on my agency during my career, 1 was a personal friend) has made me reflect on this, nothing drives it home like being involved in your own incident firsthand.

2) I used to be reserved when it came to sharing my opinion on matters of politics, but no more. I have become much more involved in the entire political process because one thing my career has taught me, is that the liberal policies that rule the state in which I live and work have bred an entire population of people for whom I spend 40 hours a week acting as their parent or babysitter. We need a society that promotes self-sufficiency, not dependency, and I am doing everything I can to spread that message. If you disagree with that assessment, you are entitled to your opinion, but I challenge you to spend a few shifts on a ride-along with a law enforcement agency in a large metropolitan city and experience the fruits of those policies firsthand. It was this unwillingness to be quiet that lead me to writing political commentary, which landed me a writing gig for Joe The Plumber, which in turn lead me to writing here, at The Bang Switch!

Three other cops were killed in the line of duty that very same night across the country. Two were killed in car accidents (one of which was a pursuit), and the third was shot to death. As the anniversary of this incident nears, I find myself thinking about them and how I could have easily been number four. The fact that I was not added to that list makes me very grateful for everything I have, and makes me appreciate even the smaller things much more.

Thanks for bearing with me during this very long account. Remember to take some time each day to appreciate the little things in your life, and lets all stay safe out there!
Matt


To address some things brought up in past discussions:
– No, I did not get a 72 hour “calming” period before talking to investigators, I was interviewed by the Homicide investigators that night, about 90 minutes after the shooting, after they finished their initial walk through at the crime scene. Prior to them, I had to tell my story to the deputy handling the main portion of the report and to several different supervisors each time a new one arrived.
– Yes, I had an attorney there but she only asked a couple of clarifying questions after the interview was over. As a cop, I cannot plead the fifth and must cooperate with the investigation if I hope to keep my job. Coincidentally, that is exactly what I would do anyway since I had nothing to hide.
– Yes, I was automatically put on paid administrative leave for the next five days, which was most definitely not a vacation like every seems to think. I finally fell asleep at about 5pm the next day after the adrenaline dump finally wore off, the following day I had to go to the range to get a loaner rifle since mine was now residing in the crime lab (shooting at a target of a man pointing a gun at you takes on a whole new meaning), the next day I got to go sit down with a shrink (oooh, yay!), the next day I had to go to the critical incident stress debriefing and talk about how the incident made me feel (because you know, cops really like sharing their feelings with their coworkers), and on the fifth day, I finally got to sit down with my wife and kids and try and forget about the whole thing

Matt

Matt is a full time Deputy Sheriff that has been on the job for 17 years. During his time as a LEO he's attended countless training classes and is a court recognized firearms expert. Matt brings a unique perspective to TBS given his LEO experience and life time appreciation of firearms and our 2nd Amendment rights.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/jeffreyedwinbaker Jeff Baker

    Matt, I too am a veteran LEO. I have 25 years experience in an urban area of over 500,000 people. And, like you, I’ve been been shot at and shot back (on multiple occasions). These stories, when told in the manner you’ve related yours, can be very edifying for people and oftentimes lend invaluable insight relative to what works (and what doesn’t) in the real world.

    One thought I’ll pass along. We are seeing more officers each year being ambushed and having no time to respond other than to fire through their windshields. I took an advanced carbine course last year where I had an opportunity to shoot through virgin automotive windshield glass as apart of the school’s culmination drill. When shooting through the windshield (from inside out) my rifle rounds went high, way high; the teaching moment for the instructors here is, if/when forced to fire from the front seat, aim for the pelvis and you’ll get your hits where you would normally want them (thoracic area).

    Great story of survival and adaptation, brother. Kudos.

  • http://gravatar.com/tierlieb Tierlieb

    Hey Matt, thanks for the article. That was pretty educational. Reminded me a bit of Chris Hernandez’ stories from his “What Police Work is Really Like, Episode ?” series. Thanks, makes me appreciate police work a little more.

  • 6’5″ Swede

    Hi Mat,

    Thank you sharing your story!

    To what degree are you allowed to customize/choosing the uniforms, carrying rigs, etc you are using in the line of service?

    Best regards,
    6’5″ Swede, slightly taller the the COL of 6.5×25 CBJ

    • Matt

      The uniforms we have no choice in, but unlike some agencies, mine allows us almost unlimited freedom when it comes to our duty belt setup. We can use leather or nylon, and we can pick what equipment we carry and where we carry it. Granted, they will make suggestions to people when they see them doing weird stuff, like show up with their spare mag pouch in the middle of their back and the cell phone where their mag pouch should be (reasoning in that case was they used their cell phone far more often than their spare mags… ). They do have a set number of authorized holsters, but beyond that, pretty open. The holsters have a limited selection to prevent people from buying the cheapest, crappy holster they can find just to save a few bucks.

  • Mike

    great read, glad you prevailed

  • http://gravatar.com/txdadoo txdadoo

    Well, that was riveting. Thank you for taking the time and effort to write it.

  • Holyface

    Personal change #2 is where its at. I have a increasing distrust for LEOs and your stance was shocking to me. I know there are moral and logical LEOs out there, I’ve interacted with some very respectful and forgiving ones myself. My biggest fear is that LEOs such as yourself are a dying breed. Thanks for sharing your story with us, I am truly glad you able to go home to your family that night.

  • Jarred

    Thanks for sharing your experience. You probably saved the life of someone reading this. They just don’t know it yet…..

  • Jon

    I am glad you came out on top Matt.
    It is good to talk about it. Every so often my Battles and I have more then a few drinks and talk about the bad days.

    • Matt

      Thank you Jon, beats the other option, right? :-)

      As for talking about it, I agree that it is good to talk about it. Not only does it help me keep some things in perspective, and serves as a reminder to appreciate the little things, but I hope it can help others if they ever find themselves in a similar situation.

      In fact, my shooting caused some big changes at my department. They have been swapping out the uppers on all the patrol rifles for 16″ flattops and issuing used military surplus Aimpoints to as many people as want them. Additionally, they made some changes in a couple of the advanced firearm classes based on what happened in my shooting (side note, it’s weird sitting in a class that is using your incident as a training tool).

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  • John C. Hodge

    I’ve never seen a good study on the effectiveness of shooting through a windshield from inside out, though I think the differences between ammo might be dramatic. On a personal note, in a “shooting from the inside out” situation, my personal favorite would be the old “tanker gun”, the M3A1 grease gun, .45 ACP.

  • http://www.facebook.com/richard.turner.357 Richard Turner

    Very good read. Reminds me why LEOs are sometimes on edge when they speak to people on calls. People seem to forget that LEOs are the good guys, and most of the time they wouldn’t be involved in something unless there was a good cause to be. I have a number of friends in the law enforcement community, but they have never been shot at outside of military service. fortunately we live in a smaller community in South Dakota and people, although armed, tend NOT to shoot at the police. just makes me grateful our local sheriff’s department and city cops don’t have to worry about this type of thing as much. they are a credit to the profession, as i have been told of incidents where they have handled people who intended to commit suicide by cop without having to shoot them. of course there where no shots fired in those cases.

  • JunkfoodZombie

    Ambushes are terrible. During my EMT training, we were taught to always stand to the side of the door when knocking. This was because of a false emergency call in the area. A resident who was well known by emergency workers called for an ambulance and when the responders knocked on the door, they were killed by a shotgun through the door. Such a terrible way to treat people whi dedicate their lives to helping others. Glad to hear you made it out of there in one piece.

    • mfpthebronze

      Centreville Maryland? I remember an almost identical incident happening there many years ago. It’s a good thing that our EMTs and public servants are being taught situational awareness. It is one of the fundamentals of staying alive, and yet seems to be the least taught.

  • Not Your Mother

    Thanks for sharing…

  • PeterK

    Thanks, Matt. It can’t be easy to talk about even now. :(

    I come to appreciate our local LEO more every day. Also I’m getting a healthy appreciation for the gravity of carrying a gun (Which I don’t do but intend to when I can save up the money for the gun, holster, license, et al)

    • Matt

      Talking about it is not easy. I get worked up every time I talk about it. I find writing is easier. It allows me time to look at the incident in my minds eye, time that is not afforded when speaking about it.

      Plus, when writing, I can take my time and choose my words more better ;-)

  • Joe

    Great story matt. glad you were able to fight through it and share with us. I am curious what ammo you used in your AR?…since one of the rounds was effective through a windshield…did you guys have any over penetration on the rounds that hit the suspect?

    • Matt

      Joe, the ammo I used, which we had just started carrying in our rifles, was Speer Gold Dot 55gr .223. We are limited to 55gr ammo because the mil-surp M16A1′s we have are a 1/12 barrels and cannot deal with heavier bullet weights. The projectiles in this ammo are bonded and we had switched to this because it performs better through barriers than the typical fragmenting ammo designs.

      As far as through the windshield performance, the first round, and the subsequent muzzle blast, opened a pretty large hole. The three following rounds likely did not touch the windshield at all as my muzzle was essentially touching the windshield when I fired the first round.

      The suspect was hit 6 times in total, and they located (if memory serves me) 4 of the 6 bullets. The first one, on his side, was a straight through and was not located. Several of the others hit bone and to Speer’s credit, did as advertised. They held together and there was very little fragmentation. They are a soft-point bullet and did expand a little, but not significantly. Having seen the photos from the autopsy, I can personally tell you I would not want to be shot with this stuff. It did it’s job very well (although since my LWRC is a 1/7 barrel, I would much rather have the 64gr version the Speer makes).

  • http://www.nolatacforum.com Brannon LeBouef

    Thanks for sharing the gritty details.

  • Tierlieb

    Another detail question, if you don’t mind: You shot a lot in an enclosed space. How was the hearing during that and after?

    • Matt

      My ears were ringing for days, and I had trouble hearing higher pitched noises for several weeks. I had a hearing test done about 3 months after the incident and said I had excellent hearing with no signs of damage, but they suggested getting it checked periodically over the next couple years as not all damage shows immediately. I am due to have it checked again but have not gotten around to it yet.

  • ghostwheel

    Wish America had a mental system to deal with the mentally ill. Sadly we do not.

    Do police receive any special training to recognize and deal with suicide by cop scenarios?

    The only statement I think was incorrect was that “As a cop, I cannot plead the fifth and must cooperate with the investigation if I hope to keep my job”

    Taking the 5th and remaining silent is insufficient reason reason for firing a [police] union employee. City would be sued for a fortune if they did that.

  • Josh

    Matt, first I want to say thank you for your service as an LEO. I am glad you are all right. Sharing the details of your incident may not have been easy, but I learned so much from reading and will do my best to apply the lessons you learned the hard way. Also if you haven’t looked into them and are allowed to put them on your patrol rifle, look into a redi-mag. (Maybe you have and for whatever don’t like them or are not allowed, just an idea since you said you wanted more ammo.)

    One quick question if you don’t mind:

    1. When you fired at the suspect inside your car, did you have a front sight focus (Front sight clear target fuzzy) or a target focus (Target clear front sight fuzzy)?

    Again, glad you are alright thank you for sharing.

    • Matt

      Josh, I have looked at the redimag, and in fact several coworkers have them and love them, but I did not want that extra weight on my gun. Sometimes in my job, I get stuck on a perimeter spot and have to keep my rifle up and ready for very long periods of time, and as such, keeping the gun as light as possible is a priority to me with my skinny chicken wings.

      As for sight picture when firing from the car, I can’t really say. I recall focusing on the front sight post prior to firing the fist shot, while I was trying to center it in the EOTech, but what happened after that is anyone’s guess.

  • Chris

    Excellent writeup – it definitely gave me a good LEO perspective, and I totally agree about needing a society that promotes self-sufficiency; however, I think that will only start to happen after the collapse.

  • http://TheBangSwitch Wil R

    Thanks for your service.

  • Dan

    Glad you are ok! Good job & I agree about the policies of society. I have years of witnessing it from the mental health perspective as well as a couple years as a reserve officer.
    Thank you for your service!

  • Brian in MN

    “I used to be reserved when it came to sharing my opinion on matters of politics, but no more. I have become much more involved in the entire political process because one thing my career has taught me, is that the liberal policies that rule the state in which I live and work have bred an entire population of people for whom I spend 40 hours a week acting as their parent or babysitter.”

    Well said! I have spent a significant portion of my life living too near some of the white trash taking the free ride we all pay for and I know exactly where you are coming from. I have seen my local police playing babysitter on far too many occasions.

  • Jacen

    This was a very good read of the harsh realities of being a cop in a firefight. I like how the officer, after the fight, had made some smart changes to his equipment regarding his pistol and his rifle like keeping a spare rifle mag on his belt as well.

  • http://gravatar.com/axdp944 Adam

    Thank you sharing your story with us. It was an amazing read and very educational. Stay safe and hope you never have to go through anything like that again.

  • Andy Anderson

    Thank you for sharing your story, and thank you for your service. I am glad that you and your backup got to go home that day. I hope the same for everybody who serves their community.

  • http://prairiepatriot.blogspot.com Prairie Patriot

    “I have become much more involved in the entire political process because one thing my career has taught me, is that the liberal policies that rule the state in which I live and work have bred an entire population of people for whom I spend 40 hours a week acting as their parent or babysitter. We need a society that promotes self-sufficiency, not dependency, and I am doing everything I can to spread that message.”

    Good on you, Matt. It is unfortunate that you had to deal with this incident, but at least among the other take aways, it motivated you to spread the message of self reliance. Thank you for sharing your story!

  • Ron in WI

    Matt – Thank you for sharing your story and recommendations. I’m not a LEO but have always had respect for them and appreciation for what they risk on a daily basis. As someone with a concealed carry license I personally try to train and be prepared (mentally and physically) as much as possible should I ever need to defend my life or the life of my family or others from one or more people wishing to do me / us harm.

    The video game aspect surprised me, but it does make sense. I have personally avoided these games as part of keeping my children away from them, but ultimately I believe that parenting (or lack thereof) has a far bigger influence than violent video games, movies, or music. So, this is something I will be using in the near future because the mental preparation aspect makes so much sense*.

    * During training earlier this year i was shot in the back 8 times with FX marking bullets because I was “thinking forward” (and not even considering the possibility of being shot in the back). After the first few hits (which hurt more than the Airsoft BBs and Paintballs that I was used to) I remember thinking, “I must be dead by now.” Not a winning attitude, but this situation was completely new to me and I just froze. 20+hours later I was responding much better, but that drove home to me the importance of mental preparation.

  • Napoleon Solo

    Oh, St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God. I place in you all my interests and desires. Oh, St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your devine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.

    Oh, St. Joseph, I never weary of contemplating you, and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me and ask him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls – Pray for me.

    This prayer was found in the fiftienth year of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In 1505 it was sent from the Pope to Emperor Charles when he was going into battle. Whoever shall read this prayer or hear it or keep it about themselves, shall never die a sudden death, or be drowned, not shall posion take effect of them; neither shall they fall into the hands of the enemy; or shall be burned in any fire, or shall be overpowered in battle.

    Say for nine mornings for anything you may desire. It has never been known to fail, so be sure you really want what you ask.

  • Sean

    What an excellent read! Glad you prevailed, and God Bless you for sharing your experiences and insight.

  • http://gravatar.com/conalmc invisibleAzN

    Thanks for the great story. Did it ever make the news? If so, do you have any clips of it.

  • ghostwheel

    American Rifleman had a ballistic gel test on various Federal ammo types this week, including HST for shooting through glass. Problem they are trying to defeat was the glass shredding the bullet causing pieces to break off resulting in loss of weight/momentum. They said HST ammo which is crimped held the round together better through auto glass. A more expensive ammo type they mentioned but did not demonstrates or test was BONDED ammo. Shooting through glass seems like a LEO round primarily.

    For the rest of us they had GUARD DOG home defense which had advantage over hollow points. The rubber in the hollow part of the round meant that it did not require human flesh to start to expand and stayed within a 12 inch path through gel after cloth without overpenetrating into an unintended target or through drywall into another room or condo/residence in the urban environment.

    Out here in Hawaii, where all ammo must arrive by ship not air, any ammo is good ammo :P

    HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY EVERYONE! :D

  • Robert

    What do you think about the eotech now? I mean, eotech’s are great sights. The sight picture is bigger than from the aimpoint. BUT. Right in the Situation you needed the Sight to be ON, it wasnt and you had to respond immediately. Wouldn’t be a aimpoint better? You can leave it on all the time. For years. Eotech shut off in 4 or 8 hours as i know. one of both.
    Alright, both are rugged, battery life for aimpoint, smaller dot for eotech, but eotech’s reddot and the circle is kinda strange. I mean its not sharp. I never saw threw a aimpoint, so i cant say how clear and sharp the 2moa point is. NVG capable are both nowadays. big plus for the eotech is the bigger sight aperture.

    From that experience you got, what optic would you choose now for your duty rifle?

    kind regards from Germany

  • Matt

    Robert,
    I’ve actually done reviews on both optics that have been on my rifle, the EOTech that was there during this incident (http://www.thebangswitch.com/eotech-xps2-for-patrol/) and the Aimpoint PRO that I replaced it with and am currently using (http://www.thebangswitch.com/aimpoint-pro-for-patrol/). While I prefer the openness and the reticle of the EOTech, the always on and ready factor of the Aimpoint won out.

    I am trying to get a hold of a third optic to evaluate that could solve both problems for me, but have not had any luck yet in getting the importer to respond to me.

  • http://Facebook JudeeTee

    Matt: Thanks for sharing your experience and thank God that you’re here and able to tell your story. My “ride along” with a local unit was an experience that brought new and even more intense appreciation for what goes on “out there”. Although nothing of extreme consequence happened that night, I felt confident in the officers’ (I rode with two different officers on two different patrols) ability to handle whatever situation might come our way as competent professionals.

    I would encourage anyone who might have the opportunity, to take advantage of the experience and spend a shift with an officer on duty. It will be an education for you. They deserve every ounce of emotional and every penny of financal support we can muster. I am not an officer (I’m a female senior citizen). I believe you ALL deserve a huge THANK YOU for what you do and daily prayer that “God be with you and keep you safe”.. (Hats off to our firefighters, too.)

  • Dylan

    Thank you for sharing Matt. Hoping to some day be a police officer myself and this story makes me appreciate life and family even more. I now see how important training is in all of this, because if you had acted differently that day, the outcome could have been different. Thank you for doing what you do and be safe out there.

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